New Smith Rock Guidebook is finally here! It's like a bigger and colorful version of the first edition -- more routes, nicer topos & route overlays, and a longer history section. Another high water mark for climbing guidebooks IMHO. VERY EXCITE, VERY EXCITE!
Historically, each of the formation pages under the Smith Rock Crags group has been put together as a self-contained, free standing entity (per previous version of summitpost). All the relevant area information can be found in the individual crag pages.
To start with, this "Area Page" for Smith will be an index of crags and their corresponding routes that are currently on summitpost. The page may get jazzed up a bit more later.
I will also try to add highly subjective recommendations sections below - you can offer your own opinions (and if I agree, I'll put them in ;).
Lastly if you enjoy adventure choss, check out the choss page of Oregon.
Spiral 5.1 X
Round River 5.4 - 5.8
Cave Route 5.6
Thin Air 5.10a
Ryan Arete 5.11a
The Marsupial Traverse 5.8
Loose Hookers 5.6 A2+
Delirium Tremens 5.10a
Kangaroo - North Ledges Traverse 5.6 R
Pioneer Route 5.7 A0
West Face Variation 5.8
Monkey Space 5.11b
West Face 5.6 C2
Monkey Off My Back 5.8
Northwest Passage 5.7 C2
East Face 5.7 C2+
Dolf's Dihedral (Direct) 5.8 or 5.10a
Perpetual Motion 5.9
Mesa Verde Wall
Mesa Verde Wall
Tale Of Two Shitties 5.10a
Screaming Yellow Zonkers 5.10b
Palo Verde 5.6 A2+
Chimney De Chelly 5.10a
Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress
Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress
First Kiss 5.7-5.8
Watergroove 5.8-5.10c A0
Smith Rock Group
Smith Rock Group
Wherever I May Roam 5.9
Sky Chimney 5.7
Sky Ridge 5.8
Sunset Slab 5.9
White Satin 5.8
Snibble Tower 5.9 A0
West Smith Summit C1
The Platform 5.1 R
Northwest Face (The Arrowpoint) 5.2
Lost In Space 5.10b
Lost Fox 5.8
Juniper Snag 5.6 R
Defecation Crack 5.7
Instant Replay 5.6
Parking Lot Crack 5.8
Munchkin Land 5.7
Lieback Flake 5.4
Limestone Chimney 5.3
Northwest Corner 5.3
North Side 5.5
North Ramp Variation 5.0
Morning Glory Wall
Morning Glory Wall
Out Of Harm's Way 5.8
The Four Horsemen
The Four Horsemen
Friday's Jinx 5.7
Pack Animal / Pack Animal Direct 5.8 / 5.10b
Crack Of Infinity (Variation) 5.10a
Red Wall And Red Ryder Buttress
Red Wall And Red Ryder Buttress
Super Slab 5.6
Paper Tiger 5.10a
Amphetamine Grip 5.7 R
Bill's Flake 5.10a
I Almost Died 5.11a
Lower Gorge, West Side:
Parched Cat Cliff
Lower Gorge, East Side:
If two Smith routes could be considered into the list of (updated) North American Classic Climbs, they would have to be:
(1) Pioneer Route (5.7 A0) on Monkey Face. Awsome pillar, good and moderate climbing on solid rock including a fun bolt ladder. "Panic Point" pitch is unforgettable as is the exposure on the entire route. One of the best free air rap's tops off this incredible outing.
(2) Zebra-Zion (5.10a) on Morning Glory Wall. Beautiful line with stellar climbing in the 5.8-5.10- range! Constant exposure and great rock. Wonderful position above the crowds.
Frankly, they are better than some of the lines currently in that list :)
CROWDED BUT WORTH IT
Here's my list of lines that see almost non-stop traffic but are (probably) worth the wait:
(1) Pioneer Route (5.7 A0) on Monkey Face. See my comments above.
(2) Zebra-Zion (5.10a) on Morning Glory Wall. See my comments above.
