Devo's Climbs

Friday, April 02, 2010

Road Trip: Smith Rock

Friday, March 26

Left Everett at 6am with Tony and Jose, 6 hours later we pulled into the climbers bivy at Smith. Ian, Amanda, Jason, Aaron and Gene arrived shortly after and after pitching camp we hiked down to the park for some afternoon cragging.

READY TO ROCK!


Jason led Moonshine Dihedral (5.9 trad), I followed. Gene and Aaron warmed up on Wedding Day (5.10b sport) nearby. Then we joined the others over at Morning Glory Wall where I got my first clean lead of Nine Gallon Buckets (5.10c) and a TR of Cool Ranch Flavor (5.11b). Four pitches: not to shabby for the afternoon!

JASON PREPS FOR MOONSHINE


GREAT JAMS AND STEMS ON MOONSHINE DIHEDRAL


AARON PULLING JUGS ON NINE GALLON BUCKETS


Even got some video:


TONY IN PROFILE ON NINE GALLON BUCKETS


IAN AND AMANDA CLIMBING ON THE PEANUT


JASON LEADING COOL RANCH FLAVOR


For dinner Tony, Jason, Jose and I cooked up a nice meal of steak fajitas.

Saturday, March 27

Got up at 6 am with Tony; the weather was splitter and we hoped to beat the crowds. Arrived at Morning Glory Wall shortly before 8am and began climbing at 8:15. Another party was already roping up on Five Gallon Buckets so Tony and I traded warmup leads on The Outsiders (5.9). I then led Light on the Path (5.10a), frustrated that I got off route and asked for a take near the top. Tony followed and I did another lap on TR, clean this time.

TONY GETTING HIS LEAD ON ON THE OUTSIDERS


MGW was hopping by this time, so we moved to the Fourth Horseman area for a lead each on Snuffy Smith (5.9).

LEADING SNUFFY SMITH


We'd yet to see anyone else from our group and spent some time after Snuffy wandering around The Dihedrals and Christian Brothers hoping to run into someone we knew. No luck, so I dove into the throngs of climbers at Cinnamon Slab, navigating through a hapless party of beginners on my way up Ginger Snap (5.8). Tony then took us to the top of the buttress via Cry Baby (5.9) - a delightful climb with a dose of exciting exposure that he thoroughly enjoyed.

TONY LEADING CRY BABY


FOLLOWING CRY BABY


With still no sign of anyone from our group, we drifted back towards MGW and started up Tammy Baker's Face. Tony led the first pitch (5.9) and I psyched myself up for the second (5.10c). I'd followed it once many years back and remembered wild stemming up an overhanging dihedral, but nothing else. My memory served correct: the stemming was wild and the overhang intimidating but manageable. What I didn't remember was the second crux - a tricky bulge with nothing but sloping shelves above. I managed to skirt the bulge to the right and utilize a pocket and thin fingers on a flake to gain the final belay ledge. Not sure if that was the 5.10c version, but it worked.

LEADING PITCH 2 OF TAMMY BAKER'S FACE


Tony got some vid:


While rappelling we spied Jason, Gene and Aaron working some routes over in the Zebra area of MGW. Apparently they'd spent the early part of the day on a new route, Lost in Space (5.10b), on the Northeast Face of the Smith Rock Group. Sounded like a fright-fest of loose rock, breaking holds and freezing winds - yikes! Ian, Amanda and Jose were nearby, relaxing and watching climbers in the Overboard area. They'd gone to the West Side to climb First Kiss (5.7) but had retreated after the first pitch, unfamiliar with the techniques of climbing as a party of three. They'd spent the rest of the day hiking around the park, taking in the beautiful scenery and familiarizing themselves with the different crags.

Weary but still itching to get in some more climbing on a beautiful day, Tony and I beelined over to the Western Ship where I'd been eyeing Solar (5.9), a striking trad line up an overhanging dihedral.

