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Barred Reality 

YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
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Submitted By: Nate Ball on Aug 30, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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BETA PHOTO: Stolen from "mebbing". The third pitch i...

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"After a powerful boulder problem off the ground, tricky moves on weird looking rock lead to a beautiful slab. Climb the simple slab past widely spaced bolts to an anchor on a large ledge. Another boulder problem leads past two bolts to a second anchor. The third pitch climbs from the hole in The Cave Route straight up the featured slab to the summit. Rappel The Cave Route." -- Rod Jacobson's Smith Rock '09 Supplement

Double rope rappel from last anchor. DO NOT RAPPEL FROM 1st OR 2nd BELAY STATIONS AS YOUR ROPES WILL GET STUCK!!!


At the base of the wall/buttress, before the turn the corner that takes you through the cave and up to the sport routes and Cave Route's start.


1st pitch: 9 bolts; 2nd pitch: 2 bolts; 3rd pitch: bolts + gear)

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By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Aug 30, 2010

Added: 2010-04-26 on

Trying to avoid the crowds, we had to go all the way to Brogan Spire to find some peace and quiet. Alas, there were eight people on Cave Route, and some friends were on the nearby .10's, so after glancing at Watts' new guide decided to do the this multi-pitcher while we waited for things to clear out. The .10a rating it gives the start is absolutely sandbagged, as is the bouldery start to the 2nd pitch. Our third companion couldn't make the start, so we opted to rappel from the first anchor. After accidentally knocking some boulders off the left (west) side of where the route starts with the rope, we descended with two 60m ropes (one 70m would probably be fine). We then tried to pull the ropes, but they were stuck fast. After yarding on them for awhile, we were only able to ascertain that they must be stuck near the very top. Without another rope or anyone nearby to help out, I then attempted to prussik up the ropes to free them and rappel through a draw. Alas, not wanting to do the start free and without a crash pad, I tried starting to the left (where the rocks had been dislodged earlier). Only 8 feet up the ropes knocked off a guillotine flake that could very easily have severed my left index finger, and did sever a vein in my right hand and seriously contuse my right knee. The ropes have not yet been recovered as of 4/26/10. They have a note on them offering a reward for its safe return to their proper owner (me). PM if you know anything about them. Moral of the story...


EDIT 4/27: Ropes recovered.
By rpc
Apr 27, 2011

Boulder problem followed by tightly bolted 4th class. P2 looked like more of the same. rapped off.
By bryans
Mar 2, 2015
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Just to present another opinion: I've done Cave Route way too many times, but these 2 pitches get you to "the cave" in 150 very quick feet of climbing (and 100 feet of walking, I'll be honest) instead of the 30 feet of 5-7 climbing to reach "the cave" via the standard Cave Route. Once at the cave you can do a simple 30 foot rap down the 5-7 cave route, then walk to your packs - or of course you could do one more pitch to the Brogan Spire summit if that' your goal.

As for the route itself: Pitch one is 20-25 feet of fun and pumpy 5-10, then another 60-90 feet of steadily easier terrain to an anchor. So, good first pitch. Pitch two starts with 15 feet and 2 bolts of overhanging 5-10, then after 20 feet of easy terrain you are walking to the Cave. So yeah, it's a pretty cheesy second pitch - but this route is a great way to get to Brogan Spire in 3 pitches, and with more actual climbing, than the standard Cave Route. Plus you can also quickly lead the bolted 10a/10b/11a routes that are just downhill once you rap off. How convenient. Next time you're out this way, this is an enjoyable way to get up to the Cave and enjoy the view.

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