The Kone and Tidbits, Three O'Clock Rock

June 12, 2007 / 5.9, 5 pitches and 5.10b, 4 pitches, mixed pro

Darrington was our first stop in the Cascades this time around. We were hoping to climb Whitehorse and East Wilmans Spire. The weather did not look good for either, so we decided to head to Three O'Clock Rock for a day of slab climbing. We had climbed there before and had enjoyed the climbing tremondously. For pictures and TR for "Silent Running", "Total Soul" and "Dreamer", click here.

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Parked downtown D-Town.
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The approach to Three O'Clock Rock follows a good trail and takes about 30 minutes.
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Eric starting the 1st pitch of "The Kone" (5.9).
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Just above the crux on the 1st pitch.
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The second pitch is easier but more runout.

This time, we elected to climb another two good lines on the West buttress, "The Kone", a 5-pitch 5.9 and "Tidbits", a 4-pitch 5.10b. When we got up in the morning, the weather still looked pretty iffy; clouds hanging low and everything nicely soaked… But some blue sky was also showing, so we waited all morning to see what would happen. We left the bus just before noon and headed toward 3 O'Clock Rock. From the Mountain Loop Highway, it's 6 miles of dirt road (in good shape) to the trailhead, then a 30 minute walk (steep) to the rock. The main face was very wet, so at first we wondered if we'd be able to do any climbing. The smaller West face looked mostly dry though.

We started on "The Kone" (5.9, 5 pitches). Really more of a 5.7'ish route with a couple of hard moves; pretty soft at the rating, I think, but fun! We linked pitches 2 and 3 (by Nelson's count) together. We rapped 3 long pitches on "Tidbits" (to the top of the first pitch), and couldn't resist climbing back up that route. We only climbed the three upper pitches as the first one was wet. Fun moves. More varied with some crack, face, and roof moves. Stiff 3rd pitch with thin 5.10 moves. The 4th pitch eases once past the roof, but becomes extremely runout on 5.6ish slab. All in all, a 8-pitch day; not bad considering we initially thought we might be rained out!

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On pitch 3 of "The Kone", just above the 5.9 "roof" move.
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Lucie following pitch 4.
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Lucie leading the last pitch (5.6?).
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Rapping down "Tidbits", which we climbed afterward.
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Eric starting the 2nd pitch of "Tidbits".
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On the crux (pitch 3, 5.10b).
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Higher on the same pitch.
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Looking back toward Exfoliation Dome.
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Starting the last pitch (easy with long runouts).
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Rapping back down.

Matt Perkins has a good online mini-guide to the area, including links to additional resources. A very good topo of Dreamer (by far the best we've seen) and its variations is also available on his site. "Dreamer" is also described in Volume I of Nelson and Potterfield's Selected Climbs in the Cascades. Volume II of the same book has a good selection of routes on Three O'Clock Rock, including "Silent Running", "Total Soul", "The Kone", and "Tidbits".