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!