A bolted jewel
Tucked away in the cascade foothills near the Mckenzie river, Lies a special treat for the sport climbing enthusiest.
Little known outside of the Eugene/Springfield and University of Oregon crowd, Flagstone rock delivers some of the best friction slab anywhere in the state.
The rock is an andesitic plug of the highest quality, predominatly dark gray. It does however have a west wall that is bleach white, this feature is named the Great White Wall.
Flagstone rock has three sides or aspects that feature many lines (routes). The east side is the walk off route.
The north/northwest side feature low angle slab 5.4 to 5.6 in the first pitch, second pitches all rise in technical diffuculty 5.8 to 5.10 . The longest routes on the rock sre here with the "Toy Box"5.8 featuring a short third pitch. The north area is a great place to bring novice climbers for the low angle slab on the 1st pitch. The north side also has more second pitch options then elsewhere on the rock.
The Great White Wall
When one approaches the rock the great White Wall is the first feature you will see. It has the hardest routes and is least climbed, It also is the only area where aidclimbing is done to tackle the vertical face. Most routes here start with a ledge hang and leg throw.
The Hydrotube Wall
The most popular route is the local classic The Hydrotube 5.8+
The tube is a naturally eroded funnel in the rock, very smooth slab with some hand flakes up high on the right edge of the route. The crux is a balancy friction move between the 5th and 6th bolt as the hand holds become out of reach. Two lines to the left is a route called the acne problem 5.7+ this route is also a classic it features side pulls and finger flakes with some frictiom. This route shares the first three bolts with clearasel 5.10 and scareface 5.9
This wall has the highest cocentration of friction slab routes all between 5.8 to 5.10c some of the oldest routes are here and the challenge for some routes is the runout between the bolts.
Flagstone Rock is heavily bolted, but has excellent lines on all aspects. al most all routes have a second pitch and there are a few with short 3rd pitch finishes. Most routes are between 5.8 and 10.b
There are plenty harder and plenty of easier routes so it is an all comers climbing destination.
The downside to Flagstone is it is not a large area. Busy days you could be waiting in line for a chance to climb the popular routes. It also is in a primitive area and access is limited to when the snow pack melts. The forest service then must clear the road of debris.
Greg ortons climbing in Western Oregon/Willamette edition is the must have guidebook for this area. Local gear storesBackcountry gear store in Eugene as well as R.E.I in Eugene have this guide book in stock.
To web sites with route info areMountain Project and Rockclimbing.com These sites will give some brief descriptions and directions to Flagstone.
Getting ThereComing from the north or the south on I-5 take exit 191 eastbound on to hwy 126 east. this stretch runs as a freeway for five miles till it enters Springfield on Main street. Continue east on Main it will soon become the Mckenzie hwy proper and 38 miles later you will be looking for the Quartz creek bridge. If you come to the hamlet of Finn Rock you have come to far, turn around. The bridge takes you across the Mckenzie and continue south on this road F.S 2618 for 14.6 miles. There will be temptation to veer off course just stay true to the road. At 14.6 miles look for road F.S 350 to your right. Proceed down road 350 two tenths of a mile till you reach a small but obvious pullout. The trail to the rock is about a fifty foot walk from here. It is a short but steep hike to the base of the rock five to seven minutes to your favorite routes.
Red TapeIt's National Forest land multi use no permits and camping is free near the rock.
It would be wise to bring water along for cooking and cleaning.
CampingThere are Forest service campgrounds located between the towns of Blue river and Mckenzie Bridge off of Highway 126. There is also camping along the south fork road (Aufderhide forest drive} above Cougar res. About six miles down the South fork road along the Cougar res is the beautiful and oh so warm terwilliger hot springs.
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