Type: Trad, 220 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Jeff Thomas and Ken Currens, 1976
Page Views: 3,971 total · 44/month
Shared By: Thomas d'Aquin on Jul 3, 2011
Admins: Nate Ball, Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Peregrine Falcon Closure Details


Beautiful long perfect dihedral after some interesting face work.

P1: The original approach was to traverse in from the left, up the grassy ledges below Wild Turkeys. Nowadays everyone climbs Blownout Direct (5.9+). To do it this way, climb the detached flake up to and around the tree to a ledge. Stem between the pillars and move into the technical seam with three pitons to a stance. Go straight up to a zig-zagging hand crack that takes you to the belay "in a protected corner beneath the great upper dihedral."

P2: 100 feet of dihedral! Stems, chimney moves, lieback, all you ever wanted! Strenuous bulge at the top. Beacon inside corner climbing at its finest.


Start up hill from tunnel 1 at the base of a piller


Gear to 2.5"


You list the first ascentionists incorrectly as Jeff Thomas and Ken Currens, 1976.

I think that it was Steve Strauch and Danny Gates who did the FA. Bear with me as I'll most likely screw up the tale of the FA. The story is that they went out New Years Day during the start of one of those shitty assed ice storm's the gorge is known for in winter. Feeling lucky to have survived the drive out to the rock as the storm is ramping up, they decide to climb anyway, feeling that climbing in the worst weather imaginable would be more survivable than the drive back in the worst weather imaginable. It takes them 2 days to get up the route which is fully iced. They do it with pitons on aid, and it takes another full day to get back to town as the silver thaw hasn't abated, down the same curvy and hilly SR 14 which they had felt lucky to have survived the first time and which is still covered in ice. I suspect that what you have is the first "free" ascentionists listed above, not the first ascentionists. Jeff Thomas is still around (he wrote some of the best damn guidebooks in the US back then for this area). He is a stickler for perfection and maybe he'll weigh in the the corrected version of this story as I probably don't have it right either:-) But that's the version Steve Strauch told me.

Very good route, 2 starts...you might discuss them both and mention the poison oak as well. Jul 3, 2011
Colin Parker
Idyllwild, CA
Colin Parker   Idyllwild, CA  
Thanks Bill.

The poison oak he refers to is situated on small ledges on the Blownout Direct start. It is also growing out of the cracks to the left of Blownout Direct. While you may be able to avoid climbing in the poison oak, it will be very difficult to pull your rope without having it land in or brush some of it. Just a heads up. Jul 28, 2013
peachy spohn
peachy spohn  
No poison oak noticed as of 07/27/2013! Get on it! Have fun! Jul 28, 2013
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
The first pitch is decent with semi-tricky gear at the crux. That poor Alien is going to be there for awhile. I used a #1 mastercam in a tiny pod above the second piton and was able to pull the crux with it at my waist.

Before you get into the zig-zagging crack, there are two fat bolts up and to the right, around an awkward step. This is the anchor for Aging Fruits and Fall Guy.

I have upgraded the route to 10b, because although Olson's guide lists it as 10a, it's 100' of consistent 10a with a crux at the top. Described to me as "definitely harder than any of those 10's in the lower gorge" at Smith. Aug 23, 2013
Blownout Direct is currently the best approach for Blownout. There is poison oak to either side, but not on the route.
The 2nd pitch of Blownout is only 95 feet long, not 120, you can lower off from the top anchors back to the belay with a 60 meter. One of the bolts at the midpoint anchor(the one on the right) appears to be compromised, as it moves when weighted. Aug 25, 2013
the professor
the professor  
Blownout is the hallmark 5.10a route at Beacon. If one STEMS the third pitch, then 5.10a is valid (there are numerous no-hands stem rests) . If one purely JAMS a la Indian Creek it is harder. Sep 21, 2013
George Zack
Orting, WA
George Zack   Orting, WA
First time on this yesterday. Clean, steep, and quite sustained. A classic route. Did in two pitches starting up Blownout Direct. Encountered a tiny bit of poison oak 20' off the ground, but it is easily avoidable.

The upper crack of the first pitch is sustained and cruxy jamming. Most of the awesome dihedral on the second pitch felt sub-5.10 to me, probably cuz you get so many secure rests between moves when you are jammed/chimneyed in there. Cruxes definately came at the top for me: first a desperate lieback finger-crack, then a no hands rest, then one last hard/awkward throw to a jug just under the anchors that will probably feel like the hardest move for the height-challenged such as myself.

Recommended rack: Set of nuts (including a set of offsets), single .3 cam, doubles in .4-2, single 3. Jul 20, 2015
Matt Baker
Portland, OR
Matt Baker   Portland, OR
What a stellar route. Didn't do much stemming since I get tunnel vision on cracks, what a nice continuous jam crack!!! Definitely will get on this again Jul 21, 2015
George Zack
Orting, WA
George Zack   Orting, WA
Checked the three pins on the first pitch the other day. The upper two seem to be bomber, but the first is questionable (it is driven in fractured/loose rock). I also removed the fixed alien between the first and second pin, giving you now a couple of options for small gear in that area to back up the pins. Aug 23, 2015