Tag Archives: Vantage

Climbing at Vantage, with Daniel!


Thursday, 11-Oct-2018 through Monday, 15-Oct-2018


Quotes from the weekend (overheard from others):

“well, we’ve got straight vodka!”

  • A group climbing, debating what they have to eat/drink at the cliff.

“Yeah, I know how to belay… You just pull it through right?”

  • A person nearby, who we later learned hadn’t ever been outside before

“Ohh it’ll be fine! What’s the worst that can happen?”

  • The worst thing you can ever hear. We kept an eye on them…


Daniel came out to visit! Yay Daniel!

It’d been a while since we’d hosted guests, so we were pretty excited for this chance to show off, adventure, and be a bit more sociable.  Our plans were pretty simple – meet Daniel at the airport, cook a fancy dinner, climb in Washington, and then explore Portland.  Those can be the best plans, honestly… simple, straightforward, and clean.

So we stuck with the plans!



Picked up Daniel, ate stuffed acorn squash.  It was glorious. Tried to scare him with an animatronic Santa, but unfortunately that didn’t quite work… I think he expected something, and so wasn’t surprised when he found out what that something was. Went to bed early, so that we’d be ready for the weekend of adventure coming up.



Packed up the car, drove to Vantage. It was a surprisingly long drive… though the technical duration of the drive was exactly what we’d expected, it somehow seemed to take way longer… It wasn’t a bad drive, by far, but it definitely wasn’t a super fun one. I think it was tough because we were all so excited, honestly.

Once we arrived, we did a quick unpacking and then headed in to climb a bit, specifically at the feathers, where Sarah got in her first post-injury rock climb! We didn’t do a ton of climbing, thanks to the sun setting on us, but what we did get to was quite excellent – I actually ended up working a 5.10 by accident! I didn’t quite finish it on lead, but then Sarah came in and wrapped up her post-recovery climbing by crushing it – on top rope, since she wasn’t quite cleared for taking falls yet, but still. No issue, clean movements… she cruised up the route that had just thrown me off.


After climbing, we headed back to camp to finish setting up. Once done, we cooked (and then ate, of course) a delicious steak and zucchini dinner, around a fire, with whiskey!  It was glorious!



Had a relaxed morning, ate breakfast, and hiked out to the Sunshine wall once it was warm enough out.  Before we left though, Sarah did a bit of exploring and scavenging, and found us a rather impressive amount of firewood for the evening… we’d brought some of our own, but you know how it is. There’s never enough firewood, and having that little bit extra can be the difference between a pleasant evening, and going to bed before the conversation gets really good. Once it was warm enough though, we headed to the Sunshine wall to get in some serious climbing.

Climbing was excellent – it was somehow almost too warm, at times, and beautifully sunny. There were a lot of people around, but thankfully we were able to work around most of them and get in a quite legitimate number of routes. See below for specifics:

  • Ride ’em cowboy
  • short trad line
  • cool arrete
  • other climb
  • trad version of other climb
  • boshido

Honestly, we should have brought more water though. As the day went on, we snacked and sipped, but the sipping ended far before the snacking did… and thanks to that bright sun (hence: “sunshine wall”) we were quite dehydrated by the afternoon. Instead of trying to push for more routes, we took the better part of valor and headed back to camp for some well-earned rest.

At camp, we enjoyed the rest of the evening – chopping firewood, cooking dinner, stargazing, all of those good things.



Vantage is pretty awesome and all, but there’s a lot to do in Portland too. As such, we packed up fairly early and headed out, after grabbing a few small branches of sage to bring home.

On the way we did stop for a quick snack in The Dalles, but aside from that it was pretty much a straight burn home… quicker driving this time, but it’s still an impressively long drive. That drive makes me miss the comparatively short ride out the North Conway.

At home, we didn’t stay for long. We did a quick unpack, set Ollie up with a nice place to relax and unwind from the drive, and headed back out for a bit of adventure!


Ate Apple Cider Donuts!

Went to the Pendleton store!

Walked around downtown a bit!

Ate conveyor belt sushi!

After sushi was done, we were all pretty well worn down… but Daniel was visiting! And I wasn’t going to give up on bro-time just yet! We dropped Sarah off at the house, since she was crashing pretty hard, and went out on the town, finally settling into a small basement bar called “The Caves”.

Spooky, right?

Well, it wasn’t that spooky. In fact, it was really cool – I learned about yellow wine, and orange wine, and we got to sit in a tiny little alcove beside the bar. It was lovely, and honestly a perfect bro-down time. Which is a little strange, honestly. I guess Daniel’s finally corrupted me into accepting that sometimes it’s acceptable to just sit down, relax, and sip a fancy wine.

It’s very acceptable, as a note. An extremely good cap to an excellent visit full of excellent adventures!


A weekend trip to Vantage!

A weekend trip to Vantage!

Trip to Vantage

This trip happened a while ago, and I honestly never really have the mental energy to write it up particularly well.  But I did write out this quick summary, so please forgive the plot holes, lack of details, and general tomfoolery and poor quality writing below.


