On Saturday (2/28) I managed to sneak over to Smith Rocks for the day with my friend Callum. The overcast skies didn't make for many inspiring photos but the climbing was good none the less. Our plan was to climb something on the Monkey Face but after warming up on 'Screaming Yellow Zonkers' and 'Moons of Pluto' (both of these routes are fantastic!) we realized that climbing on the shady side of the park was out of the question. "Warming up" isn't the best term considering the first fifteen feet of the routes were covered in ice. After whimpering our way up the two routes with numb fingers we made our way back to the front side and were greeted with much better temps.
On our way back over to the front side we stopped under 'Chain Reaction' which I had been trying a little bit this winter. I figured it was worth giving it a shot since I was feeling in shape from all the gym climbing I have been doing. I surprised my self by doing it first go without too much trouble. It felt good to finish one of my projects and to be able to climb such a fun route without flailing about and feeling weak, which is usually the case with this one.
Next up was 'Moondance' which starts just thirty or so feet to the right. This climb had always looked impressive to me but also a little intimidating. The first half involves super thin and tricky sustained face climbing to a good rest ledge. The second part follows an amazing stem corner (again thin, tricky, and sustained) up to the anchors at about ninety feet. I was really impressed with this route and it definitely goes on my 'Smith Favorites' list (which keeps growing and growing). We finished the day by playing around on 'Churning in the Wake' which is another one of my projects. This is another great climb (if you don't mind drilled two-finger pockets).
Some climbers following us up to Asterisk Pass with the dihedrals in the background.
Nice views on the drive over.
The Monkey Face. Note the frost on the rim.
Callum starting up the amazing arete of 'Moons of Pluto' (5.10d)
Aretes are so much fun!
Climbing makes you hungry.
An unknown climber on 'Dreamin'
This is a photo of me on 'Chain Reaction' taken back in the fall. (Photo by EW)