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Total Soul is an eight pitch route on the North Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock. This is slab climbing, though with a remarkable variation to it as the climb follows a dike for two pitches, passes several interesting overlaps along the way, and has the rare distinction of being one of the routes that actually "tops out" on Three O'Clock Rock. The difficult climbing is mostly bolt protected but the leader must carry and know how to use gear.
To reach the North Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock, head five or six miles up the Clear Creek logging road (gravel) from the (paved) Mountain Loop Highway a few miles southeast of Darrington, Washington. Stay right on the main fork at about five miles, and soon come to the Eighmile Creek Trailhead (parking on the left, sign and trail on the right).
The trail climbs steeply through second growth and soon enters the tall trees. There are some impressive old cedars along the way and about forty minutes from the car the trail leaves the woods and crosses an old somewhat overgrown talus slope. The trail bumps right into the rock at the base of Silent Running (an excellent 7 pitch climb, 5.10a).
Head left and uphill from the point where the hiking trail reaches the rock. A few hundred yards later, the base of the climb is marked by a bolt on the right wall, maybe fifty feet below where the bushes give way to a rock chimney/gully system that forms the deep cleft between the North Buttress and the South Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock.
Chains are in place at all the belays so you can rappel the route. The top two pitches are more easily rappelled by an alternate route in the trees on the right (north), for a more vertically oriented rappel. The first of these two raps is from a set of slings on a medium sized tree, thirty to fifty feet right of where the route tops out. The second, less than a half rope below, has a chain anchor that is often overlooke so there are slings on a large tree nearby.
Gear to 2" and ten or eleven draws. Hoard your #1 Camelot until nearing the end of pitch 4 or bring an extra.
BETA PHOTO: Taken from the base of Total Soul
Charlie on Total Soul
Maybe the 2nd or 3rd Pitch. Love the quartz, event...
Sep 7, 2007
Fun route! Very safe for a 10- slab leader.
CD Guide for Darrington available here
Online topo for selected 3 O'Clock Rock climbs here
|By Jesse Davidson|
From: san diego, ca
May 4, 2008
a friend and I climbed this route, swinging leads, with no gear except quickdraws and I don't remember desperately wishing that we had any.
Sep 13, 2009
Don't let the approach beta above fool you - the base of 3 O'Clock Rock is no more than a 20 minute hike from the parking lot. That being said, this route is a lot of fun and is the most well-bolted slab climb I have ever been on. Highly recommended.
Jun 9, 2013
Awesome climb, very fun and interesting moves the whole way. I agree with the above comments that this climb is safe and requires little gear. Between my partner and I we probably placed 6 pieces of pro over all 8 pitches. Its still worthwhile to bring those light small cams. We did the 5.11a variation to pitch 5 (you go straight up, following the bolts veering up and right then reconnecting with the standard line) and I recommend it!
|By the professor|
Jul 10, 2013
Hmmm. We did the first 3 the other day (too hot to continue so we bailed; in fact Darrington Clear Creek station measured 90.9 degrees).
P1 is a dirty mess. P2 started dirty but got interesting (5.9) in a hurry. It's got four bolts in 150 feet. We were very happy to put in four cams in between! P3 also has four bolts and no cracks, but it's 5.7. Because we rapped from there I'll postpone an overall assessment until we can return for the entire adventure.
|By Ryan Hoover|
Sep 10, 2013
Definitly go for the superfly variation. Best pitch on a already awesome route.