After last weekend at Tieton, I was ready for a fun weekend with roughly a dozen other climbers from the Seattle area. This trip had been in the making for roughly a month with everyone itching for some spring climbing.
Smith Rock is roughly a 6 hour drive from Seattle. We decided to leave after work on Friday night and get to camp late. We had great views of Rainier during the drive.
It is not always fun setting up camp in the dark at 12:30 am, but it is worth having your first views in the morning when rolling out of your tent. Most of the people we were with have been to Smith before. I had not, so waking up and getting out of the tent with views of the rocks close by really was a memorable experience.
Views of Smith Rock from the Campground
Andy had planned a multi-pitch trad route for the two of us for the first part of the day on Red Wall. We headed to Moscow, a 5.6 multi-pitch trad route and got in line behind three other groups with one already being on the first belay ledge.
Unknown to us, two of the groups ahead of us were first time trad lead climbers, which made for a long day of waiting. We got to the wall around 9:30 am and did not finish until 4 pm.
Views of Smith Rock from the top of Red Wall
We did the climb in two pitches. The second pitch was long with us using roughly all of our 60 meter rope. On the second pitch, I did have a little trouble because the crack was too wide for a fist jam and there were few face holds. I had to take a couple of breaks, but I was able to finish.
The last section is a scramble, which I had Andy put me on rope to catch me if I fell. We then walked off the top and back down to the base of the climb to gather the stuff we did not climb with and head out to meet the rest of our group.
We walked towards where our friends were climbing. We ran into them heading back to camp and decided to join them. We enjoyed views of Mt. Hood peaking behind Smith Rock with views of the Sisters on the walk back. We all hung out for a little and cooked burgers, sausages, and a veggie stir-fry. We shared our table and mingled between different groups of climbers. The atmosphere was excellent. After some brews and dessert, we all headed to bed around 10 pm.
Since we were climbing, I was unable to take many pictures. I was able to capture a few with my camera phone.
Double Ropes and Trad Gear
We were up around 6:30 am with nature’s alarm clock: Canadian geese squawking as they flew around Smith Rock. We broke down the tent and packed the car and our day packs for one more day of climbing before heading home.
Smith Rock Panorama
After a quick breakfast, we headed to see what was available for climbing. We passed up Morning Glory and the Dihedrals areas because they were busy. We ended up near the Combination Blocks of the Christian Brothers.
Andy led Jete, a 5.8 sport route, while Eric led Dancer, a 5.7 sport route. Thaddée led a 5.10b sport route call Earth Boys. I climbed Dancer, which was a different type of rock than on Red Wall. After we all got what we wanted to climb done with in that area, we decided to head back to the cars. On the way back, we stopped at an open route. Thaddée led Ancylostoma, a 5.9 route. Julie and I climbed the route and ,then Kris cleaned the route.
Here is a quick time lapse I took of Alex and Julie climbing Jete.