Trip Report
We'll Rest When We're Dead: Smith Rock TR w/ Pics!
Sunday October 14, 2012 6:18pm
16 hours of driving. Smith Rocks OR or bust.

The [observed] roadkill count stands at:

3 coyotes
1 jackrabbit
2 raccoons
7 deer
1 chicken
13 mystery splats
Romney/Ryan lawn placards... countless

Our psyche to get on the rock is HIGH so the senseless tragedy of wildlife squishage is quickly forgotten as the magnificence of world-class uber-choss reveals itself.



Credit: justthemaid


gearing up in the lot.
gearing up in the lot.
Credit: justthemaid


Credit: justthemaid


Credit: justthemaid


We set up trailer-Arnie at Skull Hollow campground. We've got 6 days. The Plan: climb until we drop.


Credit: justthemaid


Arnie AKA Club Meh.
Arnie AKA Club Meh.
Credit: justthemaid


Day 1: Welcome

It's my first visit to Smith. Mr.E put up a handful of routes here BITD and it's his first re-visit in 16 years. We started the week with an obligatory trudge part-way up Misery Ridge.

It was a Sunday. Waiting lines on the classics of course so we started the trip off with Iron Curtain which, inexplicably, did not have a wait (trad 5.9R). The first piece of protection was a Z2 with a screamer...15 feet off the ground before a hard move. :) Ran a TR on P1 of Gulag Archipelago and then up a couple easy bolted climbs when they cleared up. Then moved down the hill to do a couple classic multi-star dihedrals on Moonshine Dihedral and Lion's Jaw.



Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
Credit: justthemaid



Lion's Jaw
Lion's Jaw
Credit: justthemaid


The most obvious change since E was last here is the amount of trail-work that has been done to prevent erosion. The sheer amount of rock, pressure-treated wood and dirt that has been terraced into a kind of climber's Machu-Pichu is pretty astounding. E was particularly amused by the steel staircase that was built directly to the base of 3 of his climbs. (Overkill perhaps ??). Might as well tack some red carpet on it and install a "Start Here -->" sign.


Credit: justthemaid


Day 2: It's all about M[E]


The morning icicles from the field-sprinklers give no indication of the 80-degree mid-day temps to come. After an uber-restful 10-hour sleep on Arnie's paraly-foam mattress and a hot breakfast at the Sun Spot and we were ready to rumble.


Credit: justthemaid


Credit: justthemaid


After a warm up on 5 Gallon Buckets I got a tour of some E-routes Snuffy Smith, Tuff it Out & No Golf Shoes until the hot sun drove us down river to seek shade at the Phoenix Buttress where we spent the remainder of the day.


snuffy smith
snuffy smith
Credit: justthemaid


Day 3: Pebble madness.

Somehow we ended up on xeno-faces the whole day. Starting at the top of the Dihedrals and working down we warmed up with some mediocre pebble-wrestling on Helium Woman & Captain Xenolith which E reports have lost a certain # of nubbins since he last climbed them. Moving down hill we ran up Revelations and E did an impressive no-stick-clip lead of the old-school bolted Barbeque the Pope


Revelations
Revelations
Credit: justthemaid


Barbeque the Pope
Barbeque the Pope
Credit: justthemaid


Then we took a nice hike around the backside on the scenic-trail over to The Monkey.


river-side grasses
river-side grasses
Credit: justthemaid


Credit: justthemaid


We had planned on doing the multi-pitch Wherever I May Roam but in spite of it being mid-week, there were multiple parties on it. After 40 minutes of watching a party of 3 not move...at all.. we decided to move on.

E clowned around imitating the Monkey and we did Cosmos and gazed longingly up Trezlar bemoaning the fact that we didn't bring trad gear with us that day.

Credit: justthemaid


Cosmos
Cosmos
Credit: justthemaid


Got this nice shot of the eastside with the reflection of Shiprock coming back over Asterisk Pass.


Credit: justthemaid



Day 4:The "Rest Day".

E proclaims that our "rest day" will consist of only one climb... The Monkey. We started our rest day with the full-monte death slog up the entire length of Misery Ridge. I took a rest (collapsed) at the top of the hill.