(3) Spiderman (5.7) on Spiderman Buttress. Great outing for a 5.7 trad leader. Pitches are short, rock and protection are solid, the moves are intriguing.
(4) Round River (5.4 - 5.8) in The Marsupials. A very direct line (esp. at that grade and esp. if you finish via 5.8 sport pitch) multi-pitch line topping out on a handsome spire! A bit of runout on low 5th terrain (pitch 2).
(5) Super Slab (5.6) on Red Wall. A very good 5.6 trad line on solid rock (though personally I think Cave Route is funner).
(6) Cruel Sister (5.10a) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). Likely the best handcrack of the grade at Smith. Sustained crack climbing (as much jamming as you will get at Smith) in the thin hands to fists (short fists) size. For many, this is the first line done on Smith Basalt.
(7) Moonshine Dihedral (5.9) in The Dihedrals. This is the 5.9 trad line in the park. Ultra-popular and for good reason: climbing is excellent (nobody seems to bother with the second pitch, also 5.9). Lower half is all stemming with good fingerlocks; a huge rest ledge comes after that; upper half is slightly more technical stemming and jamming with two cracks available (fingers & an occassional thin hand jam). C1 pro all the way. Take a number, get in line, and don't miss this one!
LESS CROWDED BUT QUALITY
(1) Delirium Tremens (5.10a) in The Marsupials. Often referred to as Incredible Hand Crack Of Smith. It does in fact resemble its Indian Creek counterpart: a nice clean crack in a right-angle dihedral with several bulges/overhangs to overcome. And though it is much shorter than the real thing, the climbing is nevertheless stellar! The crack size varies from fingers to hands to thin hands (crux?) but the rock and the protection are both top notch all the way.
(2) Cave Route (5.6) in The Marsupials. Though originally rated "R", this line has been retrobolted. The highlight of this route is an 8-foot tunnel you walk through 1 pitch up! Additionally, the rock is clean and solid and you top out on a small and scenic spire summit. Great beginner route.
(3) Trezlar (5.10a; 2nd pitch) on Mesa Verde Wall. Though the original first pitch is crappy (5.7 R-ish and mossy; sport route alternatives exist to bypass the choss), the upper pitch more than makes up for it. Long (for Smith), right-angled dihedral on excellent rock is what you should expect.
(4) White Satin (5.8) on Smith Rock Group. This route is rated 5.9 in some sections of the Watts guidebook (but 5.8 in other sections) and 5.8 in the old Jeff Thomas guidebook. The latter is probably more accurate. Though the first pitch chimney is forgettable (not bad; retrobolted), the upper two pitches are loads of fun. Pitch 2 highlight is a 5.7-ish hand traverse aroung a big block. Pitch 3 is the reason to climb this line: stellar dihedral with a nice hand to finger crack and beautiful exposure.
(5) Sky Ridge (5.8) on Smith Rock Group. Though the route has some runout terrain down low, it is on easy ground (~5.4). The 5.8 face of pitch 1 is tightly bolted and on solid rock. It is pitch 2 however that makes this a Smithy classic: a fun 5.7 hand traverse with awsome exposure and an incredible background view (incl. Monkey Face).
(6) Lost Fox (5.8) on Staender Ridge. Again this route is rated 5.9 in the guidebook but that seems inaccurate. The so-called 5.9 move is bolt protected AND is much easier than the initial roof 20 feet off the ground. This is a nice mix of stemming and jamming that will put you on a cool spire summit in about 2 pitches.
(7) Crack Of Infinity (Variation) (5.10a) on The Four Horsemen. This seems to be overlooked by the masses. The first pitch can either be a hard-looking 5.10b, a fairly soft 5.10a dihedral (variation), or a 5.7 face (Friday's Jinx route). It is however the second pitch that makes this into a great outing: beautiful 5.8 handcrack on excellent quality rock. The final 5.9 pitch is a one (maybe two) move wonder (the rock is solid despite what the book says).
