Elevation: 3,000 Feet
Smith Rock is most likely my favorite place on earth. I spend as much time as possible out climbing. When I have friends or family visiting I rarely miss an opportunity to get them out for a climb or a hike. This page is dedicated to all of the people who have trudged up "Misery Ridge."
For those who are more into a liesurely stroll I would generally take them along the river. Those who had a little more steel to them would go up round the corner to Misery Ridge. The rest of the people got a nice trip around the loop from Misery Ridge to the summit and then down the back gully of Monkey Face.
The nieces up to the right are hanging out just in front of the mouth at Monkey Face's. Monkey face is the unmistakable rock formation that defines Smith, not just in the climbing world.
What I have found that is fun with taking anyone to Smith Rock is the very first steps out of the parking lot and down to the river is a very steep, dirt trail. People forget while they are looking and hiking around the park that they have to hike back up this on the way back.
I tend to avoid the park in the peak climbing months on the weekends. Its packed with people from all walks of life and every corner of the world. There have been times on the weekends when it is rare to hear english except from your own group.
The other main reason is you tend to get some idiots climbing. These are literally taken from my experiences out on the cliffs. Here is some advice to those who would come to any crag:
1. Don't climb on the same route as someone else. There are 1,800 climbs in this park; go find another one.
2. Don't plan on using the same anchor system as someone else. This is just stupid and rude. People like two independent systems without having to worry about another climber's rope or weight. Refer to the second part of rule one.
3. Don't cross your ropes over, under or across someone else's. If this means you wait for a bit at the top before you throw your repel ropes down, so be it.
4. Stay on the trails. The area is just a huge scree-fest with very established trails and a fragile ecosystem around the trails. Don't be an ass-hat.
5. Keep your frigging dogs on a leash, especially if they have a tendency to be a bit aggressive. See, dogs like to protect things, especially their owners, and when you are up on the rock and the belayer is busy keeping you safe, the dog wants to keep you safe by keeping me away. Tie 'em up.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous, take a loop around the park heading up Misery Ridge then down the Summit and the back side to Monkey Face. You can take a short cut through Asterick Pass, but a serious word of caution: It has some actual climbing moves you have to make. A fall off the Pass would make for an unpleasant day and most likely a subsequent visit to your local emergency room.