Star Wall is part of the West Side Columns area located in the Lower Gorge. Follow the directions on the main page under Getting There: West Side Of Crooked River.
Once you hike down into the Lower Gorge, follow a climbers' trail that runs along the base of the cliffs (follow it upriver). The first wall you'll pass (somewhat above and away from the trail) will be the relatively short Parched Cat Cliff. The first set of columns that the trail gets close to after that (couple of scrambling moves required to get across large boulders at its base) is the Wildfire Wall. Catwalk Cliff begins where the trail crosses a very narrow catwalk between the wall (on the right) and the river 20 feet below you. The end of Catwalk Cliff is roughly around the corner (upriver) from Cruel Sister route. First route you'll hit on Star Wall is Old Troubles Number Seven (5.10b); the last route on the wall (most upriver) is Freon (5.10a) according to Watts.
For exact route locations, see Watt's guide with its very detailed route overlays. In addition, look at photos included with each route below.
Route DescriptionsStar Wall hosts 15 established routes (acc. to Watts). They range in difficulty from 5.8 to 5.12b. Real gems (3 or more quality stars) begin at 5.10a. Most routes are traditionally protected though some (hard) sport routes also can be found here. All routes are single pitch.
Last Days 5.10a
This route is located near the downriver beginning of Star Wall - 75 feet upriver from Cruel Sister (before the columns get really tall near Morning Star route). Weird but fun climbing. The start is harder than it looks from the ground (looks like 5.7). No major surprises though all the way up. A rest can be had midway up at a ledge just left of the crack. Double bolt anchor on top.
Gear: Doubles from green Alien to #2 Camalot.
St. Paddee's Day 5.10a
This route is located immediately left (upriver, next dihedral/crack system) of Last Days. Look for a hands to short OW crack through a bulge 30 feet up. Fun varied crack climbing. Start up the widening handcrack and stem your way through the bulge (crux?). Above many rest stances await separated by short, thinner cracks. Use belay bolts on Last Days.
Gear: Cams from green Alien to #3.5 Camalot.
Turning Point 5.10a
This line follows the wide cracks immediately left of St. Paddee’s Day. Move up blocks to the base of two converging off-width cracks. Climb the OW’s (#4 Camalot) till they end 30 feet above ground. Pull the bulge in the dihedral with a thin finger crack. The crack tapers down to tips and then nothing (crux). I found the crux short but tough. Going eases immediately above. Move up and left to belay bolts atop Mantra.
Gear: Set of cams to #4 Camalot (extra #4 protects the traverse to bolts at top – optional) including some finger and thin finger cams (down to green Alien).
Route is located ~100 feet right (downriver) from Morning Star. Insecure and funky for a 10a. Start atop a boulder at the base of the columns. Route begins in a shallow, left-facing dihedral. Face climb to the left of the dihedral (initially only intermittent crack in dihedral) following solid (but dirty and sandy) face holds (very gym-like IMHO). Stem and finger jam your way higher up. Going is fairly sustained and does not become enjoyable till the upper half of the route. Double bolt anchor on top.
Gear: Single blue Alien (near start). Double green, yellow, red Aliens. Double #0.75-#2 Camalots. Single mid to large nut protects the initial moves well.
Morning Star 5.10c
Finding this classic route is trivial: hike the trail till you see the 2-foot etching of a climber in the rock. Route starts on left side of the etching. Route offers perfect pro all the way. Stem and jam a 1-inch crack (10-). Crux hits about 30-40 feet up as the stems run out and the finger jams become very shallow. Going eases somewhat just above as some wide stemming again becomes possible. Note the cool hand holds just below double bolt anchors.
Gear: Conservative rack includes many (I had 4 or 5) cams in the red Alien and/or #0.5 Camalot size (the harder the 10c for you, the more you should bring). Double green and yellow Aliens. Triple #0.75 Camalots. Double #1 Camalots. A handful of small to mid-sized nuts. No larger cams needed.