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[TR] 2 weeks at City of Rocks and Smith - many and varied 6/25/2012

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Trip: 2 weeks at City of Rocks and Smith - many and varied


Date: 6/25/2012


Trip Report:

I took a two week road trip to Smith and City of Rocks. Marty and James joined me for the first week at Smith, after which I drove them home and picked up my wife Sue for the second week at the City. Weather varied from windy and comfortable to baking hot. Both Smith and the City have shady cliffs, so we never got too hot.


My camera is a Canon 7D with a Canon 24-105L zoom lens


James and Marty following the rarely climbed second pitch of Lycopodophyta 5.8 trad. This pitch is not nearly as bad as you may have heard. The rock is solid, once you scrape off the pigeon droppings. It's a bit of an adventure climb but well worth the effort.


It has an exciting bulge at the top, but there are excellent hand jams, jugs or finger locks all the way. The gear is mostly fingers to hands. I didn't use anything larger than fist. You can lead it from the ground, but it requires a massive rack. There is no rap station, but you can rap down the second pitch of Bunny Face. The rope you see in the upper left is Bunny Face












Marty, happy to be on top of the second pitch of Lycopodophyta




Marty hanging out on pitch 5 of Wherever I may Roam, Smith of course. 5 pitches of bolts. Over the last couple years I've now led all the pitches except #4. 4 is a scary friction pitch with a ton of exposure. I'm glad James led that one!



Who is the monkey? You can just barely see climbers aiding up to the monkeys mouth.









Self portrait:



James, Wherever I may roam, smith, belaying Marty up the 5th pitch.







Me, being a ham:




Some guy over by Zebra:




We climbed up Friday's Jinx 5.7, left of the Peanut, and crossed over the top and down to Spiderman. This is Marty getting ready to lead the last roof pitch of Spiderman.
















James on the walk off from Spiderman to the Cinnamon Slab rap.




James and Marty had to go back to work. I picked up Sue in Tacoma and drove to City of Rocks.




Our old friend Jim drove over and met us there for a few days. I met Jim at Spire Rock in 1977. It's awesome to climb with old friends. He was tired from the solo drive over in this photo.




We climbed at Castle Rocks for a day. I think this was a 3 pitch 5.7 sport route called Big Time. Castle is 10 minutes from City of Rocks.






This is the cash register in Almo at City of Rocks.




We met and climbed with Anzgar from Germany. Here we are on top of the 5.8 Skyline route, Morning Glory Spire.




Anzgar on top of Columbia Crack, 5.8. This is the best 5.8 splitter I've found at the City so far. Awesome hand jams for at least half a pitch.




Morning Glory Spire, Skyline goes up the center face crack system:




The next photos are from our trip up Steinfelds dome on a route called Sinocranium 5.8 sport. This is an awesome 5 pitch long sport route with amazing views. The crux is on the 4th pitch where it goes through a 40 foot vertical section. The bolts are close through the crux, which made it feel very safe, even though the holds were mostly down sloping. The route goes up the right skyline in the photo below.




Jim following the 5.8 crux on Sinocranium:








A couple from New Hampshire followed us up:








My amazing wife Sue. We met in a climbing class in 1976...still climbing together all these years later. Here she is following Rain Dance, a 5.7 sport climb. Kevin Pogue puts up awesome sport climbs!




Sue, our RAV4, and the City. By, by until next time. Note the Edgeworks Climbing sticker on the car.






Gear Notes:

Some of the sport routes have up to 15 bolts. I carry gear up to a 4 or 5 camalot, and a green big bro if the crack is large.


Approach Notes:

bring 2 quarts of water this time of year.

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Cool! I think this is the same Jim that I did a Wapta ski trip with seven years ago, I didn't know he was a rock climber from way back too. One hell of a guy, we mainly talked about skiing on our week together- he had pretty much been everywhere, several times. Please say hi for me next time you talk to him!


And great photos as usual Mark! You should probably just put your camera info in your autosignature. ;) That 24-105 looks like just the ticket.....someday.

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Always fun to climb with you and Sue. Great trip report.

Looking forward to another trip in September!

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Nice pics, and great climbing! It is good to see you get dusted off and out climbing. Congratulations! K

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Nice camping spot!


Thanks for the stoke! We won't get there again till september but I'm ready to go now.

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Mike and I did that 5.8 multipitch on our road trip when we moved to WA from OH. Good to see pictures of your trip. Can't wait to join you again! I'm thinking I will be climbing more next season when the wee one is walking.

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Great trip & photos! Amazing shot of that spiderman roof.

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isn't columbia crack in private property? Sshhhh.... :)


the city (and castle) rules for cragging IMO. thanks.

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Amazing shot of that spiderman roof.


I could not agree more! :tup:


Thanks. I had to work pretty hard to get that shot. I tied myself off to a 25 foot leash of rope, and climbed up the crack to a slippery perch off left. I didn't have any anchors up there as I waited for Marty to climb the roof...he had all the gear.


I got lucky and managed to capture him just as his rack was swinging outward as he threw for the jug. I did some spot brightening in Photoshop raw to "undarken" the roof.


I've always loved Spiderman, even back when all we had was hexes and stoppers, awesome climb!

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