Beckey-Tate, Big Kangaroo III 5.9


Washington Pass, Washington, USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 3-6 hours
Approach time: 2-4 hours
Descent time: 2-4 hours
Number of pitches: 7
Height of route: 900'
This is a burly and old school 5.9 for confident 5.9 leaders. While the hardest moves are well-protected, there are some stout and slightly runout 5.8 chimneys. It is the easiest route up the south face of Big Kangaroo, one of the more amazing looking walls in the area. It has three distinct parts. The start of the route is mostly low 5th class climbing up a ramp. The middle of the route has slightly runout and burly chimneys. The final section has finger cracks and technical face climbing and is both the most fun and most difficult.

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Route History
First climbed in 1967 by Fred Beckey and Dan Tate. Their ascent was the first route ever on the massive south face of Big Kangaroo. Beckey had eyed the face for a long time from other nearby features. The wall looked difficult and slightly intimidating except for an obvious weakness slashing across the center of the face. Not much else is known about their ascent.

Despite being the easiest of all the routes on the south face of Big Kangaroo, the Beckey-Tate is only climbed a handful of times every year. You are likely to have the route to yourself, even on a busy weekend.

The first three pitches start with a mix of moderate climbing and the occasional more difficult (up to 5.6) section. The route finding on Pitch 4 is a little bit challenging. You belay below a chimney that seems like the right way to go. Itís not. Instead, climb up, around a corner to the right, and through a group of trees to a different chimney. This chimney is a little runout on 5.7 and 5.8 terrain and brings you to a belay in an alcove.

Most climbers break Pitch 5 in half to minimize rope drag going through the crux 5.9 fingers corner. The crux is fun climbing, well-protected, and you could pull through the hardest moves on gear. Below the crux, the left side looks tempting but donít take it; itís more challenging and looser than you think. Pitch 6 is a super fun mix of face and layback moves up a left-facing corner that features a few surprise splitter finger cracks higher up.

Above Pitch 6, it is mostly scrambling and low 5th class climbing to the col that divides the south face from the true summit of Big Kangaroo. While you can climb directly to the summit from here, it is NOT recommended. T...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff
Big Kangaroo - Beckey-Tate III 5.9 - Washington Pass, Washington, USA. Click to Enlarge
Big Kangaroo
Photo: Ian Nicholson
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