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Smith Rock and Portland

April 21, 2014

Smith Trip:

Intro:  In the last year and few months I’ve had a few climbing friends leave the city of brotherly love for the North West. I promised to see them soon and we hatched plans for climbing at Smith Rock.  Unfortunately there were a few injuries before the trip but they didn’t stop a great time.  Ashely had blown her knee out skiing so we weren’t able to climb with her and Emily hurt her leg just a week before our trip, limiting her trail running.  Hopefully everyone will be in top shape on our next trip.  The climbing at Smith was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got a good preview of the area.  Portland was nearly as much fun as the rock.

Friday April 4th: Emily and I said good bye to the animals and took a nonstop flight to PDX.  We got in around 9PM and were exhausted.  We crashed out at an airport hotel and got ready plenty of sleep before our big Saturday.

Saturday April 5th. We woke up on east coast time so we had a leisurely morning. Emily checked out the hotel gym and I went to pick up the car. We made it to Whole Foods Portland before they opened at 8AM.  We bought as much as we thought we could eat and restrained our impulse to buy all the vegan food we don’t see back home.
We made the drive through the mountains but missed the view because it was raining/snowing pretty heavily until we crossed over to the east side.  We arrived at Smith and pitched our tent before tracking down Andrew and Stephen.  They had warmed up on Barbecue the Pope and Andrew was working the moves on Vision.  Stephen gave it a go and I did some top roping on it. I was definitely tired before we even started climbing, the air was thin and even the short hike seemed tiring. Stephen and I got on the near by Helium Woman (5.9) so I could warm up and get a send on my first day. Emily too a run and explored the trails. Andrew gave Vision a bit more attention and was looking pretty good on all the moves, I’m sure he’ll put it together soon.  We were getting hungry and looking to wrap up the day. Stephen lead us over to Magic Light and hung the draws. After some thought I decided to give it a lead and surprised myself by flashing the climb, with some difficulty. I was definitely pumped and fighting all the way to the chains. Andrew climbed it as well and we packed up for dinner.
We headed into Bend, picked up Ashley and tried getting a seat at Crux Brewing but ended up at Kababa instead. It was excellent.

Sunday April 6th.  Andrew Emily and I work up, made some breakfast and coffee and went for a run. We looped around Smith Rock group, up over Summit Pass, down past the Marsupials, tried trespassing, and headed back along the river to the bivy area for a steep 11+mile run.   After eating some lunch Andrew, Emily and I went back for some climbing.  I lead the first pitch of Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Andrew lead up the second. We then jumped in with two Seattle climbers to try Five Easy Pieces. Andrew nearly got a send, getting up to the second to last bolt before pumping out. I struggled on the climb on Top Rope and felt the moves were hard.  Andrew hit the road after that and Emily and I went back to the Bivy area to make dinner (Spaghetti and sausage!)

Monday April 7th:  Emily and I ate at the bivy area and waited for Josh and Stephen.   We headed down with Chopper and got on Nine Gallon Bucket. The weather was warm and we decided to hide from the sun as much as possible, so we moved on to the Phoenix.  I hung draws on that and then Stephen put up License to Bolt. I had to give the low crux a few too many tries but eventually got it and climbed the rest of the line. Josh cleaned the climb and we moved on from this crowded area back to the dihedrals.  I got on Barbecue the Pope and was doing pretty well on it, until the second to last bolt when I found myself too far right of the line, lost and eventually took a good unexpected fall.  After the whip, I was able to get back on the intended line of nubbins and finish off the route. Definitely a fun climb and typical of a lot of the smith 10s we did over the week.  Stephen put up Panic Attack and we all tried it.  It felt a good bit easier than Five Easy Pieces but a bit more painful.  The holds are pretty small and you need to work them pretty hard to stay on the wall. The route also seems a good bit manufactured, with pin-scars and what I assume is a drilled pocket up top. None of us got a tick but that’s fine.

We headed into Bend for dinner at 10 Barrel and hung out by the fire pit at Ashley and Stephen’s house with Chopper and Loki.  Emily and I headed back to the Bivy and enjoyed the starry night.

