Dangling From Stone
Intelligence is not a Requirement
On my seventh wedding anniversary (July 2002), my wife and I decided to do something we hadn't ever tried before. Someone at work had told me about how they go to a local rock climbing gym near where I lived in Thornton, Colorado. I called up the gym, Rock'n & Jam'n, and signed us up for a belay lesson and such. My wife, Jay and I all went to the lesson and were thoroughly impressed with our inability to hang on a wall for longer than a minute or two at a time. The owners, Deb and John, are great people who are both really encouraging and helpful.
Somewhere during the climbing, I found some challenge within me to want to do more. Shortly after moving to Bend, Oregon, I decided climbing might be something I would really like to see if I could get better at. I had always been decently strong, but I was massively out of shape and over-weight. Add two recent knee surgeries and I wasn't sure at the time what I would be able or not able to do.
I joined the local rock gym in Bend, Inclimb, and found out quickly how little I really was able to do. Over the course of the winter, I trimmed myself down about another 15 pounds to arrive at the same weight that I graduated high school from.
Inclimb proved to be an unbelievable gym with owners very involved in not only making a gym a challenge, but make a gym where rock climbers went, not just gym rats.
Larry, Leah, their adorable daughter Olivia, the new addition of Rowan and a tiny whippet named Psychlo manage to make sure you feel welcome in a constantly changing gym. The gym really helped get me in shape for getting outside and slapping some real rock. I am still not sure where rock climbing is going for me, but I don't really care, climbing fits.
This is not to be used as a guide for any climbing area I have listed below. They are my own interpretation with the help of locals/friends and an occasional pure, unadulturated rip-off of Alan Watt's "Climber's Guide to Smith Rock" (All hail, Alan!). If you are going to Smith Rock without someone who is knowledgable, pick up the book at any local climbing store.
The following is a Standard Disclaimer:
Climbing is a dangerous sport where you may be injured or killed. Do it at your own risk.
Basically, I am an idiot for doing it and I am neither encouraging nor facilitating your climbing in any way with this website. Don't even think of blaming me.