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  1. #1
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    School Me On Smith Rock

    Picked up gym climbing and bouldering about 18 months ago. Been steadily improving and having a ton of fun. Sent a 5.10d the other day and felt good about it. 5.10c feels about the edge of what I can comfortably expect to send. Top roping, not leading. Can climb about 50% of V3 problems bouldering.

    The wifey booked us a day at Smith Rock with a guide for my birthday, and we are going the first weekend in April.

    Any routes that I should mention to our guide that might be cool? Would love something with a nice view/payoff at the end.

    Any tips for climbing on real rock for the first time?

    I also want to snag some sunrise photos before we head out. Any good viewpoints with easy access we could hit up?

  2. #2
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    The grades at Smith will feel somewhat sandbagged compared to what you are used to in the gym, meaning that you should probably start by looking for climbs that are significantly easier than 5.10c. I mostly climb 5.12's at my local crag, and I got spanked on some 5.10's at Smith. I got up them but I was pumped stoopid by the time I got to the anchors.

    I'd suggest checking out some of the easier classics like 5 Gallon Buckets (5.8). There are a few different guidebooks for Smith, you probably ought to pick up one or two before your trip to see what's there. Smith Select is an ok book to start with, as it is small and manageable for your first trip. Some of the better guidebooks may seem a bit overwhelming for your first one-day trip.

    We're also planning a trip down in mid April. Looking forward to it!

  3. #3
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    Smith is burly for sure. My only advice is at some point during the day walk over and take a look at To Bolt or Not to Be, which was America's first 5.14 when it was first climbed. It's mind-bogglingly steep and blank and intimidating, and no photo can truly do it justice. Have a great trip!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenWA View Post
    The grades at Smith will feel somewhat sandbagged compared to what you are used to in the gym, meaning that you should probably start by looking for climbs that are significantly easier than 5.10c. I mostly climb 5.12's at my local crag, and I got spanked on some 5.10's at Smith. I got up them but I was pumped stoopid by the time I got to the anchors.

    I'd suggest checking out some of the easier classics like 5 Gallon Buckets (5.8). There are a few different guidebooks for Smith, you probably ought to pick up one or two before your trip to see what's there. Smith Select is an ok book to start with, as it is small and manageable for your first trip. Some of the better guidebooks may seem a bit overwhelming for your first one-day trip.

    We're also planning a trip down in mid April. Looking forward to it!
    That's sort of what I was guessing. I didn't think we'd be sending 5.10 out the gate. I'll definitely check out 5 Gallon Bucket.

    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Smith is burly for sure. My only advice is at some point during the day walk over and take a look at To Bolt or Not to Be, which was America's first 5.14 when it was first climbed. It's mind-bogglingly steep and blank and intimidating, and no photo can truly do it justice. Have a great trip!
    Cool. I'd love to see some really hard routes in person. I've seen a bunch of them climbed on Youtube, but I'm sure that doesn't do them justice.

  5. #5
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    Congrats on the first time on real rock.

    Gym routes usually aren't technically harder for the grade depending on the particular climbing area and local grades (sounds like Smith is old school, but I've never climbed there), but you're definitely going to be climbing a few grades lower simply because you have to find the holds yourself. Your footwork is going to get better simply because you're not just plugging your toes onto the next blue piece of plastic. Think about foot placements. They'll be key.

    Sidenote on old school grades- my favorite route name is at Owens River Gorge. Called Yosemite 5.8. Actual grade of the route is like 10b.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  6. #6
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    School Me On Smith Rock

    In the gunks these are all 6's
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    In the gunks these are all 6's
    Gonna need someone to help me translate this to english

  8. #8
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    School Me On Smith Rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo_Baggins View Post
    Gonna need someone to help me translate this to english
    Nah, you just need to climb more.

    If it's really your first time on real rock there's no shame in dropping down many grades though. 5.4 is still thrilling on the right route anyway.

    Smith Rock looks incredible though, I'm jealous!
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  9. #9
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    Forget grades for your first day on rock. Let the guide pick out some classic fun climbs and just enjoy the day. You have a life time of dick waving g about gra de s ahead of you, don't let that ruin one of the funnest days of climbing you will ever have.

    I took my nephew out for his first day on Rick after a couple months of pulling plastic at 5.10. He got spanked on an easy 5.7 and found out gym and rock are two different things. He completed a clean, fun 5.6 and was stoked beyond belief.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  10. #10
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    Yeah. That's definitely my plan. I'm not too worried about what I climb, but just being out there for the experience.

