Sunday, October 12, 2008

Smith Rock AYM Weekend

I spent this sunny weekend in Central Oregon at Smith Rock State Park with the Adventurous Young Mazamas.  We drove up Friday evening and set up camp at Skull Hollow campground.  The sky was clear but it was windy, although not as windy as last year.

After a windy night we ate breakfast and gathered at the state park parking lot.  We split into two groups, one went for a hike to Soap Creek in the Sisters Wilderness, while I joined the group that went rock climbing.  We set up top rope anchors at Student Wall.  I have been getting to know this area quite well, as it was my third time here  in the past year.  The first couple of climbs the rock would numb our fingers, as the sun had not yet warmed the rock.  During my three climbs I got some good practice stemming up one route.  On the others I was attempting to working on climbing up cracks, but I having trouble jamming my toe into the crack because my ill fitting rock shoes.  I later found out one of toenails were crammed so much that it cut the adjacent toe.  That put an end to my climbing for the day.

We returned to the campground for a potluck dinner.  My Very Blueberry Berry Bread was well received.  Thankfully the wind had taken the night off.

For years I have been eyeing the trail up Misery Ridge.  The switchbacks just looked like a great challenge and undertaking.  On Sunday I finally got my chance.  This was at the end of a grand tour where we hiked up the Burma Road, along the ridge crest of the Monument, and then scrambled down to Crooked River Trail.  We followed this trail back to the footbridge and then started up the switchbacks to the summit of Misery Ridge.  From here we had a great view of the climbers working their way up Monkey Face.  We also could see cascade peaks from Mt. Hood to Mt. Bachelor.

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