Misery Ridge trail.
Misery Ridge trail.
Credit: justthemaid


resting here.
resting here.
Credit: justthemaid


Dropping down to reveal the impressive pillar of welded ash that is the Monkey. The closer we got ... the scarier it looked BTW.


The Monkey
The Monkey
Credit: justthemaid


We opted for the West Face Direct Variation with the Pioneer's Route aid-finish up and out the mouth. I have aid-climbed like.. once...years ago but I was game for the follow. The intro pitches were fun. My aid climbing sucked and was slow, but I managed to muppet my way up to the mouth with a lot of shenanigans.


1st belay
1st belay
Credit: justthemaid



Oddly enough we were the ONLY people on The Monkey the entire day. We drew quite a crowd on the trail and bluff snapping pictures as we did the final freaky exit out the mouth and the rappel. Definitely the craziest 10 feet of 5.7 climbing on the planet. A few people promised us some pics so hopefully they will come along later.


E heading up to the mouth.
E heading up to the mouth.
Credit: justthemaid


Maid-Aid:


Credit: justthemaid


Credit: justthemaid


As a side note.. we used our new double/twin 7.8mm ropes for this climb. In spite of the multiple internet posts proclaiming "yur gonna die" free-rappelling a full rope length on these... we are still alive and kicking - although tossing ourselves out into mid-air 150' off the deck on two pieces of dental floss was initially disconcerting.. turns out one extra biner = same friction as regular ropes. Erik on the rappel:



Credit: justthemaid


Rest day my ass.


Slackliner we saw on the hike out:



slackliner
slackliner
Credit: justthemaid


Day 5: Basaltine crackers anyone?


Marsupials and Lower Gorge
Marsupials and Lower Gorge
Credit: justthemaid


Hardly Visible (Kevin R.) had pulled into town with his gal-pal and gave us a call. He proposed a day in the lower gorge to climb some basalt columns which we gladly(foolishly?) agreed to. It was the first time I'd met him in person and it was somewhat like spending the day with Kris Kristofferson's quirky climbing brother... or Moses, minus the commandments.

Hardly Visible.. we can see you...


Hardly Visible.
Hardly Visible.
Credit: justthemaid



Credit: justthemaid


Basalt is something I rarely climb and never climb well, so I was looking forward to the experience of having my ass handed to me... which is how it usually goes with columnar basalt. Erik led and got bouted on Gruff to start things off. Kevin led Badfinger next which ended up being a great size for my hands and my favorite of the day. Erik had gotten his groove back at that point and sent Puck and Quasar in short order.


Credit: justthemaid



Credit: justthemaid



Quasar start
Quasar start
Credit: justthemaid


It was a beautiful day with fine company. Kevin was great on the rock in spite of being off the couch and crutching around at ground level from his plethora of injuries. 4 climbs was sufficient to beat us totally into submission. Our hands were aching and our bodies cried "uncle" so we called it a day.


Day 6: Last dance.

We were totally worked from the day before and decided some uber-easy muti-pitch was in order. In spite of an early start there were parties on Super Slab and our backup plan Moscow had climbers qued up as well. Gazing to the left we decided a "Plan C" after looking at Chounard's Crack so we did that and climbed around the other parties on Peking which ended up being crumbly but great fun and worth the go. The finish is total choss but we love that crap. The headwall covered in bright yellow lichen is gorgeous, and the view from the topout awesome.


Peking
Peking
Credit: justthemaid


Yellow lichen headwall.
Yellow lichen headwall.
Credit: justthemaid


Panorama from top of Red Wall
Panorama from top of Red Wall
Credit: justthemaid


Tired after 6 days in a row of climbing
Tired after 6 days in a row of climbing
Credit: justthemaid


We hiked down Misery trail. Clouds were mounting and a few sprinkles of rain started to fall as Erik led the first pitch of Bay of Pigs. As I was belaying Erik... I suddenly had an acute flashback... of NOT clipping my climbing shoes to my harness after topping out Peking.... Meh. After a fruitless search of my pack.. I knew for sure... they were at the top. My bad date with Misery Ridge was not over. I let E rap off and started the re-slog up the mountain to collect my shoes. Did I mention Meh? By the time I got back down the weather was getting colder and wetter so we decided to pack it up and start heading home.

