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[TR] Smurfistani Free State - Steins Pillow n' Voyage of the Cow-Dawg 5/28/2011


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Trip: Smurfistani Free State - Steins Pillow n' Voyage of the Cow-Dawg


Date: 5/28/2011


Trip Report:

merry fucking memorial day - fucktacular weather in all directions for damn near 500 miles - took my 2 vacation days, way in advance, on the basis of such fine mem day adventures as this n' this - ended up fucked ten ways to sunday - wanted to go to squampton - nope. the valley - sure, the weather's good, but no one interested. n cascades - sure, but are ya fawk'n kidding me?


that left smiff at best - das powderhund had thrown his hat into the ring, slumming no doubt n' working on some positive karma - he was keen to check out another route on steins, the both of us just dickign around on the dog route, and that sounded good enough


i went up to smiff friday after an intense day of ya'dwork, back-broke, stumbling n' half-hawking up barfballs every step - meant to climb ho chi minh's trail on the red wall, but solo n' sans guide, i fucked it up and climbed some sorta variation of helter skelter before setting out of the papa ho right, only to reach the first anchor and not feel so set on it, given the wierd anchors and the prospect of a fine party in the bivy that evenign while waiting for bryan to arrive


fine evenign in the bivy lot - whiskey n' irishmen - dogs n' dirtbags - steel guitars - rastafarians - a growing realization that bryan better damn well show up sober or no way in hell we're reaching the tits camping of steins that there evening


saturday morning dawned mostly bright, and so oft to stein's we set


the aforementioned oregon towers - takes the turkey monster to the cleaners, it does!


the dog route itself and its many ledges


our route from the trail vista - head n' shoulders better than the orginal by damn site - sweeeeet 5.10 hands/finger crack to start on solid stone (dead center, at bottom), then adventureneering for certain on run out hero bolts


after a good huff of a headful of sunshine and the resultingly instant walk in, we weathered the crowds of morel-seekers and in shite-snowstorms set off - schizophrenic weather, one mometn sweet n' sunny, the next wind n' cloud n' hail n' grouple n' certain shit - i mangle-fucked the starting crack, reckoning my skills might best be used on that which could be aided no matter what, saving the rope-gun for later - aiding much of the crack to his horror, the 'hund got a chance to show me how to do it deadright not long after


he then got to lead a very short p2, but one now stripped of some bolts, such that it takes a brave soul indeed to reach the next set of anchors


i doubt anything after that 3rd bolt woulda held the 'hund, had he fallen - he showed all the insticts of those blue-blooded badasses i infrequently gallavant with - hestitant at first, sensing the fear-frenzy boiling in them, but then committing, silently, effortlessly, fucking-assholes!


p2 was so short, and my hate-crime of aiding a freeable crack so soon in the air, i offered up the longer p3 to the top - for his sins, bryan took it, and soon paid the price


making a bad call on not extending an early cam, the drag grew, and then to boot the mother-fucker of all snow squalls built up - the gap between the n side and hill-side howled, sleet sliding straight sideways - the trees shrieked n' tourists, short-clad, skattered from their safe holes from which they had watched us - half way out the rope, the 'hund found the relatively easier stone snot-slick, w/ all the weight of a dead-elephant dragging him back down - helpless, i was more than happy to accept the inevitable defeat, and he lowered off and we rapped


the storm in its quiet dawning, before he set off


back down on the ground, we found shelter from the shit in the many caves and overhangs stein's has to offer


a fire was by damn-sight in order, and made a nice caveman-tv as we pounded the liter of bandit brave-bryan had wisely transported to the crag


after an hour or so the storm broke, and sheets of shredded cloud skated across the valley, revealing the twin pillars in the fog-shrouded distance


i took in the truffula tree n' lamented the shit-sense of the lumbering lorax


our plan was brilliant, and we weathered in ease n' harmony the hail and fog and windy blast, and with heads heavy w/ happiness, we eventually made our way back up the trail in fine conditions, pausing to take in the stein-wand


twin pillows!


soggy trails n' squishy mud n' some sorta non-indian paintbrush bloom emerging from the foot-filth


it was a fine night - one no words can do justice - winged it back into metropolitan prineville for road-cokes n' camel-killers, then back up the wending way to camp in a fog - roaring bonfires - morrison and the american prayer - "lament for my cock, sore n' crucified, i seek to know you" - chain-smoking - "wild-eyed women, flowery in their summit, we welcome you to our procession!" - eventual wood-smoke soaked unconsciousness - "confusion - no connection - would you die for me? eat me - this way - the end" :)


sunday morning blew goats - i'd spaced on the fuel cannister, so another cold breakfast - even worse cloud n' gloom then yday, so we decided to hoof it for smiff and the crowds n' glory it portended


great drive back - the firing range was up and at action! :rawk:


arriving at the smiff-bivy well afternoon i found much the same motley cast of characters as a few days earlier - old larry himself prince of the scene - rumors of me booting all about the boys room much exagerated - we decided to take on an adventure route of bryan's suggestion - voyage of the cow-dog - fuck yeah! totally brilliant on the ultimate-gangbang of a smiff memorial day weekend - 2 easy sport pitches along the crest of the picnic lunch wall, breathtaking vistas of shiprock (why won't anyone climb it w/ me?!?) and the pl wall itself


the route itself - a fair walk up the shiprock gully to the end - moribund mus musculus marking the start


