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Fromage

Beacon Rock climbing description

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Recently there was a deteriorating thread about Beacon Rock being closed for raptor nesting. Access issues aside, can folks please describe what the climbing is like on the rock? I have only walked up the gumby tourist trail to the summit.

 

info I'm looking for is

 

- number of routes

- rock quality

- difficulty of routes

- degree of development (rap anchors/gardening/rockfall?)

- types of routes (trad, sport, aid)

- unusual features or hazards worth noting

- is this area covered in a guidebook?

 

Thanks

 

Stilton

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There are more-qualified individuals on this board to answer these questions, but I'll throw this out. Beacon Rock is known for its multi-pitch trad basalt crack climbing. The rock quality on the popular lines is very good. Popular lines have bolts at the end of each pitch, but usually no chains so webbing is frequently left behind. A good introduction would be the SE corner route which is considerably easier than most others at 5.6-7. I find grades below 5.10 to be pretty stiff for the number, but a 5.10 feels like a 5.10 at other places (figure that out). If you can climb 5.11 crack you will be well-served here. One hazard to note is to be aware of rockfall off the top when you are along the wall facing the river. Tourists can knock stuff down, and climbers pulling ropes after rappels can bring down a lot of loose stuff too. The standard guidebook for the area is "Portland Rock" by Tim Olson. Hope that helps.

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Stilton,

Ian is right on the mark for Beacon. It is a fantastic place. My biggest gripe is that it is only open for a limited time during the climbing season. Like Ian says, its not really a beginner friendly area but that is appealing for many that go there. I find the routes to have an alpine feel even though you are minutes from the car. In my personal opinion, Beacon has multi pitch routes in which all the pitches are quality lines in their own right. The portland rock is should be a good start to the numberous climbs there.

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Second the earlier comments re beacon. I'd venture to say its the most spectacular basalt monolith in the NW with a variety of climbs within the 5.7-5.11 range.

 

Be aware of a few things:

 

1. Raptor nesting closures

2. the railroad tracks are private property and if the ranger sees you on them you WILL get a ticket

3. rockfall is a very real hazard--not so much from touristas but from other climbers

4. it can be very crowded on a summer weekend.

 

The south and east sides are the only closures. The rest of the rock is open.

 

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It's all in "the Book," or almost all, anyway.

 

[sidebar]

Does anyone have any idea why that guy keeps cutting out the rap rings and webbing? Stations don't last a week up there. Someone’s got a freakin’ trunk full of webbing, rap rings and ratty old biners. Is there some “ethic” that’s being enforced here or what?

 

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I've noticed that too. I literally have come back the next day and webbing I placed was gone. Strange.

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It's all in "the Book," or almost all, anyway.

 

[sidebar]

Does anyone have any idea why that guy keeps cutting out the rap rings and webbing? Stations don't last a week up there. Someone’s got a freakin’ trunk full of webbing, rap rings and ratty old biners. Is there some “ethic” that’s being enforced here or what?

 

ONE WAY TO CURN THIS IS TO BUY CHAIN AND SOME MALLION QUIK LINKS. WEBBING IS UNSIGHLY AND IS THE ACTUAL REASON BEHIND THE ORIGINAL NATIONAL FIXED ANCHOR BAN.

 

LONG TERM STAINLESS STEEL CHAIN AND LINKS ONLY MAKE SENSE.

 

 

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Nope. This guy'll strip chains too. I'm thinking specifically of those stations off the ledges. There was a nice set of chains installed there a couple of years ago… for about a week, then, poof! Snaffled off to some mysterious stash of slings and rings.

 

Think about it. Shouldn’t that tree on tree ledge have something fixed around it? That poor thing is getting badly grooved from climbers rapping-off sans slings. But if you set it up with a nice coated chain and rings, or even a good stout set of slings and I guarantee, whatever you’ve fixed will be gone within two weeks.

 

I have no idea what’s up there, but it’s a PITA.

 

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One thing you will want to note about Beacon:

Many routes above 5.10 are very dirty and it would be wise to clean them before climbing. Due to the short season (mid-July to end Jan, but effectively to Nov because of rain), the routes don't stay cleaned. Popular lines like Blownout, Dod's Jam, Free for All, Right Gull, Wrong Gull, SE Face, etc will usually be dirt-free, but stuff like Steppenwolf, Pipeline, Jensen's will (in my experience) be in need of a brushing unless you enjoy whippers. Great place, wish they'd open the E Face for some roofy madness.