Goodby Smith Rocks. Totally exhausted from 6 straight days of climbing but happy.


GNI-KRAP ON!!!! man!!!

GNI-KRAP ON!!!
GNI-KRAP ON!!!
Credit: justthemaid


















  Trip Report Views: 2,804
justthemaid
About the Author
justthemaid is a climber from Jim Henson's Basement.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Oct 14, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
Nice,, and i give a two thumbs up for the chosen head gear!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Oct 14, 2012 - 06:33pm PT
Nice TR & awesome photos. Looks like you guys made the most of your time there, way to go!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
Just to clarify.. we didn't hit any critters with our car. Oregonians are to blame... but in their defense - two coyotes and the chicken were on the Cali-side.
MisterE

climber
  Oct 14, 2012 - 08:21pm PT
Got a couple pictures from Nathan (one of the hikers):

Erik & Skip on The Monkey
Erik & Skip on The Monkey
Credit: MisterE


Skip rappelling off The Monkey
Skip rappelling off The Monkey
Credit: MisterE

...and an amusing video, showing the wrong route we are pretty sure - but the guidebook notes narration is entertaining:



Another short video on the blustery hike out:

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 14, 2012 - 08:53pm PT
WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good ol' Smith.

Does my heart good.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 14, 2012 - 09:00pm PT
Looks like a great Time, Thanks!!!!
Lots of road kill this time of year fo sho!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 14, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
Way to hit it, you crazy kids!

And I assume that's observed road kill? You didn't personally dispatch that many, I hope!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
hey there say, wow... wonderful trip and climbing report...

love seeing that area, but--will have to come back to see the pics,
as usual...

got to go sleep early tongiht...
so--will check it out muchhhhhh later...


*sad, as to road kill, of course...

thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip... :)
glad you are home safe, :)
couchmaster

climber
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:23pm PT
Looks like an excellent road trip! Thanks for sharing it, sweet trip report.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:27pm PT
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
GniKrapOn!
Good stuff, you two. Nice stylings.
I can dig it.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:41pm PT
Action packed TR, thanks.

lj
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Oct 14, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
Nice to see your trip report. I'm quite certain you were occupying Moonshine and Lion's Jaw which was our plan for that day, too!!! It is always fun to go from 22 to 80 degrees in a day.

Isn't is awesome to feel so welcome? You can find some adventure in the park if you want it - or have your formations labelled, all within the same park.


Prod

Trad climber
  Oct 14, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
Slackers.

Nice work.

Prod.
MisterE

climber
  Oct 15, 2012 - 01:25am PT
I'm quite certain you were occupying Moonshine and Lion's Jaw which was our plan for that day, too!!!

Seamstress, it took us like an hour to do both of those climbs. It wasn't Wall street "occupying"...you wouldn't have to wait long for us, and we didn't have anyone "in line" while we were climbing.

Hope you got to have your fun.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Oct 15, 2012 - 01:45am PT
I really, really loved that Basalt!

I really, really, REALLY hated that basalt.

But other than that, loved the TR.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:19am PT
My only previous experience on basalt was at Paradise Forks. Hardly a gentle introduction. My first visit I spent the entire day hanging all over the easiest route like a floppy fish on a line, and my last visit ended in the "walk of shame" when I was unable to climb out. Meh.

The Lower Gorge went a little better for me. I don't hate it.. I just don't know how to climb it efficiently. Too bad there isn't any around here to practice on. Where's the closest columnar basalt in So-Cal anyhow? The closest I can think of is in the Mammoth area.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:26am PT
Awesome trip, looks like great times. TFPU.
Pics are good eye candy too.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:32am PT
Fossil Falls would be the local basalt works.


