Smith Rock State Park

June 10-11, 2006

Another rock climbing weekend for Obsidians at Smith Rock State Park. If I lead this trip for many more years it may become a tradition!

When the schedule came out I got a fair amount of interest in this annual outing. But as the date approached, most of my “interested” would be participants had decided they could not make it. “I have to go to a graduation” was one reason given, “I've got to study for finals” was another. So my group shrank to almost none and I was able to let the wait list and late callers come along. Smith Rock can be a very busy place in the early summer, with long lines of climbers waiting for access to “moderate” routes, but the graduation and finals weekend proved to be a fine weekend to spend at Smith. Our group of six was able to walk up to virtually any entry level climb in the most popular areas and have it open and waiting. Unheard of, and a real treat!

The weather was fine as well, mostly sunny and warm but not unbearably hot. After assembling and driving over the mountains we arrived early enough to get in a fine day of climbing on several bolted routes in the 5.6 to 5.8 range. Everyone on the trip, from beginners to more experienced, did very well. I was grateful to Wayne for getting on the “sharp end of the rope” and helping me in setting top ropes for us all to enjoy.

Two of our party could only stay one day so we saw them off with huge plates of Mexican at a restaurant in Redmond. Even after a day of climbing some of us couldn't eat that much. Those who stayed enjoyed a peaceful evening at the primitive but scenic campground at Steelhead Falls on the Deschutes River.

Day two was a virtual replay of day one. The weather was ideal for rock climbing, the cliffs hosted a very limited number of climbers, and again we were able to walk up to great climbs, both “classic” and almost unknown, and climb without a wait. All I can say is, I had a great time and I believe everyone who joined me felt the same.

If you have never visited Smith Rock State Park I would encourage you to do so. The scenery is wonderful, hiking and mountain biking trails go on for miles, wildlife (especially birds) abounds, and it is always fun to watch those crazy people who feel compelled to test themselves on the steep rock faces.

Members: Wayne Deeter (assistant leader), Chance Fitzpatrick, Larry Huff, Scott Hunt and Doug Nelson (leader). Nonmember: Peter Green.

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