Weekend of 12-February – Valentine’s Day weekend!

Weekend of 12-February – Valentine’s Day weekend!

Weekend of 13 &14 February; Saturday and Sunday


In the great tradition of Halloween, Sarah and I spent Valentine’s Day rock climbing at Smith.  We had planned on heading down Friday afternoon, but we got a bit overcome by events and the stress of trying to pack and leave the house early enough to get down to Salem and out to Smith… so instead, we headed to Hood River for a relaxing Friday night in town.

Saturday, however, we locked down and got moving.  Not… not super quickly, still, but acceptably early.  I mean, we got to Smith in time to get a few routes in, so that’s what matters, right?

Super Slab – 5.6, trad.  Technically 3 pitches, but we only did the first one.

Route next to super slab (unknown?) – ~5.6, sport, 1 pitch of fun climbing.

Ohh, and camping Friday night?  I used a battle axe to chop firewood.  Just… you know.  FYI.


Sunday dawned bright and pretty, doubly-so since we’d camped out at Skull Hollow in the cozy back of Sarah’s truck.  We got moving pretty early, since we had a specific mission that was doubtlessly shared by a dozen or two other teams/couples – Climbing the route called “First Kiss” on Valentines day.

Sarah and I had already climbed First Kiss before, but not since we’d started dating.  So the goal this time was to have just as much fun as before, but also take cute selfies and make out at each of the belay stations.  Yep, sickening.  I know.

But you know what?  That’s like… a huge amount of the fun of life.  Do what you enjoy, with the people you love, and be just as ridiculous as you want to be.


So we got up early, trekked our way to the base of the climb, and got in line.  Or so we expected… but somehow, some way, we ended up being the first people in line!  So we racked our gear up, and headed into the first pitch.

(Ed note: By the time Ben and Sarah were actually climbing, three teams were lined up at their backs, and another two teams had turned away due to the long wait.  Turns out: Ben and Sarah have really good timing)

The climbing was just as fun as I remembered it, being pleasant and just committing enough to be interesting.  I think we actually kept roughly the same lead sets as last time – I took the first and third pitches, Sarah took the second and fourth.  Actually, last time I think Sarah did four and five, so I guess we did mix it up a little…

First Kiss – 5.7, Sport, 5 pitches.

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