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Birds of Prey 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Bob Milward, Jim Campbell (1983)
Page Views: 5,255
Submitted By: Ian Wolfe on Jul 25, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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BETA PHOTO: The short 5.8 chimney of Pitch 6. This can easily ...


Two pitches of a beautiful 5.8 handcrack lead up to the base of the steeper headwall. These pitches can be combined with a 70m rope or a little bit of simul-climbing. There are 2 bolts at the top of this pitch and several sets of rap slings, so it is possible to descend from this point. I found it most comfortable to belay from the large tree a few feet below the bolts. Next climb the amazing 5.10b handcrack in the huge corner strait up, then traverse left to a tree with rap slings. Belay here if rope drag is bad, if not continue up another 40 feet of easy ground to the base of a large, featured left-facing corner. This is 5.10 a with a 5.8 chimney finish, but this pitch is almost always climbed in one pitch.


From the top of the approach trail walk left along the base of the wall past The Great Game, and onto a large slab with an obvious, worn handcrack.


One set of cams up to a 2 or 3 camalot, and a set of nuts, plus 10 or 12 trad draws.

Photos of Birds of Prey Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up Pitch 5.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up Pitch 5.
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the 5.8 crack system that forms Eagle...
BETA PHOTO: The start of the 5.8 crack system that forms Eagle...
Rock Climbing Photo: Duncan leading the corner on Birds of Prey Pitch 3...
BETA PHOTO: Duncan leading the corner on Birds of Prey Pitch 3...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off Birds of Prey.
Rapping off Birds of Prey.

Comments on Birds of Prey Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 27, 2017
By Michelle Cronk
From: Bellingham, Washington
Aug 1, 2006

After climbing the long 5.8 pitch, climb the short and beautiful corner and traverse LEFT. Finish with the last pitch in the far corner. This route is wonderful for the grade. Well worth the huff to the Squaw. Enjoy!
By Ian Wolfe
From: Fayetteville, NC
Aug 4, 2006

yup, it is left. Sorry for the mix up. I fixed it on the description.
By John Bradford
From: Yellowstone National Park
Aug 17, 2007
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

A very nice climb. The third pitch (or fourth) is a bit dirty, but still enjoyable climbing.
By Mike Teschke
From: North Vancouver
Sep 28, 2009

It would be a stretch to get to the anchors below the 10b hand crack in one 70m pitch. We had to do a significant amount of simul-climbing with a 60m rope. The 10b hand crack is great and easily can be combined with the left traverse, there are anchors for a bolted 11a pitch about half way across the traverse. These are not the anchors for Birds of Prey, about 30 feet further along the traverse then up a ramp to the right is a nice chain anchor with a comfy tree that has been turned into a belay seat. (Be mindful of rope drag) The last pitch can be wet and was a bit slimy in spots yesterday despite more than a week of sunny weather. The guide book suggests building a gear anchor after you pass the steepest section (and a rotten tree stump) but I had no problem linking it with a 60m rope, probably about 50-55m, with minimal rope drag issues.
By Sherri Lewis
From: Sequim, WA
Jul 28, 2010

We easily linked the first two pitches with a 70m rope to belay from the big tree below the .10b corner, and also linked the last two pitches, which made the whole route seem more enjoyable rather having it chopped up into short pitches.

We took a #4 cam but could have easily done without it.

There is a new descent route for the Squaw which provides a safer alternative to the "cave" down-climb; the description below is copied from this thread on

"From the top of Birds of Prey walk climber's right about 10 metres. Look for the sign indicating the easy way down--i think it says "hiking route". It goes to the left and crosses the gully high up before descending.

If you are coming off Great Game or Jungle Warfare, you will need to climb up to access the new trail.

FWIW, I kinda enjoyed the old trail--it has an alpine quality. But having descended that way more than once was more than enough.

Kudos to the people or person who did a tremendous amount of work to create the new trail."
By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
Aug 20, 2012
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

The trees mentioned in the description have all been chopped, save the one Mike mentions below the 10a pitch. This made linking the two 5.8 pitches difficult, as I ran out of rope as I got to a rickety stump and had to have my second scramble up the easy 5th at the beginning so I could reach the bolts.

