Shakespeare Cliff

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.36870°N / 121.1309°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.7 - 5.12
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 1
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log


This nice chunk of basalt cliff is the upstream-most formation on the east side of the Lower Gorge (only other established formations more upstream are part of the Upper Gorge). Formation is located directly across the river from the Cruel Sister area of the Catwalk Cliff on the west side of the Gorge.

Getting There

Follow directions under Getting There on the main page for Smith Basalt Areas (subsection: East Side Of Crooked River). In low water season, the quickest approach is via the river crossing (10-15 minutes from the turnaround parking area). The approach through the state park is longer (30-40 minutes) but is the only option when the river is running high (spring).

Route Descriptions

Watts guidebook lists 12 established routes on this cliff (there are a few additional ones not published in a guidebook though). Though there are no 4-star classics, there is a handful of nice moderates (2-3 stars) that are very worthwhile including some easier (for the Lower Gorge lines) 5.8-5.9 lines.

Lust's Labor's Cost 5.10b

Shakespeare CliffLust's Labor's Cost

Look for a finger crack starting from a ledge system 15 feet above ground on the right side of Shakespeare Cliff (right of Two Gentlemen's.... Mantle up to the ledge and start up the left (right one is 5.11-) finger crack. Very sharp (though positive) finger lock "slots" and smeary feet made this seem quite hard to me. Short but hard IMHO.
Gear: Blue Alien to #0.75 Camalot.

Two Gentlemen's Pneumonia 5.7

Two Gentlemen s PneumoniaTwo Gentlemen's Pneumonia

Line starts up a sub-vertical hand crack to the right of Azog. It then goes up some broken blocks/cracks to a crux move past a solid chockstone wedged in a narrow chimney. Rap from bolts 15 feet higher.
Gear: Single cams from #0.5 to #3 Camalot.

Azog 5.9


Located essentially at the point where the river crossing trail meets the base of Shakespeare Cliff. Look for anchors on the overhang atop Much Ado About Nothing (lower anchors). Azog is the third crack system to the right (consult Watts for description photo). Follow a fairly easy crack up for 30 feet. The crux hits on the upper half (fingers). Step right atop the ledge to bolted anchors.
Gear: From green Alien to #3 Camalot. Perhaps doubles in #0.5-#0.75 Camalots.

Much Ado About Nothing 5.10d

Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing

This line starts up the stem box immediately left of Azog and some distance right of Soron. Climb a very nice and varied 5.9 crack on left side of the box. Exit from the crack just below chain anchors is the "crux" of the lower portion. This however is only the beginning. Clip chains, and step left into a short, overhanging (left-facing) dihedral. Crank two 5.10+ moves to a finger lock and then it's over with a hand jam. The two moves are pretty hard. Rap from upper bolt anchors.
Gear: From blue Alien to #3 Camalot. Doubles in green Alien to #1 Camalot.

Soron 5.9


Located about 20 feet left of Much Ado About Nothing (look for anchors atop ths line). Soron starts up a 10 foot flare behind a 10 foot block sitting near the base of the cliff. Directly above, stem and jam the narrow stem box. Crux hits at the very top as you exit left to avoid the small roof capping the stem box. Belay either on gear on the left or from bolts on the right (lower anchors of Much Ado About Nothing). Alternatively, you can punch it up the overhanging terrain to upper anchors (not visible) on Much Ado About Nothing. You’re climbing up the overhanging (short) dihedral immediately left of the 5.10d dihedral on upper Much Ado…. Tricky for 5.9 IMHO.
Gear: From green Alien to #3 Camalot. Doubles in #0.75 - #2 Camalots. One or two medium nuts.

As You Like It 5.10b

As You Like ItAs You Like It

Located about 30 feet left of Much Ado About Nothing (look for anchors atop ths line). Look for a great 15-foot splitter (hand size) starting on a small block at the base. Above the opening splitter, the crack closes to fingers and tips (with decent finger pockets here and there). Throw for the well-chalked up bomber jug on left and exit onto the sloping ledge system. Either belay on gear, step right to lower anchors on Much Ado About Nothing or punch it through the hard overhangs to upper anchors on Much Ado About Nothing.
Gear: From blue Alien to #2 Camalot. Doubles in #0. 5 - #2 Camalots and green to yellow Aliens.

Big Woody 5.9

Big WoodyBig Woody

This line climbs the nice crack on the left side of what looks like a 30-foot inverted sword blade. Belay above some overhangs on a good ledge (gear) or move right 15 feet and then up the easier (~5.9) dihedral to chain anchors mentioned for Soron (traversing further to lower anchors on Much Ado... is tricky.
Gear: From green Alien to #3 Camalot.



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