Type: Trad, 750 ft (227 m), 7 pitches
FA: Ray Jardine and John Lakey (Oct '76)
Page Views: 529 total · 6/month
Shared By: Bryan G on Oct 8, 2014
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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This is a rarely climbed long route on the East Side of Elephant Rock. It is a lot better than Reality Check but not as good as Plumb Line. The climb is characterized by wide cracks and chimneys in it's first 2/3rds and smaller cracks and face climbing in the upper section. This route has a lot of lichen on it, but the rock is mostly solid and some of the climbing is quite good. It would be a 3 star route if it was clean. The climb gets shade all day.

Approach by fixing ropes and rapping in on the east face (see Reality Check approach beta for more information). Then scramble down a brief section of 3rd class and hike downhill through the forest. As you walk downhill from the Reality Check/Plumb Line recess, Trundling Juan will be the first major chimney/corner system after a long stretch of blank vertical rock. There is a very tall pine tree growing off a ledge about 50ft up. The walk is short enough that it's probably worth doing it in your climbing shoes so you don't have to carry approach shoes on the climb.

The first pitch probably has a few variations. We started at a nice flat spot to rope up, climbed up a corner, tunneled behind a block to the right, and then ascended cracks in a stem box (5.9) to a big ledge near the base of the huge pine. (the Reid guide shows this pitch going further but you might get rope drag)

For pitch 2 you climb an offwidth in a left-facing corner, then a nice (but dirty) hand crack to a bay tree (end of pitch 1 in Reid, note that for the rest of this description the pitch numbers will differ from the guidebook). Here we kept going up a chimney and then double cracks on either side of a block (5.9) to reach an alcove.

Pitch 3 - Climb out of the slot into a hand/fist crack (5.9) and then up some low angle offwidths to reach the bottom of a huge and deep chimney system. A fairly short pitch.

Pitch 4 - This is the cleanest and most aesthetic pitch on the route. It's one of the better chimney pitches on a formation that has a lot of really great chimney pitches. Ascend about 70ft of squeeze chimney without pro to reach a stance below a big overhang with a 6" crack. The crack protects very well with a #6 Camalot (two of them are recommended for this long stretch). Stem past the overhang on some small knobs, and then keep going up the corner with more stemming and sometimes getting in the offwidth. Near the top of the pitch are a couple chockstones which must be passed with some awkwardness (5.9). Belay on a great ledge after about 160ft.

Pitch 5 - A very short pitch, getting past a roof of blocks and chockstones (5.9+). This takes you to larger ledge system with lots of bushes and trees.

Pitch 6 - Climb up the shallow corner with thin cracks. At one point there are a lot of bushes and munge choking the corner and I mantled onto a couple black knobs on the face to the right and then stepped back into the corner. The upper part of this pitch is 10b stemming and is extra difficult because of lichen on the face and because you must hold strenuous stances while digging out the crack so you can place pro. This section would be really nice if it was clean. Reach some good holds at the end of the corner and pull onto a good ledge below the arching golden offwidth (Sky 5.11c). A fairly short pitch.

Pitch 7 - Climb out a ramp to flake trending left then pull through a steep section (5.9+ and reachy). This is another section that would be excellent quality if it was cleaner. Clip and old bolt with a homemade hanger which mainly serves as a directional for the second. Then make some more hard moves pulling into a right-trending ramp with a handcrack which leads over into the hanging chimney above. The Reid guide shows belaying here but it's better to just finish it off up the chimney to the top.

There are several alternatives for the last couple pitches. For one, you can easily bypass the 10b crux pitch by climbing the sport bolted face 20ft to the right. This takes you to the same ledge beneath Sky. For a more challenging finish you could end with Sky or clip bolts up the arete to the right (Hocus Pocus 5.11d). Yet another alternative is from the top of pitch 5 to to walk to the west end of the ledge and rappel down to the broad brush-covered ledge below. From this ledge you can access several more routes on the upper tier. Pink Elephant is the easiest alternative, and with that finish the entire ascent would go at 5.9 (a very adventurous 5.9+).


This big and diverse climb with gear belays requires a big and diverse rack - from micro cams to a #6 camalot. Bring some additional cams in the extra small and finger tips sizes so you can sew up the corner on the 10b crux pitch. Bring two #6 Camalots for the pitch 4 offwidth, unless you're ok with scooting a single piece of pro ahead of you for over 50ft of airy climbing. Other than that a single set of cams and a single set of nuts is sufficient. Also bring some shoulder length runners.