The new Northwest Oregon Rock/Ice guide!

Tims new book 2012!

It is out, the Northwest Oregon Rock/Ice guide!

I wasn’t expecting it, and it surprised me greatly. The trend in Tims series gradually had less content as the new editions came out. This one obliterated that trend with an exhaustingly complete catalogue of nearly all of the major ares as well as dozens of the obscure. Such a treat for the adventure groveler. Areas include 80 different climbing areas from south to Eugene north to St Helens. East to Hells Canyon. From winter mixed on Illumination Rock, to a brief section on the Menagerie. He also included Gorge Ice! The Wolf Rock section is amazing. Absent is the Portland area crags, and the Beacon area, but he has covered that well in the past efforts. Not since the Dodge guide have we seen a book that covers so much of Northern Oregon. This edition really floored me with the vast array of information and areas I hadnt even heard of. Cant wait to check  out some of them for sure.
Hats off to you Tim, and thanks for nearly 20 years of hard work in your public service to us all, Wayne

Buy it here, for surprisingly little $ :
Its the 2nd book down the list.

Footnote: This is hardly an unbiased review of this book. Tim has been a dear friend to myself and others for many years. I have enjoyed his work greatly, and have enjoyed working with him on a small part of his relentless efforts to bring it all out to the climbing community. We expect to have the new Mt Hood Guidebook out soon. Again it will be a biased review, as Tim and  I were some of the main authors to that particular project.

Something big going on.

As I write this, friends of mine are on a traverse that I have  held to be the last great traverse project. Joining the Southern and Northern Pickets summit -ridge Traverses stands to be the grandest of all the lower altitude alpine tours. It is now day 4 for them and they have yet to make contact with their phones, which is a spotty prospect at all. Like Ginnie said to me: If they are flying they should be clearing Picket Pass. God Speed Lads!

I am so excited for them as I have come to terms with my own ambitions with this daunting project. My knee and energy level are not quite what they used to be.  I had my time in this great range. It is just awesome to help, and see these fine young climbers pick up the torch and see dreams come true.

Sols Tr on


Jens tr. in web log form, so find the newer posts

Dans tr

Update below

South and North Pickets, photo by Seth

Update 9-9-11 day 8.  Dan H, Sol W, and Jens H pulled off the amazing feat of bagging the 2nd ascent of the Summit Ridge Traverse of the Southern Picket Range, adding Outrigger and Luna in the Northern range as well.. cant wait to hear the story!

Wine Spires: Rampage, Action Potential

Lane and I went on a hard route spree last weekend bagging Paisano Pinnacle via the  Rampage route (4.5 p, 5.10d)and the (probable) 3rd ascent of Action Potential (9p, 5.10c/d, imo) on the East face of Burgundy Spire (a route we had attempted a few years ago).

We had a great time on these wild routes of similar character. Both routes had steep flaring thin-cracks and very strenuous cruxes.

Afrter humping the bivy up to the col saturday we racked up and hit The Rampage route on Paisano in the afternoon. The 4 and a half pitch route was great, offering 2 crux pitches that had similarities to a fist fight. Maximum effort was required to stick to the rattly jams and locks. The last pitch we got off route and I ended up traversing across some wild face to avoid the disappearing seam I had got stuck on.

Sunday, We were up in the morning to chop steps with a rock to get around to Action Potential. A couple of my friends, Mike Layton and Mark Allen, put up this route . I liked the name, and Lane and I wandered up there a few years ago only to find it foggy. This time we were headed up it and found good rock and fun moves with a very demanding crux. Their sense of humor was evident on pitch 6 with the “fun” 5.8 pitch. Expect very serious climbing and route finding on this, the 2nd crux. Impressed with the exposure and the how dang long the route was, it was great to be on the summit after a 14 pitch weekend. Not bad for a couple of 48 year olds.

will load Lanes photos soon.

Paisano Pinnacle Route is corner on right of center

Camp @ Burgundy Col

Action Potential p1

A.P. up high

A.P. up high

A.P. up high

A.P. up high

The Summit of Burgundy Spire

The View From Burgundy Col

Here are some of Lanes pics

P1 Action Potential

Mid route A.P.

The Crux?

The Chimney

Wild move at the top

Willis Wall Analysis

Then along came a (much bigger) Spider..

So I recently returned to my volcanic climbing roots with another ascent of the Black Spider (2010, Center Drip) and a new variation on Mt Adams (2011, Ice Extension). Slag heaps they are, but they can offer  good long seasonal ice due to their altitude.

Looking to take the next step, I have started looking at a much more tempestuous project.  When I say project, I am talking about a long time frame to possibly align the many issues with a massive and dangerous climb. I dont think the climbs themselves are very difficult, it is the rock and icefall I am most concerned with. Which leads me to think the face has a short conditions window to mitigate that and the many other barriers to getting to the top of the Willis Wall. We saw a monster bergsrund at the base. It is the largest on I have ever seen in the lower states. Here is a close up of it:

We did not get close enough to find a way through it, but it looked very daunting. In the line of the fire, and it would not be a place to wander around in the dark. The dead of winter or early spring would tame it out, but then one would be concerned about snow avalanches then.

