Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Smith Rock, Oregon

After leaving Leavenworth I began to head South toward Smith Rocks, Oregon. This was good drive over several mountain passes, and I was a bit concerned about the van. The van had some work done on it Wenatchee, WA, I had the camshaft senson replaced after it was running really poorly, and got it tuned up hoping that would get it running well. The van survived the trip much to my releif. Smith Rocks is known for its sport climbing and I had spent some time climbing her many years ago when I lived in Oregon for a few months before landing a job in Seattle. The sport climbing was hard for me, since I have been mainly climbing cracks and slab, or alpine stuff, so the steep face climbing left me a little out of my element, but I think it is good to mix it up and do climbs out of your comfort zone. Anyway we had a good time shredding our finger tips on the sharp volcanic rock, Will adapted well to the climbing at Smith, which in some ways is similar to the Limestone he is used to in Texas. We spend 1 day climbing down in the Lower gorge climbing the basalt cracks there. Great crack climbing on steep columnar basalt with long pumpy routes. We ticked off nearly every 5.10 crack and a couple of 5.11's by the end of the day I was quite tired. I even took a 25 foot whipper on a 5.10a crack as I was about to clip into the anchors, a foot slipped and off I went whipping onto my last piece which was a #4 camalot, with the rope stretch and Will giving me a dynamic belay, I had a nice clean flight. It was the 1 climb I did not wear my helmet on as well, go figure. My shoulder had been bothering me for a few days so I decided to sit out the next climbing day and just play photographer. The weather here has been great, but tomorrow I starting the long drive south to Yosemite, where I will climb for 2-3 weeks, then make my to southern Utah for the remainder of the fall.

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