(8) Morning Star (5.10c) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). Wow! A finger crack and stem-fest on perfect, solid basalt with a pretty reddish color. Protection is on-demand the whole way and there are some cool rock features near the top.
(9) Bad Finger (5.10b) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). This is another unforgettable outing on Smith basalt. The crack size fluctuates from fingers to hands and you have 2 (book claims 3?) interesting bulges to overcome. Again, rock is perfect and pro is on-demand.
Obscure routes with lengthy approach, poor rock, and/or runouts. The rewards (for some) outweigh these issues however (lack of crowds tops the list in general).
(1) Paper Tiger (5.10a) on Red Wall. In 3 or 4 years of going to Smith, saw only 2 other parties on this line. Two long pitches with some chunky rock (don't climb it with crowds below or you might kill someone) and runouts on terrain up to about 5.7. The cruxes (5.9 - 5.10a) on both pitches protect well and are on solid rock. Good winter route (sunny and good when it's empty below).
(2) Snibble Tower (5.9 A0) on Smith Rock Group. Done the variation that bypasses the first 1.5 pitches (chunky 5.6-5.7) with a sport line. The line has a feel of a treasure hunt: 4 no-star pitches required to reach a single 4-star 5.9 pitch! And it's well worth it! The short bolt ladder adds to the "adventure feel". Great outing.
(3) Spiral (5.1 X) on Squaw Rock. Have not done it but sure looks cool.
(4) Juniper Snag (5.6 R) in The Marsupials. Loose, runout, rarely done - but you get to top out on a cool spire!
(5) Watergroove (5.8-5.10c A0) on Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress. This is a newly bolted line (by R. Lawson). Rock is loose and where it's not loose, it's covered in bird shit. Yet, the bolts are fat and new AND pitch two follows one of the most unique formations at Smith. Not to be missed. It's a sport route yet given that it's almost never done, it probably qualifies under this header.
(6) North Ledges Traverse on The Kangaroo Spire looks like a great fun outing: bad rock, little pro, and an anchorless summit that needs to be partially downclimbed (see beta page). But you're in a seldom-visited area of Smith, not having to deal with crowds and touching a spire summit that likely has seen only a handful of ascents!
(7) Chimney De Chelly on Mesa Verde Wall is a nice 3-pitch, (probably) rarely done, trad outing. Poor bolts and chossy rock (P2), as well as some fun climbing (P1 & P3) -- all the key criteria are therefore there!
"LONG" MULTI-PITCH CLIMBS
Once again what "long" means is highly subjective. Here are a couple of ideas:
(1) Link-up West Face Variation (5.8, 2 or 3 pitches depending on variation chosen) with upper three pitches of Pioneer Route (5.7 A0) on Monkey Face. You're essentially replacing the OK 5.5 starting pitch of Pioneer Route with 2 or 3 quality 5.8 pitches! Most parties will take a better part of the day for this (esp. if you have company).
(2) The Marsupial Traverse (5.8) in The Marsupials (of course) is a nice, fairly casual outing. Most of the climbing is actually low 5th class but some choss on the route offers an "adventure feel". Depending on your choice of line to top out on The Mudpile (starting point), climbing can be as hard as upper 10's.
EASY AID PITCHES
Bolt ladders and some C1 terrain can be had on these routes:
(1) Pitch 2 of Pioneer Route (5.7 A0) on Monkey Face offers a great beginner aid outing. Solid, comfortably spaced bolts with very nice exposure.
(2) West Smith Summit on Smith Rock Group is an A0 bolt ladder with either one free move (bad rock) or one nut placement aid move. Nice position and very cool summit!
(3) West Face (5.6 C2) on Monkey Face. The C2 comes midway up pitch 1 where the crack is a tad thin and rock a tad soft. OK, OK - so it's a very soft kind of C2 (nothing to do with C2 seen on East Face of Monkey). Also, upper bolt ladders (P3 per Watts) are reachy (one bolt is very reachy). "Miles upon miles" of bolt ladders (new bolts all the way) with awsome exposure.
