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Lower Left Wall / Ventilator Slabs
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Age Before Beauty T 
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Effects of Kind Bud on an Abnormal Brain, The T 
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Once Upon A Climb T 
One Hit To The Body T 
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Son Of A Birch T 
Starfire (Yo-Yo) T 
Three Birches T 
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Unsorted Routes:

Three Birches 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 210'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: S. Streibert, J. Reppy, H. May Sept 1963
Page Views: 3,130
Submitted By: lee hansche on Feb 19, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (71)
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BETA PHOTO: Some beta to help you get to the right spot. Three...


A nice climb, stout in the grade...
Very aesthetic...
Pitch 1: Follow the arch up and right (harder than it looks). Focus on foot work though the feet are slick from wear (this section can be wet too, joy).... After the arch, follow cracks to a clump of trees belay from trees or build an anchor in the cracks....
Pitch 2: Continues up thin cracks to gain a huge layback offwidth flake.... Follow the flake up to a left-facing corner.... Climb the corner and mantel (a little tricky, look for less than obvious pockets).... From here, climb slabs, then exit right to a cluster of trees to belay (same finish as Fun House (5.7).... Easy climbing to the Barber Wall ledge....


In the middle of the lower, left wall, you will see an obvious right-leaning arch.... The first pitch climbs this feature and cracks above....


Trad gear, a few fixed pins and an old fixed cam.... Belay from trees and gear....

Photos of Three Birches Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The leaves are starting to get some color... And m...
The leaves are starting to get some color... And m...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start
BETA PHOTO: The start
Rock Climbing Photo: Under the roof of Three Birches
Under the roof of Three Birches

Comments on Three Birches Add Comment
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By E thatcher
From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
Apr 4, 2010

I actually find the first pitch to be pretty enjoyable when dry with fun smeering/edging and good finger jams. On the second pitch one can lead up to the tree with slings, clip it long and do a slab traverse left into the 5.8/9? crack finish to what I believe it is starfire? The finish is dirty but kind of fun.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Apr 6, 2010

The key words E- "when dry" ! ya that finish is YoYo/Starfire.
By Matt Desenberg
From: North Berwick, ME
Dec 25, 2011

You can link the first two pitches with a 60m and careful slinging. Definately try the Starfire finish if it is dry. Tons of fun!
By hasan Adil
From: portland,me
Apr 22, 2013

The fixed cam's sling is in quite bad shape thats near the start.
By Alissa Doherty
From: Boston, MA
Oct 7, 2013

I agree that the fixed cam is manky at the start. I fell and it caught me but I noticed afterwards that it was a little too loose to trust.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Apr 28, 2014

I used to guide this route a lot via a fun little variation that avoids both cruxes---an awesome alternative if Funhouse is all jammed up. About 50 feet right of Three Birches (3Bs), head up the 3rd class approach to Funhouse. About 20 feet below the start of Funhouse, walk left on an obvious little tree ledge until it ends. If you look down and left you will see 3Bs coming right up at you, and you will be level with the top of the arch seen in the photos. There is a tree to belay from. Place a tiny nut under the obvious overlap and then make one loooong (and slightly mossy) step over left to intersect with the 3Bs crack (you'll need that little piece of gear when leading because you're starting about 35 feet off the ground). Continue up to the 1st belay for 3Bs. Done this way, the first pitch is about 5.7. On the second pitch, go up and slightly right into the long layback flake, but before getting to the befuddling (and slightly heady) crux bulge on 3Bs, trend nicely up and right and finish up the beautiful little face on the second pitch of Funhouse, aiming for an obvious red pine at the top. Use long slings to keep the drag down. This pitch is about 5.6. This is a great little combo that no one ever does!!! If you look at the beta photo at the top of the page (labeled "under the arch") the belayer that is just visible at the top right of the photo is exactly at the spot where you will be coming in from the right (and the real P.1 belay for 3Bs is about 40 feet above the belayer in the pic.)
By Russ Keane
Sep 17, 2015

I found this climb to be very steep and difficult, especially the bottom. The first few sequences are damn near ridiculous, and not much fun. The aesthetics get better as you go up. I'd like to try what Peter Lewis describes: Enter the climb at the top of the roof/burly section, and go from there. The initial headwall is really kind of a wet slimy death trap, while the rest of it is super high quality.

The top out is a bit bizarre. After the cool offwidth flake, the route becomes run-out, dirty 5.7 to the trees. There's one interesting corner move, then bullshit slabby moves with no pro. Plus, there's no permanent anchor on the trees up there.

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