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The Head Wall 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Bill Coe, Jim Opdycke
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 775
Submitted By: adam winslow on Aug 18, 2010  with updates from Topher Dabrowski

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BETA PHOTO: Sweet Fucker and Head Wall area routes


Start by the Maple Tree, gain the ledge and traverse left to a broken buttress. Ascend the broken buttress up to a stance where and choose your exit.

The original route steps right and follows a well protected crack up the left side of a hanging block (5.10b).

The "HEAD LEFT" variation moves left up steps and exits using a thin crack beside a bulge (5.10a).


Cams, mostly very small to a single 2", and a 3/4-7/8" nut for an solid piece at the crux at the top and a small lighter.

Photos of The Head Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: What a rock pipe looks like. What bud looks like w...
BETA PHOTO: What a rock pipe looks like. What bud looks like w...

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By Billcoe
Jul 9, 2014

Congratulations to our Washington brothers who can, as of today, legally now partake of a puff of weed without being criminals or breaking any laws. In the spirit of legality and openness I will out the following. The name of this route came due to the rock pipe that was drilled into the route at the anchor. A small weatherproof plastic film canister was tucked up on a ledge of what is now not illegal substance was left behind with the caveat that if any climber wanted a puff, feel free to take some out and help yourself (if there was some in the canister), if you were flush and had some extra, leave a little bit extra in the film canister for your bros who will be following.

In climbing parlance, a headwall typically is the most challenging part of a big wall. In this case, the name derived not from it being a challenge, as to the fact that there was the rock pipe to help your head:-)
By Topher Dabrowski
Mar 19, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

A bit run out to the gear at the upper stance which is in a flaring crack. We took the left exit as a variation (5.10a) and it protected with a 0.3 Totem cam well and/or a small nut turned sideways. I believe the original line exits to the right as per the yellow route indicator (5.10a).

There wasn't anything in the guide book about the rock pipe so I guess we missed out. Next time we will go around 4:20
By Billcoe
Apr 15, 2015

Right on Topher. Nice photo. I was out and followed this route @ a month back. Seemed harder than I recalled, glad I didn't lead it this trip. Take a full year off for 2 shoulder surgeries and your climbing just goes to pot:-) Followed the yellow line and it felt like I screwed up the sequence, it seemed much much harder:-).

To anyone interested, there are 2 other alternative version finish's to the right @ 8 feet higher from where Tophers blue line route goes left. (I've never seen your variation done, congrats on finding it) One which goes right at the yellow line leaving the crack and stepping onto an obvious and large foothold, then steps up to the roof then back left right under the roof to rejoin the yellow line finish @ 8 feet below the anchor. The other steps right at the same spot and keeps right of the overhang and traverses back left after the difficulties are over.

BTW, the film canister and Bic lighter were both gone, probably lost in the last Gorge wind storm although I looked on the ground and didn't find them. The rock pipe was still looking good with the screen installed. Reverse blowing might be needed to clear out a few pine needles unless you don't mind some additional smoke:-) The pipe is visible if you look carefully while clipped into the anchor, eye level and slightly right, easily in arms (and mouth) reach.
By Micah Klesick
From: Vancouver, WA
Aug 17, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The original route is really fun, with the crux being the well protected lieback on a crack around the bulge to the right. Route felt about 5.9, not quite hard enough to be 5.10a. Protects well.
The Head Left variation is also fun, slightly harder I think.
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Apr 9, 2017
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Very dirty, but not enough to really diminish the quality.

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