Maybe the best easy climb in the park that requires a trad rack, Super Slab is a mega-classic mult-pitch adventure mainly due to the last pitch of the climb. The climb can be done in two or three pitches depending on your comfort.
Look for a low angle slab running from right to left as you face the rock at the base of the climb. Ascend the ramp placing gear in the corner as you work your way up and over a mini-bulge to a ledge with bolted anchors. Easy climbing but not the most aesthetically pleasing.
This is the awkward "pitch" of the climb that is really a traverse with minimal to no protection. From the bolted anchors head up a bit and directly left towards a crack corner roughly 40 feet away and setup a belay in the crack or keep heading up pitch 3. The traverse is easy (5.5) with good pockets to traverse through but it doesn't offer protection. A wire can be slotted near the end of the traverse but it doesn't inspire confidence it will hold with a fall. If you have any reservations about the following climber having troubles, stop and belay from the crack to make sure everyone makes it through without any problems. The belay crack takes .5 - 3 inch cams.
This is the money pitch of the climb that is classic. From the Pitch 2 belay head left onto the slab face using good holds to pull up onto a steeper section of rock moving back to a wider crack to your right. From there, follow the crack up with occasional face climbs until you start the final ramp in the right hand dihedral. The crack takes gear well and offers you chances to fully wrap you fingers around the rock making fun and flowy moves. Near the top, stay left of the wide crack and make a few fun moves up to the bolted anchors. There is some leftover webbing you can clip with an extended draw but I wouldn't trust it too much, it looks pretty tattered.
There are a number of described descents of Super Slab, including a walk-off that looks as sketchy as it sounds. The description below is for rapping with a single rope. From the top, walk away (west) from the anchors around a block to a face of rock that has bolted rap rings marked by a cairn. From here a double-rope rappel will get you down to the top of pitch one, requiring one more rappel. Alternatively, with a 70m rope you can use the same set of rap rings at the top of the climb and make single-rope rappel to a set of anchors down and climbers right a bit. This is basically a hanging belay that you then need to make another rappel off of back down to the first anchors before a final rappel to the base of the climb. Would recommend a 70m rope given the final rappel didn't leave a lot of rope on the ground.
General route of Super Slab
View from Pitch 1 anchors
Looking down final pitch from anchors
Walk around left of block to find rappel anchors
Rappel anchors as described above
Smith Rock State Park, OR
Last Updated on May 21 2019, 5:56 pm PDT
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Given Black Diamond’s reputation for strong and durable hard goods, we decided to give their 9.9mm rope a try as our go to gym rope. The rope is priced right and works great out of the box but early signs of wear in the gym make it hard to give it the nod as a preferred gym rope.