Thanks for the fantastic trip report!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:53am PT
Whoa! You guys are really living it up! Great TR, great routes. Lots of classics and lots of hard climbs.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Oct 15, 2012 - 11:15am PT
ME LIKE!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 15, 2012 - 11:20am PT
Oh, by the way:

Waiting lines on the classics of course so we started the trip off with Iron Curtain which, inexplicably, did not have a wait (trad 5.9R).

Inexplicably? Ummm, I can explain it. TRAD!! 5.9R!!
Any other questions? Just let me know....

It's a great feckin' place ehnit?
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
cool..
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
My motto was - bring a trad rack, and you won't have to wait at Smith. That motto was not accurate recently. Last month many of the trad lines were busy, too. Wait an hour? Not with so many otpions and such perfect weather. Instead we used that time to wander further afield and tried some climbs at the Monument and Student Wall. Earlier last month we found some very nice routes on the backside hitting Chalk Wave and Sunset Slab before popping back over to get on Wanna Be Llamas as White Satin, Phoenix, Moonshine, Karate Crack and Lion's Jaw were busy on the way in and on the way out....We did score a 5.fun day on First Kiss with no one there and a full show on the Monkey. That made up for not getting on Wherever I May Roam.
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
  Oct 15, 2012 - 01:43pm PT
upon reading of your impending departure, i got all queezy and light headed knowing a really good TR was in the making, even if by some calamity no county lines got crossed.

goes to show that great writing by a towering muppet such as yourself
will redeem even the most successfull string of escapades.

ps. due to limitations of human concentration, it should be noted that on a drive
of sixteen hours duration, no claim can be certified as roadkill clean
without a thorough inspection of the chassis ...

i should know, it pretty much explains how i got this rolex,
and i still get a little choked up about the cracked lens
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 02:10pm PT
Nice trip report. Kevin is great guy to climb and hang with. Good times.
pc

climber
  Oct 15, 2012 - 02:24pm PT
Nice sales pitch! I'm sold. Drive by on I-5 all the time and have never been...Time to change that.

Cheers,
pc
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
I hear they are thinking of putting a McDonalds on the top.
I hear they are thinking of putting a McDonalds on the top.
Credit: pix4u
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
  Oct 15, 2012 - 03:01pm PT
Did you guys make it to Schleppin' For Hollywood?
Miss the olden days!!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 03:25pm PT
Not a soul to be seen in 1969. Didn't see no bolts neither.
Seemed kinda chossy so we didn't stay long - headed on down to
Whitney Portal. No climbers there neither and much better rock.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Oct 15, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
Excellent reportage, but I got tired reading about that much walking around and climbing. I pulled a solid 2 pitches myself yesterday and I'm pooped!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 15, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
Mr. E gave us some clues about this trip on Facebook, but this TR and pics was even better. Thank you very much. I guess I need to head to Bend with my golf clubs, then just keep going north with my climbing gear.

Thanks again for a fine TR.

John
MisterE

climber
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
OK, to answer a few questions and make a few additional comments.

Chinchen: No, didn't get to Schleppin' for Hollywood.

Didn't redo Wortleys after all these years, too busy and too skeerd. Hell, just re-climbing BBQ the Pope scared the crap out of me.

Regarding the Lower Gorge and Paradise Forks: These areas reward you if you rely on your skeleton and friction as equally as your musculature. An odd thing that I fortunately remembered.

Thanks again to Batrock for lending us his Goal Zero set-up for evening entertainment.

The A-Liner ruled for this - we slept 10 hours a night the whole week.

I was totally baffled when I saw that there was a steel frame and 4X12 steps to my crappy routes. I found out later after talking to a few people that A: they have become quite popular in the last 15 years, and B: there are welders that wish to donate their skills.

I was (mistakenly) called a "Pioneer" by some new climber when I mentioned my routes on the last day there. Flattering, but wrong.
I guess I haven't fully killed the ego, since I got some satisfaction from that.

