Smith Rocks

May 10, 2003

Without any doubt, Smith Rock State Park is Oregon’s most famous rock climbing area. With great trails, abundant wildlife and magnificent bolt studded cliffs; it attracts climbers from around the world and serves as the “local crag” for many northwest climbers. The towering rock faces provide climbing challenges from easy scrambles to some of the most difficult sport climbs in the world. And, according to the guidebook, ”you’ll rarely get washed out here.”

So it was with high expectations of a fine weekend of climbing that the nine of us made the drive to Redmond and the park. Our hope was for two days of practice, learning and fun as we shared knowledge and belays; climbing on sun baked rock and camping in the desert under the stars. Saturday was everything we had expected. We spent the day climbing a variety of routes on “Rope De Dope Block” where everyone found plenty of challenge and opportunities to practice their skills. It was late in the afternoon, when we had about had enough climbing and were thinking of camp and a well earned meal, that the clouds rolled in and the rain started pelting down . . .

It was not an easy decision. We had all been looking forward to camp and another day of climbing. But after discussing the prospect of a wet camp with no guarantee for climbing in the morning, we reluctantly decided to call one day enough and to make the drive back to Eugene.

Though the trip was cut short, I had a great time. Thanks to George and everyone for the help and the pleasure of your company for a fine day of climbing!

Climbers were: George Baitinger (assistant leader), Mary D’Aversa, Wayne Deeter, Gary Degulis, Kathy Jensen, Karl Kriegh, Juli McGlinsky, Doug Nelson (leader), and Lee Schaffner.

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