WESTERN SHIP: PHONE CALL FROM SATAN & SOLAR


Tony led the approach via Phone Call from Satan (5.9) - a fun bolted climb featuring big moves between hueco jugs transitioning to a final slab of hard, red rock with good edges. The first bit of Solar followed a thin crack that took a small cam and two solid nuts. The climbing was mostly on the face to the right of the crack, with one committing move to gain a large ledge to an optional belay (composed of two frighteningly small bolts!). Above loomed the overhanging dihedral split by a clean (for Smith), mostly hand-sized crack. I ignored the bolts, set a purple .5 cam and continued up the dihedral in one continuous lead, placing both each of my .75,  #1 and #3 Camalots, but none of my #2's. The climbing was mostly liebacking combined with excellent footholds, making for good rests and solid gear stances. The final stretch was the crux: an awkward pull past a bulge to a final mantel below the anchors. I was feeling the affects of a long day of climbing and spent too much time hanging out looking for the key sequence: a high foot out left. By the time I'd found it I was pumped and asked for a take - pisser! Once I committed to the move, I got my right shoulder into the dihedral for a no-hands rest - big pisser! Then it was over and I put Tony on belay. He had the same difficulty at the crux that I did - a bit of a consolation I guess. Ten pitches into the day, it was definitely time for dinner.

IS IT BEER-THIRTY?


We spent the evening at the Terrebonne Depot with Jason and Jose downing microbrews and burgers - I even ordered desert! Good times. :-)

Sunday, March 28

Slept in a bit this morning - hadn't been so sore since Yosemite last Fall. Skies were overcast - no sun in the cards today. Finally Tony, Jose and I got going and chose to warm up on some new climbs on Picnic Lunch Wall. Tony and I led Honey Pot (5.9) - a nice climb starting with some tricky huecos transitioning to a fun slab full of Smith-knobby-goodness. I found it hard - too hard. Exhaustion from the previous day's exertions was definitely in play.

JOSE & TONY ON HONEY POT


We all did a few more TR laps on Honey Pot - I didn't find the second go any easier than the first and decided I was going to take it easy for the rest of the day. Finished at Picnic Lunch Wall, we wandered over to the Dihedrals and found Cinnamon Slab deserted. One benefit of the change in weather: no crowds! I led Cinnamon Slab (5.6 trad), Tony lowered me, cleaned the route on TR and belayed Jose up via Cinnamon Toast (5.8). Then he and Jose climbed Cry Baby (5.9) while I relaxed and snapped photos from the ground. This was Jose's first multi-pitch climb and a good one at that.

TONY & JOSE ON CRY BABY


Once they were back on the ground we climbed Easy Reader (5.6).

We spent the rest of the day over by Bunny Face, which Tony and I each led (5.7).

FUN MOVES ON BUNNY FACE


Aaron, Gene and Ian showed up - they'd gone and climbed First Kiss together earlier that day. Tony led Ancylostoma (5.9) and Aaron, Jose and I all got a TR on it. Ian and Gene each led Captain Xenolith (5.10b). I TR'd it, feeling much better than I did in the morning. Tony and I finished the day off with a lead each on Helium Woman (5.9). Eight pitches - another good day.

IAN ON CAPTAIN XENOLITH


Back at camp, we learned Jason and Amanda had spent the day trad climbing on the basalt columns in the river gorge - Amanda's first trad climb outing, good on ya'! We celebrated in town at the new Pumphouse Bar & Grill - I highly recommend the double bacon cheeseburger with egg!

Monday, March 29

Slept in even longer this morning - up around 8 am. Weather was cool, breezy with occasional spits of rain. Camp was packed up quickly and everyone but Tony and I was on their way home by 9:00. The two of us were hoping to get in final bit of climbing before leaving, and the weather smiled on us one more time. As we arrived at Morning Glory Wall the clouds parted into blue skies and sun. We were the only climbers out this morning. We climbed Five Gallon Buckets (5.8) and The Outsiders (5.9) and then the rain returned for good.

LAST RAP


We hiked to the parking lot, cleaned up and were on the road around 12:30. Couldn't have asked for a better climbing trip!

More pics: Smith Rock March 2010 slideshow

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