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South East Corner 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 600', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: John Orenshall, Gene Todd 1954
Season: summer, fall
Page Views: 16,383
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on Feb 26, 2006

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Climbers on third pitch and at third pitch anchors...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Airy views of the Columbia gorge, good rock, and superb climbing make this route a classic and THE most popular route at Beacon Rock. Almost every climbable weekend will see ascents.

Finding the start of this route can be a challenge. Go down the climbers trail on the East side of Beacon. After turning the corner watch for a rise in terrain. Just past the rise the route starts in a right angling corner.

Pitch 1: 5.6 Climb up the right leaning corner and then up a crack to a nice ledge. Be careful pulling onto the ledge as there may be loose rocks. Belay from a bolted anchor

Pitch 2: 5.2 Traverse down a few feet and then straight right for a pitch. Belay at bolted anchors. Pro is sparse but the climbing is easy. Most people link pitch one and two.

P3: Pull the steep mantle immediately up and left of the anchor and continue up the ramp above (or the right-leaning, right-facing dihedral just left of the ramp) until you have pulled a couple of vertical moves past some old pins. Make a short traverse to your right, around the corner, to a hand crack, and then head straight up for a short distance to the large belay ledge with tree. 30m.

P4: Ascend the obvious left-leaning, right-facing dihedral/ramp up and left from the belay. Build a trad anchor shortly after you gain the narrow dirty ledge (the bolted anchor that the route description mentions is the top of "Jill's Thrill", and is much further to the left and around a corner along this ledge. I can't imagine why anyone would want to belay from here if continuing to the top). 40m.

P5: Walk left along the dirty ledge for a very short distance then turn right up a wide, shallow gully that is littered with dirt and loose rock. The short offwidth is at the top, and slightly to the right, of this gully. I personally prefer to build an anchor here at the top of the offwidth. < 30m.

P6: Head up and right along the low-angle ramp, and clip the ancient bolt off to your left at the top (for the rope) before walking right along a ledge a short distance and around a bit of a corner. Go straight up the face above you and build an anchor on the large ledge at the top. aprox 40m.

P7: Go up and left from the ledge, taking the line of least resistance up the low-angle ridge/spine of clean rock. Belay from a large ledge just before going into the trees. aprox 30m. Unrope and walk up the trail through the trees to the hikers trail.


A regular rack of nuts and cams up to 3"

Photos of South East Corner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Just getting to belay ledge with tree at top of pi...
Just getting to belay ledge with tree at top of pi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad Farris on the traversing second pitch.  Ancho...
Brad Farris on the traversing second pitch. Ancho...
Rock Climbing Photo: At bolted anchors for pitch 2. Go left and mantle ...
BETA PHOTO: At bolted anchors for pitch 2. Go left and mantle ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan C on the start and crux of pitch 3, SE corner....
Dan C on the start and crux of pitch 3, SE corner....
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad arrives at the second pitch anchor.  The thir...
BETA PHOTO: Brad arrives at the second pitch anchor. The thir...
Rock Climbing Photo: Katherine explores the first pitch
Katherine explores the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting route at dawn with Browner
Starting route at dawn with Browner
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle of pitch 4, can see tree belay ledge at top...
BETA PHOTO: Middle of pitch 4, can see tree belay ledge at top...

Comments on South East Corner Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 21, 2017
By peachy spohn
Jul 17, 2008

Pitch 5: To add to the authors good description; there is a stance at the V-notch to set up a belay, which can be the belay for the 4th pitch. Above this spot is a small pine tree that you will want to aim for - just behind it is the off-width that you will use to get up to the long, right leaning ramp. At the top of the off-width and at the start of the ramp you can set up the belay, the 5th overall.

Start the 6th pitch be heading up right on the ramp. There is a bolt about 60 feet up. Clip it and continue right around a corner and onto an exposed and cool face that can be climbed up with bolts or all the way around to the right. (As the author stated, there are other options besides this to gain the summit).