bryan on p1 - 5.8 he said (not having a guide being the theme of the long weekend)


larry and i followed on one rope, then i got the true pearly - p2 - fawwwwwwwwwk yeah - hero-stone, bolts, n' fucking badass exposure just above the picnic lunch wall itself, spitting you out after a cleverly circumvented overhang onto a cool platform below a hornbill pillar, a sickening walk-off from there, or a much-fucked rap


bryan slum'n his way upward, shiprock in her glory behind him


as my lead unfolded, the irascible corvallisclimber, student intow (and by that, i mean on lead) arrived for the party - caleb, fresh off a week in the sisters, and still a day away from the sickening thud of a down-ward spiral, ex-girlfriend induced, got his first (?) proud stint on the sharp-end


the getting off was half-fucked - easest perhaps to do just a single rap, then scramble down a seriously exposed in parts gully - windy and spaced-out, some of us some scrambled, some rapped, fucking that whole thing up - if you want to rap the whole thing, do 3 single-raps (the 2nd being quite short) in order to avoid the impossible pull that pushed bryan to solo back up the route to unfuck


the rest of that evening went leisurely enough - foiled at a drunken round of 5 gallon buckets, we settled on the more fashionably 9-bucket version and the fuck-hard thing above it - bryan flashing it in pure-style, then larry hemmed n' hawwed and got harranged something fierce for it from a half-caustic 'hund 'fore i failed half-way up and he had to sort it all out anyhow :)


settled for another evening of getting shitty - some time at the depot - a meal of french fries n' beers for a boy on a budget! tyler's ma even made an appearance! :)


memorial day itself something special, an early rise - packed up and paced off - we'd debated the widowmaker and shiprock, but settled on the marsupial traverse


in the end it was a bit of a cock-up - setting out on an initially exciting 10b, the whoel thing became ho-hum and melodramatic, and encountering crowds at brogans, from whence i'd done the rest, we opted to quaff our meager beer-stash and rap down, at least experiencing a rap incident decent enough to get my heart pumping :)


soon thereafter we had some chuckles w/ the brethern again in a cave down by the river - bryan had to be off for his ride, and i for my family, but took the chance to play awhile on the boulders by the river - holy shit there's some qualitity there! double handcracks - hoots n' hollers - chimney-fucks! then the long orbit home :)

Edited by ivan
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Ass candy and funk all, sounds like a far better time then I had! Spent Friday huddled at the base of broughtons belaying ben hunkered down against the pouring rain with full combat gear on, and even got the screaming Barthes when it was my turn to climb. It spoiled me for the rest of the weekend. Great tr Ivan!

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supposed to be in the new book - biggest crowd i've ever seen in the park - cars parked all along hte road well past the bivy - throngs at the base of everything from the phoenix buttress all the way over - jeebus, even traffic jams in the marsupials?!

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indeed the most crowded i've seen the place. surprised? not at all. it was actually fun in some ways... almost wal-mart quality people watching. complete with arguments, fashionista/hipster/climber hybrids, rednecks, what looked like a scene from biggest loser, etc. i noted that the usual influx of canadians weren't present (they must of known better).


the groppel, snow/hail (snail?) shit on Sat. had a wonderful effect on the marsupials. the 20 or so lightweights scattered like flies leaving the whole ridge to us and one other duo.


kudos to the folks that put on the history or smith deal on sat. night. the details of early acents were quite vividly described making a usually sleepy wine intoxication quite exciting.

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lol ya Eric, that wasnt Calebs first lead, but he has not been leading very long. He took off on that pitch like a gut-shot cat! He obviously has the potential to go far if only he could remember his helmet. He'll be way psyched on the pictures though! The rest of that class however did not preform quite as well. :rolleyes:

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Nice pictures. Last time I was on the cowdog there was a fixed rope in the gulley to the left. But we ended up rapping all 2.5 pitches since we couldn't see a smooth pull happening. Felt the first pitch was a little scuzzy but maybe it's cleaner now.

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Wow I was down ther this weekend (first time) I thought the crowds were always like that!

Great first trip for me nearly 30 pitches in three days!

Sounds like I should have joined th eparty in the bivy but was to busy sleeping at the Hollow.

Nice TR Ivan!


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Let me know when you want to do Ship Rock, I'll bring my helmet.


you're on :) i'll bring a big old hunk of junk rope to add a loop to the crazy web of slings round the summit block!


What ever you do, do not do it on a day with lots of people hiking. You run a huge chance of knocking lots of shit off on the trail on the second pitch. Surley the hardest 5.7 I've ever done. We knocked a lot of shit off with just the rope, totally out of our controll, luckily was in the middle of winter!


Oh and you don't really need a helmet... your already going to die anyways!



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Sweet sauce. Shiprock, let's make a plan and go walk that plank, or hoist that sail, pun our way up the "choss"en route.


You respond "He who would pun would pick a pocket." Mayhaps, but I don't need no orange candies covered in lint and sunflower shells outta your pockets, so I will pick my shit from others then polish it and present as my own brand of humor.

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Aint that second pitch of cow-dog great! Its a shame there isnt a more direct and cleaner first pitch. Oh well, it'll get cleaned up over the years...

reckon you could always just scramble the gully for the single pitch, but really that 1st one didn't seem so bad, and the bolts are good at any rate :)

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