PRICE

Intro to Sport Climbing (2-Day)
$595

Intro to Sport Climbing (3-5 Days)
$895 – $1495

Minimum 2 participants

SCHEDULE

May 9 – May 10, 2020
October 3 – October 4, 2020

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
2 Day Course

 
 
 
 

Talk to an ADVENTURE expert
425.749.7421

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OVERVIEW

Smith Rock is one of the United States’ premier rock climbing destinations and is regarded as the birthplace of modern sport climbing. Located in the sunny desert of eastern Oregon in sight of the glaciated volcanoes of the Cascades, Smith’s pinnacles and towering buttresses offer a fantastic variety of climbing objectives, ranging from short, fun, pocketed face climbs perfect for first-time climbers, to famous crack routes, long multipitch objectives, and some of the hardest test pieces in the country.

Thousands of climbers from around the world make the pilgrimage to Smith Rock every year. Why not count yourself among them? Whether you’re just starting to climb, pursuing your dream route, or aiming to test your skills on harder objectives, Smith Rock is the perfect venue for an amazing time!

Rock Climbing at Smith Rock • 2 to 5 Days

At Northwest Alpine Guides, we take pride in our ability to cater to your individual rock climbing goals. The basalt and tuff cliffs of Smith Rock State Park are home to an exceptional density of varied climbing terrain, all accessible via short approaches on well-maintained trails. We strive to tailor our itineraries to your specific objectives. On our longer, 3- to 5-day itineraries we can easily refine our climbing and educational goals daily as the trip progresses.

Our 2 Day Intro to Sport Climbing at Smith Rock is perfect for those who are new to climbing or are starting to climb outside after honing their skills in the gym. Our longer itineraries take you beyond the fundamentals with a blend of instruction and pure climbing. Our professional guides will work with you whether you are primarily interested in climbing some fantastic routes, whether you want to refine your technique to climb harder grades, or whether you’re focused on developing your ropework, anchor building, and leading skills to climb safely and independently outside in the future.

Which Smith Rock itinerary is right for me?

On our 2 Day Intro to Sport Climbing at Smith Rock we introduce you to the essential movement and technical skills you need to safely climb sport routes outside. In “sport climbing,” climbers protect themselves by clipping their ropes to metal bolts already placed on the rock. It is the most accessible form of outdoor climbing, and it is many climbers’ entry into the vast world of rock climbing. Our 2 Day course includes ample time for pure rock climbing as well.

On our longer 3- to 5-Day itineraries, the sky is the limit. We’ll have ample time to explore the variety of climbing options at Smith Rock and devote significant time to skills training. On our longer itineraries, you can expect to climb a variety of faces, cracks, single-pitch (one “pitch” is one rope length) climbs and longer routes. You will also practice the technical and movement skills that are most important to you.

Please contact us to discuss your goals and which itinerary is right for you.

2 Day Intro to Sport Climbing Curriculum

  • Rock climbing movement skills 
  • Climbing equipment & clothing 
  • Climbing knots & hitches 
  • Using a guidebook 
  • Climbing communication 
  • Belaying, lowering and rappelling 
  • Introduction to sport climbing anchors and protection 
  • Leave No Trace 

3 to 5 Day Curriculum Options

  • Sport lead climbing
  • Traditional lead climbing
  • Placing traditional gear
  • Traditional gear anchors
  • Sport or traditional multipitch climbing
  • Multipitch rappelling
  • Introduction to aid climbing
  • Climbing trip planning

Climbing Routes

Smith Rock State Park is home to more than 1,500 climbing routes, ranging from face climbs to cracks to aid routes. Our professional guides can climb with you throughout this immensely varied terrain. Popular objectives include: 

Beginner 

  • Round River – 5.4 – 3 pitches 
  • Cave Route – 5.4 – 3 Pitches 
  • Cinnamon Slab – 5.6 – 2 Pitches 
  • Moscow – 5.6 – 2 Pitches 
  • Birds in a Rut – 5.7 – 6 Pitches 
  • Bunny Face – 5.7 – 2 Pitches 

