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Marsupials Traverse 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 8 pitches, 1000', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,091
Submitted By: corvegas on Mar 12, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (23)
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BETA PHOTO: The Marsupials Traverse Objectives (right to left)

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


The Marsupials Traverse is probably the longest climb at Smith. Much of it is pretty runout with dangerous falls, but no runouts harder than 5.5ish climbing, though some of this is on loose rock. Not a good first route, but if your solid at the grade on runouts this is an awsome climb. There are multiple ways to start this route, how ever you choose to get to the top of the mudpile is up to you. I will describe the easiest way starting with Carla the Stripper.

P1 - 5.8 - Follow the boltline atop the block, up and to anchors.

P2 - 5.7 - Step out and left and follow bolts to the top, or step right 5.4 and follow bolts to the top.

Downclimb off the north end of the mudpile to a single bolt belay.

P3 - 5.7R - Continue traversing towards Mini Half dome, clip one bolt and make one harder move onto the top of the thing next to Mini Half Dome. There is one more bolt here you can clip. Now either stem or jump the gap to Mini HD. Belay from bolt anchor. Easy runouts.

Rappel off the north side of Mini HD.

P4 - 5.5R/X - This is a long 200ft pitch, with runouts on 5.4 climbing. Follow the west face route of Brogan spire. Immediatly clip one bolt and make the hardest move of the pitch. The follow the easiest line, as far as you can make it to a double bolt belay atop the huge ledge. Oppritunity exists for akward gear placements, tho if you fell at some points you could go a long way. (rated X by Watts)

P5 - 5.5R - The bird shit pitch! Head straight up placeing a few peices before running it out into the bird shit. Mantle to the top through the bird shit.

Rappel north into the notch move belay to double bolted belay atop original P2 of the cave route.

P6 - 5.4R - Head north towards the tail, cut left accross an akward ledge to the north side of the tail, then clip a bolt and head to anchors below the summit. Belay your partner to the top then have him down climb and lead the next pitch. Rotten rock on this pitch.

P7 - 5.5 - For the seconds sake (if you dont moove the belay) it is best to only clip the last of the 3 bolts. Clipping the first two might create some akward rope drag and could create a nasty fall for the second when downclimbing from the anchor. Either way follow the path of three bolts up good rock to anchor atop the opossum.

Either do a double rope rappel or...

P8 - 5.1R - Traverse along the ridge to an old anchor with slings. From here one 60m makes it to the ground.


Starts on the Mudpile. Carla the Stripper is on the east face, and starts atop a block just as the hill begins to steepen.


6-8 Long slings & Cams to 3"

Photos of Marsupials Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Marsupial Traverse...
The Marsupial Traverse...
Rock Climbing Photo: The full extent as seen from the Koala
The full extent as seen from the Koala
Rock Climbing Photo: Gabe climbing out of the notch (after Mini Half Do...
Gabe climbing out of the notch (after Mini Half Do...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying atop the Opposum
Belaying atop the Opposum
Rock Climbing Photo: soloing the marsupial traverse in 2010
soloing the marsupial traverse in 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: The line I trail behind for rappelling wrapped aro...
The line I trail behind for rappelling wrapped aro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gabe after crossing the ridge from the Mud Pile to...
Gabe after crossing the ridge from the Mud Pile to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cliff leading pitch one (crux?) of the Marsupials ...
Cliff leading pitch one (crux?) of the Marsupials ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay station on the Mudpile
Belay station on the Mudpile
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying from up on the Opposum, looking back towa...
Belaying from up on the Opposum, looking back towa...
Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse from the Mudpile to Mini Halfdome
BETA PHOTO: The traverse from the Mudpile to Mini Halfdome
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the rappel off of Mini Half Dome. Ou...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the rappel off of Mini Half Dome. Ou...
Rock Climbing Photo: high on the marsupials traverse, part 2
high on the marsupials traverse, part 2
Rock Climbing Photo: high on the marsupials traverse
high on the marsupials traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: the day I decided to finally solo the marsupial tr...
the day I decided to finally solo the marsupial tr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking from the summit of Brogan Spire down the v...
BETA PHOTO: Looking from the summit of Brogan Spire down the v...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jay finds just enough shade to cover his face whil...
Jay finds just enough shade to cover his face whil...
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost done. Not the best rock, but it was a hell ...
Almost done. Not the best rock, but it was a hell ...

Comments on Marsupials Traverse Add Comment
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By Stephen Davis
Oct 24, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

I would definately say bringing to #3 cams would be excessive, the only half decent cam placements on the whole route were a yellow TCU, blue TCU and a #1 camalot, but all these had nut placement near them, so just bring nuts!
By ferrells
May 25, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

As an alternative to the rotten rock of pitch 6 (above), try rappelling off of the anchors of the second pitch of the cave route. You will find these after descending from Brogan Spire summit, on a big flat ledge. Nice big bolts.
Next, pass through the cave of the Cave Route, and make your way back to the top of its first pitch. From there, traverse far to climber's right on the route Living Blindly. This is all easy climbing except for one exposed move on not very good rock. There is a bolt in your face for this move.
Finally, summit the Opposum, as described above, and traverse down the razor ridge. I used a 45 meter rope to rappel.
By Mateo San Pedro
From: OR
May 28, 2016

This sounds like a fun free solo. Yes or no? Rock too loose to trust? Too many mandatory rappels?
By Andrew Child
From: Santa Clara
Oct 23, 2016

This is a fun and interesting route. I have a few comments:

There are very few cam placements on this route, I think we ended up placing 4 total.

