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Smith Rock in August.

Original Post
Justin Dansby · · NC · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,535

Considering visiting Smith Rock in the first week of August. I hear it gets pretty hot, is it worth the trip? If Smith doesn't work is there any other destination close by that is better. Any information is appreciated.

NjC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0

Hope you don't mind my dovetailing with your post. I was wondering the same about the end of August, the week before Labor Day. I've also been looking at the Leavenworth area as it looks like it may be a cooler area that time of year, and have more options for camping.

Any thoughts?

Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 580

Morning and late afternoon only. As temps can go well over 100 during the day.

NjC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0

Can anyone comment on the Leavenworth area, particularly during the last week of August,and campgrounds you like? I've only had time to look quickly through route descriptions (looking for moderates, sport and/or trad climbs).

I will be in eastern Oregon/Washington with a week and would welcome some suggestions! I'd love to climb at Smith Rock sometime, and while it may be possible to work with the heat by climbing early/late or looking for shaded aspects, I'd also like to consider other options. Also wonder if we did go for Smith, is it possible to camp higher up in the Bend area where it might be cooler during the day?


Ebb Ebbing · · Vancouver, WA · Joined May 2008 · Points: 210

Smith will be real hot in August, but if you get an early start you can get some good routes in, and then spend the rest of the day chasing shade. There's enough variation and size here that you can find shaded routes if you look hard enough - although some may require a lengthy hike - i.e. to the northern part of the park (Marsupials, etc.)

Also, it's not nearly the same quality or size, but Broughton's Bluff, just east of Portland is pretty shaded.

I've not been to Leavenworth but would predict that it would be much cooler than Smith.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 416


NjC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0 does sound good, though it involves extra miles. Looking through the database, it also sounds like weather is pretty good the end of August. I'll definately add it to the possibility list! Thanks!

Hope this helps you too, Justin!

Justin Dansby · · NC · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,535

Yeah it definetly helps. Exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. We only have two days, so considering hiring a guide service to take us up some classics. Also, don't really want to have to pack all the gear necessary for climbing with the price of extra bags on the airplane now. Any suggestions on say your favorite three classic routes 5.10 and under?

Chris Duca · · Fayette, ME · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 2,110

If you are asking for recommendations at Smith 5.10 and below, here are a few:

Spiderman (5.7+)
Teddy Bear's Picnic (5.10b)
Round River Direct (5.8) (Marsupials)

As most of the other posters suggested, chasing the shade is the way to go @ Smith. It gets wicked hot, so I'd suggest starting around the backside in the morning, then working your way to the front by the later afternoon.

Leavenworth. Only been there a couple of times so far, but it is located on the Eastern side of the Cascades. While that may spell more predictable weather, it also means higher temps. I was just there last weekend, and it was in the 80s and sunny--recipe for greasy rock. You'd most assuredly find shade in Icicle Canyon, though, if you don't mind hiking.

If you don't mind a campground with no amenities, there is a great spot off of Icicle Rd. on a Forest Service Road. It is about 3 or 4 miles from the turn off from the main drag. It is easy to miss, but keep an eye out for an unmarked road on your left. Once you turn in, make an immediate left, and follow the dirt road around to the back along the river. Nice little spots with immediate river access and guaranteed solitude. Last weekend was 4th of July weekend, and we were one of maybe 6 or 7 other cars back there. I think we were the only climbers, while the rest of the folks were kayakers.

Hope that helps a bit.

NjC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0

Thanks for the response.

I'm still mulling over possible areas. I think Squamish is going to be too far in the time we have available, and especially since we will have driven from SLC.

Smith sounds harsh with the heat, though I know shade in dry climates can be delightful even on hot days and I do like being places during the "off season".

Icicle Canyon sounds like something to check out more. We don't mind hiking in; actually we enjoy it as it often (not always) means more solitude. (And you gotta just love hiking with heavy packs!)

Any other thoughts for areas with moderates, sport and/or trad, in eastern Wa/Or that last week of Aug would certainly be appreciated!

rpc · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 610

Leavenworth is likely to be just as hot as smith. Try Washington Pass.

Monomaniac · · Morrison, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 17,320

I would go to Smith. Its totally do-able in August, its just not ideal. However, there are hundreds of great routes at Smith that get a lot of shade. You just need to plan ahead a little bit. Hit the Mesa Verde Wall &/or The Monkey in the morning, Red Wall in the afternoon, and the Dihedrals/Christian Bros in the evening. The Gorge is also a good option in the summer (far (east) side in the morning, near (west) side in the afternoon). The Northern point is climb-able all day. Summer is probably the best time for the Monkey. Its got routes on all sides, so with good planning, you can be in the shade all day.

A bad day at smith will be better than a good day anywhere else in OR/WA.

sqwirll · · Las Vegas · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 1,360


NjC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0
Monomaniac wrote: A bad day at smith will be better than a good day anywhere else in OR/WA.
Pretty funny! Thanks for all the suggestions for shade at Smith as well as other areas! I'll be checking them out!
Eric8 · · Maynard, MA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 255

maybe funny because its not true... try will be much cooler too!

sqwirll · · Las Vegas · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 1,360
SketchE wrote:maybe funny because its not true... try will be much cooler too!
Couldn't agree more, although if you're looking for sub 5.10 routes your options are somewhat limited.
Justin Dansby · · NC · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,535

Thanks for all the information. So far we are thinking of doing Spiderman, Round River, 5g Buckets, and a few others. And spending some afternoon time in the Dihedrals.

Heather C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 0

Its great to hear about Smith; but Im wondering about how youde get there from Vancouver without a car... and then where the best place to meet climbing partners for September may be?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest
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