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Steins Pillar TR

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July 21st, SB and I drove 16 miles east of Prineville

to this unique 350' pillar protruding out of the dense

forest. Ah, Steins Pillar, a sight that provoked Layton

Kor to drive all the way from Colorado for the second

ascent. The NE face is the original line which was

rated a lll-5.7 A3, is now more a 5.9 A2, due to the

addition of more fixed gear and a couple newer bolts/hangers.

The first pitch is a 5.5x chimney/offwidth for roughly

50'ft. to a nice belay stance in the mouth of a small cave.

The second pitch traverses left for about 70'ft. and

goes at 5.9 A1 (this used to go at loose A3).

This brings you to the top of what's called the "low

black knob".

The third pitch follws a thin seam on small wires, into

a few moves of nailing sawed-off angles into old bolt

holes; at this point, I first encountered what I refered

to as "Ace Hardware Specials". These little gems were

square-head lag bolts(like you would buy at Ace), that

the heads had been bent over to form an eye on the end;

they then proceeded to sink these into old bolt holes,

with the old bolt sleeves in place. Needless to say,

it was a bit concerning how much they flexed, when you

moved up onto them. The third pitch is around 90'ft. of 5.8 A2, onto what is called the "High Black Knob"

What an incredible setting you have from here!

The fourth pitch SB encountered 60'ft. of 5.8 A2, with

a little more nailing sawed-offs into holes and into a

little "Fred Beckey 5.8" and onto a small black ramp. From here you're just towering over this farmers

house and spred, who owns all the land below the pillar.

The fifth and final pitch climbs slightly overhanging

5.9 with old fixed pins as pro, into some of the most

heady A1 (there is such a thing!). Above the fixed pins,

5 in a row of the "Ace" (you don't want to fall on one of

these!)onto stacked pins that flexed more than the

lags and back onto the "Ace" specials to a good belay/rappel

station 10'ft. below the summit. From the top, you have an

incredible view of the Ochoco Mountains and a few other

smaller formations near by. With 2 60m ropes you can rap

150'ft. to the top of the third pitch and then 1 more rap

of 180'ft. to the ground. This is a far superior climb to

the "Monkeys Face", by any route! It is a larger pillar, in

a much more impressive setting!

[big Drink]

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Ha Billy, the "anti-Gu" is just tearing me! As a matter

of fact, we made a full on anti-Twight,onsight loaded

with anti-Gu(real food, that tastes good ie.salami,cheese,

smoked almonds etc..)and although death & doom may have

surrounded us, we never knew it. We climbed slow,without

much style and grace,in the teeth of great conditions

and are not feeling very pompous about it. And that's the

way it was. Word to ya mutha, Billy!

Texplorer, check your PM's.

[big Drink]

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"Ah, Steins Pillar, a sight that provoked Layton

Kor to drive all the way from Colorado for the second



Is this true? Where'd you hear it? In the old brown Beckey guide (it's not included in the new one), Beckey writes: "On the second ascent by Fred Beckey, Steve Marts, Dave Beckstead, and Eric Bjornstad, it was found that..."


Was there some sort of controversy here?


By the way, Stein's Pillar doesn't belong in the Beckey guide at all - I think he just threw it in because he was really proud of his second ascent.


Nice job, that thing looks awesome.

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Hey Colin,


I believe that is what the Nick Dodge book, that has

a variety of obscure Oregon climbs, wrote in it. I don't

have a copy of the book(they are hard to come by), but

my partner has one. Perhaps Beckey beat Kor to the punch?

There is a suprising amount of "adventure climbing" in

Oregon, on some amazing formations, with ok rock. You

won't wait in line, or have anyone else around, for that

matter, in some amazing wilderness settings.


Cheers! [big Drink]

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A really fun one (also described in the Dodge book) is the Turkey Monster, down by Santiam Pass. Friends of mine in high school climbed it around the same time we climbed Monkey Face. They reported finding tent pegs hammered into some of the aid portions!

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If you like shitty rock, check out the Columbia Gorge. There are some classics. Steins is a cake walk in comparison, at least the rock is solid.

There is also a couple of beauties in the next drainage west of Stein's.

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Steins Pillar is now further up on my tick list thanx to this excellent beta.


Damn but that thing looks impressive!!!


Is the beta from the Beckey guide about the bee nests etc. still accurate? what about the free routes detailed in the Jeff Thomas Oregon Rock book?

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Climbed it in March - no bees then, but I froze my ass off. I've got a couple of good photos, but am clueless about how to post 'em. Anyone up for providing a quick tutorial?


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Hey guys, I have a copy of our 1st ascent register note from 1950 on Steins Pillar. Scribbled on it is the 2nd ascent by Fred Becky, Eric Bjornstad, Steve Marts, and Dave Beckstead, dated Aug-26-63. That's 13 years after the 1st ascent. So I guess Becky,et al. did beat Layton Kor to the second ascent, if he climbed it at all. Becky, Bjornstad, Dan Davis and Dick Springgate climbed it again in 1964 - the 3rd ascent? They made it in 12 hours.

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I climbed it (well, I followed every pitch in truth) with Mike Adams in 1984. We did the very cool 4 pitches of 5.10 on the other side from the aid route. I highly recommend it. According to the summit register we were about the 10th party to get to the top. Mike was the first to lead all the pitches. It was absolutely the high point of a great first summer of climbing for me, after bagging a lot of stuff around Winthrop and Twisp, Omak and Leavenworth with Mike. Anybody know what happened to him? He was soloing 5.11 and a few 5.12s a lot back then.

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