Matt and Joanne’s Page

November 18, 2007

What not to do at Smith Rock

Filed under: Climbing, Random thoughts — joannestamplis @ 9:45 pm

Few more weeks left and we will miss Smith Rock for a while. We love Smith Rock and for all the time we climb there, we have seen many idiots who will do these things below. Here are some pointers I hope beginner can learn something from and climb smartly:

1. #1 and super important that I have seen so many idiots do in Smith Rock. Do not thread your rope directly into the anchor bolt or chain – it takes a lot of effort for the people to set up these anchors and when you top rope and lower directly on them, you WILL wear them out and put you or other climbers at risk of failing anchor. I think most people do this because they do not want to reclimb the route and they are worry that their partners would not make it to the top so the easiest way is to thread through and pull when they are done. If you don’t think your partner can finish the route, either you have to reclimb it to clean or just not let them climb at all.

2. Do not kick or throw rock – this is targetted specifically to non-climbers. We have seen kids throwing down rock on top of Moscow. You need to know that people are climbing down below and you COULD injure or kill them.

3. If you are a beginner, do not climb a route without reading the description first. Some of the routes, Alan Watt mentioned specifically that they are not beginner route and if you are beginner and jump on them, you will get yourself in trouble. For example, the Marsupial traverse is a great long, easy multi-pitch climb. However, protections are really marginal and some of the pitches, even though there are rooms to place something, you don’t want to fall at all because I really don’t think they will hold a fall. So, only climb this when you know you will 100% not fall.

4. Do not climb if you don’t have helmet – most of the climbers here do not wear helmet when they climb. Maybe they think it doesn’t look cool but think about what will happen if people drop stuff from above. Or what if your leg get twisted in between the rope during lead and you take a fall. The chance or you tipping upside down and hit the wall on your head is not that low. Actually this apply to climbing every where. One time Matt and I was heading to Smith to go climbing and we both realized we forgot both our helmets and left them by the door so we ended up going for a hike instead. No helmet = no climbing! Life is too precious to risk it all just to look cool.

5. Last one I can think of which is completely unrelated to climbing, don’t tie your dog to the fence or tree or unleash because you will be fined by the Nazi rangers in Smith Rock and the cost of the fine is about 2 cams.



  1. Marsupial traverse is one of the most fun times I have had at smith. Wonderful little jaunt!

    Comment by ian — December 14, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  2. I agree because it’s kinda adventourous with occasion horrible rocks and protections. Even though the hardest pitch is 5.8 and mostly easier pitches, I wouldn’t recommend it to beginner climbers because the routes are very runout with horrible protection that you don’t want to fall at all. Only climb this when you know 100% you won’t fall 🙂

    Comment by joannestamplis — December 14, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

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