A bit uneventful… so time to plan!

Posted: April 5, 2012 by None Smith in Climbing, English, Hiking
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I wish I had something more exciting to post! But unfortunately, the last few days have been slow and a bit uneventful. Although in slow times is usually when I start to plan things… so here’s what has been on my mind.

I’m so close to completing my first traditional rock climbing rack. I have a bunch of cams and passive protection, got a great deal on some used alpine draws (thanks Mountain Project!) and all I needed was a rope. I have been racking (haha! no pun intended) my brain on what specific rope to get. Who knew ropes could have so many aspects to them!

Ropes can be: various lengths and diameters, dry treated or not, bi-color or single color, single rope or double rope, and more. I had settled on getting a work horse rope, that was dry treated. Basically, a 60m rope around 10mm thick with dry treatment in case it gets wet.  I had a couple options but was struggling to find a good first rope for under US$200. I figured even though it’s nice, I’ll wait to save a little more money and let the weather improve. Then I walked into work. There was a deal going on for a brand new (a rope is something I would not buy used) Petzl Nomad 9.8mm Dry Treated Rope. Green. Not that color mattered. I wish I could share the price but since it was a special for our company, I can’t. Needless to say, when I saw that price it felt like a sign that it was time to get a rope. Plus, I figure we’re not the only company with this deal and there was a big disclaimer on the form that said “ALL BACK ORDERS WILL BE CANCELLED.” I’m placing my order tomorrow.

A note on prices. $200 may seem, to some, a lot for a rope. For someone in my job position, it feels like a lot. But a rope is your safety, your life line, your only means of not dying when you accidentally slip off the holds. So then I rephrase the question: is your life worth $200? Sure is.

As the summer gets closer and I look forward to my months with Adventure Treks I also look forward to the 3 weeks I’ll be spending in Oregon. I can’t decide what to do! Without a car, transportation might be tough but Oregon seems to have a fairly decent daily bus schedule to some of its more popular locations.

I originally wanted to try my hand at mountaineering. I’ll most likely be without a partner though and must confess to my absolute lack of mountaineering skills. Vertical places are beginning to feel like home, but steep snow slopes are still a foreign world to me. I figure I’d head to the Three Sisters Wilderness Area and try my hand at one of the sisters. They are quite beautiful. Yet May in Oregon might still leave the slopes covered in snow and ice. And I still don’t own any crampons or ice axes. It’s still in the back of my head, but the sisters are slowly fading.

Instead, I’ve set my sights on Smith Rock. A rock climbing mecca in Oregon, this seems like a much better option. Tons of sport climbs with some trad mixed in, over 1,500 routes, and climbs so above my skill level I don’t think I’ll get bored in any amount of time I spend there. While I’ll be going without a partner, I can offer a belay and a local beer to hopefully convince someone to climb. A bit of dirt-bagging, but it is bound to be a blast.

I still want to try my hand at some mountaineering though. I just have to convince my friend to drive to Mount Thielsen. Check out Summit Post’s description of this “lightning rod of the cascades” (although the website seems to be down currently). Supposedly its a long non-technical day climb with an 80 foot 4th class scramble to the summit. Then when you look down the north side – a 2,000 foot drop. Talk about exposure! Cross your fingers that this will all get done – then these blog posts will go from planning to action!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s