Smith Rocks, Oregon

October 20-21, 2002

2 days

Ben, Troy, Marcus, Jim

Sunset at Smith Rocks.


Troy had wanted to climb at Smith Rocks for months and it just so happened I was able to get that Monday off. We gave Marcus a call and he was able to scrounge up a fourth. We left Tacoma around 4am and arrived at the familiar lot around 10am. Marcus had spent most of the previous week there so he was on a mission to finish off what was left of the upper 5.11s and lower 5.12s. We headed straight for one of the gullies where he warmed up on Vomit Lunch, a 5.11b that I redpointed during my younger years. There was a 5.10b to the right that was taken and a 5.10d to the left that was open. What the heck. I hadn't climbed in over a year but something led me to believe that the 5.10d would be a good warm-up. Troy thought otherwise but offered a belay. I made it to the 4th or 5th bolt and took several small falls trying to reach the next. It was somewhat runout so my closest attempt only got me halfway. Finally, I decided to go for it. One sketchy move followed another and I found myself with the bolt at my face, a knob in each hand, lousy feet and no way to clip. Next thing I know, I'm 20 feet down with a bloody knee. "Lower."

Jim finished the climb and I toproped it after belaying Marcus on a 5.12b across the way. After burning on some low 5.10s, the remainder of the trip was spent on sketchy 5.9s. Not what I had in mind for a trip to Smith Rocks but good motivation to get back into shape.


Marcus climbing Rawhide, 5.11d.


Another shot of Marcus on Rawhide.