Tag Archives: rock climbing

The first climb of the year… at 18 Deg.F


Sunday, 29-Jan-2023

How long has it been since I’ve climbed at Smith? Let’s see…

According to my photo record, It’s… been a really long time. We’re leaving it at that.

Jess and I left Bend early-ish… and by “early-ish” I mean “not even remotely early”. The dawn had broken over a solidly single-digit temperature, with thick snow and ice covering both the truck and the world around us. We slept in, relaxed, and took our time showering and getting packed up.

It wasn’t like the world would thaw before noon, anyways.

A quick breakfast in Terrebonne helped us rally and energize, and gave the world a little bit more time to dethaw and start warming up to more bearable temperatures. By the time we left the truck behind and began our descent into the gorge it was a (relatively) balmy 18 Deg.F by our thermometer.

The rock, of course, helped reflect the heat of the sun back into us. By the time we’d roped up and I’d started climbing, the rock face was legitimately warm – literally warm to the touch. I didn’t feel the need for a jacket, despite the cold, and even ended up rolling up my pant legs to help vent some of the heat that climbing generated.

What did we climb?
Five Gallon Buckets, 5.8, Sport, Lead then top rope.

Yep, just the one…

We got two runs of the climb in when we realized the danger – While the Sun wasn’t hitting the horizon for another two and a half hours, it didn’t need to hit the horizon. The Smith Rock cluster was in the path of the sun, and the shade was creeping up on us surprisingly quickly. There were only two other teams nearby, and of them only one was climbing… and that climbing team was rapidly packing up to avoid being plunged into darkness and cold.

(As a quick interesting note – there were three teams climbing this Sunday at Smith. Ourselves, climbing a 5.8. A team to the East, climbing a 5.12c and a 5.13a. And a third team of 12, re-bolting a handful of routes. Yep – we hang with super cool folks!)

With the shade fast approaching, I took a quick final run of the route to clean the anchors. We had warm gear with us, of course, but nothing that I’d be comfortable leading in… so instead of continuing the climbing, we started into the exploring. We hikes around, checked out Asterisk’s Pass, and got the chance to appreciate the sun dropping down lower.

We packed up our gear, and headed out. The desert passed, the trees grew, and we stopped to take pictures of a beautiful sunset.

We dined at a small restaurant in Rhododendron, and continued our way home. The snow gave way, then the trees followed suit. The city grew up in their place, and soon enough we were unpacking the truck once again after a very good weekend!

A retrospective on 2022


Holy crap… how is 2022 already done and gone? I feel like it just started… but also that it’s been going on for a lifetime? I can’t imaging that I was in BCEP a short seven months ago…

It’s intense, and impressive, how time seems so variable. It’s not healthy, undoubtedly, as I’ve repeatedly heard people echoing the sentiment of trauma that “A day lasts forever… but a week is gone before you realize”. The constant influx of “once in a generation” disasters, events, and improbable or impossible happenings… It wears on you, you know?

So let’s forget all that tomfoolery, and focus on the one small slice of life I really understand. My own.

Here’s a list of all the archetype galleries that I have saved from this year, in chronological order… followed by a single gallery of my favorite photos I’ve taken:

  • Hiking on the beach
  • Cross country skiing at Elk Meadows
  • Sunsets in Wilsonville
  • Making babyback ribs
  • Photos of a tree in Wilsonville
  • Walking around Wilsonville
  • An oyster dinner with coworkers (holy crap, this wasn’t even a year ago?!?!)
  • Camping at Smith Rock
  • Hiking up the White River Glacier
  • Walking around POrtland
  • Gardening
  • Seeing a punk show in Portland
  • Hiking up near Timberline Lodge
  • Hiking and Stargazing near the coast (Wait, this was a year ago too??? I thought it was like… two years back!)
  • Fog in Wilsonville
  • BCEP! Hiking Story Burn
  • Wandering around Portland
  • BCEP! MMC Night
  • BCEP! King’s Mountain
  • BCEP! Horsethief Butte
  • BCEP! Land Nav at Mt. Tabor
  • BCEP! Hardy Ridge
  • BCEP! Snow School
  • Gardening, Pt. 2
  • Spring is springing in Wilsonville
  • Visiting Massachusetts – Rumney
  • Visiting Massachusetts – Rising Phoenix
  • Visiting Massachusetts – Flying, archery, and dinner
  • BCEP! Graduation
  • Hiking Elk Meadows again
  • Backpacking the White River Glacier
  • Skies and flowers
  • Duffy Lake
  • Exploring Seattle
  • Backpacking Flapjack Lakes
  • Summer in Wilsonville
  • Alegria!
  • Wandering and paddling around Wilsonville
  • Elk Meadows on the 4th of July (Again with Elk Meadows? Jeeze, Ben!)
  • Backpacking Foley Ridge
  • Walking Izzy and Lando
  • Climbing at Ozone
  • Rise Against in Bend!
  • Smith and Trout Creek
  • Summitting Middle Sister
  • August in Massachusetts – Allison’s wedding!
  • August in Massachusetts – Hanging Mountain!
  • Late night at Dove Lewis
  • The GRE & GMAT!
  • Octoberfest at Mount Angel
  • Backpacking Elk Meadows (Okay, it’s getting silly now)
  • Chasing zen in the desert
  • Pretty fields and pretty views
  • Backpacking Jade Lake
  • Thanksgiving in Sacramento!
  • Wisdom teeth, goodbye
  • Portland art museum
  • Elk Meadows and Timberline Lodge
  • Indian Head beach
  • Portland in the rain

Exploring and climbing a new crag – Hanging Mountain!


Sunday, 21-Aug-2022

When I confirmed my flights, I quickly reached out to Daniel. I miss climbing outdoors, as does he, and late-August is definitely a good time to get onto the wall. It’s hot, true, but also minorly less likely to be rainy… so I’ll take it.

After deliberation, we locked into a destination – Hanging Mountain, a new crag recently opened to the public. I’d first heard about it last November, when flying out for Dillon’s bachelor party, but honestly didn’t know much about it, aside from that it was in Western Mass. We dove into some research, locked in the details, and headed out early on Sunday morning.

Well… early-ish. I mean, it’s Daniel, right? And me. We do mornings… but not really.

As far as new crags go, it was amazing. As far as established crags go, it was also amazing. The rock was solid, the trails well cut, and the belay areas tolerably sized. The areas were beautifully close together, and it was basically abandoned on the Sunday that found us scaling the heights.




So what did we climb, you may ask? Well. We climbed all the things!

Acorn Face / Squirrel Wall:
– Lost and Found, 5.7, Sport lead
– Radiant Sky, 5.10d top rope, one cheat move… I admit.

Progressive Buttress:
– Green New Deal, 5.7+, Sport lead
– Nevertheless, 5.8-, Sport lead
– She Persists, 5.8, Sport lead
– Feel the Bern, 5.10, Top rope