Three o’clock rock  
Darrington:  Climbing Areas:  Three O’Clock Rock
Three O’Clock rock is the easiest to reach of all Darrington crags and a good place for a first visit to the area.  Reach it via the old Eightmile Creek trail, from a trailhead departing a wide spot in the road, about six miles up Clear Creek from the Mountain Loop Highway on forest road #2060 (the parking area comes about a half mile beyond a fork in the road – stay on the main road, to the right).  As of October 2015, the road is passable to this point in a normal automobile although unusually low clearance cars are not recommended. 

After thirty minutes of hiking, the trail leaves the woods and crosses an overgrown boulder field; among the boulders, a side trail depart up left to the Big Tree routes and continues further left to the Arch area.  The main trail continues on past the North Buttress, passes near "Four O'Clock rock, and continues on up to Squire Creek Pass).
Three O’Clock Rock has a great variety of routes. Many good climbs are not shown here, including Masters of the Universe (5.11a), near the south end of the rock. Some old classics still retain the original Darrington runouts, including Shot in the Dark (5.10d) and The Rash (5.6). It is not sport climbng but most new routes and many of the older classics are fairly well protected with a combination of gear and bolts.

The Arch
The Arch area is a good place for a first visit to Darrington. Several enjoyable climbs are found here and all have good hardware on them though a handful of the old quarter inch bolts remain. Under the Bored Walk (5.7) and 'Till Broad Daylight (5.9) are good choices for an introduction to the area as they are well-protected and feature outstanding knobs. Tidbits (5.10b), Gastroblast (5.10a), The Kone (5.9), and Cornucopia (5.9) are good climbs as well (the first pitch of Cornucopia is a good 5.6 lieback).

Big Tree area
Big Tree I (5.7) is the first known climb of Three O'Clock Rock. The original start, via Cornucopia Flake, is rarely used except by climbers intending to climb Cornucopia but finding the lack of protection on pitch two unnerving. Big Tree I and Big Tree II (5.8) make good outings and an extension via Shake Rattle and Roll (5.8) offers two more good pitches. Stance or Dance (5.10a) and Northwest Passage (5.9+), to the right, have crack climbing on their first pitches (neither are shown on the topo here).

North Buttress
Bushy Galore (5.7) would be a poor choice and Beanberry Delight (5.7) cannot be found. However, Silent Running (5.9+ to the 5.10b last pitch), and Total Soul (5.10b or 5.10d) are excellent climbs. Another good climb, Ginsu, is further up the trail on “Four O’Clock Rock.”

Descents are by 50m rappels.


pdfNorth Buttress (pdf file 40k)

pdfBig Tree Area (pdf file 36k) 

pdfGreat Arch Area (pdf file 40k) 
  Silent Running, photo by Ralph Bodenner