I am writing this post for the second time, only this time, I am sipping a banana-y Dunkel Weiss, which I won’t pretend, it is in fact, pretty tasty. That said, due to a bit of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances, I lost my first draft of this post only mere moments away from tapping ‘Publish’ on twosmallcones. Without luck and any chance of recovery, my words are forever lost in the web-o-sphere. I can’t promise that this post will be as creative or as crafty as the lost one, but I do hope that you and others enjoy it; possibly with a good beverage in hand, too.
Exactly 12 oz of Dunkel
Bus-camping just over a week now, we’ve had an incredible time. Not only have we enjoyed many classic Smith routes on wildly featured tuff rock, we’ve also made new memories with great friends. Our very first bus guest and one of my dearest friends, Cora, came to visit. On a whim, Cora zipped on down to Smith, where we splurged on fine dining at the Terrebonne Depot, consumed delicious beers from all over Oregon, had tasty homemade treats from the Siipola family, and went climbing! This was Cora’s first time rock climbing outside and of course, she was a natural! We spent a superb day at Koala Rock, cruising up cool lines and hiding our white bodies from the sun. It was fantastic! While we were there, E and I scoped out a new multi-pitch route called Thin Air. This dreamy three-pitch route looked amazing. We couldn’t resist. We HAD to try it. So, the very next day, after giving big hugs and wishing Cora safe travels for her trip home, E and I hiked back through fragrant juniper trees and wildflowers to Koala Rock. At the base of Koala, I roped up for my very first multi-pitch lead climb – an enjoyable 10a wandered up to a cozy set of anchors. E led the last two pitches, a nice 10b and another sweet 10a. We summited Koala around 11:30am – the late morning sun and breathtaking view was more than we could ask for. It was spectacular.
Cora's very first outdoor climb!
Cora floating high above the Crooked River.
Robyn at the belay ledge after leading the first pitch of Thin Air.
The summit of the 3 pitch classic Thin Air 5.10b at Koala Rock. We were the only ones there. Up and down by 11AM!
The highlight of the route was the hand traverse with tiny feet out to an airy arete at the beginning of the third pitch. Scoops and huecos lead to the top!
Not many arete climbs to my name and this one proved challenging. Lots of tech balance moves.
Nice to have another photographer around. The first climbing shot of both Robyn and I. Robyn is just about to enter the crux on Buffalo Power 5.10c.
Buffalo Power 5.10c at Koala Rock. Robyn flashed this on toprope!
Cascade Lakes Brewing's Monkey Face Porter at The Depot in Terrebonne, OR.
After day two on Koala Rock, we were in need of some rest; perfect timing before the weekend, too. Our friends from Seattle were driving down to join us for some weekend climbing. For our day of rest, we drove to Redmond, Oregon. We topped up on fresh groceries and fuel, wandered around a friendly thrift shop, hit up the public library for speedy WIFI, and visited an Ale House for Cascade Lakes Brewing Company. It was definitely relaxing.
Makin' coffee in the bus.
North American Rating is 3/5 and Oregon Rating is 2/5. Still a nice stop though and I hear they do a lot of great work in the community. Props.
That night, we tucked ourselves in, headlamps beaming – skimming the Smith Guide to find that perfect area for our friends to enjoy. We woke the next morning to fun friends, a fresh press of coffee, and sunshine! After welcoming our friend, Shaina, and other new friends: Liv, Carissa, Matt, and dogs: Micah and Cache, to Smith, we bustled on down to the main area, hoping to get in some beautiful pitches and avoid any loitering crowds. Due to large amounts of guided climbing groups and an ungodly amount of other people weekending it at Smith, we decided to do some bouldering the first day, instead. We topped out on beautiful tuff boulders all day, hid from the sun, and enjoyed great conversation. The day flew by and before we knew it, we were making plans for dinner and nursing tasty brews at Deschutes Brewery.
Robyn on the campfire boulder.
Liv cruxing on a boulder near Picnic Lunch Wall.
Robyn and I haven't bouldered in years. Felt good, and boy was it humbling!
Shaina's puppy Cache loved being under the boulder problems.
Deschutes. Had a sampler with all in-house only beers. Sharing stories with Shaina and new friends Matt, Liv, and Carissa.
Another beautiful morning greeted us with warmth and sunshine. We woke up early in hopes of snagging some easier sport routes for everyone to climb. We went to a sweet area known as the Dihedrals. There were a number of super-classic lines for everyone to try! Our routes included a few 5.8s, 10s and 11s. It was the perfect combo for the variety of skill levels we had and it was another super day with great company!
Later that afternoon, we high-fived, hugged, and sent warm wishes home with Shaina and our new friends. Climbing at Smith with all of our guests has been so wonderful and refreshing. We can’t wait to have more friends visit us along our trip.
Moving in to the last few days at Smith for E and I, we climbed like crazy – the days all blend and blur together! We climbed some of the sweetest lines we’ve been on in a long time. It was awesome! That said, we really love Smith and one of our goals was to try as many cool, inspiring lines as our fingers and bodies would allow. E got on this sweet 12b called Liquid Jade. On top rope he inspected the thin start and other crimpy holds. Working out the moves on lead, he sent this beauty on the third go! It was sick!
In the meantime, I led up some really neat routes (some of my favorite at Smith), strengthening my mental and physical game. Smith is awesome and has helped me really get my head back in to climbing. My confidence is growing and I was able to get on some really radical, challenging routes.
Overall, our Smith trip has been fantastical. We really engaged our minds and bodies, sent some beautiful routes, and are more prepared for the next leg of our journey. We had such a wonderful time at Smith and though we are excited to start traveling again, we definitely look forward to visiting Smith again soon, possibly with one of you, too.
On our last day at Smith we stopped into the Lower Gorge for a basalt ass-whoopin'. We shall return.
There were a few different types of lizards running around Smith. This little guy stared at us for a short while before free soloing our route.
An awesome old tree along the Crooked River.
With that, we packed Vincent up and said goodbye to Smith Rock. We hit the road and drove 40 minutes south before making what would be our final pit stop in Oregon. We toured Bend and bar hopped with our great friend, Angie. Angie has been living in Bend for the last 6 or so years and knew all the right spots to visit, including the tastiest brews to try! We were even lucky enough to try Angie’s famous breakfast sandy (I won’t give the ingredients away, afraid I might spoil her secret), but it was so delicious! Angie, you rock! Thank you for being so kind and sharing your beautiful home with us. It was just what we needed!
Angie treating us to a International Gold Medal winning sour at Bend Brewing Company.
Now, on to Crater Lake and the Redwoods! Check back soon for more details and stories of our trip. Happy day to you!