Intermediate: 

  • Super Slab – 5.6 – 3 Pitches 
  • Marsupials Traverse – 5.8 – 10 Pitches  
  • Pioneer Route – 5.8, C0 – 3 Pitches 
  • West Face Variation – 5.8, C0 – 5 Pitches 
  • Voyage of the Cowdog – 5.9 – 3 Pitches 
  • Wherever I may Roam – 5.9 – 5 Pitches 
  • White Satan – 5.9 – 3 Pitches 
  • Dirty Pinkos – 5.9+ – 4 Pitches 
  • Thin Air – 5.10b – 3 Pitches 
  • Zebra to Zion – 5.10b – 4 Pitches 

Advanced:  

  • Barred Reality – 5.10b/c – 3 Pitches 
  • Lost in Space – 5.10c – 4 Pitches 
  • Monkey Space – 5.11b – 5 Pitches 

Notable single-pitch venues:  

  • Morning Glory Wall 
  • The Dihedrals 
  • Christian Brothers Crags 
  • The Peanut 
  • Rope de Dope Block 
  • Lower Gorge 
  • Red Wall

Need help choosing a trip?
Read our Four-Legged Stool blog post for tips on finding the right adventure for you.

Course Highlights

  • Flexible itineraries tailored to your objectives and skill level.
  • World-class climbing on a wide variety of routes
  • Small teams for a personalized experience.
  • Learn basic rock climbing skills.
  • Learn essential techniques including belaying, rappelling and anchors.
  • Worldclass climbing in scenic eastern Oregon
  • An exciting, enjoyable Northwest Alpine Guides adventure in the birthplace of modern American sport climbing.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Skills Intro & Climbing
Day 2 • Skills Practice & Multipitch Climbing

Qualifications

Smith Rock offers a variety of objectives suitable for climbers of all skill levels. Whether you’ve never climbed before, chasing your dream route or pushing into new grades, our professional climbing guides will meet you at your level. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Smith Rock Intro to Sport Climbing Course at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio to ensure that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the course.

ITINERARY

2 Day Itinerary

Trip begins and ends at Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, Oregon

Day 1 • Orientation • Climbing Skills • Climbing

The team meets at the entrance to Smith Rock State Park for an orientation and introductions. We take a short walk to an easily accessible area such as Morning Glory Wall or the Dihedrals to go over important skills and start climbing. Today’s instruction will include: climbing movement, harnesses, knots, belaying, basic climbing communication. After lunch, we devote the afternoon to a slightly longer route such as Round River, which takes us three rope lengths, or “pitches” off the ground, ending with exhilarating views of Smith Rock and the surrounding landscape.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Day 2 • Climbing • Skills Refresher • Multipitch

We start the day off with more climbing on shorter routes near the ground. We refresh skills learned on Day 1 and then introduce new topics, including basic sport anchors. This morning is an excellent opportunity to test the edge of our abilities and comfort lever by attempting a slightly harder route. In the afternoon, we embark on a multipitch climbing adventure to the highest point at Smith Rocks where we enjoy breathtaking views across Central Oregon.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

5 Day Itinerary

Trip begins and ends at Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, Oregon

NOTE: At Northwest Alpine Guides, we adapt our Smith Rock Climbing itineraries to the interests of each group. Itineraries can be tailored to specific kinds of climbing (trad, sport, multipitch, aid), specific routes, and/or to develop specific technical and movement skills. Here is a sample 5-day itinerary for climbers interested in learning new skills and climbing some excellent routes:

Day 1 • Orientation • Climbing Skills • Climbing

The team meets at the entrance to Smith Rock State Park for an orientation and introductions. We take a short walk to an easily accessible area such as Morning Glory Wall or the Dihedrals to go over important skills and start climbing. Today’s instruction will include: climbing movement, harnesses, knots, belaying, basic climbing communication. After lunch, we devote the afternoon to a slightly longer route such as Round River, which takes us three rope lengths, or “pitches” off the ground, ending with exhilarating views of Smith Rock and the surrounding landscape.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Day 2 • Climbing • Skills Refresher • Multipitch

