Teaching climbing at Smith Rock

May 15-16 2010.

This was the second weekend for the 2010 Advanced Rock class with the Mazamas. I paired up with Ryan so she could practice some easy traditional leads.

We hiked out to the Cinnamon Slab area, a busy place for new leaders. We started out on Right Slab Crack (5.5) and then Left Slab Crack (5.4). I asked her to split Left Slab Crack into two pitches so she could practice building a trad anchor and bring up a follower. While this took a fairly long time to do, it was a valuable exercise in learning to be a leader.

After rappelling the route we slid over to Cinnamon Slab (5.6), which amazingly was open. I led the first pitch and she led the second. The Mazamas pretty much had this climb locked up all day. At the top, there was already a double rope rappel rigged up at the top. After checking it out and deeming it solid, we got to take the fun way down, a long, free-hanging rappel over Karate Wall. Awesome!

On our way out, we snagged one last climb, Lichen It (5.8), an enjoyable sport route with lots of knobby little holds after a sketchy bottom.

The second day I partnered up with another student and we headed over to Round River (5.4), a mixed route on Koala Rock. The hike out there was long and pretty, with nice views of the park plus beautiful flowers along the way. My student really wanted to lead this route even though it was mostly bolted. So I obliged.

I thought the climb was rather boring, but it had an excellent position. After rappelling down the backside we hiked back, connected with the rest of the group and headed back to Portland. It was a productive weekend, with two fresh new leaders getting some experience on the sharp end!

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