Outer Space

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.9 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 13 Votes

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77.26% Score
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Outer Space
Created On: May 21, 2004
Last Edited On: Oct 5, 2010


RPC does a great job of describing the approach to Snow Creek wall. Once at the main wall, Look for a shattered chimney system. To the right is a diagonal 4th class ramp. This is the beginning of the route. There is an alternate 5.8 approach to the left called the Remorse variation, see rpc's route description for details.

Route Description

Route Overlay for Outer Space, Snow Creek Wall, WA
On the biggest part of Snow Creek Wall is a huge shield like formation. Splitting the center of the shield is a perfect crack. The whole point of climbing Outer Space is to get to that crack, and enjoy every move of it.

Pitch 1: 5.4. 4th class up the diagonal ramp system, which becomes low fifth class at it's top. Belay above a scrappy bush. An alternative is to go left about 30 feet below the bush up a 5.9+ crack, directly to the bolt anchor above.

Pitch 2: 5.0. Traverse over easy ledges to 2 tree ledge. I climbed it before the '94 fire, the trees may be burned out now. Pro is scarce, but available, watch for short cracks and flakes.

Pitch 3: 5.9. Now the real climbing begins. A tricky 5.8 move up cracks at the far left end of 2 tree ledge leads to the 5.9 diagonal crack: the crux. Get your hands in the crack, smear on nothing, and get through it. It's difficult to jam, and the lower half of the crack is downsloping. It's pretty fun. Continue about 3 meters higher to the belay.

Pitch 4: 5.8. Run-out chicken heads and slopers, with exposure added leads to a small pillar/pedestal. Climb the right side of this pedestal in a 5.8 crack and belay from the top. An alternative to this is to climb the left side of the pedestal, and belay with gear further to the left of the bolts. This ensures enough rope for the next pitch, and makes the pitch easier\faster. A bit more runout though.
Outer Space

Pitch 5: 5.8 And now the beautiful part: A perfect crack leads from the far left side of the belay ledge. It's tricky at the beginning, but gets easier the higher you climb. Stretch the rope to a comfy belay ledge.

Pitch 6: 5.9 Climb the 5.9 finger crack, which gets wider and easier after a few moves. The rest of the pitch is easy 5.8 and 5.7, but it's long. Stretch the rope as far as you can and belay where the crack ends, or as close to it as you can get. An easier alternative at the beginning is to swing out onto the bulge right of the belay and take a couple more steps right to easier holds that will take you back to the main crack.

Pitch 7: 5.4? You may have to climb a short way up easy stuff to the top out. No pro, but it's only 7 meters or so of low 5th.

Credit to bthere, M and N Denyer, and especially Eric Sandbo for providing more details and alternatives.

Essential Gear

Keep your wider cams. There are long sections where the crack is 2-3.5 inches wide, and the top pitches are full rope length. The crux is protected with 1.5-2.5 inch cams.
One set of stoppers, and a double set of medium cams up to 3.5 inches is plenty. Hexes work well here too.
Some thin webbing for slinging chickenheads is useful as well.
60 meter rope helps assure the leader will reach the belay.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Eric Sandbo

Eric Sandbo - Mar 16, 2005 4:38 pm - Voted 9/10

Route Comment

The shield is remarkable for that one, long crack that splits it. My feet hate it, though. With a little deviation you can climb both pitches wihout ever sticking your toe in a crack. You still want the crack for hands and protection, and you may have to wander 10-15 feet from it in places, but you feet can enjoy standing on chickenheads the whole way! The downside is that if you take a long leader fall, those chickenheads will snap your ankles. Can't have everything, I guess.

Eric Sandbo

Eric Sandbo - Mar 16, 2005 4:55 pm - Voted 9/10

Route Comment

If you can lead 5.9, you don't need pro on a 5.0 traverse, right? Gravity doesn't take a coffee break while it waits for you to get to hard stuff again. I know of two guys who died when one slipped from the traverse and plucked his partner with him. Clip in here and there.


rpc - Jul 6, 2005 2:23 pm - Voted 10/10

Route Comment

Darrin's gear suggestion is right on. I'd only add that on the small side, we brought and used (quite a bit) down to a green Alien cams (<1/2 inch). Also, keep in mind that essentially all anchors are gear anchors which might deplete your rack before you even start a pitch.


rpc - Jul 22, 2005 5:35 pm - Voted 10/10

Route Comment

Check this one out:



darinchadwick - Jul 22, 2005 6:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Thanks for posting the link. You're right, it is an awesome shot. The perspective really shows how magnificent this climb really is. When I saw the photo my first reaction was "I climbed that?"


MichaelJ - Aug 19, 2008 2:46 pm - Hasn't voted

10b direct start

The 10b direct start is highly recommended. We did it as two pitches. One trivial to get to the base of the big right-facing corner. The second was the best climbing on the route. Step into the corner, climb flakes to the roof, plug in gear and then make some bold face moves. The business is moving from a good left foot and undercling to a tricky finger crack/knob sequence. You can fiddle in a small nut into the finger crack before commiting if you want to pro the move (I did). Then go for it. Steep and pumpy until you get to a bomber hand crack.

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