We didn't climb hard, but we climbed A LOT. That is way better. It was so much more satisfying to give a tour of a familiar place to the woman I love, my life partner, than the crazy single unloved place I was at; smoking bad Mexican and being a punk-ass kid. ;)

Hardly Visible chopped one of my routes BITD (now a THREE star top-rope), and it was great to hang out with him and let bygones be bygones. He knows I respect him for what he did, but I got some additional information this trip that gave me a laugh. Great to see you and meet Katherine, Kevin.

So many new routes! It is crazy! I still saw the two I looked at years ago that aren't bolted, however...nice to know I can still see some stuff that no-one else does, even after all these years.

On the same note: although there is zero bolt control at Smith, the climbers are amazingly effective at policing themselves. For example: When I was working at EntrePrise for Alan BITD and putting up routes, I was also working Crossfire on Karate Wall. I asked Alan for permission to add a bolt to the out-of-line hole above Karate Crack that needed a 3.5" piece of gear (and some rope-drag for the push to the top), and he gave me permission to add a bolt. That bolt was chopped seemingly quickly. I don't mind, but the policing is there - just selective. Skip also noticed that some retro-bolts on Moonshine Dihedral had been chopped.

Great trip, and a great write-up by the wife. Thanks for all your comments...and

WE LOVE CHOSS!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 15, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
So sorry you missed the best route of all.....


Credit: survival

You guys are AWESOME!!!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Oct 15, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
We need photos!

oh, wait....

:^)

TFPU
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 15, 2012 - 09:56pm PT
Great TR. Someday I have to get out there. Really good to see the basalt columns. My brothers have been there a fair bit and raved about the crack climbing, but it seems you rarely see pictures of the cracks.
sullly

Gym climber
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
This TR rivals your airport colander one. Funny writing with super images. The artist's eye is evident in the icicle shot. I have trailer envy.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
  Oct 15, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
JTM and M.E. - Awesome TR.

Thank you for the full description and plenty of photos…

Big boost for your visit with Kevin… Great to know he's out there getting the pitches done..

Cheers to all!!!


P.S. What is/are "13 mystery splats"?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Oct 16, 2012 - 12:36am PT
P.S. What is/are "13 mystery splats"?


Er.. they were furry and flat and dead. That's all I got.

PS: Survival.. what route is that. We'll get it next time... along with the other 100 routes I want to do.

Edit to add:

VIVA LA COLANDER!


Hardly Visible

Social climber
Llatikcuf WA
  Oct 16, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
Moses chippin in from the mount, prolly not very often you climb with someone who can hardly walk eh? I'm still gimping around but better now.

Sure had fun with you two and hope todo it again some time.

Mister E on Gruff...

Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

Just the Maid starting Puck...

Credit: Hardly Visible
snakefoot

climber
cali
  Oct 16, 2012 - 03:36pm PT
bump for quality and getting it done.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jan 25, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
Love the Muppet TR's! Great write up-I can understand how special this trip was to Mr.E, taking his lady and all.

I haven't been to Smith in maybe 25 years. (1987?) Back then we hit it in late June/early July and the place was cooking but EMPTY. Climbed with a siesta schedule, chased shade.

Any locals or Mr. E: is it still quiet in the summer?
Peace, -JW

melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Jan 27, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
my hit and miss visits lately,say its never quiet,but the zoo is for birds of the feather,,,Survials routes approach makes misery ridge a cake walk,,crowds ??no problemo,,gota admit the choice of black stone is a good thing,,,glad you had a good time,,,
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
  Jan 28, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Awesome reading for the winter! Did you have the beiber cams by then?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 28, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
PS: Survival.. what route is that. We'll get it next time... along with the other 100 routes I want to do.

It's a closely guarded secret!

PM me and I'll fill you in on the gory details.
MisterE

climber
  Jan 28, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
European Vacation?
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Jan 28, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Nice Tr. Smith has a lot to offer for all types of climbers even though it can be a bit of a scene at times. Thanx for sharing.

P.S.
Good pics too...

Stevo
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jan 28, 2013 - 09:46pm PT
Great stuff!!! Missed it the first time around.
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Jan 28, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
ya know, I read this 1st time around, and meant to comment on it-looks like you two have some fantastic times out there-good stuff!
Johnny K.

climber
  Jul 16, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
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