Smith Rock Session for New Climbers

April 12, 2002

Reported by Kara Mickaelson

Click Here for a Video from the Day (requires Quicktime plug-in)

Click on the thumbnail images below for bigger pictures.

On a busy spring weekend at Smith Rock, early is best. So Brent McGregor, Kara Mickaelson and Julie Ziedman knew in order to have Practice rock as their starting point of the day they’d have to be there by 8 am or so to secure the climb. That is exactly what happened. Soon, Brent gathered up all the participants and a great day of climbing ensued. Jennifer Seelye, John Simpkins, and Randy Griffin (all first time climbers) joined together with Kris Jett, Dave Schneider, Roger Fox and Spurge Cochran to “learn the ropes”!! After a brief bit of revue and refresh, everyone tried their hand at the routes:

First Timer S1**
Practice Slab S1**
and a slight variation to Drill Team S1 ***.

It quickly seemed as if there were no beginners. Next stop…the Student Wall. After setting anchors at the top and getting four ropes secured, the afternoon was spent learning new techniques, and everyone found out just how much fun and how challenging climbing can be. When John first started out, he was heard saying, “I don’t think this is for me”. With Kris reminding him that he’s paid for a whole day rental on his shoes, and Julie chanting, "you’re going to love this, you’ll dream of it in your sleep, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head." Within a few minutes John was heard saying "THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!" He was pretty happy after making it to the top of his "First Prom Night"!

Spurge was able to demonstrate 32 years of experience, which helped everyone. He effortlessly climbed Heart Throb (5.7), making the crux seem non-existent, and we all admired his ability secretly wishing we had 32 years left that we may be that accomplished.

Kris’ laughter and smile made the day a real joy as we watched her practice her flying technique.

Randy left us not believing that this was indeed his first day climbing. He was a natural.

Jennifer showed great stick-to-itivness (is that a word?) by climbing each routeuntil she was exhausted. Always with a smile.

Dave and Roger not only climbed well, but were great contributors by helping out with carrying ropes, encouraging the beginners and adding to the general atmosphere of fun by being the great guys that they are. Next time, Dave won’t wear shorts!

Thanks to all for another great day climbing at Smith Rock.