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ozarkclimber

Climbing near Portland, OR?

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I'm currently considering accepting a job in Portland, OR. I was curious as to the access to climbing around the area. I'll be spending quite a bit of time at work, so hopefully outdoor climbing will be available within 45 min. or so. I'm mostly interested in trad, but sport and bouldering are always accepted. Just curious how far from the city everything is, and how long it actually takes to get there. Also, curious how long it takes to get to some alpine rock. Any ice in the area?

 

Thanks,

ozarkclimber

Edited by ozarkclimber

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Good trad nearby:

Broughton bluffs (not too extensive, not much multipitch) 30 mins

Beacon Rock (Very extensive, lots of multipitch) 1 hour

Smith rock State Park: lots of everything 3 hours

 

Within the PDX city limits is a small rather junky little crag known as Rocky Butte. It has a little of everything, but mostly it's close and it hosts weekly drytooling parties. http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/threadz/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/428491/an/0/page/0#428491

 

Good Alpine Rock, reliable ice...... you'll be driving.

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Where will you be living/working? East of the Willamette can shave 20/30 minutes off Blakes times.

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I'd probably be living close to downtown, but not too sure really. I'm sure this would add time to the crags, but i think i'd rather bike to work.

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I think Blake's times are a good average estimate. Almost all the climbing is located off of I-84 as you head east. Rocky is first, Broughton is second (Lewis and Clark State park), Beacon is across the river from Cascade Locks (or at least you drive to Cascade Locks and then cross their and drive back a little).

 

Basically plenty of trad options exist that are close in. Plan on driving on the weekends for alpine rock. Good stuff starts at about 4 hours away... I tend to average about 6 (one way) most weekends. Yeah it sounds like a lot but it is well worth it (at least for me). As many of us head north to climb every weekend... carpool/climbing partner options abound. snugtop.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

In the winter Hood is a sweet alpine playground... 1.5 hours close! Illumination Rock (on Mt Hood) has some alpine goodness!

 

Hope this helps... PDX is an awesome town... good public transportation, etc etc... I think you will like it. Congrats on the job offer! wave.gif

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And the best climbing in Washington is in Idaho! grin.gif

 

Well if you want to whine about state borders yes: WA beats us in quality and quantity.

 

I would argue that anyone who lives here long enough becomes a NW climber... not a WA climber or OR climber...

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Where are you now? I'm an old Southern Illinois sandstone climber and while it took a couple of years I did final adjust to climbing out this way and Beacon has been my "adopted" home crag for years. Give a shout if you do indeed come this way and we'll show you around or if you have any other questions about life in PDX...

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I am also a transplant from the South and had to adjust. There is no steep sandstone sport crags around, but excellent opportunities for granite alpine in the N. Cascades, quick jaunts out to the Gorge for single and multi-pitch trad, and glacier and ice bouldering on Hood. Every now and then, we get some ice within 20 mins. of PDX (like two weeks ago!) and it is awesome, although short-lived.

 

You also have Leavenworth for alpine in WA about 4 hrs away, Smith Rock (the origination of sport climbing in the U.S.) for sport only 2.5 hrs away, and plenty of climbing gyms and locals' garages to get strong during the rainy season , or just learn to tele ski and do a lot of backcountry.....I will not move back and climbing is the main reason I live out here. Plus the beer rocks compared to the South. Also, the city is the perfect size. There is nowhere in the South that is this size, beautiful, confined, has all of the amenities, with recreation so readily accessible. And the coast is not too far away, and we have huge salmon, steelhead, and trout out here that would make any fish out of the White River seem worthless......FWIW....

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Some are in the know of the best crack climbing, and no it's deffinately not in Washington....It's two hours from Portland. The good alpine granite....that would be Washington for sure! Ice....don't hold your breath. It's short lived and wet at it's finest. You'll be driving north for ice as well. PM me if you like splitters. Three of these people that have replyed to you know where I'm talking about.

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ah, i'm from so ill as well. good to hear a fellow midwest climber is loving the nw life. my main concern is the rain. do you actually get a chance to get out? or does the constant rain preclude you from going often? seems like portland gets more rain than washington, and coming from the midwest, i'm sure this would be a big transition. i spent one summer climbing in the cascades, 12 or 13 peaks and loved the granite. unfortunately, portland is the closest i could get to that. sounds like good crags are pretty close. thanks for the input.

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If you don't get into snow and/or mudwallowing sports (skiing, mtn biking, etc) in the fall-spring, you will probably shoot yourself.

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It really depends on the winters how often you get out on rock - this one has been particularly nasty. On the otherhand most folks shift gears to alpine or skiing. I usually windsurf the first part of the year until Beacon opens but there's always the res columns and Smith and points North also...

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Don't forget Smith is just a couple hours away. The weather down there is usually better than in pdx and the "cool" weather keeps the crowds down.

 

PNW'ers tend to be proud of the fact that they get out in the rain. In fact in Portland you'll routinely see folks just "taking it" instead of hiding under umbrellas. Some are festooned with yards of goretex, others not.

 

Of course, anyone who's anyone learns to appreciate the "liquid sunshine" in the form of glorious snow and enjoys the ok snow we get from time to time by skiing, either on Mount Hood (1+ hr) or in Bend (3 hrs).

 

In a typical year we get several dry spells and usually the rain isn't constant. However this year we've had about a month where it's rained *every single day*. There are several indoor rock gyms in Portland.

 

A typical rainy season starts in late October or early November. It rains on and off into December. Usually in December or January there will be a week or two of good weather. Sometimes there's an inversion during this time which screws up the otherwise decent climbing condititons. It usually rains pretty consistently into March, although usually not every day. Again there may be a week or two of decent weather from time to time. Sometime in May or June the big switch turns off and it's usually pretty pleasant until the cycle repeats.

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Good luck!

 

Unless you're in Boulder or Bend, you'll think Portland is great.

 

We have a good climbing community that's actually pretty tight. I was frankly surprised at how little climbing there is outside of Portland when I moved here two years ago. I was in Albuquerque (Albuquerkistan, I called it) before here and there was TONS of climbing within a half hour of town. Same with Denver. So the access isn't as good as some western cities.

 

But it's still a WONDERFUL city. And you'll grow numb to driving three hours to get to Smith. It's worth the drive. And Vantage is five hours away. You'll love it.

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There are two seasons in OR, winter and August! Its not August yet.

Dont forget about Broughtons. Usually it stays pretty dry on the bat wall, but as for what Joseph pointed out, it has been a rainy winter here. I usualy climb outside every weekend in the winter living in Ptown, but not this winter. Off to pull on plastic. Im not ashamed. (or am I)

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