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 Boredwalk (5.7).

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 the anchors.

It was a great day for both of us, and it included Nathan breaking into new grades on lead.

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