(4) Rising Expectations (C1 or 5.11d) on Monkey Face. One pitch that provides a seemingly safe introduction to clean aid.
(5) Pitch 1 of Water Groove (5.8-5.10c A0) on Kiss Of The Lepers Buttress. Pitch one has a short bolt ladder over a small roof. Awkward to clip but beefy bolts.
(6) Snibble Tower (5.9 A0) on Smith Rock Group. Pitch 3 offers a short, easy bolt ladder traverse.
HEY, NICE CRACK!!
So you'd like to taste some jam cracks at an area known for face climbing and nubbin pulling? Here's a couple of ideas that'll keep (if you so choose....this is Smith and not Indian Creek - face features still abound) your feet and hands in the crack. I've excluded most dihedrals - even those that can be jammed - since those involve more stemming/foot work rather than pure jamming. This is not a complete list by any means (just some ideas that popped into my head):
(1) Karate Crack (5.10a) in The Dihedrals. Beautiful, 40-foot splitter crack that goes hands to thin-hands and includes a funky traverse and an easy downclimb into a belay cave at the top. Stellar pro and strenuous climbing.
(2) Toys In The Attic (5.9) on the west side of The Christian Brothers formation. Crack goes from flaring thin hands (yes, some birdshit is unavoidable) to good hands to OW. The kicker comes at the top as you need to traverse down and left 25 feet beneath a giant roof to reach anchors.
(3) Cruel Sister (5.10a) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). Though cracks in the Lower Gorge abound, most offer some sort of feet (as does this one) thus taking away from "pure jam experience". Cruel Sister offers more pure jamming IMHO.
(4) Peking (5.8) on Red Wall And Red Ryder Buttress - lower half of pitch 1 to be specific is a stellar thin hands splitter. If you try pure jamming and are of the big-hand sort, this will feel way harder than 5.8 (face features are the way to go). With delicate, petite lady-hands this is a great hand-jamming extravaganza (#.75 to #1 Camalot crack).
(5) Crack Of Infinity on The Four Horsemen pitch 2 offers easy but very enjoyable 5.8 hand jams. You'll like 'em.
(6) New Testament (5.10a) on the west side of Christian Brothers. Enjoyable hand to thin hand jams on the lower 2/3rds give way to mostly face climbing through the harder upper third. Crux is a pull into a flaring groove at the top.
(7) Off Tempo (5.10a) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas) is a clean, not-too-long-though-plenty-strenuous, off-width crack. Mostly #4 to #5 Camalot size with minimal face cheating opportunities. Fun stuff - go get it!
TOUR OF THE WIDE
Here's a semi-random selection of Smith's finest OW's (or at least those I've tried and struggled up). This will be a growing list as I seem to enjoy losing skin on such things.
(1) Off Tempo (5.10a) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). Short route with a short but tough crux (IMHO). Super clean rock. Why NOT do it?
(2) Titus (5.9) in Lower Gorge (Basalt Areas). Titus is wideus (wideass)...A full-sized basalt route that rarely seems to get done. Quality rock and good pro - just bring a few of #6 C4's and/or Friends.
(3) Gone With The Flake (5.9) on Red Wall. If the flake is climbed as an OW crack it's pretty tough - wide and high angle. Alternatively, you could undercling/lieback but then protection becomes tougher...
SUB-5.11 BASALT SUPERSTARS
I have not climbed at the Student Wall nor the Northern Point nor the Upper Gorge....however, these are the best of the best (IMHO) the Lower Gorge has to offer in terms of moderate trad lines. With exception of Cruel Sister (5.10a), you're not likely to see a line on any of them (thankfully).
(1) Cruel Sister (5.10a) on the Catwalk Cliff is the Lower Gorge's "handcrack" superstar. In actuality, the size varies from very thin hands to bit of fist at very top.
(2) Bad Finger (5.10b) on Wildfire Wall. Stellar climbing with crack size ranging from thin hands to fingers and two bulges to pull.
(3) Last Chance (5.10c) on Catwalk Cliff. Finger crack and thin basalt stemming for feet. Very sustained IMHO - very memorable!
