OverviewWindfall Wall is the most downriver section of full-sized basalt columns on the east side of the Lower Gorge. This is the wall that is almost directly (slightly upriver) seen across the Crooked River as one is hiking into the Lower Gorge via the standard approach (from the rim). Watts guidebook lists 13 routes (+ 1 variation) and mentions that most routes require a top-out on the rim as fixed anchors are non-existent. This actually is no longer the case. Most routes have nicely bolted anchors at about 2/3rds of the cliff’s height eliminating the need to top out (upper 1/3rd of the cliff seems to involve either chossy or runout climbing). The cliff offers a high concentration of lines in the 5.10- range.
Getting ThereFastest approach to this cliff involves crossing of the Crooked River. Follow the directions on the main page under West Side Of Crooked River. Cross the river below Cruel Sister on the Catwalk Cliff via some slick boulder hopping. Not recommended when the Crooked is running high. Approach time is about 10 minutes.
Alternatively, one can make the long hike in from the main parking lot and via the bridge. Follow directions on the main page under East Side Of Crooked River. This takes about 20-30 minutes.
Route DescriptionsRoutes on this cliff range in difficulty from 5.8 to 5.12a (which is actually a thin "crack"...as opposed to bolted basalt face as many 5.11+ lines in the Gorge are), with a good number of 2- or 3-star (of 4) 5.10- cracks. Description of individual lines follows river flow.
Baby Walks 5.10a
Scramble up low 5-th terrain as you would for Across The Water (see below) well to the left of this crack. Traverse right along a ledge system 15-20 feet off the ground, past Fool's Pleasure dihedral and Lama Momma (extra #4 Camalot protects the thinnest of the traverse moves). Climb the initially wide (#4 Camalot) crack which quickly becomes good hands and thin hands for one move before the anchors.
Gear: Cams from #0.75 to #4 Camalot.
Lama Momma 5.10b
Scramble up low 5-th terrain as you would for Across The Water (see below). Traverse right along a ledge system 15-20 feet off the ground, past Fool's Pleasure dihedral and into the next left-facing dihedral with a wide crack. Move up the wide crack. Bit of hands, bit of finger jams and finally the crux (IMHO) exit move to the bolt anchors directly above.
Gear: Cams from blue Alien to #4 Camalot. One or two mid-sized nuts.
Fool's Pleasure 5.10a
Scramble up toward the start of Across The Water stem-box. Step right around corner onto a good ledge at base of a right-facing corner. Move up the corner (crux is the first 8 feet) via intermittent finger locks that quickly give way to good hand jams. Step left at the top to Across The Water bolt anchor.
Gear: Cams from green Alien to #3.5 or #4 Camalot.
Across The Water 5.9
The downstream side of Windfall Wall has dense vegetation growing at its base. Just at the edge of this vegetation (heavily overgrown trail plunges through it) if you look up, you'll see two stem boxes starting about 15-20 feet above ground. The wider right one is Across The Water. Make your way up to base of stembox (some variations exist, all are low 5th). Climb the stembox with a wide crack on right. At top, pull over bulge onto ledge with bolt anchors.
Gear: Cams from #0.75 to #4.5 Camalot.
Midnight Creeper 5.8
The downstream side of Windfall Wall has dense vegetation growing at its base. Just at the edge of this vegetation (heavily overgrown trail plunges through it) if you look up, you'll see two stem boxes starting about 15-20 feet above ground. The narrower left one is Midnight Creeper. Make your way up to base of stembox (some variations exist, all are low 5th). Move up the easy stembox with a final awkward move through a wide slot onto a ledge. Look for bolt anchor on the right (atop Across The Water).
Gear: Cams from #0.75 to #3.5 Camalot.