Sometimes you go on an adventure to a place that you have several times in the past gone on similar adventures, but you just suck it up so bad. This describes my day of attempted climbs at Smith Rock this past weekend. Pretty early on in the day I said to the folks I was climbing with that they should do the climbs they wanted because I was sitting this one out. Some days climbing is all about where you’re at mentally and I definitely wasn’t there. I was struggling with some insecurity and trying not to hold back the people I was climbing with that were significantly more advanced than me. I do not say this to say it had anything to do with their skill level, they were both willing to work on easier problems, but quite honestly I’m not sure what I would have been able to accomplish that day.
There’s always much talk about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, just going for it, take the leap of faith, and I’m often happy with at least attempting that leap of faith and dealing with the failure. But sometimes, just sometimes, I choose to stay right in my comfort zone where I am happy and content that day. You know why? Because somedays you’re just not in the right place to spend a day failing and you know that you’re not in the frame of mind to appreciate that you tried. So I opted to be the best belayer I could because that, my friends, was right within my comfort zone for the day. I will be attentive and keep you safe while you’re up there on the rocks. I will try to anticipate your needs for when you’ll clip in so you can be protected as soon as possible. I’ll keep my chatting to a minimum and keep my eye and attention on making sure you have a safe and happy climb.
Me and my friend Alyssa have been trying to make it out to Ozone to climb for quite some time. The first time, we couldn’t find it. Totally lost and we eventually figured out we were one parking area too far and were a mile or so away. Apparently giant cliff faces aren’t always easy to find when they’re nestled into a forest. Second time, we actually found it, but there was snow and we were going on a different hike so we didn’t climb. So, when I saw that Saturday was supposed to be rain free and knowing that usually means that Ozone is dry, we decided to give it a shot.
Saturday turned out to be foggy and misty and damp. But fuck it, we went anyway! Mostly because Ozone is proclaimed to be the driest place to climb outdoors in the Portland area. And it definitely could have been a lot worst, but it was still quite moist there. And yes, I hate the word moist just as much as you, but I can’t think of a better word to describe it. Funnily enough it was drier there the day we went with snow.
Alyssa took the hard part and did the route setting and braved some slick rock and a crazy last move to set the anchor. As well as us not totally being sure she was on the right route half way up. We were like you might be on a 5.11b instead of a 5.8, we’re not sure, up to you if you want to keep going. She’s a major rock star so she kept going and finished and set up an anchor because I’m a wimp and I only top rope. Some day maybe I’ll get brave enough to lead.
It was a super fun day. I didn’t climb a ton because wet slippery rock scares me even on top rope. However, it was good to get outside and climb. Oh winter, I love you but I miss climbing!
My favorite picture from the day. It’s not that epic, but I love how determined my face looks in it.