Looking for an easy multi-pitch? Want to top out and get a great view of Smith Rock? Then this is the route for you. This 2-pitch classic is perfect for those looking to teach some multi-pitch skills or some easy climbing on decent rock. It's easy, so if you are looking for something a bit more moderate I would move along. The climb can be broken up into two or three pitches but is fastest and easy to be done in two, which is what is described here. Plan on bringing your approach shoes with you for the hike back to the base of the climb after rappelling off the top. The scree surfing back to the base of the climb would not be fun in climbing shoes. Overall, the climbing isn't anything amazing but the ease of climbing and access to the top of Koala Rock make it worthy of 3-stars in our book.
Pitch 1: Romp up easy low-angle rock through a handful of bolts before reaching a belay station. Keep moving past the belay, clip one more bolt and then step up onto a long low angle slab that is run out for 20+ feet without another bolt. There are huge pockets and the climbing is easy but it's a no fall zone for the leader, with the crux being exiting the slab to a huge ledge and anchor.
Pitch 2: Time to get a bit more vertical after the initial low-angle pitch. Use good holds to work your way up a vertical very well-bolted face to the top of Koala Rock. Hang out and enjoy the views of the park on top of the big flat ledge on top of Koala Rock.
Descent:Walk east towards the back side of Koala Rock (away from the face you climbed up) and scramble down to a big ledge where rappel anchors sit. There is one set that is easy to access that are smaller chain links. If you look north from that set of anchors you'll see another set of beefier links to rappel from but they are harder to access. Either way, make the short rappel off the backside, some of which is free hanging, and enjoy a steep and loose descent back around to the front of Koala Rock.
General line of the climb
The boltless low angle section at the top of pitch one
The free hanging rappel off the backside of Koala Rock
Smith Rock State Park, OR
Last Updated on Jul 20 2019, 3:56 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.