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French's Dome

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Alpha Centauri 
China Man 
Crankenstein 
Dark Man 
Darkness 
Emerald City 
French's Doughnut 
Giant's Staircase 
High Voltage, AKA 'Rhoid Rage 
Jackie Chan 
Philanthropy 
Psoriasis 
Pump-O-Rama 
Road Face 
Silver Streak 
Straw Man 
Tin Tangle 
Yellow Brick Road 

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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

French's Dome 


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Location: 45.39787, -121.86024 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 20,393
Administrators: Peter Franzen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jan 22, 2006
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china man

Description 

French’s Dome is a lone andesite crag located on the flanks of Mt. Hood near the town of Zig Zag, Oregon. Routes range in height from 80ft. to 160ft., and most are well-bolted. The setting is quiet and tranquil, and invokes a feeling of solitude in the old-growth forest. Spectacular views of Mt. Hood abound, and crowds are few.

The climbing is sporty, crimpy, and pumpy.

Due to heavy snowfall this area is strictly a Summer and early Fall crag. The best hours are in the afternoon when the majority of the climbs are in the shade.


Getting There 

To get to French’s Dome take Highway 26 from Portland towards Mt. Hood. In the town of Zig Zag take a left onto Lolo Pass Rd and continue for approximately 6 miles. The dome is not clearly visible from the road, but there is an obvious dirt pullout for parking on the right with a sign. Take the small trail downhill from the parking area to the dome; the majority of the climbs are on the left side of the dome as you're walking down the hill.


18 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',4],['5.9',0],['5.10',2],['5.11',3],['5.12',6],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for French's Dome:
Giant's Staircase   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Sport, 2 pitches, 60'   
Tin Tangle   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 70'   
Emerald City   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Straw Man   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   
Alpha Centauri   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Silver Streak   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Sport, 60'   
China Man   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Sport, 60'   
Crankenstein   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Sport, 70'   
Jackie Chan   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Road Face   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 55'   
High Voltage, AKA 'Rhoid Rage   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Pump-O-Rama   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Darkness   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 65'   
Psoriasis   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Browse More Classics in French's Dome

Featured Route For French's Dome
Ryan about to conquer the route

Emerald City 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c  OR : French's Dome
The crux is in the mid-section which thins out quite a bit. The most difficult of the 5.8's at French's. Seems to be the least popular 5.8 as well. May be a bit dirty at the bottom (dirt, moss, pine needles). Eases up quite a bit at the top with some big blocky holds....[more]   Browse More Classics in OR

Photos of French's Dome Slideshow Add Photo
we belayed the start of the 3rd pitch of giant's staircase from these anchors... not much of a ledge... there was a much better anchor system up and to the left--could've had a bbq at that belay station, but this one worked...
we belayed the start of the 3rd pitch of giant's s...
On top of French's Dome.
On top of French's Dome.
View from the top of the dome
View from the top of the dome
The top 15 ft. of rock is broken, covered in moss, and otherwise crappy. The rest of the wall is better than perfect. I love French's.
BETA PHOTO: The top 15 ft. of rock is broken, covered in moss,...
giants staircase starts here and goes left.  there is another line that follows the bolts straight up... its an 8 or 9...
giants staircase starts here and goes left. there...
Comments on French's Dome Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kathleen Walker
Jan 30, 2006

Access to French's Dome is not free and unregulated. The trailhead is a Northwest Forest Pass (NWFP)site. Users may purchase a $5 daily pass or a $30 annual pass. 80% of the Northwest Forest Pass revenues go directly back to the ground - maintaining trails and sites like this. NWFP funds were used in 2005 on French's Dome to get engineered drawings and a contract package developed to construct climbing platforms. These climbing platforms will replace the eroded hillsides and user created stop gap measures that are currently on site. The total cost of this project (scheduled to start in Spring of 2006)is over $50,000 so please support the NWFP program as it paid for this work. Your fees will also pay for a porta-potty at the site to reduce the white flowers and worse in the woods around the crag. Volunteers that work on trails on the Mt. Hood Forest receive annual Northwest Forest Passes as recognition awards for 2 days of work. See Forest website for more info. Frenches Dome can be busy when local mountain snow-board and ski camp groups are using it on summer afternoons.

By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jan 30, 2006

Yikes. Sorry! Edited the description regarding the access issues.

By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jul 10, 2007

French's just had a ton of work done on the retaining walls and trails. They've really been beefed up, and the whole effort looks awesome. Thanks to anyone out there who put in some hard hours out there!

By adam winslow
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 29, 2008

phillip, I just climbed the route to the right of China Man today. It is called Jackie Chan. I got this info from a guy named phillip - you? I can't rate it because I hang-dogged my way up but the beginning is the hardest part (possibly in the 12a or b range). Now that the retaining walls are in place you can start up one retaining wall for a hard 5.11 climb.

By cheryl anders
May 2, 2012

Does anyone know any history about French's Dome?

By cmarielauraz
Mar 31, 2013

Access alert: Lolo Pass Road is closed about a mile down from the French's Dome parking lot. You'll see a barrier blocking (or partially blocking) the road with a "Road Closed" sign posted. You are allowed to park on the side of the road here and walk the rest of the road up but driving beyond the barrier will result in fines and towing fees. I talked to a Ranger and he said that the road will remain closed until he doesn't have anyone driving beyond the barrier for one month (note: I was told there are cameras in the area). Also, he warned that next year Lolo Pass Road could be permanently closed due to the issue of people traveling by vehicle beyond the signage.

Currently, the road is clear of snow up to the parking lot with no snow around the base of the rock. Hopefully the road will open soon so we can have better access to this area.

By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Jun 11, 2013

Anyone know if the road is open now?

By Rami Najjar
Aug 19, 2013

Are there really only 18 routes?

By jeb013
From: Portland
Aug 19, 2013

The guide book shows 23 routes and I believe a few more have gone in since it was published.