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!