Three O'Clock Rock - Silent Running
September 6th, 2003
Nathan was in town and itiching to get out on some clean Washington rock.
Three O'Clock rock seemed to fit the bill, so we headed up for some slab
climbing. We hiked up the trail (about 900ft gain) in about 30 minutes,
and went left over to the South Buttress to start out on Under the
Nathan leading up fun chickenheads on Under the Boredwalk.
There were a couple other short bolted routes here, but
we were ready to get on one of the classic North Buttress routes, so we
hiked over to the base of Silent Running (7p 5.10a). It turned
out to be a fantastic route with plenty of bolted protection and pitch
after pitch of exciting slab climbing. The pitches go: 5.6, 5.8+, 5.9+,
5.8, 5.8, 5.9+, and 5.10a.
Nathan starts off on the first pitch of Silent Running (5.6).
The clean and grippy slabs on the third pitch.
This is the harder and more sustained of the two 5.9+ pitches on the route.
Nathan on the fifth pitch.. another balancy and sustained pitch.
The 6th pitch climbs an isolated tongue of granite that slashes its way
up through the trees.
The 7th pitch requires a real rack of protection, whereas the previous
6 pitches only require the odd TCU placement. However, it is worth lugging
one up and doing the last pitch! You start by climbing 4 or 5 roof/overlaps
past bolts and gear to a thin finger crack. Above, a wickedly smooth slab
section past two bolts leads to easier laybacking up a thin corner to
It was a great day for both of us, and it included Nathan breaking into
new grades on lead.