Monday, April 28, 2008

More climbing at Smith Rock

Once again the weather looked good for a weekend of climbing out at Smith Rock. And once again we loaded up Greg's Explorer Friday after work and headed over the mountain. Saturday morning we made our way from the 'Grass Lands' down to the rock. It was another great day of climbing.

Greg setting a routes in the morning sun.

After getting in a few good climbs that morning, Max (Jodie and Jeremy's dog) was becoming restless after just sitting around all day watching us climb. So sense I was pretty much done climbing for the day, I took the dog for a walk to help calm him down. We walked around the southern point of the park to the back side. Where I got a couple of shots of 'Monkey Face'.
The dog and I soon headed back to meet back up with the rest of the group.

'Monkey Face'

Sunday morning we headed back to the rock for another go. Lane said that he would try the lead on 'Dances with Clams'. With Lane offering to lead 'Dances with Clams' this freed Greg to go climb "Teddy Bear's Picnic" with Jake. Things soon got ugly, while trying to clip the second bolt. Lane pealed off the rock, yelling "FALLING!!!!". I tried to grab some of the slack, my first mistake. As Lane pummeled to the ground, I could feel the slack of the rope burn through my hands and before my ATC stopped the rope. Being the second bolt this meant that Lane was almost as far above the first bolt as the first bolt was off the ground (one of the worst places to fall from). Lane hit the ground, giving us both a scare and shaking us up a bit. After a few minutes to re compose our selfs, Lane jumped back on the climb. Lane styled the climb this time. It was my turn now, after dousing my rope burnt fingers with some cold water and a quick refresher from Lane on how to clean and rap a route (something that I had never done before). I made my attempt on the climb. About half way up I realized that the rope burns on my fingers were beginning to blister. pushing through the pain I managed to reach the top. Cleaned and rapped the climb without too much problem, other than having to figure out how to un-weight one of the beaners to get it back with out taking off my safety line. After all of that excitement, I was one climbing for the day. This was fine with me, it felt good just to be lazy the rest of the day. Watching everyone else climbing and giving a bely when ever needed.

Come on Greg, reach! you've got it, now pull!

Jake leading some 5.11?

All in all this was yet another great weekend of climbing at Smith Rock. I'm sure we'll be back for more soon, so stay tuned for the next episode. Until then have fun and be safe.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yet Another Great Weekend at Smith

With the weather looking the best its been all year we made plans for another trip over to Smith Rock. The weather was awesome, Saturday was in the 80's and Sunday was in the mid to upper 70's. The crowds were relatively low, there were still a lot of people out there but mot near as crowded as easter weekend.

Saturday we started off with a couple of nice 5.8 warm ups.

Eric looking for a good foot placement

Its "Jose the Belier" AKA Greg

We soon found ourselves baking in the hot afternoon sun and began looking for some climbs that were in some shade. While Greg and I finished up on the climb we were working on. Jodie, Eric and Gram made their way to the Phoenix Wall, looking for the shade.

Over near te Phoenix Wall, after a bite to eat. Gram lead this climb struggling through the crux, and left it up to Greg to clean.

Greg hanging out trying to figure out the crux.

Greg finds the move!

Still looking for stuff to climb in the shade, we decided to make our way to the Northern Point down in the gorge.

Jodie climbing "Woman in the meadow, 5.11a" to wrap up the day.

The next morning, we made our way back down to the rock. While Jodie, Eric, and Lane waited in line near "Bunny Face". Greg looked at me and said "you're coming with me, there's a climb around the corner we need to do" Not knowing what we were climbing, I said "sure, lets go". We get over there and Greg starts tells me we're going to climb "Ginger Snap 5.8" followed by a second pitch "Cry Baby 5.9". Nothing was out of my climbing ability. But you have to understand, even though I enjoy climbing I have a terrible fear of heights. So climbing a second pitch has never been high on my to do list. With a little pep talk from Greg we started up. I still felt a little unsure about the second pitch. Once Greg got set up at the top, there was no turning back for me. I took a deep breath and began making my way up the rock. As it turned out "Cry Baby 5.9" seemed physically easier than "Ginger Snap 5.8", but mentally "Cry Baby 5.9" felt much harder for me. "Cry Baby 5.9" leaves you feeling very exposed, with nothing but open air off to your left as you climb inches from the edge. The holds are all good. As long as you can get your mind around the exposure it's a great climb.

The Red Line is "Ginger Snap 5.8" and the Blue Line is "Cry Baby 5.9"

It turned out to be a great climb, one that I would like to climb again sometime. Thanks to Greg for dragging me up it. It was fun and well worth it. Once again it was another awesome weekend at Smith. Until next time... have fun and be safe.