I'm trying to decide when to plan a first trip to Smith Rock from the east coast in 2016. Specifically, I'm wondering if this El Nino winter will have any impact on the start of the spring climbing season.
Is March a bad idea? How about April?
Any advice from the locals would be hugely appreciated!
Honestly, it's a total toss up. It could be amazing, it could be terrible, and it could (and probably will be) somewhere in between that. The rock here dries quickly and rain storms are usually short, so even when the weather's bad, it's usually climbable.
Don't sweat El Nino for Smith. The "wet and heinous" reputation of El Nino winters only applies to the SW; the NW is actually warmer than average with normal to below normal precip during an El Nino year. As such, plan your Smith trip assuming that conditions will be approximately normal; El Nino should not impact the start of the season for Smith.