We start the day off with more climbing on shorter routes near the ground. We refresh skills learned on Day 1 and then introduce new topics, including basic sport anchors. This morning is an excellent opportunity to test the edge of our abilities and comfort lever by attempting a slightly harder route. In the afternoon, we embark on a multipitch climbing adventure to the highest point at Smith Rocks where we enjoy breathtaking views across Central Oregon.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Day 3 • Marsupials Crags • Full-Day Adventure Route

Marsupials Day! Today we hike to the Marsupials Crags, on the outskirts of Smith Rock, to climb any one of several long, adventurous routes that take us high above the Crooked River to the top of the Wombat, one of the tallest formations at Smith Rock. From the summit, we enjoy views of the Sisters, Mount Jefferson and other Cascade volcanoes, as well as the immense volcanic caldera that surrounds Smith Rock. A short scramble and a pleasant hike take us back to the trailhead.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Day 4 • Skills Practice • Climbing

Today we focus on developing new skills and addressing any technical questions that have come up on the previous days. Potential topics include rope management, anchors, rappelling, and movement skills such as footwork or crack technique. We do more single-pitch climbing, too. We can return to the Marsupials or explore a new area or a different style of climbing.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Day 5 • The Monkey Face

Monkey Face Day! We mark our final day of the trip with an ascent of Smith Rock’s most spectacular formation, the Monkey Face tower. This pinnacle rises roughly 300 feet from a slope above the Crooked River. Several classic routes lead to the summit. Once on top, we take in the view, celebrate our trip, and then return to terra firma the only way we can: via a 140-foot, free-hanging descent.

Accommodations: Hotel or Campground (not included)
Meals Included: None

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

At 8 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the main parking lot at Smith Rock State Park, in Terrebonne, OR, for an equipment check and orientation before a short hike to the crags. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

Price Includes

  • Guided climbing and instruction
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including ropes, protection, and other gear)

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal climbing gear
  • Hotels, campsites or other lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Tips normally average 10 – 20% of the cost of the program. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance after making a deposit. Travel insurance offers the best protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness, an injury prior to or while traveling, or a possible family emergency.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. We ask that you consult your travel insurance carrier directly with questions.

For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

Travel, evacuation and rescue coverage designed for adventure travelers.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™

  • Waiv­er for pre-exist­ing con­di­tions (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)
  • Option­al ​“Can­cel for Any Rea­son” cov­er­age (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Global Rescue

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $150.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During Smith Rock Climbing Trips, Northwest Alpine Guides does not provide group meals. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food during days at the crags.

Climbing Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to keep you energized at Smith Rock. On each day, we will encourage you to eat regular snacks, which can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy during a full day of climbing. When our schedule permits (during single-pitch days, for example) we may stop for a lunch break. On longer, multipitch climbs we may not be able to stop as a group for a mid-day break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8:00 am, the morning of the climb, we meet at the Smith Rock State Park Welcome Center in the parking lot at the entrance of Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, OR, for an equipment check and orientation before making the short walk to the crags. We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.

Smith Rock State Park is in central eastern Oregon on the outskirts of the small ranching town of Terrebonne. It is approximately 20 minutes from Redmond Municipal Airport in nearby Redmond, OR. It is 3 hours from Portland, OR, and 6 hours from Seattle, WA.

Limited services are available in Terrebonne. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the cities of Bend and Redmond.

Smith Rock State Park
Terrebonne, OR 97760

Please arrive at the trailhead with all required personal climbing gear and snack lunch food for the day. We rent and sell a selection of climbing equipment, including harnesses, climbing shoes, helmets, chalk bags, belay devices, cord and carabiners, but reservations and purchases must be made before one week prior to the first day of the trip.

Flight Travel

Most climbers arriving from outside of the Pacific Northwest will fly into Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) or Portland International Airport (PDX) the evening before the program and rent a car to drive to Smith Rock. The drive from RDM is 20 minutes. PDX is much farther away at 3 hours.

