Trip Report    

Crag Rock Climb - Smith Rock

Climbed three days at Smith Rock, including "The Pioneer Route" (5.7 A0) on Monkey Face and much more!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Climbers Bivy was full on Friday and Saturday nights, so best arrive during the week if you are going to Smith in season (March - April, September - October).  Also bring your warm sleeping bag, big puffy and long underwear, its cold in the desert at night in the spring!


Great trip with 6 Mountaineers to climb at Smith Rock State Park Thursday - Sunday.  In the end, we climbed 3 days and had a great time.

Being there mid-week is the way to go.  We were able to get our pick of climbing areas and routes on both Thursday and Friday.  Truth be told, even Saturday wasn't bad, you just have to get up early because Crag Climbers like to sleep in.

Some of the trad routes we climbed:

  • Cinnamon Slab (5.6)
  • Moscow (5.6+ - three pitches)
  • Spiderman (5.7 - three pitches)
  • Lions Jaw (5.8)

Some of the sport climbs:

  • 5 gallon buckets (5.8)
  • The Outsiders (5.9)
  • Anonymity (5.9)
  • Light on the Path (5.10a)
  • Cosmos (5.10a)
  • Screeming Yellow Zonkers (5.10b)

We climbed Monkey Face, Pioneer Route (5.7 A0) on Friday.  We got a 6am start and were first on the route.  

The first pitch has a bolt right off of the belay that protects an easy 5th-class move.

The second pitch is old-school 5.5 and protects well.  There is one fixed piton.

We climbed the bolt ladder by having one group member lead the ladder and trail an extra rope.  He then fixed the line in the cave mouth as well as the lead line.  This is easily accomplished as there are ample anchors in the Monkey's mouth.  We used home-made rope protectors to protect the lip, ask Brian Starlin about these if you are interested -- perhaps he will let you borrow them.  One person then cleaned the bolt line, the rest of the party (4 total) all used ascenders to ascend the fixed lines to the mouth of the cave.  We hauled one pack and both extra ropes up prior to that and had the lead climbing party lead out of the cave.

Two things to keep in mind if you are doing it this way:

  1. the route overhangs completely, make sure you practice jugging techniques on over-hanging terrain if you can,
  2. the bolt-line fixed line requires a awkward mantel to get into the mouth cave, we ended up clipping etriers to the anchor and dangling them over the lip to use as an aid for person's jugging the line,

The lead party did the 5.8 variation (sometimes called 5.9) that follows the "Panic Point" pitch for 4 bolts then traverses right across very exposed ground and up to the summit belay / rappel station.  This is recommended!  

This climb is in great shape and well equipped with modern hardware and anchors, it hasn't changed much in character since I first climbed it in 2007 with the legendary Steve Machuga.

All-in-all a very relaxed and mellow trip to Smith with a fun group!  Thanks to all those who participated.