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A_Little_Off_Route

Where are the easy trad leads? <5.7

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I want to get some gear-practice trad leads under my belt and am looking for some easy grades where I won't be too worried about falling. I'm thinking 5.6 or less, and the easier the better (assuming that doesn't mean the danger of decking onto a ledge 5 times per pitch.

 

Where in the Western Washington area are the good easy trad leads that can happily gobble up a bunch of practice gear? I live near mount Eerie, so bonus points are awarded to those that suggest the climbs near my area.

 

I have the book "Weekend Rock" and it's nice because it has lots of 5.10 climbs or less, but lists far more sport than trad routes and doesn't always give much of a g-pg-x type protection rating. I've also seen that there are areas not even covered in his book, like the rocks in the Bellingham area.

 

Beta appreciated!

 

Off_Route

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Check out the Royal Columns at Tieton. There are a plethora of easy to moderate trad climbs. Surprisingly many between 5.4 and 5.7. Buy the guide book. its $30, supports that area and the folks who developed it. It'll be a bit of hike from Bellingham, but the area is outstanding. tack on an extra 30 minutes or so to what you'd drive to Vantage.

 

 

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Octopus garden up in the smoke bluffs at squamish? You'll find easier trad climbs elsewhere, but at the OG there is a rare combination of easy hands, good gear, and most importantly clean falls.

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The roadside crags along Icicle Creek Road near Leavenworth aren't the most interesting but there's lots in that range.

 

- Mountaineers Dome

- Lower Clamshell

- Mad Meadows / Playground Point

- Barney's Rubble

- Bruces Boulder

- Alphabet Rock

 

There's always the Index classic, the Great Northern Slab. It's 3 pitches. The second is a beautiful twin crack that will gobble up gear. The third is a half pitch of bolts. Variations to the right of the first pitch will bump it up a notch or two.

 

There are sea walls along the waterfront in South Everett that are good for plugging gear. Just drive west past Forest Park to the water, cross the train tracks, and pack out your beer bottles and trash when you leave ;)

Edited by Toast

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If you live near Erie, you gotta hit that up. Zigzag is the best thing there, There's one bad fall at the end of the first pitch, but the climbing is pretty easy and on jugs. The second pitch has clean falls if you protect it right, and that's a good place to learn the finer points of rope drag to gear placements relationship. There's a good 5.3 from the 60's up under summit wall. It's sandbagged but that's something you'll find with most easy gear climbs. I'd stay away from summit wall myself. Try to get a copy of Klokes "Rockin on the rock" guidebook, and you'll find tons of climbing in your backyard. Instead of half a state away. And once you're tuned in hit up the Great Norhtern slab at Index for a day...

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Figure I will piggy-back on this thread rather than start my own. I did my first trad lead a couple of weeks ago and am looking for similar around Portland. SE Corner at Beacon? Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

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... around Portland... Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

Rooster Rock - 5.4 on nuts.

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similar around Portland. Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

 

Chemistry Slab at Carver. +1 for Rooster. EZ corner at Rocky Butte.

 

The Farside would be a great place to start looking as well.

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I think something called Hanging Gardens at Broughton is a fun 5.6 until the last "pitch" (they're all very short) which I think is harder or A0.

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... around Portland... Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

Rooster Rock - 5.4 on nuts.

 

That's a long ways to drive for 2 hrs of hiking, 40 ft of mossy, chossy, ledgy climbing and a few feet of scrambling. If you want to check out the area I'd highly recommend the Callis route on the south side. Much better climbing, but the R rating might be a little more excitement than you're looking for. Also, there's a solid 5.7 simply named South Face on Hen (I think?) rock just a little ways down hill and to the west. Good pro if you don't mind digging for it a little and fun climbing. Cool area but don't expect to be able to follow the chalk marks.

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... around Portland... Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

Rooster Rock - 5.4 on nuts.

 

That's a long ways to drive for 2 hrs of hiking

 

That's a different Rooster Rock. I'm referring to the Rooster Rock just a few minutes east of Portland, in the Gorge.

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=507635

Heed the rope drag warning. I didn't like throwing the dice on that single rusty chain so I used two ropes to rappel off the top chains and made sure the EDK knot was hanging below the lip, down where the single chain goes, otherwise it will hang up and you will have to reclimb and do it all again, which I did. This makes setting up the rappel awkward, but just haul up your rope, set up you rappel device below the EDK knot, then use the single chain to downclimb over the edge until your rappel device is loaded. I set up an autoblock since it felt awkward downclimbing while trying to keep my rappel device in brake mode.

I think you can also rap with a single 60m from the top chains down to where you can stand on a small ledge, but you'd be left exposed while you had to reef hard on your rope to get it down and then traverse 30' back to the top of the first pitch. With two ropes you can rap all the way to the bottom and then haul with all your might on the rope with no risk of falling off a ledge while you are doing so.

