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Shirley topping out on pitch 5 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
On a hot, early September day, Shirley and I climbed the surprisingly beautiful Barad-Dur
route (8 pitch, 5.11-) on Wolf Rock in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades (just east of Eugene). The first four pitches were fun and well protected face climbing – all felt like the lighter shade of 5.9 despite the somewhat different individual ratings. Pitch 5 (5.10d) was a short boulder move and pitch 6 was a burly pull/mantle (some hanging here) followed by a thinnish traverse…apparently too thin for me as I took a 15 foot fall into the gaping 500 foot void. By the time I stopped I was 10 feet away from the wall with no way to get back onto the rock without resorting to some prussiking. Good times. Some low 5th class clambering followed by an endless ridge traverse rounded out the climbing. Finding the correct descent gully did not seem trivial. The key is to look for the third gully after the summit
(hard to tell which bump is the summit but there’s an obvious register can). Looks improbable from above but proves quite doable and (yes!) even fun (solid, grippy rock and nice steps…just don’t fall). It was a hot day and with our 1.5 nalgene bottles of water we were pretty parched by the time we got back to the car…as a bonus someone had to hike back up to the base of the route to retrieve Blondie and our packs. We scrapped our climbing plans for Sunday and went home instead. We both think that Barad-Dur
is the best multi-pitch rock route in Oregon (outside of Smith). The rock reminded us of the Mazama walls but steeper and prouder. A real gem!
The southeast face of Wolf Rock. Barad-Dur is on the far right (Sept. 2012).
Portion of the southeast face of Wolf Rock that is home to Barad-Dur. The route climbs the face just left of the huge (rightmost) left-facing dihedral before cutting right and up through the roofs to easier ground above. A true Oregon classic (Sept. 2012).
Shirley and Blondie getting ready at the base of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Starting the lead of pitch 1 of Barad-Dur on the southeast face of Wolf Rock (Sept. 2012).
Shirley following pitch 1 of Barad-Dur – really fun climbing (Sept. 2012).
Pitch 2 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Shirley belaying me on pitch 2 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Topping out on pitch 2 of Barad-Dur. The worst rock of the route but still plenty solid (Sept. 2012).
Shirley topping out on the traversy pitch 3 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Starting the lead of pitch 4 of Barad-Dur. The big cam is not really necessary (Sept. 2012).
Shirley on pitch 4 of Barad-Dur. The online beta talks about a runout traverse but we did not find this to be the case. Well protected (solid cracks) face climbing (Sept. 2012).
Shirley topping out on pitch 4 (Sept. 2012).
Pitch 5 of Barad-Dur. This is the first (easier) crux clocking in at 10d – well protected and spectacularly exposed (Sept. 2012).
Shirley just out of the crux moves on pitch 5 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Shirley topping out on pitch 5. Some beautifully colored rock on this here Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Leading pitch 6 of Barad-Dur right below the crux moves (Sept. 2012).
An orange Mastercam earning its keep on the 6th pitch traverse of Barad-Dur – nothing but air (Sept. 2012).
Rigging some prussiks…only way to get back on the rock (Sept. 2012).
Shirley exiting the traverse on the crux pitch 6 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
The low 5th class climbing on pitch 6 of Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Shirley on the start of the long ridge traverse on Wolf Rock just above Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
The endless summit ridge traverse above Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
More of the endless ridge scrambling above Barad-Dur (Sept. 2012).
Shirley on the final moves of the descent gully – it looks pretty improbable from above but turns out to be pretty mellow class 3 down climbing (mostly clean, grippy rock; Sept. 2012).
Bit Of History
So back in June of 2006, we’ve attempted Barad-Dur but did not get very far. This is moi on the “old” first pitch (June 11, 2006).
Shirley on pitch 1 of Barad-Dur and Blondie chilling at the base…essentially the same photo as the more modern (2012) one….though Blondie’s chilling skills have really come into their own, not sure the same can be said for our climbing abilities.
Off-route on pitch 2 of Barad-Dur during our 2006 attempt. Got into some wet and shitty rock and ended up bailing from this pitch. In fact the correct pitch 2 goes up a RIGHT-facing dihedral waaay back to my left (June 11, 2006).
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