This outing was a basic skills class for new and potential climb leaders. We intended a to hold a two day session at Smith Rock State Park to practice anchor systems as well as belaying, rappelling and the use of a fixed line for protection. However, with the weather we have experienced this spring we considered ourselves lucky to get one good day.
Smith is a wonderful place to be under just about any circumstances. I always recommend the park to anyone who has not visited there. You do not need to be a rock climber to enjoy the stirring vistas of towering cliffs, the great hiking or the abundant birds and other wildlife. In addition to a good day of climbing practice and review, we all enjoyed just being in such a beautiful setting.
I was gratified by the interest in the class and pleased by the quality and apparent commitment of the participants. The Climbs Committee has been actively recruiting new leaders and this group showed tremendous potential as future climb leaders. Their clear focus on climbing safety and solid grasp of fundamentals holds real promise for successful climbs in the future. I was particularly pleased when one of the 'students' pointed out that I had neglected a simple safety precaution. Good climbers watch out for each other, and this group showed they are willing and able to take the lead.
After a good day of practice we ended by setting up the ropes for a little rock climbing for fun. Unfortunately we had not played for long when the rain moved in, wetting the rock and our gear, but not dampening our spirits.
I wish the weather would have been dry for a second day of climb practice. I hope those who stayed over enjoyed hiking on Sunday. Thanks to all who participated. I look forward seeing your names as leaders on the climbs schedule. With a bit of luck, maybe I'll get to come along on a couple! And special thanks to my co-leader, Wayne Deeter. Your help was greatly appreciated.Members: Doug Nelson, Wayne Deeter, Danneille Harris, Marci Hansen, Brian Hamilton, Shellie Robertson, Sean Breslin. Nonmembers: Rick Harris.
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