Friday night:

  • Drive out, via Panda Express and DQ!
  • Takes longer than expected, but we still find a pretty solid campsite for ourselves.
  • Sleep sleep



  • Cold morning… like, super cold. Too cold to climb, so breakfast and then wander a bit. Recon, right?
  • Lotsa people leave… boo, weenies.
  • Back to camp from Recon, then have some lunch and head back to the Sunshine Wall to climb
  • Climb some super fun routes, mostly just adventure climbing up random interesting looking bits
  • Ollie doesn’t like the slot canyon… but she gets over it, or rather, through it. Get it? Through it?
  • Finish off with a tough 5.9… I think it was called “Vantage Point” that I can’t actually finish, because fuck the last move. It’s scary. I cheat past it though, to get an amazing final panorama of the whole valley at sunset.
  • Back to camp, make an excellent dinner of chili cheese dogs (and a mouse for Ollie, though we didn’t let her keep it long enough to actually eat), and sleep!


  • Wake up, it’s much nicer today, so we head back to the same area and do some more routes!
  • Actually… they’re super full, because there’s a ton of people. So we end up doing a lot of the same routes, and some of the other ones that we saw people on the day before. They’re fun, and not as popular… but they’re not as long, and not exactly what Sarah wanted to climb, which is a bummer.
  • Note, high entertainment value from the group of new climbers next to us.
  • Sarah drew while Ben made lunch of Mac and Cheese in the wind.
  • Pack up, and head back home!


22, 23 & 24 April, 2016 – Climbing in Vantage again!

22, 23 & 24 April, 2016 – Climbing in Vantage again!
Thursday through Sunday, 21 – 24-April-2016
So, I’d talked with some of the interns at work about climbing.  They were curious – they’d been in the gym a time or three, but hadn’t ever gotten a chance to climb outside.  Well!  That?  That we just couldn’t allow.  My NUHOC leader exploded from it’s hiding place, and I planned out a trip for us all.  
To Smith, originally… but then Smith was rained out.  So instead of driving South, we drove North – to Vantage, where Sarah, Dave and I had climbed a few weekends earlier…
Since I’ve got Friday off, thanks to the whole 9/80 work schedule, I take Thursday evening slowly.  Sarah’s starting her Wilderness First Responder class this weekend, so I take the time to relax with her, and hang out with Ollie.
Sarah heads to WFR, I climb at the gym early morning for a bit of a preparation workout, before taking some more time to relax and chill with Ollie before heading out to Hood River.  Get some stuff done around the house.  It’s chill and nice.  Meet up with Dave ~6:00, and hit the road to… Vantage!  Drive late into the evening, find a parking spot that doesn’t rip the bottom out of my car, and sleep!  Note: we forgot Dave’s tent… so he sleeps out under the stars while Ollie and I crash in my ultralight tent.
Climb time!  Meet up with Interns A and B, AKA Jon and Sam (A and B change, depending on who’s farthest away.  Yes, we’re annoying).  We climb!  Tons of routes… don’t know all their names, but I do know… meh.  Who cares, honestly?  We have fun!  A quick synopsis is as follows:
Pre-Lunch, 4 climbs.
Sport line up the arete, face variant of arete, move anchor for 5.10b face, save gear for army guy.
Rest & lunch
Post-lunch, 2 routes, one twice.
Route near chimney, overhang, overhang again
Post-lunch rest… then two more routes!
Same route that I saved gear on, Jon’s first lead on a slab!
Basically, we took it easy… and I still got a solid 9 climbs in.  The rest didn’t re-do as many, but we still totaled out at… ohh, 30+ routes.  Short routes, but still.  Go us.
Ohh, and also.  Before we get to the photo gallery… there’s one thing that should be mentioned.  Sarah was in class this weekend – not able to come with us.  This marked the second weekend that we were apart… since we started dating almost 8 months ago.  So… it was special.  As a keepsake, Sarah gave me a little figurine of Rarity, from My Little Pony… she got it ages ago, and it’s near and dear to her heart.  She asked that I take pictures of it with me on the trip, so… I’m not one to refuse a request like that.
So that’s why there’s a cute little pony in my pictures.
Dinner for the night is canned Chili… which is kind of sad, but it’s what happens when four guys go camping together.  We’re not creative.
Then we chop up some firewood with my awesome battleaxe (see pictures of it in the firelight), and just relax and hang out!
One quick adventure does occur that evening; Dave gets to play First Responder when we hear a small creature (a child) screaming bloody murder.  Turns out she tripped over a tent-line, and only scraped up her knee.  But still – by the time we learn that fact we’re already over there, so help is offered and medical kits and presented.  None are used or accepted… but people are grateful none-the-less.  Dave feels good for being able to offer, and I feel good for dragging us over to make sure everything’s okay.
Then?  Sleeeeeeep…. with so much dust stuffed into the tent that I feel like I’m eating a desert.  Seriously.  It was WINDY  that day… and my tent is designed against rain and snow.  Not a full-power dust storm.  So… I eat dirt, and sleep.
Up early, and start the drive back.  Ollie does well, and we find ourselves in Hood River not too late.  A good weekend.