The First Kiss

Page Type
Oregon, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb
Time Required:
Less than two hours
5.7 - 5.8

Route Quality: 6 Votes

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72.07% Score
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Page By:
The First Kiss
Created On: Dec 22, 2003
Last Edited On: Oct 14, 2004


Note that this route has been added by R. Lawson early in 2002. It is not listed in any publication (to my knowledge). This is a high quality route however due to its relative novelty (and obscurity) it is a little loose in places. Watch your holds and wear a helmet. It is very nicely bolted (including all belay stations) so no worries.

Follow the directions on the main page of Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress page to get to the southwest base of the formation. Specifically, as you descend down the west side of the Misery Ridge Trail and make the final switchback (from heading south to north) at the base of Monkey Face (Monkey's northwest corner), stay on the trail for another 200 yards or so. The first formation you encounter (approx. 10 feet away and on the right side of the trail) is the base of the Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress. Continue on the trail for another 20 yards till you see the rock face recede about 20 feet back. The start of the route is in a left (north) facing dihedral. Look for shiny new bolts.

Route Description

The route reaches the top of the Kiss Of The Leppers Buttress in four or five pitches. Specifically, the first two pitches can be combined into one (60m rope works as would a 50m MOST LIKELY) although there is an uncomfortable bolted belay station if you wish to make it five pitches. The description below is for the route done in four pitches.

Pitch 1: c. 5.7, 160 feet. Follow the bolts straight up the well-featured face past an intermediate belay (uncomfortable) station to a large terrace. Great views of Monkey Face can be had here.

Pitch 2: c. 5.6, 120 feet. From the belay terrace, walk left. This is a long traverse pitch most of which is class 3 - 4 though it is nicely exposed. It probably features one mid-fith class move. Note that atop pitch one, you can also see a bolt line heading right and up - that is NOT pitch 2. If you follow that bolt line you will end up back on the Misery Ridge Trail prematurely.

Pitch 3: c. 5.4, 80 feet. Follow the bolts up a low angle slab. Make your way up and left easy ledges eventually cutting back sharply to the left and onto a large terrace at the base of a steep, well-featured slab.

Pitch 4: c. 5.7-5.8, 80 feet. This is the crux and the most fun pitch of the route. From the belay terrace head straight up the high angle slab topping out on the Kiss Of The Lepers formation. Use caution once on top as there are plenty of killer-sized rocks waiting to be dislodged onto people below. Note that there are two sets of bolted anchors at the top with the lower ones being awkward.

Walk back and scramble through some loose 3rd class rock veering to the right. At some point you will see the upper switchbacks on the Misery Ridge Trail. Make your way down the slope back down to the trail. Note that this is a good route to carry over all of your stuff otherwise you'll be doing some extra hiking.

Essential Gear

A helmet and 16 - 18 quick draws if doing the route (fist pitch) as recommended here.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.