Tuesday April 8th: We waited for Josh to finish a slow breakfast in Bend.  Emily headed down to Bend for some R&R at Recharge so it was just Josh and I.  We headed over Asterisk Pass with Chopper and got on Cosmos, Screaming Yellow Zonkers and TRed Moons over Pluto.  All are excellent routes, but the climbing was a bit repetitive at this point, very similar to BBQ the pope or Teddy Bear picnic.  Lots of small edges and standing on thin nubs.  We hiked up high to the Pleasure Palace which was a bit crowded.  We got on Matthew 7:24, Aggro Bumbly (I back stepped the feature), Bop ‘Till you drop (which I took a hang to scope the crux … there are no holds, just keep climbing).
We walked over and down the Red Wall and climbed Dances with Clams, Pop Art before hiking out. Josh hit the road and Emily and I drove around and ate some rice and bean burritos.

Wednesday April 9th: I climbed with Stephen and Emily, warming up on Five Gallon Buckets (5.8) and The Outsiders (5.9).  Stephen and I then got on Toxic. I was able to flash it with Stephen hanging the draws and giving some encouragement. Emily took some great pictures of us from up the gully. Stephen and I hiked up and over to the next gully to get on Vomit Launch. Stephen hung the draws and had a good run, almost to the chains. I suffered a similar fate, pumping out with two draws left.  I tried recovering before traversing into the crack up high but couldn’t recoup. Vomit Launch is a 5 star sport route if there ever is one.  We finished on two easier climbs Purple Headed Warrior (5.7) and Phone Call From Satan.  Emily and I headed into town for some pizza with soy cheese at Mondo.  We ran into Stephen picking up his take out, I guess Ashley had the same idea. Emily and I bought some socks and hats, had a beer and went to see Bad Words before returning to our tent.

Thursday April 10th: Our last day of climbing! Stephen came in early and we had one goal, climb the Monkey Face. We hiked around the Smith group, avoiding the Asterisk pass, this adds substantial time to the approach and in hindsight the pass wasn’t even that exposed. Emily split off from us and headed to the top of the cliff to watch us top out the Monkey Face.  We got a little lost and on the 4th class ramble and I cliffed myself out. I was unable to make a squeeze through with my backpack on (still full with the rope, water, gear, etc) and I was still in my approach shoes.  Stephen dropped his bag lower down and climbed past me and dropped a rope so I can take off my bag safely.  From there we set up a belay…only to move it and head up in another direction.  We killed a lot of time getting to the first pitch. From there the climbing went smoothly, I used the step-aiders on the bolt ladder and Stephen followed pulling on draws.  We also messed up the last pitch a bit, as Stephen lead us up the Monkey Off My Back Variation.  A bit more exposed and thinner than the 5.7 direct variation. We posed for photos atop the feature and made a long rap from the over-sized rap rings on the Monkey’s Nose.  We met up with Emily back on top and walked off, down past the red wall.
Stephen headed home and Emily and I had some lunch at started cleaning up a bivy. After lunch Emily and I headed down to the Rope De Dope block on the near side of the river, just  a short walk from the bivy parking area. The area was busy but we got on I lead up Low Blow and How Low Can You Go, Emily followed them. The rock was pretty sharp on this feature.
Emily and I packed up the rest of our camping gear and got a hotel for Thursday night in Bend. We ended up at the Fairfield and a final dinner with Ashley and Stephen at Kababa.

Friday April 11th: Emily and I left Bend and drove through the mountains to Eugene. We had some Vegan brunch at Morning Glory, toured Haywood field, Eugene Running Company, Pre’s rock, Chocolate Decadence and took in Eugene.  From there we drove up to Portland, arriving in time for drinks at the Hotel Monaco.  We shopped at Mountain Hardware and walked to Portabello vegan trattoria for dinner. We were impressed to say the least! We had some drinks outside at Apex and played some pinball. We caught a bus back to the hotel (so easy to get around!).

Saturday April 12th: Emily and I booked it over to Voodoo Doughnut for breakfast Saturday morning. They are open 24/7 and the line is always present.  And yes, they have Vegan Doughnuts. We walked through the craft market as it was opening.  Later in the morning we drove out to Beaverton and met Josh, Sonja and Justin at the Veggie Grill.  Sonja took us out to the Nike campus for a tour and shopping in the employee outlet.  We drove through Washington park and stopped into the Japanese Garden.  We rested up back at the hotel before heading out to Food Fight, where we found a good selection of vegan cheese, and Bye and Bye for dinner.  We tried picking up more doughnuts but the line at Voodoo in the evening was ridiculous!  We walked around a bit before heading back to the hotel and packed up the rest of our gear/food/clothing.

Sunday April 13th:  Oh yes, we picked up more vegan doughnuts before catching our flight. I stubbed my toe pretty hard in the security line. Bummer, glad I didn’t do that on the way out.


From → Smith Rock

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