9 days at Smith

Wow, what a great vacation! I drove down to Tieton and hooked up with Aaron and Lolo. She drove home Sunday night, while Aaron and I continued South to Smith. We did the usual skill building routines on phone call from satan, moscow, lions jaw and sky chimney. We also did a repeat of my fridays jinx to spiderman combo. But then we took a rest day, forced by rain. I got up the next morning and sent karate clean for the first time ever, after 34 years of trying. Daphne was my belayer, Aaron was the photographer with my Canon 6D.

Most of the reason I got up it was that I found foot rests up near the top, and I nailed all of my jams. There is a deep hidden one under the flake up near the top...plus I had two reds.

Lastly, at the traverse, I had a low yellow down in the main crack, with a blue up in the start of the horizontal. I shoved it right to keep the jam clear and for a better fit. Then I dropped down into a straight arm hand traverse. I placed the green blind above me while standing on dime sized slopers...that held fine.

I pulled up and threw for the horsey move, then used my last 2 seconds of power to fall into the stem.

That was ultra cool. I honestly thought I was too old to ever get that.

I chicken'd out on outsiders and grabbed a sling to clip, and I forgot my good shoes when I led peking, and had to hang twice. Daphne led it clean.

Overall it was a super fun trip thanks to my awesome partners, Aaron and Daphne.

Aaron and Lolo, some new climbing friends I met last fall. This was our 5th trip together...but who's counting? They are awesome partners.

Lolo at Tieton.

Aaron following a 6 above cinnamon slab.

Aaron, topping out on Sky Chimney. We reached the ground on the last rap at twilight.

Smiffy is lovely in the evening.

Aaron and Daphne at the Spiderman pitch 3 belay. It was blowing 30 knots, but puffys and handwarmers kept us cozy warm.

Daphne leading pitch one of Spiderman.

Me on Karate. Success after 34 years of hangdogging.

Me on Karate, one hand and one foot in the crack. Photo by Aaron S.

This was the key move I had been missing: you have to stay low on the dime sized feet, and place the green blind.



Aaron following me up Karate.

Airtime Aaron on New Testament 5.10a. "Mark, I'm going to go from the eight's straight to the 10a's. I'm going to skip the nines entirely."

Daphne starting up Peking, 5.9

Daphne cruising Peking. I had led her up this a few days earlier and flailed. It might have been because I'd forgot my good shoes, or hadn't warmed up yet. Nevertheless, she led it beautifully. She and Laurel have become very good climbers.

Daphne, Peking 5.9

Daphne super stoked after floating up Peking. I loved watching her succeed on this one.

Aaron on-sighting Lions Jaw, one of the classiest 5.8's at Smith.

Me starting up Moonshine, Aaron belaying. I need to do this more often. It's easier than Karate, and not much different than Lions Jaw...an awesome route, with great rests and tons of pro.

We had a drink one evening, and took some night shots.

I'm not much of a morning person