The second pitch of Caffeine Free is a relatively short climb up a vertical face high above the Western Ship. This route can be linked with the first pitch for one long burn or broken up into two pitches. You will need a 70 meter rope if you are lowering off of the top of the pitch to the ground.
While the Watts guidebook gives this climb a one-star rating by calling out poor rock quality. It seems the rock quality has cleaned up and improved (while still not perfect), leaving this route more of a 3-star gem than a bust. Walk out left and up the dihedral start before climbing through some crimps and rails on vertical rock high off the ground. The final sequence starts up a rail left of the bolt line before traversing back to the right on pockets, up and over the final vertical face to a two-bolted anchor with fixed draws. The climbing has a little bit over everything from stemming, to crimps, to working feet up high while liebacking, to pockets. It's all there with no single move that is overly tricky resulting in what felt more like a 5.10c rather than the graded 5.11a in the Watts guidebook. If you climbed the first pitch of Caffeine Free clean, you'll likely find the finishing just a tad bit harder but still in the ballpark.
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.