Smith Rock in July


Original Post
Wendel · · Scottsdale, AZ · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 8
This post was originally a comment in Smith Rock

Hey guys, Wendel here. I'm from Phoenix, and going to Maupin for rafting during 4th of July. Was thinking of driving up a few days early for some climbing. But not sure if it'll be too warm to make the extra time worthwhile. Don't know how much shade there is. Shade makes all the difference here. 90s in the shade is fine, but even 80 with full sun can get exhausting. Any input would be appreciated. More or less, are there a decent amount of western facing walls, or "ice box" canyons to avoid the heat? Trad or sport, doesn't matter. Thanks guys.
Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

Yes. There is plenty of shade at Smith. However it will be brutal hiking to and from. You're probably used to the heat being from phoenix so go for it.

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,625

As has been said, short answer is you'll probably be fine. It's far from the best time to be there, but it can be tolerable. (especially with an early start) I wouldn't say there's anything I'd describe as an 'ice box' canyon though... Last July was actually surprisingly good with multiple days that only topped out in the 70s. Other years you can find triple digits that time of year. (or anything in between)

Wendel · · Scottsdale, AZ · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 8

I'm used to the heat yes, but not the humidity. I don't miss feeling sticky 24/7.

Any recommended west facing walls or routes?

George W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 8

Based on your listed abilities, The Monkey Face by the West Face Variation (5.8) and Wherever I May Roam (5.9) should be on your list. Beyond that, Smith is a great place to push your grade in the 5.10 and above range, because many of the routes on all aspects of the crags have clean falls with good hardware (on most popular routes, at least). Bring a stick clip if you push it as many cruxes are off the ground.

In the afternoon you can hop over Asterisk Pass and hide in the shade at the Llama wall, Phoenix Buttress, Christian Brothers, and then eventually Dihedrals and Morning Glory until the sun goes down.

Try to manage your time by the sun and you'll be the most comfortable. Do not sleep in during July. The guidebook references the sun/shade for most routes and you can rent a ratty copy from Red Point Climbing Supply nearby if you don't just buy one.

Wendel · · Scottsdale, AZ · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 8

Oh, I should probably update my profile. I can lead 5.10/5.11 trad depending on the climbing type. 5.11 sport

I'll buy the climbing guide. And I'm used to waking up at 4am if I want to crag climb in Phoenix during the summer- by 9am it's too hot, and anything that the sun has touched is too hot to grab.

Thanks for the wall suggestions

George W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 8
Wendel wrote:Oh, I should probably update my profile. I can lead 5.10/5.11 trad depending on the climbing type. 5.11 sport I'll buy the climbing guide. And I'm used to waking up at 4am if I want to crag climb in Phoenix during the summer- by 9am it's too hot, and anything that the sun has touched is too hot to grab. Thanks for the wall suggestions
Awesome! There's better things than wherever I may roam if that's the case, but do a route on the monkey, WFD being a good choice.

Spend some time in the Dihedrals for world class sport and trad in the late afternoon! The Morning Glory Wall and Zebra Wall have great stuff, but it's often crowded and the vibe usually sucks.
Kevin MP · · Redmond, OR · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 193

Mesa Verde wall is a great choice for a summer morning crag with a bunch of classics. Then in the afternoon you could hop over to the Red wall for more shade.

Jens K. · · San Diego, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 185

It can be done and still climb at a high standard. Did it for one long stint about 20 years ago. Get up at 4:30am, climb until noon and then go swimming. Stick to the gullies and monkey face. Bring super glue & ice packs for the finger pads. Vibram rubber will work better than 5.10. Climb in the shade. Bring a spray mist bottle. Don't plan on sending 5.14.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 30

Hi guys,

Also looking at July @ smith here. Weather looks all right - I was in Greece last July, which isn't exactly cool either. Is it easy to find camping & climbs in July? I'm guessing camping is probably fine, but climbs can be either way - e.g. there are fewer climbs you'd really want to get on because you're looking for shade etc... but then fewer people as well. Which one tends to win out?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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