Smith Rocks, Oregon

Year round, 1993-1996

1-5 days

Ben, Troy, Charlie, Tygh, whoever we could get to drive…


Smith Rocks was probably my favorite destination throughout high school. The climbing was sweet and for a youngster who couldn't drive, road trips were just plain fun. We were usually invited by a few locals who helped introduce us to climbing. They offered to drive. We offered plenty of embarrassment.

The weather in central Oregon is almost always cooperative. We've been there when it's freezing and snowing, foggy and rainy, sunny and hot. Some days were spent at the campgrounds or in nearby towns but we always managed to squeeze in some climbing. There was never a wasted trip.

It's only a 4 hour drive from Yakima. Living in Seattle makes it a little more difficult. I haven't been down there since high school but I've been meaning to go back. There are many climbs that I haven't done and many that I'd love to try again.

Here are a few photos from some of my favorites.


Tygh preparing to clip the first bolt on Heinous Cling, 5.11d.


Tygh below the crux of Heinous Cling. The most photographed climb in the world can be seen on the left -- Chain Reaction, 5.12c.


Tygh leading Wartleys Revenge, 5.11b. I took a 20ft whipper just below the top. I pulled one #4 stopper and was held by another several feet lower. The soft rock is a good thing to be aware of, especially when leading cracks.


Troy leading Toxic, 5.11b.


Tygh on Toxic.