I found flights to USA for $375USD round trip from HK (a steal!). So after almost a year since I went to my Bishop/Red Rock trip, I met up with my sister W to do another climbing roadtrip to Smith Rocks, Oregon. Smith Rocks is located near Bend, Oregon about 2.5 hour drive from Portland.
Day 1: We stayed at The Bivy after arriving at night the night before at the campsite right next to the park. It had hot water, showers, cell charging station, and a hang out area. Unfortunately, it was super windy and gusty that day and climbing was interesting as we had to brace for the wind gusts and sand kept getting into our eyes ( we later learned trees were falling down in the nearby town of Bend). We climbed until 3-4pm when the wind factor just made it unpleasant to continue any longer, so we went to Bend to have a beer.
Day 2: W had a bit of fever, so we only climbed til 330pm. It was also super cold that day with a high of 7c and once the sun left the crag my hands and feet were frozen. I did manage to try some harder climbs that day while W acted as a belay bitch; Smith Rocks has some very comitting climbs for me as I am used to very well bolted routes, however it did help my “lead head”.
Day 3: Waking up, it was -5c outside, luckily I have a very warm sleeping bag which I have kept since 1999! and it warmed up quite a bit once the sun showed up. It was also a Sunday so it was really packed in Smith Rocks and a lot of the more popular climbs had queues. We climbed some super run out climbs that had 6 bolts including a piton bolt in 35m, that was intense even though it was only 5.10b (1970s grade!). We spent the night discussing with fellow climbers why bolters felt the need to run out a climb in the lower grades and how “ego-bolting” was really not necessary.
Day 4: A nice day, we headed to do a multipitch, “Wherever we may roam” as our first climb but when we arrived at 1130am there was a queue of 3 groups in front of us that hadn’t even left the ground yet, and they all looked like beginner climbers. So we left to do some other climbs nearby returning at 3pm… and the group of 3 that was originally ahead of us had just finished their 2nd pitch! Luckily by the time we were at the first pitch the 2 groups in front of us bailed and we got to climb this great climb without people ahead or behind us. We made it down just as the last speck of sun was disappearing into the horizon.
Day 5: It was our last day and the forecast was for rain so we packed up and did some easy routes. I did my first Trad climb and then it started raining so we headed out to go to Portland so I could catch my flight the next day.
A great trip with my sister. 🙂 And some more panoramas of Smith Rocks below. I will be back!