Smith Rock Frontside

October 29, 2011.

This weekend I headed down to Smith to climb with some friends. Today we hit the frontside of the rock for some mixed sport and trad climbing.

We decided to warm up on Lion’s Jaw, a 5.8 traditional route. It felt really burly for me and it took me a while to finish it. Upon later reflection I wondered if it was because: it was my first trad lead in a month or that I was using someone else’s rack. Maybe it was a combination of the two.

Next we had to get out of the sun so we headed for the sporty Hesitation Blues (5.10b). It was a tricky but fun follow for me.

Next, Tom led Toys in the Attic, a 5.9 hand crack that widens to off-width below a big roof. Oh bt it’s not over yet, a horizontal finger crack traverse with smeary feet leads over to the anchor. That was the scariest part for me!

Then, we all took turns on Double Trouble, 5.10b sport. My partners left the quickdraws up so I could try a lead. It was doable but there were some really heady moves for me. Coming on to the face from the arete was scary, since I had to step off the lower block. I had to hang on the draws quite a bit but I pulled it together and topped out.
From there we moved over to Blasphemy (5.11a). At the time they told me it was 5.10d so I figured I’d give it a go (I should always read the book myself). It was fun but very challenging with some delicate and precarious stems mid-way up followed by a not straightforward bulge. They were just dying to shout up beta for it but I just wanted to figure it out myself. I did.

We sneaked in one last climb at the end of the day: Pack Animal Direct (5.10b). I flew up the lower finger crack and came to a screeching halt at the roof because I couldn’t figure out how to go around it. Once I figured out how to move my right foot a couple inches higher I was able to reach a giant jug and pull through the move. Duh.

A fun day followed by pumpkin carving at camp later that evening!

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