Azure\’s Adventures

My adventures, fun times, and thoughts

Monkey Face Climb, Smith Rock, June 22, 2008 June 26, 2008

Filed under: Rock Climbing,Smith Rock — azureraff @ 12:04 am

If you ever visit Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, Oregon, the things you will notice first in the park is many rocks (duh), climbers, great views, and if you hike around…..a very distinctive feature called Monkey Face.  People hike to the platform across from the monkeys mouth to get a gaze at the climbers, and even sunbath across from the amazing feature. 

It is a goal of most climbers to reach the summit of monkey face and catch a view from the summit, and most of all, to enjoy the 200 foot overhanging rappell!  On June 22nd, Mac and I decided to climb the monkey since it was the perfect day and we were the first ones on the route!  From start to finish, it took approx. 5 hours to climb the four pitches, including one pitch of aid climbing (which I hate, thank you Mac for putting up with my cursing). 

Climbing is always epic with me, ask any one of my friends.  After the aid pitch of this climb (pitch three), you end up in the monkeys mouth.  You have to come out of the mouth and onto the last pitch (the nose) called panic point, hmmm imagine that.  Good thing I didn’t lead that hairy 5.8 sport pitch!  Even though 5.8 doesn’t sound hard, its pretty airy and overhung, and makes your climbing skills go down a couple of grades.  It was a traversy move and I was trying not to swing and pendulum coming across it, even following.  To make a long story short, I told Mac to “take or make the rope tight” so I could think about the move, and I ended up dropping below to the 5. 13 (a guess) portion.  How did I get out of it, well, I had to swing and jump for a piece and have Mac yard the rope in as I lifted up.  All of this with done with an audience.  I managed to make it though, and recieved a round of applause at the end!🙂

Here is some pics from the day….

Monkey Face from the the approach trail, two people were currenly on the summit (it was a guide that was behind us with his clients)


The first pitch of the West face variation route, you follow the nice crack up.  Kind of cruxey at the beginning.

On the summit after holding on for my life🙂 Notice the three sisters in the backgroud!

Mac on the summit….a fearless leader and my climbing partner!

Me rappelling! So awesome….I am happy now!

A look at feature from the back side, and you can see how far the rap was!


Helvetia Half Marathon 2008 June 16, 2008

Filed under: Half Marathons/Marathons,Running and other activities — azureraff @ 11:52 pm

This year a huge group of us ran the Helvetia Half Marathon in Hillsboro, Oregon.  Eric and ran in the race last year (he runs in it every year), but it was fantastic to get such a large group to keep me motivated and the weather was AWESOME! Last year is rainied.  Mac kept me going the entire way, since after mile ten I wanted to be done and drop dead…that always happens to me around mile ten.  After it was over…I was thinking that I can’t believe that I signed up for a marathon and I have to run double what I just did!  I better get to training! 

We planned a big after party/keggar at Erics for friends, family, and the runners.  Good times!


The group of runners that participated were:


Trisha and Rick (they plan on doing the half next year)

Half Marathon:

Azure, Eric, Mac, Ryan D McCoy, Tara, Heather, Chuck A., Nick, Kim, Bruce Candy

Here is some pics from the race:

   Eric and I near the finish line in Hillsboro Stadium.

Erics sister Trisha and brother-in-law Rick

Me and Mac “Daddy” (he is looking very patriotic!)

Ryan D. McCoy and Chuck A. (no sweat for him, he just did Denali!)

Tara and I (I love my mirror pond :))

Candy, Ryan, Mac, and Heather having fun at the afterparty!

Most of the runners! Yay, what an accomplishment!  I personally think running is harder than climbing a damn mountain🙂 Until next time…..


Leuthold once….Leuthold Twice June 11, 2008

Filed under: Alpine Climbing — azureraff @ 12:54 am

Climbing Mt. Hood is fun and interesting.  It is amazing how quickly we forget after summiting how freaking hard the climb was.  I climbed Hood via the Leuthold route on May 5th and then again on May 30.  When I did it in May, my friend Tracy reminded me that I had said that I wouldn’t be doing this anytime soon (those were not my exact words🙂 ).  I decided to do the climb again so that I could take Eric since I thought it would be a great prep for Rainier coming up on July 4th, plus Chris has never done the route and was up for something new. 

The first group of climbers was me, Tracy, Andrea, and Mac, all of us ICS grads.  Tracy led the way, I led the rope team.  It was very cold and very postholey, but a great clear day!!  The second time was me, Eric, and Chris with me leading.  This was Erics first time on hood, and of course, knowing how tough he is…. I take him on a 50 degree technical route on hood.  The things we do for love!🙂 On the way up the palmer snowfield, I felt very dizzy and sick, but I toughed it through and felt better at the saddle.  The route was postholey again after palmer lifts, plus weather moved in later, Eric had to arrest Chris’s fall, I think he tripped on a crampon (good thing I taught him basic mountaineering the day before), and a successful summit!  I feel like Eric has covered everything before our rainier climb now!Here are some of the pics from the climbs. 

