This is a fun route that touches 2 of the 3 summits [The Tail, and The Opposssum] of the Brogan Spire complex on the Marsupial Ridge. The third summit [Brogan Spire] is reached via the Cave Route
. Living Blindly is not in the Alan Watts "A Climbers Guide to Smith Rock" guide book, but is included in the addendum which is available for a nominal fee at the Ace Hardware Store in Terrabone.
The climbing is on solid volcanic tuff, and the feeling of exposure is terrific as you traverse along the second pitch. This route can be sheltered from the west wind, [until you reach the ridge] and will be warmed by the morning sun, while shaded during the afternoon heat. Wonderful views abound to the south toward Redmond, The Sisters, Bend, Broken Top and Mt.Bachelor.
Looking S.W. 10/21/07
To the east is the upper gorge of the Crooked river, and the irrigation canal and bridge, built in the 1940`s by the Bureau of Reclamation. Canal water flows from a pumping station above the upper gorge, up to the bridge, then through a tunnel under the Staender Ridge, and again through the Indian Ridge tunnel to irrigate the fields of Madras, several miles to the north.
Looking S.E. 10/21/07
Follow the directions on the main Smith Rock Group page to access the park. From the main trail into the Crooked River gorge, cross the foot bridge, and turn right on the main river trail. Go .75 mi to a junction [with a rescue basket], and take the farthest left branch of several trail options. Several steep switch backs lead to the Burma Road. Follow the road up to the first switch back where a newly built trail leads directly toward the N. Face of the Brogan Spire. This trail bends before the base of the spire, and down toward a notch between the Brogan wall and the Mini Half Dome. Look for a trail that branches to the left when you get to the big trees, that leads to a short 12 ft.scrum up a narrow chimney to the notch. Then down a rock wash, and back on a trail that leads around the base of the South Buttress. The trail leads up through a small arch and on to the base of the Cave Route. Total distance @2 miles. You will leave most of the crowd behind by going to the far side of the Marsupial Ridge
Pitch One] 5.6, 35 ft of awkward climbing past two bolts to a large double chain anchor.This pitch is shared with the Cave Route
The anchor is in the scooped pocket just left of the arch. 11/23/06
Pitch Two] 5.7, is a well bolted line that diagonals to the right for 120 ft. past @10 bolts to a solid double chain anchor on a sloping ledge system. The crux of this pitch is a delicate move on small feet and hands around a bulge immediately before the anchor.
Fun Climbing,Fred is belaying Matt who is trailing a rope for me, yipee. 10/21/07
Pitch Three] 5.7, is also bolted and reaches the summit of The Oppossum from a notch between the Tail and the Oppossum spire in 120 feet of very aestheticaly pleasing climbing. 7 bolts.
Fred leading out on pitch 3 10/21/07
3 Single 60m rope rappels. First, rap from the summit of The Oppossum to the notch between the head and The Tail. Here you can clip one bolt, and climb 20 ft. to the middle summit of The Tail and a double chain anchor. 2nd rap from here is about 20 meters to the chain anchors at the top of pitch 2, directly below. This is kind of freaky because you cannot see the pitch 2 anchors from above, but just follow gravity straight down and you come directly over the anchors and ledge. A third rappel leads to terra firma, and a very short walk to your comfortable shoes.
Fred striking a manly pose on top of The Tail. 10/21/07 The Tail is top center left, showing the last two rap lines. 11/21/06
60 meter rope, 10-12 quick draws, slings and lockers sufficient to build 2 anchors.