10b pitch was burly, but short and straight forward. I was expecting the spooky slab move to be more intimidating than it was (and I'm easily spooked). Your choice is between rope drag or four extra feet of whip. I chose rope drag and had to belay at the bolt anchors next to the next chopped tree as a result. Was happy to see you could protect the second fairly well on the traverse with a yellow and orange metolius.

I either completely missed the chain anchors Mike mentioned below the 10a pich or they've been chopped. Admittedly I didn't look for them, just slung the tree, so maybe they're there still.

The last pitch is complex and intriguing. I'd say it's a tricky onsight as you dance around bizarre features stemming and jamming. We linked the 5.8 chimney, I made some bad choices with my slings when pumped and had some pretty gnarly rope drag by the top. Link them by all means, just don't be an idiot like me and extend wisely.

Didn't use cams smaller than blue metolius or nuts smaller than #3 WC. Brought a #4 C4 along just for the chimney but it was unnecessary. Didn't place it once. Was happy to have doubles in finger and hand sizes for linking pitches, but only one #3 C4 is necesary.
By Matt Hoffmann
From: Squamish
Oct 1, 2012
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Eagles Domain (First pitch up the splitter) is amazing. Maybe 70m long. Fairly simple to simul climb. (this is p1-2 linked)

Second pitch is a beauty but, can be scary for the follower stepping over after the splitter crack.

Last pitch (third) is dirty. Didn't really enjoy it. (this is p4-5 linked)
By Mark van Eijk
May 11, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Didn't really love this route. Maybe it was the early-season grunge that permeated everything, but it only ever seemed fun for the 15 feet of splitter corner on the 3rd pitch (2nd if you link eagle's domain).

-We linked p1&2 by scrambling 15 feet to an adequate ledge and using a 70m rope (a 60 will not cut it). People really seem to love eagle's domain but both times I've done it I've found it to be a bit of slog. Lots of flaring pods and slime to start, the middle third is quite good, the last third is dirty and easy. Wish I had saved a 1.5" piece for the last 35 feet. For the record it is not a hand-crack; mostly poddy fingers and rings.

-p3 was good, straightforward splitter crack in a corner. Great fun but quite short. The "spooky step-over" is easier than it looks, but quite committing. The foot is very good and it really only is one move to nice holds and good gear. Make sure to extend the last few pieces in the corner below.

-p4 is a vegetated 5.0 traverse.

-Linked p5&6. P5 might be good if it wasn't such a mess, it seems to channel a large volume of detritus and goo from the top of slhanay and was distressingly wet after a week of dry weather. There are several crack-switches and a lot of interesting movement along the way. Up higher the quality drops and I was dodging softball-sized rocks perched on ledges. Bring plenty of draws to extend and save some larger pieces for the top

I placed a #4 on each pitch I led and was glad to have it, also placed both #3s I brought on both of the linked pitches. Maybe I should have waited until later in the season, but this route as we climbed it was just not a lot of fun.
By Lolo
May 28, 2015
By gregman
Apr 11, 2016

The Select guidebook also details an alternative to the 4th/5th pitches of Birds of Prey called "Birds of the Sun" (aptly named if climbed in the morning because you'll be topping out with the sun in your eyes). We did this primarily because it had rained a few days earlier and the guide booked mentioned these last pitches were prone to seep.

Following the same first 3 pitches of Birds of Prey, you head up the face up and left from the anchors after the 5.9 traverse, with some sparse pro and a couple bolts to go up to the fairly obvious corner. There's a direct of 5.10d crack alternative that did not look well traveled. The corner has a great belay ledge and set of anchors at head height, goes at 10c, mostly thin fingers with a fun mix of smearing/jamming/stemming and a tricky balancey crux towards the top. The last pitch, after this, starts at the second second of anchors just further down the ledge from above the 10c. This goes at 10d mostly for the tricky, but well protected by a bolt, cruxy slab moves right before the top. Same finish area/descent as Birds of Prey. If you stay left at the fork for the descent, it's super easy and in great shape (props to whoever built this and maintains it).
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Jun 27, 2017
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

every time I think about repeating this route it just makes me so sad that they cut that beautiful drooping cedar at the top of the 2 or 1st 5.8 cracks that I don't really want to go back there. Some trees deserve to be saved and that in my mind was one of them.

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