Just about midway between Monkey Face to its north and Spiderman Buttress to its south lies a prominent, 350-foot face of rock called Mesa Verde Wall. The wall is arguably the second most prominent of Smith's west side crags (with top honors going to Monkey Face). The wall has two distinct faces (separated from each other vaguely along the line of Tale Of Two Shitties): the northwest and the southwest. The northwest face hosts a high-density (typical of Smith) mix of bolted and traditional routes all of which go no higher than a prominent ledge system about 3/4ths of the way up the wall (rock above looks quite chossy). The southwest face is characterized by blank-looking rock on the upper half of the face. With the exception of an old 5.6 A3 (Palo Verde) line, no other published routes penetrate the upper reaches of this face.
Follow the directions on Spiderman Buttress page. From just below Spiderman Buttress, hike a well established trail north towards the unmistakable southwest face of Mesa Verde.
Alternatively, you can approach as described on Monkey Face page and hike south (same trail as mentioned above) several hundred yards till you see the clean dihedral of Trezlar marking the northwest face of Mesa Verde.
The park charges $3 per vehicle per day to park at the state parking lot. The park is "open" from dawn to dusk (or about 10 pm in the summer). The consequences of staying past "closing time" are unclear and some climbers do "moonlight climbing".
The park allows dogs but is very strict as to keeping them leashed (fine = $96) and requests that you clean up after them.
New regulation, as of March 1st, 2003: Owners of unattended dogs left tied in at the base of climbs will be given a citation.
When To Climb
The park is officially open year round (though shower facilities at the campground are turned off in winter time). Climbing can be uncomfortably hot in the summer and snow often blankets the rocks in the winter. Spring and Fall are ideal as the temperatures are moderate and the east side of Oregon's Cascade Mountains is generally dry. Mesa Verde is generally a good choice for warm days as it receives the cooler breezes from the west (coming off of the Cascade mountains).
Check with the park (or by calling one of the climbing shops below) for seasonal route closures due to falcon nesting. You will most likely be ticketed if you break the rules here as the locals often keep an active watch of the crags during closure periods.
Smith Rock State Park operates a campground that overlooks the crags (see directions above under Getting There section). The campground has bathrooms and shower facilities (showers available summertime only) as wells as some communal picnic tables. Sleeping in cars is not permitted. The campground charges $4 per person per night (this will also allow you to spend a day enjoying Smith without having to pay the additional $3 day use fee).
In addition, there is a free campground (BLM operated?) approx. 7 miles from the main parking area for Smith. Directions to this campground: Skull Hollow Campground. This information was provided by Brian Jenkins.
Want to spend your time at Smith in the lap of luxury? This is especially nice during late/winter/early season outings when the days are short and nights are long. The Hub Motel in Redmond offers clean rooms (shower, fridge, cable included!) for $35/night (double occupancy). This price is most likely a "special" for climbers so be sure to smile at the nice folks in the main office and let them know the purpose of your visit. The motel (huge red neon sign) is located on the left hand side of US97 on the northern outskirts of Redmond, approximately 6 miles south of Terrebonne.
Mountain ConditionsSmith Rock is part of the Oregon state park system. The official (though not very useful for climbers) website is here. A more useful Smith website is here.
Redpoint Climbers Supply store located on the corner of US 97 and B Avenue (the turnoff to Smith) offers not only a complete selection of climbing paraphenelia but is a great place to inquire about route conditions including details such as bolt conditions and route closures (800-923-6207 or 541-923-6207, hours vary with weather and season). This is also the place to purchase the guidebook supplement (New Sh!tuff at Smith) mentioned below.
Rockhard store is another option for route beta and climbing supplies. It is located about 100 yards before the campground driveway on Crooked River Drive.
According to the two guidebooks, there are a total of 24 routes on The Wall (23 in Watts' guidebook; 1 in the supplement, Massive Luxury Overload 5.10c). 17 of those are 5.10a or harder. 10 of the 24 carry the quality rating of at least 3 out of 4 stars. 9 of the 24 routes are sport routes (bolts only). The hardest line on the formation is Shadow of Doubt, a sports line rated 5.12a.
Single Pitch Route Descriptions
I'd like to try and have single pitch routes on the formation added here. We'll see how that works out. If there's a route you've done and care to share beta about it, please post a note here. I'll add it in and give you credit.
Massive Luxury Overdose 5.10c, 100 feet (exactly!). You'll need a 60 meter rope to lower off of this one (even then it's a rope stretcher - tie in!). This is the bolted line follows the pretty clean face immediately left of Trezlar - going starts at 5.6 then progresses quickly through the grades till the final 2 bolts where things steepen and knobs get smaller. Follow your instinct on what to do! Very nice line. Photo. Gear: quickdraws.
Cosmos 5.10a, 80 feet. A fun sport climb (Smith nubbin pulling affair) on a face immediately right of the standard first pitch of Trezlar on the northwest face of The Wall. This photo shows the lower portion of the route in profile. Crux comes just before the bolted anchor at the top. Can be used to access the 2nd pitch of Trezlar. Gear: quickdraws.
Screaming Yellow Zonkers 5.10b, 100 feet. You'll need a 60 meter rope to lower off of this one (even then it's a rope stretcher). This is the bolted line (another Smith nubbin pulling outing) right of Cosmos on the northwest face of The Wall. Start is shared with Moons Of Pluto 5.10d (which then climbs the bolted arete on the right). Well bolted all the way (anchor no longer shared with MoP). This photo shows the upper half. Gear: quickdraws.
Sundown 5.9, 80 feet. This is a nice trad line near the indistinct prow separating northwest and southwest faces of The Wall. Starts with a bouldery balancing move (crux) and follows a shallow dihedral to a bolted anchor. This photo shows the start. Gear: small to medium nuts and cams up to #3 Camalot.
More to come...