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El Nino vs. Smith Rock in early 2016?
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Dec 2, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on Crest Jewel (North Dome), with the Northwest...
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!

Jeff Dunbar
From Carrboro, NC
Joined May 25, 2007
1,148 points
Dec 4, 2015
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. Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Joined Oct 23, 2007
1,701 points
Dec 4, 2015
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. JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
65 points

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