Illumination Saddle on May 5, 2008

A clear view looking to the north from the ridgeline around 10,500 ft

knife edge ridge near the summit….wow, what a view!

Summit day, May 5, 2008 (Mac, Tracy, Andrea, and I)

Illumination Saddle, 5/30/2008…much less snow!  It was about 4am in the morning here. Pic taken by CPK

Traversing from the saddle over near the hourglass, then up,up,up.  Lots of postholeing here!!! Yikes (me in front, eric is second, CPK took the pic).

This is hard!!!  Are we there yet!

We didn’t get summit pics because it was nasty!!!  Think we were there around 10am on May 30, 2008.  It was still challenging and fun.  We had a great gilissade all the way down after we took off our crampons!




Random Thoughts by me :) 5/28/08 May 29, 2008

Filed under: Random Thoughts — azureraff @ 11:05 pm

Random thoughts on 5/29/08

Things are great with me!  Thanks for asking🙂

Of course, I am busy as usual.  During the week, I work, work out, run, climb, sometimes golf.  I still reside in the NW area of portland.  On the weekend, you know the drill, Im probably climbing something….rock or snow.  Just got back from Hells Canyon with a group of Erics friends from college.  It was a pretty good time, the weather was so so, and we hiked to a pretty cool waterfall and cooked burgers and dogs all weekend.  The light beer gets to me by the end of the weekend, but drinking micros all weekend would lead me to a world of hurt. 

Tomorrow night I am taking Eric and my friend Chris up Mt. Hood via Leuthold Coulior.  A ~50 degree route on hood and very long, but fun.  Will be Erics first climb of hood.  I just recently went up the route about 3 weeks ago and the weather is looking good for tomorrow night.  Though it would be good prep for Mt. Rainier-Emmons route coming up on the fourth of July (we maxed out camping at 12 people).  I am leading a climb up Adams/avalanche white salmon glacier June 28th with 10 or so friends.  Mac and I are heading to Mt. Whitney (California) in August to attempt the East Butress route.  13 pitches (i think) or so of easy rock, think one pitch may be 5.7, probably a 5.7 move only.  I will be making weekend trips to smith and Washington Pass for a weekend too. 

I am still in advanced rock.  I am pretty much done now except for the climbing at smith now.  I need to come up with a list of climbs I want to lead.  I know that I want to do monkey face, but I hate any kind of aid climbing, but its only a bolt ladder. 

June 14th I am running in the Helvetia half along with Eric and many of my friends.  I actually feel ready for the first time!  Amazing.  I hope im ready, because I am signed up to run a marathon in October of this year down in SanFran.  I am running it with three girlfriends and it is all our very first marathon.  The marathon is for all women and includes a chocolate mile, pedicures, and a tiffanys bracelet when we finish!! woo hoo! We plan on spending the weekend in sanfran eating, shopping, and hanging out at the spa after the big even.  The twelve of us that didn’t get a hood to coast team this year are doing the Diamond lake relay.  It is the same length as hood to coast but this is the first year this race has taken place.  It goes from diamond lake to Mt. Bachelor.  The other run I plan on doing is the prefontaine memorial down in Coos Bay that my dad helps out with every year. 

In December Eric and I are planning to vacation somewhere fun and tropical.  Probably Dominican Republic.  It looks really appealing!  I want to climb Pico Duarte, which is the highest point in the caribbean! 

Lets all pray for a good weather summer!!!  You all have a great summer!!  Keep in touch.

Luv you all!



Random Pics from 2008

Filed under: Friends — azureraff @ 10:47 pm

Mt Hood Ski trip with the girls

Beer and Wine Festival

King Mountain

Kristina and I at Charlies

Out on the town in May


ICS Fun…..I was helping out 2008

Filed under: Alpine Climbing — azureraff @ 10:12 pm

I helped out with the Mazamas ICS class this year.  It was defientely a great time, met the new students, brushed up on my crevasse rescue skills, and did a fair amount of drinking!  Isn’t that a requirement for the class ?🙂

Nick, me, and Heather


Brian and I




Mt Bachelor MLK Weekend 08′

Filed under: Skiing and Snowboarding — azureraff @ 10:03 pm

On MLK weekend we headed to Mt. Bachelor for some skiing and snowboarding!  We rented a house in sunriver that was great….except the hot tub didn’t work ugggg. Well, I complained when we got home, and now we have a free weekend stay for MLK weekend 09!  Pays to complain!  The conditions were amazing and it was powder paradise!!!

Cheers with our cool swiss beer mugs

Good times with good friends!

Powder Paradise!!