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Smith Roch State Park, Laughing ok, please no heckling....
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By Dallas R
May 12, 2014

My wife and I volunteer at the Smith Rock State Park Visitor Center Thur-Sun 9am until 3pm. We are also beginner rock climbers. A bit over the hill to start climbing but we have our fun.

The ranger asked me if I would be willing to give a brief discussion on rock climbing to some visitors. I said sure, no problem. Today they put the flier on my door indicating that I am giving a symposium on rock climbing at the covered picnic table at the trail head between 1 and 3 for the next two Sunday's. May 18 and 25. A minor bit of miscommunication.

Yes I will be out there to give the tourists a brief overview of rock climbing and why good rock climbers don't die. No, I will not try to pass myself off as an expert, nor an AMGA certified guide, and I will definitely not tell anyone how they should climb.

So as you pass to/from your climbs please say hello and offer a word of encouragement, or laugh, or (shoot) you can even heckle if you like.


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By Mellow Yellow
May 13, 2014

Not only do I think it's super cool that you and your wife volunteer your time and efforts in doing what you are doing (along with taking advantage of opportunity), but I think it's great how you reach out into the climbing community to share your perspective -we can often be an embarrasingly sensitive bunch!

Hope you're still getting offers to get taken out from time to time...


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By Dallas R
May 13, 2014

Mellow Yellow wrote:
Hope you're still getting offers to get taken out from time to time...


Oh we climb regularly within our established grade level. The "taken out" part is an attempt to move from 5.7 to 5.8 +. And yes we do, we just hooked up with someone who may help get us up Monkey Face, AWESOME!!!!!!!

The volunteering is fun also. Met a lady from England, in a motorized wheel chair, absolutely bubbling over with excitement because she got to see an eagles nest with eagles on it. Or the 1st graders who form a line to view the microscope with a lizards tail on it, or the newlyweds who just began climbing looking for the "beginners" routes, or .... uh sorry, rock climbing forum, not volunteer forum.....

We have our fun....


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
May 15, 2014
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

I was working on several projects in Redmond last year and spent quite a bit of time at Smith, after work and on the weekends. Mostly just running the trail, or scrambling or soloing the easy lines, since I was alone. So I got to get really intimate with the park, despite having not really "climbed" much there. I feel like I probably know the layout better than guys that have been climbing there for years, since I had so much time to just explore and take in the sights. The few times I've been there to actually climb, it's been a mad rush to hit every route we can in the limited time we have- you don't really get to take the place in at all.

Climbing is about climbing. As a climber, I have no disrespect for climbers (that would be retarded). But climbers don't appreciate places like Smith nearly as much as other people who go there for it's rugged beauty and even solitude- which can be had quite easily, if you're not focused on ticking off trade routes.

Love that place... I'll always have fond memories of those months I spent there.


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By Dallas R
May 15, 2014

Ben Beckerich wrote:
I'll always have fond memories of those months I spent there.


As will we. We are not so totally focused on climbng that we ignore other aspects. It is totally awesome to live at the state park, perk of being a volunteer with an RV. Our 28 hours a week efforts gives us the privilege to climb or hike any time.

Or like yesterday, we decided to find a "short cut" across the river since it is way down. So we downclimb at north point, boulder hop down to the river, explore some possible crossings, cross and rejoin the trail. Taking Homestead to Wolf Tree to the base of student wall typically takes us 45 minutes. (Yea we are slow). Our short cut took 2.5 hours.

Then while taking a water break DW says, "There is a rattle snake behind you!" in a rather animated and excited manner. So I ask the question "How far behind me?", her response is, "It's a really big one!". I am thinking my original question is quite pertinent to the situation as my imagination has the snake with butt biting distance. So I repeat my question with emphasis: "HOW FAR BEHIND ME?". Catching on that I may be concerned she responds, "I think it's ok if you stand up." Still not knowing how close the snake is I trust to the gods that protect men from women who will not answer a question with a factual answer I stand up and turn around. Sure enough, about a 4' rattle snake 10' behind. It's very relaxed and not even agitated. I think it was curious about us because it came closer, when we moved it followed. I have never seen a snake do that before. So we kept a wary eye on it and moved on.

You simply cannot get this kind of adventure and humor unless you explore, and then explore some more. Coming back on Homestead we spotted several families of baby geese and ducks. We took a few minutes to appreciate them.

We have solved the mystery of the disappearing water fall. But that's another story for another day.


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By Dallas R
May 18, 2014

What an un-successful day. Sitting out there for two hours in the wind and had only 2 non-climbers interested in the display. They were more interested in the tables for lunch than the climbing display I had set up.

Thanks to all the climbers that stopped by. Obviously I couldn't add any wisdom to their climbing experience, but they all got a chuckle out of "Fred" my climbing dummy that I had up on the wall.

It's all good.

Climb on!


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By Ryan Palo
From Bend, oregon
May 18, 2014
Me

Hey Dallas, thanks for the effort/ taking care of the park.

If you want to attract more non-climbers, make a sign that says:

'WONDERING HOW THEY GET THE ROPES UP THERE? Ask me.'


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By Dallas R
May 18, 2014

Ryan Palo wrote:
If you want to attract more non-climbers, make a sign'


As if the state park had a budget for sign making. Actually, a better sign for today would be: "What is that red thing up on Picnic Lunch Wall?" It was the most FAQ...


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