Smith Rocks

June 12-15, 2003

Due to the weather, an 11th hour decision was made to bag plans for Ptarmigan Ridge and head south for some rock climbing in the sun. Sam, Chris and I arrived Thursday evening and bouldered for a few hours along the river before heading back to camp. The climbing felt difficult and foreign as we'd all been working too much and rock climbing too little.

The next day we took a leisurely morning and started things off the a relatively empty dihedrals area.

Chris leading Lion's Jaw (5.8), a beautiful finger crack.

Sam stemming and jamming up the strenuous and classic Moonshine Dihedral (5.9).

Chris following a nice 5.9 bolted arrete just left of Lychopodaphada.
We also climbed the 10b crimpy face route on the left side of the picture
... and we begin to use our feet.

Sam's heels were hurting from his new shoes, so he scoped out the next day's climbs while Chris and I climbed Cinnamon Slab (5.6), and it's great 2nd pitch (5.8) that climbs left off the belay and edges along the edge overhanging the karate wall on wild nubins and chickenheads.

Day two. We decide to check out Wherever I May Roam, a new 5.9, 5 pitch sport route to the right of Sky Ridge. It turned out to be a very nice route with good exposure and fun climbing. Key piece of beta: the 3rd pitch is a big rising traverse. Ignore the obvious other route that heads up off the belay. Further along, another two bolts branch off and head up to a pair of anchors you can see. Don't go there, keep following the bolts left and up to the edge of the headwall.

Chris starts up the first pitch (5.8) on extremely sharp rock.

Sam movin' through the delicate crux of the 2nd pitch (5.9).

Chris following high on the 2nd pitch.

Chris leads up the exposed and tricky 4th pitch (5.9).

Sam enjoying the exposure and setting high on the 4th pitch.


Sam, 'belayed' by Chris (see above), leading the 5th and final pitch. (5.8)

Chris topping out. All you can say about this route is BRING ON THE NUBBINS!

How did these guys get up anything???

Back to the Christian Brother's Area: Chris leads off on New Testament (5.10a).

Chris jamming on up. This route is a good way to TR the infamous route next door (BBQ the pope).

Dave leading off on Karate Crack (5.10a). As I topped out on the climb, a couple was married in the meadows next to the river.

Chris following the sustained crack.

Day 3: Too damn hot to Barbecue the Pope. Sam wanted to lead this, but Chris and I wouldn't let him do the runout to the first bolt. Luckily a team was nearby with a stick clip, which we borrowed. So, practicing true alpine techniques, Chris and I completed a shoulder stand to try and clip the bolt. Sure enough that fuckin bolt was higher than me at full reach with a 6 ft. stick standing all the way up on Chris's shoulders... This, combined with the heat in the sun persuaded us to check out Double Trouble, one of the only climbs in the area with a shaded belay.

Sam about to start up the powerful lyeback on Double Trouble (5.10b).

The kid cranks on through!

Back to the Red Wall for some shade, Chris leads Let's Face It (5.10b).
This was the nicest sport route I've done at Smith, except the first bolt is a little far off the ground.

I'd heard that Peking was a sustained finger crack, but with a few days of mostly face climbing behind me, there seemed to be limitless footholds. This made it feel pretty easy for the grade (5.8), but very nice none the less.

Still feeling energetic, I lead Ride the Lightning (5.11b).
The crux comes right off the ground in passing the first two bolts.
Above it eases a little to 5.11- climbing.

Chris cranking through the crux.

A sweet trip with two great guys. Official sponsors included Mr. Chucky Shaw, Unopened yet quite melted Tillamook cheese (look closely behind the Chuck), and lots and lots of fine Mexican food.

Ladies, please inquire for email addresses and phone numbers.

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