Sunday, May 17, 2009

Smith Rock State Park

I have returned from the first of three field sessions at Smith Rock State Park.  As our lead coordinator said, these are the meat of our Mazamas Advanced Rock class.

The weekend was an excellent opportunity for me to distinguish between things are and are not within my sphere of control.  The last minute cancellation of my carpool, coordinators (who were supposed to shadow me each day) that were no shows, the closure of an area I wanted to to climb in were all outside of my control.  With each of these we simply adapted.

During the weekend I lead pitches at Round River, Flunked Out, Left Side of the Beard, and the Bowling Alley.  I discovered that I was very comfortable placing the passive protection (nuts, tricams, and hexes) while at times I'm not sure how to judge the quality of the Spring Loaded Camming Devices (aka cams) placements.  I am finding that the belay station is a tricky place for me as I'm trying to find a balance of speed/efficiency and safety.  I am also noticing that my efforts to prepare for this class have been paying off.  I felt comfortable clipping in the carabiners thanks to the Leading Clinic that we took at Club Sport.  I had also noticed improvements in my climbing.

Belaying my climbing partner Lief up Left Side of the Beard

Working my way up the crack in the Bowling Alley

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