(4) Morning Star (5.10c) on Morning Star Wall. Not quite as sustained as Last Chance but the climbing is spectacular nonetheless and on pretty orange basalt. Not to mention you get to see a piece of local art right at the base...
Calves burning, toes hurting, hips thrust forward...There are so many of them at Smith but a couple that come to mind include:
(1) Lion's Jaw (5.8) on the Morning Glory Wall. A nice moderate climb with good protection.
(2) Moonshine Dihedral (5.9) in the Dihedrals. another moderate Smith classic! Very fun clmibing with a huge ledge in the middle.
(3) Trezlar (5.10a, pitch 2) on Mesa Verde Wall. A nice, long and well featured dihedral...quite moderate for the grade with the only downside being the "belayer slayer" block 2/3rds of the way up. Maybe not as bad as it sounds (hollow) ...or perhaps worse.
(4) Wildfire (5.10b) on the Wildfire Wall in the Lower Gorge. Quite moderate stemming opener followed by typical Gorge climbing.
(5) Pack Animal Direct (5.10b) on the Four Horseman formation. Short but sustained! Beautiful natural line.
(6) Kunza Korner (5.10c) on the Smith Rock Group. Bouldery start and a bouldery finish with much moderate terrain in the middle. Great route!
(7) Cretin's Retreat (5.10c) on the Parched Cat Cliff in the Lower Gorge. Like Wildfire but with much more stemming terrain. Don't let the star rating fool you, it's a great route!
...more to come when I get another flashback...
Random Smith ideas (sub-5.11) that I just pulled out of my....errr...thin air. Mostly stuff that I have not heard of too many getting on for one reason or another.
(1) Culls In Space (5.10c, 1 pitch). Backside of Smith Group. "Long" approach but very fun (if short, 40 feet) crack climbing on (mostly) good quality rock.
(2) Gone With The Flake (5.9, 1 pitch). Red Wall. Thin cracks on lower half and the namesake flake at the top (crux). Looks a tad like the "Ear" on Primrose Dihedrals on Moses (yes, much easier this one).
(3) Bill's Flake (5.10a, 1 pitch). Red Wall again. Short undercling crack to easy climbing. Good rock. Fun but short moves.
(4) Dolf's Dihedral (5.10a for direct or 5.8 for standard, 1 pitch). Nice route on backside of Monkey Face, recommend the 10a start. Nice finishing hand crack either way.
(5) Perpetual Motion (5.9, 1 pitch). Back side of Monkey Face again. A tad chunky but enough pro to feel safe and pretty cool climbing. The pin anchor at the top was sitting on a ledge there and now graces my garage - guess it don't get done too much?
(6) Solar (5.9, 2 pitches). Nice, sunny 2-pitcher on the West Ship. Forget the sporto pitch 1 option -- do the traditional start for self-improvement value.
(7) Midriff Bulge (5.10a, 1 pitch). Backside of Christian Brothers formation. Short but very fun climb through a dramatic-looking roof.
(8) I Almost Died (5.11a, 1 pitch). Red Ryder Buttress, partway up Misery Ridge Trail. Like a harder version of Culls In Space. Kinda out of the way & so a good place to make an ass of myself hanging and cursing...
(9) A Desperate Man (5.9, 1 pitch). Snake Rock. One short pitch on nice rock. I like very much!!!
(10) Peapod Cave (5.10a, 1 pitch). This is the traditional continuation of Karate Crack. Nice easy chimney to a hard exit/traverse. Good rock, good pro - decent climbing.
(11) Condor (5.10c, 1 pitch). A varied and interesting crack climb at the base of Smith Rock Group's East Wall. Some chunkinenss but all that is hard has good rock and good pro.
(12) Toy Blocks (5.10a, 1 pitch). A nice crack pitch next to Toys In The Attic. A bit of hollow-sounding blocks near top but they'll probably stay put (just don't fall on pro placed behind them).
RANDOM SMITH STOKE!
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