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[TR] Wolf Rock - Barad-Dur 10/2/2010

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Trip: Wolf Rock - Barad-Dur


Date: 10/2/2010


Trip Report:

Micha and I climbed Barad-Dur last Saturday on Oregon's "big wall" Wolf Rock. I've been climbing around Portland for a while now but have never climbed anything in the Willy Valley. You always here about people climbing these chossy towers down there. I smugly assumed that people climbing on the West side of the Cascades were too stupid to realize that there's good climbing to be had just over the pass. Jokes on me, Wolf Rock is the real deal with real rock and not as dirty as I would have thought.


The locals down there are a riot. Chris (guide book dude) had a great time sitting in the shade heckling us from the ground as we cooked in the sun. I was going to bail but couldn't face the shame of having to go back down while they watched. At first I thought these jokers were just a bunch of local dicks laughing at us pale skinned Portland type. I changed my tune when he yelled up key beta at the crux pitch that I wouldn't have seen. Chris is very stoked on Wolf Rock and was excited to talk with us once we made it to the ground. Good guy.


On paper Barad-Dur sounds easy, a short section of 5.10D and some 5.11 and a bunch of 5.9. I was thinking it would be an easy few hours. Not sure what happened to me, but after the first few pitches I got spooked and moved slowly the rest of the day. I was scared. The climbing isn't bad, just unnerving moving onto a big face with no clear route, just climb and hope you're on route and that gear will appear. Looking up at the roofs from the ground it doesn't look like something you'd want to climb, I mean there's no clear crack systems or anything.


Rock feels like French's Dome or some of the face climbs at Beacon. The holds are huge, but some of them are rounded and useless, some are lose. I had a hard time moving fast as all the holds had to be touched and tested. I think if you stay on route the rock isn't bad,(I broke off just one hold) but moving a few feet in either direction takes you onto some ugly rock.


Climbed the route in full sun in 75F temps, bad idea. I can't recall ever being so hot while climbing, just pouring sweat all day.


We used Nate's beta here. Good but here is a few add-ons.


Full pics here.


P1-P2. 5.9ish link 180 feet. Bad rope drag, use lots of double runners. P2 has the worst rock on the whole route. At the P1 anchor move right on shaky holds. After a few spaced bolts look high and slightly left for a long, moss filled crack. Go for that and place #2 and #1 cam in moss crack. Climb this to the top of a tower like formation.


P3 Chill, fun face climbing on run-out terrain. 5.8 or 5.9


P4. Easy ramp climbing takes hand sized gear. Below roof old fixed bolts. Clip with long runners and move left under roof (no gear that I could find) Keep moving left under roof but don't even think about falling. Keep moving way left, bad drag.


The climbing under the roof wasn't hard, but I was not stoked on the position. All I could think about was taking a giant fall into that corner. Feels committing to keep climbing left under these roofs with no clear opportunities for gear. It looks like it might be possible to go up and over roof without traversing, might need a bolt to do this though (?)


P5. 5.10D. Two move boulder problem traversing right. Beta here is to find key foot right on arete before turning the corner. Long reach around corner to jugs. Have faith, they are jugs. Not sustained at all and good bolts protect an airy whipper. Wild terrain.


P6. 5.11 Crux. Whacky belay stance in the middle of a football sized roof system. Clip two bolts aiming for obvious roof cux and bolt. The under cling flake takes bomber .75 BD on a long sling. A few feet higher and clip bolt protecting crux. Nice undercling low and right of bolt.


Beta spoiler alert. Clip bolt. Move left hands across sloped ledge, the far left side has a spike on it for left hand. Dead hang with this and cut the feet and bring the feet above head and heel hook/bat hang on the same ledge that your hands are on. (yes upside down 500+feet off the deck) Set the heel hook hard and punch left and to obvious flake. Shake out and hand traverse right. The trick here is to stem wide to some steps far right while traversing with the hands. Once your feet are over to the right, throw another heel hook and reach far right to hidden hold, it's there. Stand-up to good gear (Purple BD C4)


Crux #2 is hand traversing the obvious hand rail to the right and blindly around the corner. It is easy despite looking hard. An orang master cam will go in the hand rail, have faith and move fast to easy jugs around corner. Whole pitch feels wild as all this trickery is done shoved up inside roofs.


P7 200+ feet easy 5th class. Never found another anchor, belayed from a tree on easy terrain. 200-400 more feet of 4th class to the summit with hiking shoes on.



Descent. Not that obvious. Traverse the entire ridge top (hey are we alpine climbing now?) until there is no more ridge to traverse and then head down and left. Guide says third gully but I'm not sure how they are counting. Gully is steep and lose and cuts out left at the bottom to a trail through some big pines. Took us about an hour to go down.



Looking up P1. Route goes through roofs to the right.



Looking up P3.




Start of P4.



Looking up P4. Route goes right into roofs for P5 and P6.




Cliche shot of Micha about to do the crux on P5.



Looking down P6.



Summit Ridge





Gear Notes:

Single from Green C3 to #3BD. Doubles on finger sized gear. We never used nuts but maybe you could force them in. Many runners, lots of drag. Bolts are bomber.


Approach Notes:

Far right side of the wall, 15 minutes.

Edited by eldiente

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Nate: solid effort this year! You've ticked off a number of great climbs! And I must say I appreciate the pitch by pitch beta


Cheers :brew:

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