Thursday, August 8, 2013


Barad-Dur, Wolf Rock, Oregon
IV, 5.11

Tucked away in the Willamette National Forest outside of Eugene, Oregon, the largest monolith in Oregon towers over the landscape of the western Cascades.  Inspired by previous tales of loose rock, runout route finding and monster roofs, Jaime and I drove south last Friday evening to check out Barad-Dur, rumored to be one of the best long routes in the state.  Enough with the cragging! 

A few days after the climb, I can safely say that the route lived up to its fabled reputation.  The two crux pitches climb out a monster roof system way high up on the wall.  And then there's another 3-400 feet of climbing on 4th and 5th class to a narrow ridge of choss to the summit.  Exciting!

The objective - morning butterflies!

Pitch 1 - follow the bolts up interesting face climbing on some delicate downsloping ledges and sidepulls

Bohle on pitch 1 with camera tilt
Starting pitch 2.  The on-line beta is all over the place for this pitch.  Off the belay, follow one bolt and one stud (visible in the picture) until you can step right about 8 feet.  Then follow a RIGHT facing corner on easy but somewhat mannky terrain.  Don't go too far right. 

End of pitch 3.  From the second belay, follow bolts and an occasional gear placement until you can make a slightly rising traverse to the left.  
Starting pitchj 4.  Follow the ramp on easy ground up and right to the big left-facing corner.  Head up and left, past an intermediate anchor in the corner, and until you can head further up to a belay stance. 

Pitch 5 is exciting!  Make a tenuous traverse towards a bolt on an outside corner with hundreds of feet of air under your feet. Turn the corner and climb up another 15-20 ft until you can belay on your right.  Don't go too high in the corner.

Pitch 6 - Bohle working with 5.11 crux.  Woo!  That's some serious exposure - amazing pitch on mostly bomber rock.  The goods. 
Starting pitch 7.  Psyched to be past the crux and getting into hundreds of feet of low fifth class terrain.  For pitch 7, cut sharp left towards the crest and then up until you can belay.

Bohle 3rd-classing the summit ridge.  If you can stomach the exposure and suspect rock, pack up the rope.  The pro sucks anyway. 

Headed down.  The descent looks intimidating but is kind of like walking off Snow Creek Wall.  A couple of cairns mark the general direction. 
This is definitely one of the best routes in Oregon, so go check it out. 

Rack: 1 set of nuts, 1-2 sets of cams to #3, 13-15 slings. 

Other beta: 

Mountain Project - The pitch by pitch beta on MP is pretty reliable.  


  1. nice outing Chris. "This is definitely one of the best routes in Oregon" glad to hear we're not the only ones to think this!

  2. Hey Chris , nice photos of your ascent of Barad-Dur . I've done this route 37 times over 30 years of climbing at Wolf . it is still my favorite long route in the state . PS my brother Peter & I did the 1st free ascent in May 1985 . cheers . Chris Fralick

  3. Hey Chris - We had good time reading through many of your entries in the summit register. I imagine the FFA was pretty exciting wondering if you would find a manageable path through the big roof system. How's Big Bad Wolf?