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Magic Bus 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Risse, McKillop, Wojcik, 1979
Page Views: 1,027
Submitted By: Curtveld on Feb 22, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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Ethan on the start of P2.


Magic Bus offers the fine knobby slab climbing that Darrington is renowned for at a friendly grade with easy logistics. The climbing is fun and straightforward for those comfortable on 5.8 slab. It’s a nice next step from the local warm-up ‘Under the Boardwalk’, with similar climbing and a quality second pitch, making it an excellent place to break into multi-pitch climbing. Magic Bus is faster-drying and often cleaner than many of its neighbors, making it a good early season option.

Pitch 1 (5.8, 40 m): Cross the horizontal overlap at the diagonal white dike (thin cam under overlap if desired) with a 5.7 step-over past the first bolt. From there, follow seven more bolts up the enjoyable knobby slab. The crux is at the second to last bolt before the anchor, which is just right of obvious cedar bushes.

Pitch 2 (5.8+, 25 m): From the belay, step up right to clip a bolt, then angle rightward, crossing a white streak toward the small left-facing corner. Once across the corner, head directly up a narrow slab with classic knobs. The crux is a bulge above the last bolt where knobs get a bit thinner.

Beyond: The original route has additional pitches that are seldom climbed (potentially dirty and runout, but would love to hear otherwise..)

Rappel the route from fixed anchors with double-ropes (single 60 m will reach if you rap to skiers right)

The local guidebook Weekend Rock: Washington by David Whitelaw, includes a topo and further description.


The route is on the SE aspect of Three O Clock Rock. Starting at the Squire Pass trailhead (can’t miss the official FS sign), follow the standard trail approach to Three O Clock Rock. The trail follows a rocky abandoned road grade through small timber then old growth before popping out into an open talus slope with ferns.

About 100 yards into the talus, find a climber's trail heading straight upward toward the crag, which is plainly visible (if you miss the turnoff, you’ll find yourself at the base of the North Buttress slab). Hike and boulder-hop to the crag and head left along its base, underneath the huge and obvious 'Great Arch'. Several hundred feet leftward, the trail begins to climb and you will see a long overlap that parallels the base of the slab about 5-10 feet above ground level. The start of Magic Bus is where a thin (~1”) angling white dike crosses this overlap (see Beta photo), and the first bolt is easily visible above.


Bolts plus optional small cam for start. Requires 8 draws.

Photos of Magic Bus Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rap to the 1st pitch belay with a single 60M. A li...
Rap to the 1st pitch belay with a single 60M. A li...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of Magic Bus in early season.  The "...
BETA PHOTO: The start of Magic Bus in early season. The "...
Rock Climbing Photo: Knobby slab on pitch 1 of Magic Bus. Photo: Chuck ...
Knobby slab on pitch 1 of Magic Bus. Photo: Chuck ...

Comments on Magic Bus Add Comment
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By Nick Drake
From: Newcastle, WA
Sep 8, 2015

This is a fun route, very well protected, where there are more friction/smedging moves a bolt is right there. Also excellent belay stances.
By Nick Drake
From: Newcastle, WA
Apr 11, 2016

Rappelled down from Till Broad Daylight/The Kone on new fixe anchors which lead into the belays of magic bus. Per description on The Kone page it sounds like these were just put in last summer. It is steeper knob climbing and looked like will go at a higher grade than the first 2 pitches. Hangers are painted and may not be visible from a distance. Rock did not look to have been cleaned yet.
By Kyle Elliott
From: Everett, WA
May 22, 2017
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

first 6 feet (under the overlap) was still seeping, but the rest of the route is dry. There was still plenty of pine needles on my ascent but it should be clean now.

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