OverviewFor a variety of reasons, related both to aspect and geology, this area has the cleanest columns at Trout Creek. Most of the 5.10-12 classics at the crag can be found here, everything from uberclassic hand cracks to strenuous stem boxes to technically demanding finger cracks. The sun tends to scorch the rock clean, so rock shoes will stick to just about anywhere on the highly textured rock; the flip side of that is that tape gloves are a must if you want to have skin on your hands by the end of the day.
Moving around at this part of the crag can be a little difficult, just getting from one route to another directly adjacent can involve class 3-4 scrambling on large fallen pillars. As Wenger’s guidebook notes, this may not be the best crag for your dog / small children.
ApproachFollow the directions on the main Trout Creek page, trail terminated just below the right side of the North End and the Main Wall can be reached by traversing either below the wall or below the boulders.
RoutesNote: These are only the routes I have climbed (led, followed, or TR), and are not representative of the total variety
Also Note: contrary to the listings in Jeff Wenger’s guidebook, I have listed these from left to right.
Electric Chair - 5.9
Climb it to top-rope the 5.10 off-widths next to it. The double crack takes a variety of jams, feels sustained if you are just coming from the North End.
Fissuremen - 5.10-
One of the easier 5.10s at the crag. Chimney rest stances are possible, making the climb feel more secure than most at the grade. If you fall you are doing it wrong. Final move is the highlight of the route.
Suzuki - 5.10+
Fun double crack with lots of steming and good jams, I felt it was easier than the crux of Squiggles, but more sustained.
Mr. Squiggles - 5.10
Crux is the finger to thin-hands crack in the first third, top section consists of a pumpy 5.9 hand crack.
The Space Between - 5.10+
Wenger’s guidebook claims the crux is the space between the jams, but I felt the real problem was calf pump from the constant steming, the crux at the top is tricky and little dynamic depending on how you do it.
JR Token - 5.10
The token route attributed to John Rich, who visited the crag in the mid 80s and likely sent many of the classics. Simple hand crack gives way to a technical thin hands / fingers crux in the upper third of the route. People with small hands and skills find it to be easier than Gold Rush.
The River Wide - 5.9 (PG-13)
A weird route. Begins as a typical 5.9 double crack and then the left crack turns into a small chimney and the right becoming inward flaring. To protect the upper half bring big-bros, valley giants, slings for chock-stones, possibly wired hexes (a untested theory), and/or large testicles.
Gold Rush - 5.10-
THE hand crack; the only comparable routes I have climbed are the first pitch of The Headache in Zion NP and the hand crack at Vertical World in Seattle. 5.9 wide hands at the bottom, 5.8 perfect hands almost to the top with a tricky 5.10 finish. The small handed (aka women) claim this is mostly a fist crack.