July 30 – Multi-pitch climbing!

Round River 5.4 / 3 pitches

Brogan Spire 5.6 / 4 pitches


Today was super fun! We got up and headed to the park, which was conveniently a 30 second drive. We met our guide Miles and chatted for a bit before heading down the trail. We went to the Marsupial Crags. It was quite a hike to get there but that also meant we had the entire place to ourselves. At some point we actually exited Smith State Park and entered BLM land. We got to our first climb. It was called Round River and it was on Koala Rock! It was super super fun. I was going last up the routes so I was cleaning up gear. I learned how to clean cams and nuts (types of trad gear) The view from the top of the route was absolutly stunning. We hung out for a bit before setting up a rappel station. There were a lot of firsts for me today, first multi-pitch, first time with trad gear, first rappel, first hanging belay. Lots of firsts. We had a lunch break and went to our next climb which was more of an adventure climb than just a sport climb. It started in this chimney and then went up and around the spire. This time Dad went last so I just enjoyed climbing and looking around. Our third? Pitch was a hanging belay which just means that you’re attached to the anchor and on the side of the wall while belaying.  The top of the spire was about 5×10 but we could all sit pretty comfortably on it. There were 3 rappels coming down from this climb. We ended up going through this little cave type thing to get to one of the rappel stations. The hike down was a lot nicer than the hike up to the crags. We stopped to refill water and such back at the trailhead. It was cloudy but really humid today, so even with the clouds we were all sweating up a storm. Good thing the state park has showers!! We made a grocery run for ice cream and went to Redpoint. Dad got some beer, stickers and some alpine draws. We hung out at redpoint for the rest of the afternoon before heading back to the park. There was a frog in my shower! I spent a few minutes trying to get him outside. We made delicious delicious pancakes for dinner. And now it’s bedtime because tired.


A day spent up high on the rock is a good day!  We went multi pitch climbing, which means the climb is long enough that it has to be broken up into sections.  I had not been out on multi pitch for probably 20 years so it was time to get back into it.  The guide we got for the day was awesome and did a great job teaching as we went along.

The routes we did were on the easy side which was nice because we got to enjoy everything around us and not have to concentrate hard on the climbing part.  Because there were 3 of us climbing we had two ropes all the time which meant lots of rope management.   There were definitely some good lessons to be learned on keeping ropes organized to make the belay switches easier. 

My favorite part of the day was getting up high and seeing the area around Smith Rock from up there.  We could see the sisters and up to Mt Jefferson.  We could see all of the ranching/farm land around the area.  As well as the super cool landscape that is around Smith.  The river east of the main area of Smith Rock is lined by Basalt columns which were formed by lava flows.  The main part of Smith Rock is Welded Tuff, which is all ash that settled into a Caldera and then was worn away over centuries.  It’s interesting to see the two different types of rock that were formed by two different processes from volcanic activity in the same place.

After climbing we did our normal ice cream run and sitting out back of Redpoint while eating it.  We got to call home and chat for a while.  We also are working on our plan for our last week on the road.  We want to go to City of Rocks in Idaho, but the forecast for the next few days is 80-100% chance of rain and thunderstorms.  So we aren’t in any big hurry to go there yet.  So another day of climbing at Smith tomorrow!  YAY!!

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