Of course it would need to be cold as well as stable weather in store. When we were there last week it did not get below 45 degrees at night (7500′). Game over for now.

There are people that think it would go in late fall. I see this as a bony, black ice sketchathon. It would need to be a heavy snow pack in the prior winter to help with that. Though in the 80s I had success with the Eliot Glacier  Headwall on mt Hood one October day, climate change has left more scree and ancient hard ice these days in the fall.

Each of the 3 ribs have their particular issues too. I think the center is the most dangerous due to the amount of rock I saw at the base. All save the left rib has very high serac fall danger too. Here is Jens’ short trip report from the most recent rip I know of. He found an interesting way around the shrund. Lorens Trip Report

1989 ascent.

Which brings me to the final issue, is it all worth it as a route to spend so much energy on?  I prefer technical difficulty combined with aesthetics when looking for a route to pursue. Is this what I will find there? I am not sure, but I will have to have another look at it for sure, Be safe, and I would love to hear any input on this subject, Wayne

Update, thanks, there are some good ideas in the comments now.

Adams Glacier Headwall- FA of “Ice Extension”

It is a testament to El-Nino and an open minded approach to ice climbing that an interesting new route was enjoyed on the 4th of July in 2011.  It also was made possible by being at the high altitude of Mt Adams,- The shade of a northwest face, -and  a tough young lady with an eye for ice. Anastasia enticed me  with the following email:

Hey Wayne,I was wondering if you would be interested in trying a new variation on the Adams Headwall with me (at >11k) which I spotted last year from the Stormy Monday Couloir.In short, it includes 2 pitch of WI3-4(?) (and it was in through July last year) followed by 60-70 deg alpine ice/rock (more ice early in the season I bet) to get to the rim at about 11500′.
Here is a few pics from the last year (mid July!) and I can dig more out if needed:WI pitch -longer than it looks on the pic – and probably fatter earlier in the season, stays in shade pretty much all day – cuz it is buried in the buttress:
Knowing that you are into exploring the new lines on old big volcanoes, I thought I would ask smile
But I understand if you have other priorities/interests.
Let me know.Anastasia
Given my history of trying anything once, we did the long, snowy approach on Sunday the 3rd and the route on a brutal 22hr Monday, July 4.(counting the drive back).
I always forget how big these Monster-Volcanos are.
That tiny looking cliff is actually 2 pitches. The whole route is over 3000 feet tall, with several technical pitches along the top of it. After sharing the first half of the “Stormy Monday Couloir” we soloed the first steps. Then got after the middle pitches, the first was a 50m WI3+. Anastasia tackled the 30m 2nd pitch.
After the middle pitches, it became a real struggle to find a way up the overhanging 60m rock band at the top. I began a traverse to the left hoping it would allow me get to through it and to the summit snow-slopes. The traverse went on for quite a ways until I found the way through at the end of the cliff. It was an awesome pitch. Vertical ice and rock followed by a short overhang with”good” rime to pull up on. Such a great finish to a long ice season. .

the first pitch looms above, photo by Anastasia

Wayne on route, Photo by Anastasia

Wayne on route, Photo by Anastasia

The Crux Pitch, Photo by Anastasia

Persistence + Caution

A Year of Redemption

In roughly a one year span, I (unintentionally) went after 8 different larger alpine routes that I had attempted many times prior. More on that later, but first…

It is important to be cautious when in a dangerous environment like the alpine arena. There are enough difficulties and things that can go wrong with just doing the climb. Objective issues CAN and MUST be minimized! Rockfall, avy hazard, are slightly helped by early start,  and savy weather data. They are eliminated by just the willingness to not push on. I am not trying to convince you to be a bail master-     true ambition takes patience.

I was lucky to survive my early climbing career. It was traumatizing to go through many horrendous experiences. I hadnt yet developed the awareness required to avoid epics and failure.

Please be willing to give the route another try at a later time.

So here are the numbers on the routes that took multiple tries that I “got” last year:

N. Face Chair Peak : got on my 5th attempt (embarassing)

Center Drip, Black Spider, Mt Hood. 15 attempts (became a lifestyle)

N Face, North Index,  3

North Ridge Forbidden Peak: 2

West Face, Pingora Tower: 2

Choi-Beckey rt, S. Howser Tower: 4

Vesper Peak: 2

Pineapple Express, Snoq. pk: 4

8 routes, 37 attempts

Update,  2 more routes since post:

8-11 Action potential 2 attempts

8-11 Ne Rib Mt Johannesberg 5 attempts

8-11 Springbok Arete 2 attempts

11 routes 46 attempts.

Keep trying, and learning! its worth it in the long run.






