The Jewel of Oregon: Smith Rock

Nestled in the rain shadow or Central Oregon, Smith Rock stands as the finest climbing venue in the state. Hosting thousands of climbing routes of great variety, it was a great place for me to learn the sport beginning in the 70s. Since moving from Portland to Seattle in 2000, I have only been back to Oregon a few times to climb. After decades of exploring my homeland, my sense for new adventure led me to other states and countries. It will always be home though, and always hold a special place in my heart. Being there brings back so many great memories. Since returning there, I have enjoyed creating new ones.

One of those return adventures settled a long standing score. Beau and I finished the Center Drip route on the East face of Mt Hood in 2010. It was fitting that we would head down again this year to explore Smith. We spent 3 days there doing many classic routes. The weather was perfect, and the park was relatively deserted. We were humbled by the difficulty of our warm up project: Gumby/Zebra/Zion. I forgot how stiff it was. Fun though. Day 2 we headed for Beaus 1st Smith lead 5 Gallon Buckets, which then brought us to Sky Ridge. Seeing parties next to us on Wherever I May Roam made us hot for the route. We hit it perfectly in the afternoon sun. Along the way I led Unforgiven and top-roped No Pain No gain. Amazing classics all. This tiring day was one of the all time days for me at Smith.

From those routes, Beau saw and wanted to do Monkey Face. Who was I to deny? Day 3 we warmed up at Phoenix crag and hoofed it around to the Monkey , doing the 4 pitch route West Face Variation to Pioneer Route, What a weekend! Enjoy the rest of the gallery.

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