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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 220'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jeff Thomas and Ken Currens, 1976
Season: fall
Page Views: 3,586
Submitted By: Thomas d'Aquin on Jul 3, 2011

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From the top of Blownout on a very smokey day in t...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


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: 90 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"

Photos of Blownout Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling over the bulge near the end of the second ...
Pulling over the bulge near the end of the second ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Daryl following pitch 3, the crux pitch.
Daryl following pitch 3, the crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Blownout
1st pitch of Blownout
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch of Blownout
2nd pitch of Blownout
Rock Climbing Photo: me starting the money 3rd dihedral pitch
me starting the money 3rd dihedral pitch

Comments on Blownout Add Comment
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By Billcoe
Jul 3, 2011

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 might discuss them both and mention the poison oak as well.
By Colin Parker
From: Idyllwild, CA
Jul 28, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

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.
By peachy spohn
Jul 28, 2013
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

No poison oak noticed as of 07/27/2013! Get on it! Have fun!
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Aug 23, 2013

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 Fags and Fall Guy.

I have upgraded the route to 10b, because although Olson's guide lists it as 10a, it's 90' 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.
By Steve Wolford
Aug 25, 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.
By the professor
Sep 21, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

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.
By George Zack
From: Orting, WA
Jul 20, 2015

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.
By Matt Baker
From: Portland, OR
Jul 21, 2015

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
By George Zack
From: Orting, WA
Aug 23, 2015

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.

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