OverviewThis nice chunk of basalt cliff is downstream (~100 yards or so) from Shakespeare Cliff on the east side of the Lower Gorge. It’s separated from Shakespeare Cliffs by a section of 4th class choss.
Getting ThereFollow directions under Getting There on the main page for Smith Basalt Areas (subsection: East Side Of Crooked River). In low water season, the quickest approach is via the river crossing (10-15 minutes from the turnaround parking area). The approach through the state park is longer (30-40 minutes) but is the only option when the river is running high (spring). Once on the east side in the Gorge and at base of Shakespeare Cliff, hike downstream for a couple hundred feet till the next section of full-size columns is encountered. There’s a characteristic bulge/roof ~80 feet up above on this cliff.
Route DescriptionsWatts guidebook lists 17 established routes on this cliff. Though there is only a single 4-star classic (Master Looney 5.11a, 2 pitches), there is a small handful of nice moderates (2-3 stars) that are very worthwhile. This is also the place that has 2 two-pitch lines (albeit short pitches) – a rarity in the Gorge! Difficulty range is 5.7 to 5.11b.
Off Tempo 5.10a
Located well right (upstream) of the large roof mentioned above, look for a section of shorter basalt columns. Off Tempo is a clean wide splitter (rarity in the Gorge) in a face of a column. Though short (OW is probably <40 feet), the route has a pretty stout crux (~25 feet above deck). Above the crux, there’s a ledge. One more easy move brings you to bolt anchors.
Gear: Route will take 1 #3.5 Camalot near bottom and one #3 Camalot on the easy terrain below anchor (optional). In between, the OW eats up #4 to #5 Camalots (old sizes).
Brothers Child 5.10c
This is a fun, two-pitch line that climbs immediately left (downstream) of the huge roof system. Look for a 40 foot finger to hand crack that is the first pitch (with barely visible bolt anchor just left and below the bulging roof system).
Pitch 1: 5.10b, 50 feet. Climb the finger to hand crack starting on a sloping pedestal. Crux hits down low and going eases to big hands near top. Belay from bolts.
Pitch 2: 5.10c, 60 feet. This pitch looks as though it’ll go at about 5.7 from the belay anchors (illusion). Move right and onto a pointy column. Move left and up steep jugs. Plug pro on the right and punch it up a steep face/dihedral (steep jugs) to a weird stance with an old piton. Step right (crux?) onto the well featured face. Move up 10 more feet to the bolted anchor on the right (or top out via easy terrain). Anchor shared with Master Looney 5.11a, 2 pitches. We rapped with one 70 meter rope (60 m would PROBABLY work).
Gear: From green Alien to #3 Camalot. Doubles in #0.5 to #1 Camalot. One or two small nuts.