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Nope. This guy'll strip chains too. I'm thinking specifically of those stations off the ledges. There was a nice set of chains installed there a couple of years ago… for about a week, then, poof! Snaffled off to some mysterious stash of slings and rings.

 

Think about it. Shouldn’t that tree on tree ledge have something fixed around it? That poor thing is getting badly grooved from climbers rapping-off sans slings. But if you set it up with a nice coated chain and rings, or even a good stout set of slings and I guarantee, whatever you’ve fixed will be gone within two weeks.

 

I have no idea what’s up there, but it’s a PITA.

 

i would wrench the links shut. very easy to do. maybe even glue them.

 

as far as the tree goes, i am saying put in a bolted anchor and get off the tree completly.

 

super fun area to climb. it owns me though.

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Does anyone have any idea why that guy keeps cutting out the rap rings and webbing? Stations don't last a week up there. Someone’s got a freakin’ trunk full of webbing, rap rings and ratty old biners. Is there some “ethic” that’s being enforced here or what?

 

uh ya...its called 'look at me, im a TRAD climber' syndrome. why leave anchors that are usable and make sense when u SHOULD just be doing it the way Mr Beacon thinks it should be done. spare the tree?? are u kidding? unlike rock, trees can be trashed by using them for anchors and we can kill them after a relatively short time. the rocks been there and going to be there for hundreds/thousands of yrs. so of course strip the anchors of usable gear and KILL THAT TREE. we all know the consequences of 2 bolts and slings/chains (or whtvr) at the top of a pitch...the end of the world. and seeing as how the rest of the climbing community in this country looks to beacon rock for the standards in "ethics", stripping permanent anchors of usable gear is the ONLY right thing to do. which is why im going to 'clean' every anchor at index, leaving only 2 bolts behind. REAL climbers can figure out how to get down w/out webbing or chains or biners left behind. after all, shouldnt the ethics be decided by those w the 'balls' to chop whatever they feel?? mad.gif

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Not that it has anything to do with the subject but…

 

How is Mr Trads bad attitude with regard to anchors any different than your own?

 

“so if u dont like my dog on the trail, go hang out someplace where someone is always watching to make sure no one breaks the rules and stay off the trails so me and my dog dont bite you” --backcountrygod

 

Isn't Mr Trad saying the same thing? IOW, “You don’t like it, go climb somewhere else!” Don’t me wrong here, bcd, I love dogs. Dogs are good peeps. I’m just perplexed by your apparent double standard. Is there some logical explanation, or are you just another asshole?

 

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i see your point onandon

but as w most things, diff opinions can be derived by how u look at it to begin w...im not telling people to not bring there dogs on trails and im not pulling anchors.

and the other hand, i dont support people OR their dogs trashing the trails or climbers putting bolts all over the place.

all that being said...i think that there is a method to my madness--dont render an anchor useless and if someone is hiking w there dog and its not being a nuisance (your problems w dogs in general DOESNT count as a nuisance) then just leave it alone.

so i dont see it as a double standard. i might not like dogs but that doesnt give me a right to say that a dog thats not hurting anything cant hike on the same trail as me. i might not like webbing or chains but that doesnt give me the right to pull them off of routes that we all climb.

hows that? and i might be an asshole but none of my friends think so. maybe there assholes too though, but i think not

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I see what you mean…

The attitude of “I’ll do what I want” is similar but the actions aren’t equivalent. That makes sense. Still, I’ll bet Mr Trad doesn’t think he’s hurting anybody either. And ultimately, he probably isn’t. But what continues to baffle me is wtf he’s doing with all those rings.

Maybe he makes ‘em into cheap jewelry or something. pitty.gif

 

Thanks for the explanation. Party on. bigdrink.gif

 

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I don't really have a strong opinion about it, it's just a strange thing to do (taking the chains and steel wires away). Perhaps he/she wants to keep Beacon from becoming too popular by somehow making life a little more challenging?? I've got plenty of junk webbing to spare though.

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