Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Jeff Thomas, Del Young (1976)
Page Views: 780 total · 12/month
Shared By: the professor on Jun 11, 2013
Admins: Nate Ball, Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Peregrine Falcon Closure Details


Many of the 1980s Beacon Rock climbers viewed Flying Swallow as the highest quality climb on the crag (yes, better than Dod's Jam + Dastardly Crack, better than Blownout). The old Jeff Thomas guidebook mentioned a runout, but this probably referred to the 5.4 ledge traverse prior to gaining the Flying Swallow dihedral.

P1: climb any of Local Access Only, Reasonable Richard (best choice), or Black Maria. Continue right along an obvious ledge and belay at the base of the Flying Swallow dihedral (5.9, 100 feet).

P2: Stem the dihedral (crux) up clean rock with bits of red lichen, past a bolt to a ledge (5.10d, 75 feet).

P3: A remarkably clean and beautiful dihedral starts with fingers and widens to hands. Belay at the obvious ledge. (5.10b, 60 feet).

P4: A short dihedral with hand crack ends on the far left edge of Grassy Ledges (5.10a, 40 feet).

There is a variation to P3: another less clean dihedral just to the right. Although not as aesthetic as the standard P3, it's worth top-roping at 5.10b/c.


On the SE Face somewhat right of Free For All. Consult Tim Olson's guidebook for details. P3 of Flying Swallow is immediately right of P2 on Flight Time.


Take the usual Beacon Rock rack, including some RPs for the start of P2 (crux). There is a 12 foot runout past the bolt on P2, but the stemming is easier here.

Each pitch has fixed anchors (with possibly ancient webbing) and the route can be rappelled.


Kevin Shoemaker
Vancouver, WA
  5.10d R
Kevin Shoemaker   Vancouver, WA
  5.10d R
In its current condition I found this to be a scary route, the gear is sparse through the middle section of the second pitch (.10d) and along with "Reasonable Richard" it is very dirty. It starts good the gets bad for like 15-20 feet then you get a old bad bolt in desperate need of replacement, after that I found a 'good' one in a flared pod and a rusty old piton that held two falls from me peeling of the mossy finish lol. All that being said this would be a very cool route if someone wanted to clean her up and replace/add a bolt or two with the permission of the fa of course. Aug 24, 2018
the professor
the professor  
Jeff Thomas would probably agree to the replacement of an old bolt (put in the same hole), but I doubt he wants additional bolts. His was a bold lead and subsequent leaders should not be robbed of the same exhilaration by the addition of bolts. Of course, wire brushing of lichen should be OK.

I would be interested to learn the condition of the subsequent 5.10b pitch. It is in a sheltered position and was completely lichen-free back in the 1980s. Sep 29, 2018
Bob Graham
Portland, OR
Bob Graham   Portland, OR
I have been told not to use a wirebrush out there as it polishes the stone, making it slick, they recommended a horsehair brush I believe. Oct 22, 2018
That right. A wire brush will make those sloping holds impossibly slick Bob. Any synthetic bristle (like the yellow poly) or palmyra (brown natural) bristle brushes will work great and they don't do that. Oct 23, 2018