Smith Rock Trip Report
Rock climbing at Smith Rock with Zack, Tim, Steph, and Aimee.
FeedbackBy Preston Hunt, 01 August 2000

Zack's pictures from the trip available on his web site.


I spent the weekend at Smith Rock climbing with Zack, Tim, Steph, and Aimee. Z, T, and S left Portland around 4:00pm, and A and I followed later. Our travel over Mt. Hood was slowed considerably by myriad Hood-to-Coast runners who were just getting started on their trek to the sea. We ended up pulling into Grasslands around 10:30-11:00, pitching the tent, and crashing.


Woke up to the morning mooooos of the ubiquitous Grasslands cows. Pretending that the cows were giant beef patties walking around with buns stuck to their sides made waking up easier. We met up with the rest of the gang at 8:30 at the Smith Rock parking lot. At various times throughout the next hour, I realized the following blunders:

Bonehead mistake #1 - Left my annual Smith parking pass at home. Cough over another $6 to the parking nazis. Bonehead mistake #2 - Left my nice Petzl sport harness at home. That's ok, I have my backup alpine harness. Bonehead mistake #3 - (Discovered halfway to Combination Blocks area) Left my backup alpine harness in the car. Aimee graciously volunteered to retrieve it.

Zack started a lead up "Jete" (5.8 ***), but wasn't warmed up enough, so he came down and Steph finished it up. The rest of us cycled through it, while Tim led "Double Trouble" (5.10b **) around the corner, an interesting arete climb (see pictures, especially the one of my shadow while climbing, which is one of my favorites). We then popped over the Asterisk to Mesa Verde, where Steph led "Cosmos" (5.10a ***). We then spent a half hour figuring out how we could possibly climb "Screaming Yellow Zonkers" (5.10b ****), but none of us was brave enough to risk the first very high clip as the landing was quite nasty here. Humbled, we retreated to Spiderman Buttress where Tim led "Out of Harm's Way" (5.8 *** trad), after which we toproped "Explosive Energy Child" (5.10d R ***).

Ate Mexican in Redmond and then we headed back to the Bivuoac camp site near Smith. I have never camped here before (due to the $4 per person fee), but since everybody else was here, I thought I would give it a try. It only took a few minutes of loud families, having to walk back and forth from the car to the campsite, and incredibly close camp sites (not to mention having to fill out this huge form and forking over money) to make me pack up and head back over to Grasslands for another night of free camping with the cows. In the middle of the night, the giddy howl of a pack of coyotes, which sounds eerily like human laughter, woke me up and made me grateful that I was snug in the tent and not the furry little animal that was the object of their desire.


Up bright and early and back to the park. Decided to hit the Dihedrals for a little warmup, where I red pointed "Lichen It" (5.7 ***). Kudos go to Steph for braving the scary first bolt on "Ginger Snap" (5.8 ***) so the rest of us could top it. Just after getting off Lichen It, I was reminded how many tubbies are out there when I had to go over and show a woman how to properly belay her boyfriend/husband, who was at that moment already about 1/3 of the way up the rock!

For the early afternoon, we went to Morning Glory where I was the first up "The Outsiders" (5.8/9?), a new problem somewhat similar to its neighbor, 5 Gallon Buckets, except a little longer and a tad more difficult. Steph then ascended "Gumby" (5.10b ***) with ease, paving the way for the rest of us.

Thoroughly drained after two days of climbing in the sun and heat, we packed up and headed out. Two memorable moments occurred on the walk out. The first is the reflection of one of the rock formations in the Crooked River, which was unusually placid at that exact moment. The second is of a doe fording the river with her fawn in tow.

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