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Illumination Rock

Kipp Bajaj and I decided we needed a change of pace - with Mt. Jefferson closed for business due to fires and wet weather headed in to foil any other multi-day plans, naturally our thoughts turned to Illumination Rock. This fractured monolith, 9,500' on the southwest flank of Mt. Hood, had intrigued us both for a few years. We opted for the "standard" route, about 5 pitches of 5.4-5.5 boot climbing on broken and shifty blocks. The crumbly rock regularly offered holds that came off in your hand; fortunately, sometime the result was a better hold. The protection opportunities were marginal but sufficient and, once in a while, the climbing moves were exhilarating. Our day began with a heavy smoke haze from the east side fires, but by the time we topped out a west wind had cleared the skies and the day was warm and pleasant.

Doug Adair


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