Crux, Center Drip


I couldnt let the whole year go by without skiing at least once this season. I love skiing, but my aging knee and my love of technical climbing usually keep me off the slopes.  I had a plan with Lane but David called with a better one. He asked me if I wanted to ride to ski-in, a 10 year running event in the Washington Pass area, organized through cascadeclimbers. Lane and his friend Glenn thought it was the thing to do as well. The plan was to rock climb at fun rock friday, though we pulled in late @ 630. We still got a few good ones in and David realized it had been good to get on rock after years of having not. The place got packed as it got closer to dark.

Saturday, Lane, Glenn, and I did the popular Birthday Tour. It is justifiably so ,with spectacular views and great runs.



The Party that night was great , there were 15-20 people that made food, plans, and friends.

We became  2 parties of 2 the next day on a Goat Wall climb called Sisyphus (10p, 5.11a). I had done the route 5 years ago with Mike, but was very excited to repeat it with Glenn, and Kellie teamed with Lane. Though Glen hadnt done a multi pitch before and Lane hadnt been out in a long while, we were all very stoked in our own way. I also let loose with my new camera, an L series from Pana sonic.

Always a great time, see you there next time, Thanks to David, Kurt, Kellie, Lane, Pro Mountain Sports, and Glenn.


Want to improve your climbing?

Consider this book written by my good friend Dr. Michael Layton:

It can be purchased here. It is an amazing collection of training and climbing tips.

I also was privileged to be able to write the foreword to the book.


by Wayne Wallace

Few authors are capable of capturing in words that passion that can come from the experience of climbing. Writing is one of the last things that I think of when I am exposed to this truly amazing game.  For me, writing is much more difficult than climbing. Yet it was reading the great books on climbing that shaped my early interest, and in what would soon become a big part of my life-long story. Learning from books as an elementary student taught me vital techniques, and sparked further interest in what seemed like an unreachable subject. Later, when I began viewing myself as an athlete, books helped target and refine my efforts. I learned that if you are smart, you don’t have to be as tough. Unreachable goals could be reached if you had the knowledge. The more knowledge you have as a climber, the harder you can climb. The more you can break down unimaginable tasks into pieces, the simpler they appear. To most, this was learned the hard way – through trial an error.

As the Northwest climbing scene ramped up in the new century after a decade of stagnation, it became apparent with each new climb, that Mike Layton was not just a lucky climber. In fact, after a huge amount of failures (he once approached a climb with a two day approach SIX TIMES!), his abilities, knowledge and passion have carried him and anyone associated with him to the top of what the climbing life can offer. His relentless success on big, new routes has hit legendary status. It is not easy to find a partner with as much hunger for such tough, wild climbs. It is also almost impossible to find someone who can endure such willingness to admit defeat, suffer endlessly, carry more than his weight, push himself further than his body should allow, and yet care more about the friendships that are created.

I remember once when we were fully beaten – I mean whipped – and he cracked a smile and made a joke so stupid that we both forgot what horrible mess we were in. Instead of giving up, he suggested we start again….after eight hours of bushwacking through thorn bushes in the rain, and wading in and out of a freezing river. Together, we made an impossible situation possible. And together, we free-climbed a big wall on the most remote peak in the lower 48 after a full day horrific false start. This is someone you ought to at least take a few notes from….

The alter ego of Mike’s personality is his profession in the field of medicine. As a patient of his, I have seen his depth of care he has for all people truly interested in helping and improving their bodies. I can’t think of anyone more suited to the task than a person as devoted as Mike (although if you met him in the mountains you would never guess to call him “Doctor Layton”).

You are about to read a thesis that will condense decades of climbing experience soaked in by one of the great teachers of climbing. Each chapter is really its own book. My favorite aspect of this book is the “geekery” of climbing tips and tricks that have never been in a climbing book (until now!).

Climbing is the best opportunity to do the truly amazing for the average person. It is a diverse sport that openly accepts all genders, ambitions, and backgrounds. It offers exotic travel, adventure, fitness, and a vast social network. A primitive void is satisfied in this modern and convenience oriented society.

This sport may or may not hold as much of your attention as it has mine, but either way, it is in your best interest to learn as much as possible about it if you are going to play this somewhat dangerous and eclectic pursuit. Being a more savvy and fit climber is not only safer, but success is greatly increased without the added struggle of being out-of-shape.

It is not easy to recognize opportunities at the time they are granted. They are usually clouded by the emotions that come from looming change. Careful thought is required. Haunting questions must be answered. Do you really want to do the upper echelon climbs? Are you up for the drudgery of a fitness routine?  I hope you make a few positive choices while reading ahead. I hope you choose to make the highest commitment to the safety and well being to yourself and the people that make your life possible. I hope you make the personal commitment to reach out and grab the highest and best that is available in this short life.

This book will assume a few things. You have not only answered yes to the questions above you are salivating over every word you are reading! You have already learned the basics. You intend to honor your time invested here and be accountable for it. You are ready to do the climbs that most can only dream about.

You are about to equip yourself with the final tools that can make these dreams come true. I enthusiastically support sharing your stories with us along the way!

Wayne Wallace.

Seattle, Washington. June 9, 2009