For the past 10 years Ozone has been a popular climbing area in the Portland area, and for good reason. The cliff is comprised of a quality andesite, ranging in height from 35’ to over 120’ in the middle, with the average heights of the walls at around 90’. The climbing tends to be a little blocky on the easier climbs, but as the grades progress, the walls get steeper, and feature positive crimps, gorgeous jugs and overall, fun and excellent climbing. This a great spot for beginner climbers that are learning, as the climbing is safely protected, easy on the hands, and features lots of rests on the easier routes, with must do routes such as Helms Deep (5.9 sport), Kung Fu (5.9 sport), Opdycke’s Crack (5.9 trad), Screaming for Change (5.10c trad), Carrots for Everyone (10a sport), Kamikaze (10a sport), Ripper (5.9 trad) along with many more.
However, there is still plenty for the 5.11 and 5.12 climber as well, with routes such as the House of Pain (11a sport), Chainmail (11b trad), the ultra classic Masterpiece Theater (11c sport), The Humbling (12a sport), Angle of the Dangle (12c trad), to name a few.
While Ozone hosts many of the current classic routes, Dropzone(aka Farside) and Stratosphere have their share of great routes as well, with surprisingly different styles of climbing. While Ozone has many sport and mixed climbs, Dropzone consists of mostly traditionally protected routes, and as such, tends to attract more experienced climbers. However, don’t let the need for trad gear scare you away, as there are multiple excellent trad routes that protect well with a fairly standard rack. Routes like Sweet F*cker(10a), Closeout (5.9), Sugar and Spice (5.9), Step and Fetch It (10c), Oracle (10+), Naughty and Nice (10d), the Darkhorse (10a), and Lonesome Winner (10a) are some of the routes that every 5.10 trad climber in the area should tick.
Stratosphere is a newer, and still unknown crag with a few quality lines, mostly mixed, with a couple sport lines, and two or three that would certainly fall in the classic category. While there, make sure to tick Updraft from Hell (5.8 trad), Supernova (5.9 trad)m Pillar of Destiny (10a sport), and Zenith (5.11b trad).
Ozone, Dropzone and Stratosphere are climbable year round, during any dry days or spells. A few routes seep in a couple spots, but it is always possible to find dry climbs if its not raining.
This guidebook will hopefully serve to get you outside on these excellent routes, and climbing with confidence, knowing that you have mapping, trail information, the latest information, accurate topos of the route and the correct trad gear information where needed!! And you can trust it with confidence, knowing that it was written accurately by authors who live, climb, maintain and develop routes here in the scenic Columbia Gorge area! So download the Rakkup app, purchase the Ozone Cliffband guidebook, and go have fun out there!!
Photo’s by Charlie Egan, Samuel Wilson and Jason George