Easy climbing, but loose rock to the top.
By smithygreg
From: Portland,OR
Oct 20, 2008

I would suggest having some kind of rope signals, or two way radios if you are doing this climb. It was almost inmpossible to communicate with the leader when we did this between the wind and trains rolling by... I suppose that is good advice for any climb that traverses a lot like this one...
By Peter Franzen
General Admin
From: Phoenix, AZ
Oct 20, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I found the 1st and 3rd pitches to be enjoyable, but the rest was totally forgettable.
By Reed Fee
From: White Salmon WA
Aug 14, 2009

The "bolt" on the 6th pitch is an ancient rusty 3/16 thing with a sheet metal hanger. This pitch is essentially a free solo but barely 5.3. Also the the fixed pin and bolt variation on the final pitch is the final pitch for Young Warriors as well. Many colorful characters regularly do solo laps on this route. If your thinking of doing with your 5 friends go sport climbing instead. Besides the third pitch the final ridge is my favorite.
By Ebb Ebbing
From: Vancouver, WA
Jul 31, 2010

Quite an adventure! This is a very popular route (we climbed on a Friday and were the 2nd of 5 parties to climb all or part of this route). The "company" was helpful though for our first time up this route, as it provided for some valuable "live beta" from the "veterans."

I've read in some guide books that the published ratings for Beacon Rock are a bit "stiff" and I would agree here. At least for a personal first ascent, consider adding a notch to any of the published ratings (i.e. the first pitch felt more like 5.7, the third pitch felt more like 5.8 or even higher if you choose the wrong path to get over the bulge at the start, the fourth through sixth pitches all have some moves that could argueably go for 5.6 - 5.7, etc.)

Expect to commit a FULL day to this climb due to length, crowds and for a first time ascent, route finding.
By Derrick Peppers
From: everywhere
Oct 2, 2010

I would agree with Peter F. The 1st and third were the only great parts to the route, however, what a third pitch it was. The whole climb is very worth it if only for that third pitch.
By JGHarrison harrison
From: Reno, NV
Nov 3, 2011

I didnt see any anchors at the top of pitch 5. Perhaps we missed them, however there are ample opportunities to sling a tree or build an anchor. A handfull of random pins can be found on the face. If you think you are off-route on the higher pitches look for the pruned trees. Fun climb.
By Keith Stansbury
From: Hockinson, Washington
Sep 4, 2012

This is a great climb for newer climbers just starting on multi-pitch routes. I just took a new climber - he's "climbed" in gyms, and has bouldered, but never lead or placed pro - up last weekend.

It is worth repeating that the 3rd pitch has some really fine spots: the crux move (it truly is only 5.7, maybe plus at a stretch, and just a move at that), and my favorite the sloping ramp just past the crux. I highly recommend to remember to chill out a bit when in the middle of that ramp. For new climbers, it provides a good feeling of exposure, yet there are great little ledges where you can just stand there for awhile and thoroughly enjoy the stance and view. In fact, although it is not done, it might be cool to set up a belay right there on that ramp just for the fun of it!

That 3rd pitch is also instructional in terms of proper pro placement and use of runners to alleviate potential rope drag, which can be significant if not considered there.

Time: <4 hours including walk in and trail back to car, provided you know the route. We were up and back to the car in 3 hours on a sunny day.
By David J. Thompson
From: Hood River
Jan 5, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Rescued a sling and biner someone bailed off from tree ledge on New Years Day. Email me if it's yours.
By Veraun Chipman
Jul 4, 2015

Can anyone out there give pitch lengths? Can I climb this with 50m rope?
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 6, 2015

Yes Veraun a 50m rope will work. However, using a 50m will mean you have to find intermediate belays for the 4th and 5th pitches described above.
By oretro
Aug 4, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

As peachy spohn mentioned, for P6, you can just keep heading right after the ramp. As you go up and right, it will feel a smidge exposed on slab, but the moves are well protectable. Also, you will find a set of bolts around the corner, which could save you some anchor building time.
A 60m rope felt like the perfect length on this route.
By Kyle Terry
Sep 16, 2016

Bring a lot of alpine draws. like 60 and 120 runners. I only brought 3 and the drag from quick draws on the cams was intense... oops :^)
By Carson Baker
From: Portland, OR
Jun 21, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

P3 is tricky for some. Off the bolted belay you want to head almost straight up (marginal pro) and pull a juggy roof to place your first good gear. Then stay on the well-protectable slab as you continue upwards rather than jamming the right-facing corner. It's okay to jam, but the moves are slightly harder and you'll contend with more rope drag.

Then, towards the top of pitch 3, don't get sucked off-route. There is a fixed piton and a left-leaning, right-facing corner crack with tempting hand jams, but it's not the easy way to go. I've seen several leaders start heading straight up this corner rather than shifting right onto the SE arête. I don't know how hard that section of climbing is, but I've seen one person fall there and another get seriously spooked.

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