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I think something called Hanging Gardens at Broughton is a fun 5.6 until the last "pitch" (they're all very short) which I think is harder or A0.

That OW crack under a bulge at the top is rated 5.8 I think and is harder than any 5.8 I've encountered.

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... around Portland... Any other routes jump out for easy trad leads?

Rooster Rock - 5.4 on nuts.

 

That's a long ways to drive for 2 hrs of hiking

 

That's a different Rooster Rock. I'm referring to the Rooster Rock just a few minutes east of Portland, in the Gorge.

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=507635

 

Oops. My bad. Thanks for pointing out that TR. Looks like I'll have to check out that Rooster Rock too.

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okay - I know you said western Washington, but I'm gonna throw this out anyway, because I only just discovered it, and it sorta blew me away: Slick Rock, thirty minutes from Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho - the "Regular Route" is TEN LONG PITCHES, 5.6 - fairly consistent 5.2 - 5.6. Received a pretty favorable write-up in Rock & Ice...

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ALOR -

Erie is as Quarry says your best bet.

I would even be willing to lend you a guide or give you a tour of the area.

Send a pm if you want to take me up on the offer.

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R&D route on icicle buttress and a multi pitch to boot.

 

sabre on castle rock, additional multi pitch bonus too.

 

Summer is coming up so you should really be putting squamish on your radar.

 

Take tyson up on the tour of erie. Your corn hole won't hurt to bad by the time he is done with you. :)

 

 

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Beacon Rock SE Corner fits the bill and should be open in a few weeks.

 

+2

 

sabre on castle rock

 

+2 also. Super fun!

Edited by Plaidman

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okay - I know you said western Washington, but I'm gonna throw this out anyway, because I only just discovered it, and it sorta blew me away: Slick Rock, thirty minutes from Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho - the "Regular Route" is TEN LONG PITCHES, 5.6 - fairly consistent 5.2 - 5.6. Received a pretty favorable write-up in Rock & Ice...
This sounds enticing...

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okay - I know you said western Washington, but I'm gonna throw this out anyway, because I only just discovered it, and it sorta blew me away: Slick Rock, thirty minutes from Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho - the "Regular Route" is TEN LONG PITCHES, 5.6 - fairly consistent 5.2 - 5.6. Received a pretty favorable write-up in Rock & Ice...
This sounds enticing...

 

Yes, it does doesn't it. Pitch after pitch of jug-haulin' and pro-pluggin'. Makes me want a ham sammitch.... Might have to hit that up one day.

 

Off_Route

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The roadside crags along Icicle Creek Road near Leavenworth aren't the most interesting but there's lots in that range.

 

- Mountaineers Dome

 

This was my first trad lead a couple weeks ago. Good 5.6 to start on, with only one move towards the top that might freak you out a little. Just have to get there early or wait in line

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Scroll through the guide book for Vantage. There are some easier trad routes there as well. I did my first gear lead in the tilted pillars section (don't recall the name off the top of my head). Little Black Rooster on Hen House (if I recall the name properly) is another option. There are others as well toward the easier end of the spectrum.

 

I'll second R&D at L-Worth. 'Tis a fine route. If you want to do Saber, I'd suggest following it first, the direction to go isn't all that clear from the L-Worth guide book that I have. Once you know the way, yes....a very fun route. Mounties Dome as well....

 

When you're up for alpine, the Becky route at Liberty Bell is 3 fun pitches with a few 5.6 moves and plenty of opportunity to place gear.

 

I'll also vote for the Great Northern Slab at Index.

 

The mentioned route in Idaho sounds like a blast.....might have to check it out.

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There are two new routes to the left of Hand Jive on the Green Wall at Vantage. As you beging hiking up the trail to the Mesa (trail to the Sunshine Wall) look for chain anchors off to the left of the trail. Not sure of the grade, but prob in the 5.6 - 5.7 range. Untill there's more traffic on the route, they'll remain dirty, so be sure to wear a helmet anywere at the base.

 

Back at Zig Zag wall are prob five or six easyish routes. Lady in Red and Tank Trap at the far left end and a few others closer to the right end. Watch out of poison oak and again wear a helmet around here.

 

On the Sunshine Wall are Crack in the Back, Seven Virgins and a Mule (you will need to build an anchor at the top of this one) and Chapstick next to the gulley.

Edited by Toast

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I am a new trad leader myself. I went with a friend to Tieton in May and did some leading. There are quite a few climbs in the 5.3-5.7 range, but these are somewhat deceiving. The easier climbs at Royal Columns are bigger cracks that require bigger gear and are often flaring. Easy to climb, but in my opinion not the easiest for a newbie to protect.

 

Thinking about it, I was far more comfortable climbing 5.6/5.7 granite cracks at squamish than 5.3/5.4 basalt columns in eastern WA. The cracks I climbed at squamish were very easy to protect. They practically ate nuts and hexes, I hardly had to reach for any cams.

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