    We'll see if my ego feels the same way as I flail my way around out there.

  11. #11
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    Just chill and forget about grades or gym plastic. It's almost like skiing vs snowler blades. Two different beasts. Just relax and let the guide do his/her job. You are using a local service, they have taken first times out a million times. Total novices to experienced gym rats, so they know the routes that will be most enjoyable. Don't talk it up that you are an ultra rad 5.10 plastic puller and get on something that burn you out on the third move. Just tell the. what you've done and that you have never touch real stone. They will find something fun and work up the grades as you gain rock techniques. That is the beauty of a place like Smith, there are so many routes to choose from, but your guide will have plenty of favorites to make your day worthwhile.

    I just took some first timers out to Joshua Tree, top roped an easy , but really fun climb, moved it up a grade on the next route, and had them following a trad route the next. They had a blast. One had gym and out door boulder experience, but loved it just like the pure virgin.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  12. #12
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    it could still be cold out there in april at smith rock, especially in the shade or in the morning.

    The rock there is great, but can be really harsh on cold hands and feet.

    I would suggest taking a couple of handwarmers to throw in your chalkbag, and a pair climbing shoes that are stiffer soled.

    the holds there are little crystals that poke out of the welded tuff, and they can be very sharp.

    Bunny Face would be a good climb for you 5.7, the crystals are almost like gym holds and it is really easy to discern which ones to grab on to. You may even get to see someone send chain reaction, the neighboring route, which is smith's most photogenic route IMO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    It's almost like skiing vs snowler blades.
    Are you calling me a snowlerblader Hutash?

    Quote Originally Posted by christoph benells View Post
    it could still be cold out there in april at smith rock, especially in the shade or in the morning.

    The rock there is great, but can be really harsh on cold hands and feet.

    I would suggest taking a couple of handwarmers to throw in your chalkbag, and a pair climbing shoes that are stiffer soled.
    Good call on the hand warmers. The wifey doesn't tolerate cold real well, so I'm sure that she'd love that. We'll definitely bring some with us.

  14. #14
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    never forget that gravity still works at smith rock. people seem to forget on a semi-regular basis.

  15. #15
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    ^^Good advice...gravity never sleeps.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo_Baggins View Post
    Are you calling me a snowlerblader Hutash?


    I don't think many routes at Smith have been sent on snowlerblades, this could be your chance at fame.

  17. #17
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    So we were out at Smith yesterday. What a great experience! Thanks for the help everyone. Climbing on rock was such a different experience. None of the moves were really any harder than in the gym, but finding the holds, and especially placing feet was so much more challenging. I had never climbed routes where my feet were more tired than my hands, but that was the case yesterday.

    We showed up early for sunrise, to grab a few sunrise photos.


    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr


    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    It was super busy out there, and by nine there was already a long wait for the popular routes like 5 Gallon Buckets (this lady isn't with us)

    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    Another random climber on our hike in
    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    We started out on Cinnamon Slab (5.6). Here's the wifey sending it

    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    And me, making my way up (did I mention it was crowded!)

    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    The route next to us was a pretty cool crack climb

    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    The second route we climbed was called Purple Headed Warrior (5.7). Super fun balancy start, with an easier slab crawl up the second half.


    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    Finally, we climbed Time to Shower (5.8). I felt satisfied that our guide had to change out of his approach shoes to lead this one for us.

    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    And one more from the climbing area
    Smith Rock, Oregon by Phil Herbert, on Flickr

    All in all a great April morning.

  18. #18
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    Cool stuff man. That last picture is really nice.
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  19. #19
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    Thanks guys!

  20. #20
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    Very cool dude. Glad you had fun, and you experienced what I said about foot placements.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  21. #21
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    Ha. No doubt!

  22. #22
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    Did you finish the day with a hike up Misery Ridge to check out Monkey Face?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Did you finish the day with a hike up Misery Ridge to check out Monkey Face?
    No, we didn't make it all the way around there, but we definitely want to next time.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo_Baggins View Post
    No, we didn't make it all the way around there, but we definitely want to next time.
    Cool; it's a short hike, totally worth it for the views.

  25. #25
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    Very cool, glad you had such a good time. It's a good sign your feet were so tired. Most beginners spend the day trying to do pull ups and burn quickly.

    Now go out and lead that 5.8 and fund out it is a lot harder the second time.

    Part of my planned Haute Route trip ended up on the Italian Mediterranean working limestone , TR to follow when I get hope and down load some pictures ...my first time on limestone, what a difference.

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