This was a fun climb to do...once. Having spent a lot more time cragging than doing any 'adventure' climbing, I was really looking forward to this local monolith. That said, I don't think I'll be back to climb this pile of choss any time soon.
We climbed the East Route first, which felt a little sketchy with plenty of moveable rock, but nothing blew out on us. When my buddy topped out he said of my placements, "some of those might have held a fall". I was able to get in about 10 cams I'd say, in addition to slinging the rock horn just before the traverse, and then clipping the piton just after the traverse, but again, nothing ever really felt solid.
But if the East Route is chossy, the North Face is like a cairn held together with moss. We lowered down the north face and toproped it. My two partners both fell several times as junk pulled out. I hucked quite a few rocks down to the tracks as well, and saw almost nowhere I'd trust a cam or other pro. Definitely would not recommend leading this side.
Agree that a single 60m rappel will do the trick. We used double rope rappel, but when pulling the ropes, one of our unweighted 60m ropes had the ends about 5 ft off the ground. Rope stretch would easily get you to the flat ground below.
Also agree that the pillar could use some bomber bolts up top. The 'mystery heap' of rock and vegetation held our rappels just fine, but I could easily see any instance where someone accidentally lifts the cable over one side of the heap and then the weighted cable slides right off the top at the wrong time.
Fun Sunday - but won't be back soon.
Fun climb! A notch or two above Rooster Rock...
Fairly clean, definitely have to test holds and steps. I didn't use much protection but never really felt exposed. I think I used (2) #2 BD cams, (1) #9 BD nut, and (3) 4' sewn runners...in a single pitch. Rope drag was there, but not too bad.
I like the tree at the end of the traverse...
The anchor at the top... That anchor really isn't around the bush, it's actually around a rock bump on the summit, so even if that patch of shuddery withers away some day, that cable wrapped around the bump will suffice as an acceptable anchor...although I still think some day I'll go back and sink a few bomber bolts.
In my opinion, I really don't think there is a need for any fixed protection on the east route...it's all there.
The rap...is only about 110'. I bet with a 60m rope and the stretch, you'd come really close to the ground. One 70m rope is perfect for this climb and rap...eliminating the need to bring a second rope...
legal or not, we parked way off the shoulder of I84 right in front of the rock...with no issues.
A great after work adventure…
After eyeing this heap of moss and choss for years I finally had a go at it. Route description and approach notes were very helpful and the climbing was every bit as horrific as I'd hoped. Actually it took gear better than I expected but I didn't bring enough large cams. After 2 pitches of desperate vertical vegetable-wallowing we were rewarded with the mystery summit heap and many victory honks from passing traffic. Classic Gorge adventure!
First, we figured we'll hike along the RR tracks to the base. But there was a train parked near the TH with a curious engineer watching us. Given that I'm not really sure whether we'd be trespassing (something my PO might not appreciate), we waited and waited and waited....Finally drove around looking for another way in. Found one via Bridal Veil Overlook. 20 minutes of horizontal bushwhacking. 30 minutes of vertical bushwhacking. This BTW, is a primo spot for mooning cars on I84. Also, my life now has a new goal: I want to bag all 5 (+ 1 variation) routes on The Pillars!