I've been on a bit of a dry spell with my blog posts lately, but spring is just around the corner hopefully that will change. Last weekend we took a chance on the weather and planed an early trip to Smith Rock. With the weather being kinda iffy, Greg made arrangements for us to use his family's Sunriver house. A warm house in Sunriver is so much better than freezing our butts off camping at the 'grass lands' in February. This also better positioned us to go play in the snow up at Mt Bachelor if the weather didn’t cooperate for climbing.
Our group must all think alike, because between the six of us we ended up with eight bottles of wine to go with our Saturday night spaghetti dinner we had planed. After a good laugh at having more wine than people, we opened a bottle and jumped in the hot tub to relax.
8 bottles x 6 people you do the math (no we did not drink all 8 bottles)
Saturday we got up and checked the weather at Smith. It looked cold, but if we wanted to climb this was our best chance. The temp was 31F with a forecast of highs around 48-50F, cloudy, 10% precipitation.
Max squeezing under the fence at Smith.
We got to Smith Rock around 10:30-11am. The temp was still cold, about 33-35F, but we marched on. Greg threw a rope up on ‘Nine Gallon Buckets (5.9)’, stopping at the top of the first pitch due to the lack of feeling in his fingers from the cold rock. I scrambled up ‘Nine Gallon Buckets (5.9)’ after Greg, as Jodie, Jeremy, and Wendi moved on down to ‘Bunny Face (5.7)’ for a little easier warm up.
I tied in and started my climb up ‘Nine Gallon Buckets (5.9)’. About 3-4 moves into it, my fingers were frozen to the bone. It’s an unnerving feeling to know you have a hold of the rock, but you can’t feel the rock that you have a hold of. I quickly pulled through the rest of the climb and lowered off. As Kristin started up the climb, I packed up my gear and headed on down the trail in hopes of thawing back out and catch up with Jodie, Jeremy and Wendi.
Wendi climbing 'Helium Woman (5.9)'
Jeremy had just finished putting up ‘Bunny Face (5.7)’ and Wendi was up, then Jodie. I went up ‘Bunny Face (5.7)’ last in order to work on my skills of cleaning a route. I still have a mental block about hanging out at the top of a pitch for to long. With the added thought that I’m up there by myself, with little to no safety/support from my crew ground, it becomes a battle of the mind. It stems mainly from my fear of heights, I think. I know what you are thinking…”how can someone enjoy climbing but be afraid of heights.” Well, I think it has to be the challenge of getting passed the fear and mental blocks.
Greg putting up 'Captain Xenolith (5.10a)'
Anyway…while I was up top ‘Bunny Face (5.7)’ Jeremy put up ‘Helium Woman (5.9)’ and Greg put up ‘Captain Xenolith (5.10a)’. Greg and Kristin then moved over to climb both pitches of ‘Ancylostoma (5.9)’. It really doesn’t sound like we climbed all that much, but I think the cold weather kinda wore us out early. It was all good though, I think we all felt good about our day of climbing.
Wendi and Greg in a race to the top.
Calling the day early, left us with time to stop off at the Deschutes Brewery for a tour. The tour was really interesting and fun. After the tour we headed back to the Sunriver house where Greg and I split some wood per his dad’s request, while everyone else worked on an excellent spaghetti dinner. After dinner we watched a little ‘Blazing Saddles’ while enjoying some of Wendi’s awesome brownies and ice cream (best brownies ever!!)
Sunday morning we woke up to rain. Jeremy brought his bike and had plans to ride the Deschutes River Trail, Greg and Kristin had plans to go skiing and Jodie, Wendi, and I had our snowshoes and thought we would stomp around Dutchman Flat for awhile. After an afternoon of tromping around in the snow we headed back to the house for a soak in the hot tub before packing up to come back to reality.
One pooped puppy
Once again another great adventure and I look forward to the next. Until next time…have fun, be safe, and enjoy life.