Spiderman Buttress is a relatively small rock face on the west side of Smith's Misery Ridge. The west/southwest facing wall is approximately 200 feet in height (at its tallest) and offers a fairly large selection (approximately 15) of routes ranging in length from one to two pitches and 5.5 to 5.12a in difficulty (both trad and sport). The rock is mostly solid (except near the top) and beautifully colored - orangy tan with shades of green lichen in places. The Buttress is one of the most popular of the west side crags at Smith second only to Monkey Face. Crowds are not uncommon especially in Spring and Fall. The Buttress is host to what is probably the most famous 5.7 route at Smith. Spiderman is a two (or three pitch as described here) pitch trad route that draws "huge" corwds on sunny days.
Smith Rock State Park is located outside the town of Terrebonne, Oregon (approximately 30 miles north of Bend) off of US highway 97. Those who wish to fly in usually do so via Portland, OR about 3 hours driving time (140 miles) northwest of Terrebonne.
Take US 97 to the town of Terrebonne. Turn east onto B Avenue which shortly becomes Smith Rock way (there are signs for Smith on US 97). Follow the road past railroad tracks and down the hill to a signed intersection (approx. 0.75 miles from 97). Make a left onto NE 1st Ave. which then becomes NE Wilcox Ave. Follow it for about 1 mile to another signed junction with Crooked River Drive. Turn left toward Smith. Follow this road (passing the entrance into Smith Rock campground) until you see a roadside parking area on your left. Pay the day use fee ($3 per car per day) at the vending machine (or at the self issue station located in the driveway to the campground) and don't forget to leave a copy on your dashboard. The parking area has a public restroom and vending machines. Stopping at the above-mentioned billboard in the driveway into the state campground (you can pay the day use fee there as well as camping fee if staying overnight at the campground) is generally a good idea since it will allow you to see if there are any pertinent route closures. Follow the trail down hill toward the bridge over the Crooked River below. Cross the bridge and you will see a pointer sign - at this point you have several options on how to reach The Spiderman Buttress which is on the other side of the huge rock wall looming ahead of you (Picnic Lunch Wall):
1. Asterisk Pass. This route offers the quickest (by far!) approach option to Spiderman Buttress and is (stiff!) 4th class going over the pass - the required downclimb down the west side of the pass can give pause to some people. After the bridge, make a left and follow the river-side trail past Ship Rock (chossy looking, dark color tower on your right) and the Morning Glory Wall. When just before and below the Dihedrals on the river trail (you're looking for a latrine on your right), take a trail right and uphill toward the crags. The trail reaches the base of the rock near a vertical wall with huge dissolution pockets (famous bolted routes start here incl. Five Gallon Buckets). Follow the trail left here as it traverses below the rock face. Your goal is the pass with what looks like a balanced boulder (it's the low point between the Main Smith Group and The Christian Brothers visible from the parking lot). Go over the pass and descend rightward. Once back on the trail on the west side of the pass, follow the western base of The Christian Brothers right (roughly north) as the trail passes under the huge boulder (on the left) called The Awl. Stay high on the trail near the base of the rock - do not descend down to the river trail. Few hundred yards north of the pass, and past a steep gully (your descent route) you will see the c. two hundred foot buttress.
2. Misery Ridge Trail (approx. 1 mile from bride). This indirect (but non-technical) route is probably the second best approach for The Spiderman Buttress. Past the bridge, follow the trail up switchbacks toward the Picnic Lunch Wall. The trail turns right at the foot of the wall and skirts its bottom passing along some of the more famous Smith Rock moderates such as Super Slab and Moscow. Follow the tail as it switchbacks to the top of Misery Ridge. Atop, the trail levels off. Stay on main trail and you'll soon see the top of Monkey Face on your right (the west side of Misery Ridge). Descend the switchbacked trail toward the Monkey Face pillar. Once at the western base of Monkey Face, follow a high (as opposed to river-side) trail keeping not too far from the base of the rock on your left till you reach Spiderman Buttress.
3. Final option is the longest but the most gentle in terms of elevation gain and technical difficulty (none, class 1 all the way). It is about 1.5 miles from the bridge. Follow directions as for Asterisk Pass but instead of turning right and uphill away from the river, stay on the riverside trail as it rounds the large Smith Rock Group on the right. At some point you will see Monkey Face. Stay on the river trail heading towards Monkey until you see a sign for Spiderman Buttress pointing you right and uphill. Take the trail for about 300 yards uphill to the base of The Buttress.
The park charges $3 per vehicle per day to park at the state parking lot. The park is "open" from dawn to dusk (or about 10 pm in the summer). The consequences of staying past "closing time" are unclear and some climbers do "moonlight climbing".
The park allows dogs but is very strict as to keeping them leashed (fine = $94) and requests that you clean up after them.
New regulation, as of March 1st, 2003: Owners of unattended dogs left tied in at the base of climbs will be given a citation.
When To Climb
The park is officially open year round (though shower facilities at the campground are turned off in winter time). Climbing can be uncomfortably hot in the summer and snow often blankets the rocks in the winter. Spring and Fall are ideal as the temperatures are moderate and the east side of Oregon's Cascade Mountains is generally dry. West facing Spiderman Buttress is generally a good choice for warm days (or afternoons on cooler days) as it receives the cooler breezes from the west (coming off of the Cascade mountains).
Check with the park (or by calling one of the climbing shops below) for seasonal route closures due to falcon nesting. You will most likely be ticketed if you break the rules here as the locals often keep an active watch of the crags during closure periods.
Smith Rock State Park operates a campground that overlooks the crags (see directions above under Getting There section). The campground has bathrooms and shower facilities (showers available summertime only) as wells as some communal picnic tables. Sleeping in cars is not permitted. The campground charges $4 per person per night (this will also allow you to spend a day enjoying Smith without having to pay the additional $3 day use fee).
In addition, there is a free campground (BLM operated?) approx. 7 miles from the main parking area for Smith. Directions to this campground: Skull Hollow Campground. This information was provided by Brian Jenkins.
Want to spend your time at Smith in the lap of luxury? This is especially nice during late/winter/early season outings when the days are short and nights are long. The Hub Motel in Redmond offers clean rooms (shower, fridge, cable included!) for $35/night (double occupancy). This price is most likely a "special" for climbers so be sure to smile at the nice folks in the main office and let them know the purpose of your visit. The motel (huge red neon sign) is located on the left hand side of US97 on the northern outskirts of Redmond, approximately 6 miles south of Terrebonne.
Smith Rock is part of the Oregon state park system. The official (though not very useful for climbers) website is here. A more useful Smith website is here.
Redpoint Climbers Supply store located on the corner of US 97 and B Avenue (the turnoff to Smith) offers not only a complete selection of climbing paraphenelia but is a great place to inquire about route conditions including details such as bolt conditions and route closures (800-923-6207 or 541-923-6207, hours vary with weather and season). This is also the place to purchase the guidebook supplement (New Sh!tuff at Smith; OUT OF PRINT).
Rockhard store is another option for route beta and climbing supplies. It is located about 100 yards before the campground driveway on Crooked River Drive.
Smith Rock Restaurant in Terrebonne (behind a hardware store) is a great choice for after-climbing "pig-outs". The service is outstanding and food very good - both dinners and breakfasts. Note that it's closed Sunday afternoons.
Burger Works in downtown Madras (20 miles north of Terrebonne) is not to be missed for their top-notch marionberry milk shakes. These are THE best milk shakes we've ever had - PERIOD. The place is located on the east/south-bound side of US26/97 in Madras. They also serve decent burgers and very good grilled hot dogs.