REI Community
Northwest Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dorian's Dilemma T 
Fireballs T 
Gitmo Love Machine T 
Head Case T,S 
Pioneer (Spike) Route T 
Siege Tactics T 
Smoke Signals T 
Stone Soup T 

Smoke Signals 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Jim Opdyke & Andrew Leiner, April 11 1999
Page Views: 291
Submitted By: Topher Dabrowski on Apr 18, 2016

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 as seen from the belay

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Smoke Signals is recorded as an unnamed route in the 4th Edition of the Portland Rock guide. It is listed as route #1 in the NW wall subsection of the Beacon Rock chapter and is shown as a single pitch climb adjacent to Stone Soup. Smoke Signals is actually 2 pitches long and shares its second pitch with Stone Soup as it predates the latter route by 6 years. Smoke Signals climbs very nicely for its grade and should become a solid addition to the Beacon must do tick list.

While most of Beacon Rock is closed to climbing annually from February until early July, the NW section of the rock remains open year round. This route is a great option for those looking for a multi-pitch adventure earlier in the season.

Pitch 1 30m - ascend large ledges and good holds to a wider left leaning crack. The first gear is about 20' up in this crack but the climbing is straight forward to this point. Continue as the route zig zags its way up the wall following a discontinuous crack system to a piton. If you take your time you can find offset nuts and small to medium cam placements on the way up to the pin. After clipping the pin and backing it up with a 1" cam in the slot just beside it, launch into the route's crux by moving up past another pin and exiting out left around a buttress. Once you turn the corner, look for good features and a few more gear placements which take you up a slab to the bolted anchor.

Pitch 2 32m - head up a weakness on the right of the anchors passing a small tree on its left side. Continue up the discontinuous crack finding good stances between reachy moves on good holds. Eventually work across a slab traverse below a small roof towards a bolt. Climb up towards a small tree passing it on the right side and then up on to the final crux head wall. The head wall has bolts, a pin and can take a couple of nuts if required. Plenty of gear can be found on this pitch and there is also a fair amount of fixed gear. A set of offset nuts will be very useful, especially the #7/gold size.

Descend by 2 rappels off bolted anchors or if desired one can merge into Stone Soup for 4 more pitches and climb to the summit trail and walk down. See the description for the Stone Soup free variation.


Literally the easiest approach you'll ever do.

From the west end of the main Beacon parking area, walk towards the wall and then take the path leading into the woods adjacent to the water spigot. Walk 15 yards to the base of the wall.


0.1-3 Black Diamond Sizes
0.3, 0.4 & 0.5 Doubles
Regular Nut Set
Offset Nut Set with extra #7
12 x 60cm Runners
6 QDs

Photos of Smoke Signals Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2 photo topo - note the blue colored bolts w...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 photo topo - note the blue colored bolts w...
Rock Climbing Photo: 05.28.16 Route Topo
BETA PHOTO: 05.28.16 Route Topo

Comments on Smoke Signals Add Comment
Show which comments
By Andrew Leiner
From: Colorado
Jul 25, 2016

The first pitch starts to the left of the description, it's better protected, better climbing and you wont swing if fall...

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About