Most of the run outs go through long sections of easy huecos and pockets. Some of these might be small enough to fit a hex or a tri cam into for some peace of mind, but the rock is just kind of junky so I don't know how well it would work.

We were unable to find a bolted anchor at the top of pitch 4. My partner ended up getting short roped at the end of our 70 trying to reach the bolted anchor at the base of pitch 5 and ended up having to back up and build a trad anchor out of stoppers and small cams in a crack about 20 ft away. This whole time we couldn't hear each other either.

I recommend rappelling down the top two pitches of cave route and climbing up two pitches of living blindly as described in the Watts beta rather than doing the 6th pitch as described here.
By Ben Stabley
From: Portland, OR
Oct 25, 2016

Climbed it this weekend (10/22/16) and found it a great, fun adventure route. I had climbed the "standard" moderate multipitch routes on Mudpile and Brogan Spire a couple times, so it was exciting to go into new terrain while doing this route.

Pro: I brought nuts, tricams, and cams 0.3-3. Maybe a bit excessive, but I'd rather have more than less, and I was also climbing Birds in a Rut after finishing this route. I didn't use a single nut, but I did use tricams a lot in the pockets, as well as the med-large cams. Quickraws, 60cm alpine draws, and a couple 120cm alpine draws.

P1&2- Climb Lusty Lady. You can link these if you want.

Move belay to the north, before the 3rd class downclimb.

P3- Down climb 3rd class (ramp) to a narrowish ridge. Clip a few bolts, then climb up (bolt) over a "gendarme". Down climb the opposite side of the gendarme, taking care as much of it is loose (I could wiggle stuff). Cross over to Mini Halfdome, place a cam to protect your 2nd, then walk up and use the bolt anchor.

Rap from here off Mini Halfdome to the ground, then scramble back up through the easy chimney/slot between Mudpile and Brogan.

P4- Climb the south ridge of Brogan Spire (called "West Face" in Watts). Pass one bolt, then easy pockets to the top of the ridge. Take a left (north), and you'll top out on a giant plateau. I don't think this pitch warrants X, maybe R, but I felt comfortable on it. There is a bolted anchor on the far side of this plateau, climber's right, which is the anchor for Smash the Silence. I can't confirm a 60m or 70m rope will allow you to do this in one pitch (I had an 80m), but Watts says you can "easily combine...with a long rope." If you can't reach the bolts, there is a very large boulder about 10m away that you can lasso with the rope for an anchor, which was my plan before exploring more and finding the bolts).

P5- Climb the rest of the way to the top of Brogan Spire. One spot low for a bomber small cam, then less great gear above. There are chains on the south side of the spire, which you could clip for protection before pulling up onto the actual top. I belayed from bolts on the top.

Rap down to the cave. This can be done in 2 raps (reverse of the Cave Route), or 1 long rap directly to the cave. If going directly to the cave, be advised that it's 40m to a safe landing spot near the cave.

Move belay to the P1 anchor of Cave Route/Living Blindly.

P6&7- Climb Living Blindly to the top of the opossum.

P8- Head climber's right along a 4th class ridge to a set of bolts on a flat area. You can protect the ridge with a few med-large cams.

Rap north from here to the ground. <30m

I don't recommend going directly to the tail from Brogan Spire (North Face Traverse or Tail Direct (45, 45a) in Watts), as it is likely you will knock off something onto the inevitable crowds down on Cave Route/Living Blindly.
By Kevin MP
From: Redmond, OR
Dec 1, 2016

If you cruise this traverse and want more, a logical linkup after finishing walks over and climbs Koala Rock, then up the Wombat. I did the traverse via Carla the Stripper, then over to Round River Direct and up Birds in a Rut. Car to car in 3:10 (a fast soloist could probably do it in 2 hours), lots of interesting terrain covered!
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Apr 23, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R

We started via The Wormhole, that scrappy chimney just uphill from Carla. This cut out the Mud Pile summit and obviously some much better climbing. The bolted move over the hump on P3 is quite spicy. P4 is just a fun run-out but try to place some gear to give your follower a path... and there are some decent tiny cams placements near a bolt-sans-hanger if'n you don't want to walk all the way back to the bolts. P5 down-climbing the back side of Brogan was heady mostly due to the completely unprotected nature of it... but maybe I went around the wrong side. P6 stay low and go through the gully before going into the loose alcove and then link this up the three bolts to the top of the Opossum. P8 continue along the very narrow ridge to new bolts on the far side. Very short rap from here.

Basically all the gear I placed was marginal at best, and I wouldn't recommend anybody climb this unless they're comfortable leading in a free-solo head-space. Simul-climbing would be pointless because of the lack of gear, but if you're hauling up a noob (also not recommended) then have fun with that.
By Forever Outside
From: Los Angeles, CA
Apr 24, 2017

Climbed this last Friday, makes for a really fun and adventurous day. A fair amount of friable rock, but that did not deter us. First pass took 3 of us 5 or 5.5 hours to climb the entire ridge (+ the hike in and out) Didn't see anyone else out there. From the top of the Opossum you can the last little traverse over to the bolted single rope rapell station was pretty spicy! No pro and hard to trust the rock. It get's real there! If you have two ropes you can rap off the top of the Opossum. Great day!
By CritConrad
From: Bend, OR
Jun 11, 2017

This whole thing was significantly more solid that my partner and I expected. I was expecting a horror show of choss and garbage. It is all pretty solid save a few holds over the course of the entire traverse.

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