Category: Oregon
Elev: ~3000 ft
Rock Type: Welded Tuff & Basalt

2006, 2015, 2017


Smith Rock is Oregon's premier rock climbing destination, and one of the best sport-climbing meccas in the country. The main cliffs are made of welded tuff, and the surrounding bands by columnar basalt. 

Picturesque Smith Rock. The cliffs in the photo are volcanic welded tuff.
Lower Gorge, which has some climbs on columnar basalt.

I've only climbed at Smith Rock a few times: a couple of quick weekend trips early on in my climbing career and twice for a day when passing by. This page gives a list of climbs I've done at Smith, and features two short "trip reports": Monkey Face (one of the best-known features at Smith) and Zion (THE multipitch route at Smith). 



List of climbs I've done at Smith Rock
Trip report for Pioneer Route, Monkey Face 5.7 A0, 3p, 250'

   TR #: 19

   TR #: 22
Trip report for Zion, Morning Glory Wall 5.10b, 4p, 350', trad

  TR #: 211
Other random photos from cragging at Smith Rock                    

(Pitifully small)List of climbs I've done at Smith Rock

(Alphabetical order)

   =Fourth Horseman
   =Lower Gorge
   =Monkey Face
   =Morning Glory Wall
   =Northeast Face

5 Gallon Buckets 5.8, 1p, sport Morning Glory Wall Apr 2006
Headless Horseman 5.10d, 1p, sport The Fourth Horseman Sept 2017
Karate Crack 5.10a, 1p, trad Morning Glory Wall May 2006,
Sept 2017
Lost in Space 5.10b/c, 4p, sport Northeast Face Sept 2017
Master Loony 5.11a, 1p, trad Lower Gorge Sept 2015
Moonshine Dihedral 5.9, 1p, trad The Dihedrals Sept 2017
Pioneer Route 5.7 A0, 3p, 250', trad/sport/aid Monkey Face Apr 2006,
May 2006
Zion 5.10b, 4p, 350', trad Morning Glory Wall Sept 2015

Two trip reports for two of the longer climbs I've done at Smith Rock

Route: Pioneer Route (5.7 A0, 3p, 250')  MONKEY FACE

Date: April 16, 2006       Partners: Jason Cullum, Trevor Edwards, Erika
Date: May 20, 2006       Partners: Jason Cullum, Trevor Edwards, Joleen Prystupa

Monkey Face formation. The Pioneer Route is the easiest way up – it involves a bit of easy gear climbing to the notch, and then a bolt ladder to the "mouth" on the left side, and then comes out onto the handhold-ridden face from there.
First time climbing Monkey Face (Date: April 16, 2006; Partners: Jason Cullum, Trevor Edwards, Erika):
Brief trip report:
In April, 3 friends and I packed into a small truck and drove the 8 hours down to Smith Rock in Oregon to escape the rain of BC. We spent 4 days climbing there. I cannot remember all that we climbed, but on our second day there, we climbed Monkey Face, which is a giant tower of rock. We climbed the easiest route up, which begins with a pitch of 5.6 gear, then a pitch of aid climbing (there were about 25 closely-spaced bolts up a sheer wall that we clipped quickdraws into and pulled on since we did not own ascenders and other aid gear), and then the route finishes with a super-airy bolted 5.7 pitch that involves stepping out of a cave to face a 200 foot drop to the ground.

• Second time climbing Monkey Face (Date: May 20, 2006;  Partners: Jason Cullum, Trevor Edwards, Joleen Prystupa):
Brief trip report: 
When I returned to Smith Rock in May, we again climbed Monkey Face, and this time I led the second two pitches, since the first time I had led only the first pitch. The weather was a bit warmer for us on the May climb (in April it had snowed while we were climbing!) but we got stuck behind a slow group of 6 that took a couple of hours to aid up the second pitch. But we spent the time exchanging climbing stories, so it wasn't so bad.

Below are some photos from the climb.

Photo descriptions:
Looking down while leading the bolt ladder.
2. In the cave at the top of the bolt ladder before the final pitch.
3. The hanging double rope rappel.

Route: Zion (5.10b, 4p, 350', trad)  MORNING GLORY Wall

Date: September 13, 2015       Partner: John Plotz

Zion pretty much ascends a crack system at the sun-shade line.

This photo (taken a couple of years after climbing Zion) shows the route better than the photo above. Flat lighting due to haze from forest fires.

Brief trip report: 
This is THE trad multipitch route at Smith. So, naturally, when I met up with my friend John for a day at Smith (I was driving home from Red Rocks), this route was top on my list. To be honest, after climbing it, I feel this route is over-hyped, but then again Smith is known more for its sport climbing than its cracks. It was fun though. (Thanks John for climbing it for a 6th time!). 

Below are some photos from the climb.

Photo descriptions:
John leading off Pitch 1 (~5.7). We took a mostly 5.7 line up juggy buckets. The athletic unprotected first move was the crux of the route for us (seemed a bit harder than 5.7).
2. Pitch 2 (10b). I led this pitch. This pitch is the crux of the climb and pretty sustained. I found the gear to be a bit tricky since the crack opened up in the back and I was used to granite and sandstone cracks at the time, but this was a good bit of climbing.
3. John leading off Pitch 3 (5.9).
4. Pitch 4 (5.9). Juggy flake climbing. 
This was my favorite pitch on the route. 
5-8. Slackliners. These guys impress me. 

More Photos
Some random photos from other days of cragging at Smith Rock

Color coded by area:
   =Dihedrals       =Fourth Horseman       =Lower Gorge       =Monkey Face       =Morning Glory Wall       =Northeast Face

1. Jason belaying me on 5 Gallon Buckets, Morning Glory Wall.
2. Me on Karate Crack in 2006. One of my first crack climbs. Morning Glory Wall.
3. Karate Crack, Sept 2017. The climbers are on Cinnamon Slab. Morning Glory Wall.

4. Looking up Master LooneyLower Gorge. Crux at the roof.

5. Looking down while climbing Headless Horseman, Fourth Horeseman.  Just follow the chalk!
6. Moonshine Dihedral, The Dihedrals.
7. Moonshine DihedralThe Dihedrals.
8. Todd starting up Pitch 3 (the best pitch) of Lost in Space, Northeast Face.