Our Northwest programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program destination. Climbers flying to Oregon must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. We will return to the trailhead by early evening on the final day of the program but exact return times are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers flying out of Portland book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day. If departing from Redmond on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 9 p.m.

Transportation

Transportation to the meeting location at Smith Rock State Park is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our Northwest programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling.

Trailhead Parking

You will need to purchase parking from the self-serve kiosks in the large parking lots at the Smith Rock State Park trailhead. Single-use passes are $5.00 per day. For trips longer than 5 days, it is worth it to purchase an Oregon State Parks Pass for $30. If you plan to camp in the Smith Rocks “bivy” site near the park, your camping fees include parking. Camping is $8 per person per night.

Driving Directions

From Redmond:

Follow US-97 North for roughly 7 miles to Lambert Road in downtown Terrebonne.

Turn right onto Lambert Road. Head East for 3 miles to Crooked River Road.

Turn left onto Crooked River Road and follow it into Smith Rock State Park.

The meeting location will be at Smith Rock Welcome Center in the parking lot that parallels the road on your left.

From Bend:

Follow US-97 North for roughly 25 miles to Lambert Road in downtown Terrebonne.

Turn right onto Lambert Road. Head East for 3 miles to Crooked River Road.

Turn left onto Crooked River Road and follow it into Smith Rock State Park.

The meeting location will be at Smith Rock Welcome Center in the parking lot that parallels the road on your left.

From Portland

Follow US-26 East for roughly 130 miles to US-97 South in Madras, OR.

Follow US-97 South for 22 miles to Lambert Road in downtown Terrebonne.

Turn left onto Lambert Road. Head East for 3 miles to Crooked River Road.

Turn left onto Crooked River Road and follow it into Smith Rock State Park.

The meeting location will be at Smith Rock Welcome Center in the parking lot that parallels the road on your left.

Hotels

Hotels are located in Bend and Redmond, Oregon. Walk-in campsites are available at the Smith Rock “bivy” site on the edge of Smith Rock State Park. The following options are recommended:

Smith Rock State Park Camping
Smith Rock State Park
Terrebonne, OR 97760

Camping in Smith Rock State Park is available year-round. It is walk-in only, on a first-come, first-served basis for $8 per person per night. Reservations are not accepted. Showers, restrooms, drinking water and communal electrical outlets are provided. There’s even a small book exchange (seasonally dependent).

There are a variety of hotels in Redmond:

Best Western Plus Rama Inn Redmond  
2630 SW 17th Place 
RedmondOR 97756 

Eagle Crest Resort Redmond
1522 Cline Falls Road
Redmond, OR 97756

Sleep Inn and Suites Redmond
1847 N Hwy 07
Redmond, OR 97756

Mountain Weather

For updated Smith Rock weather forecasts, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a Smith Rock climbing trip?

On our 2 Day Intro to Sport Climbing at Smith Rock we will introduce you to the movement and technical skills you need to stay safe, and have fun, while climbing “sport” routes outside. The itinerary includes a mix of instruction and pure climbing. On longer itineraries, we will help you further develop your skills and climb a wider variety of routes. On all Smith Rock climbing trips, the program fee includes a professional mountain guide and all group climbing gear (including ropes and protection). The fee does not cover travel to Smith Rock, lodging, meals or modest parking fees at the trailhead.

Is rock climbing for you?

If you have never climbed before and are curious to sample the beauty and thrill of scaling rock walls, our climbing trips at Smith Rock offer an excellent introduction to the sport. Rock climbing is a physical and psychological adventure sport that blends enjoyable, gymnastic movement with technical skills and exceptional scenery. It can be challenging, but your efforts are rewarded by the exhilaration and camaraderie of moving as a rope team through beautiful mountain terrain.

What about safety?

Whether you’ve already done some climbing and you are eager to expand your outdoor climbing skillset, or you’ve never tied into a rope, our professional instructors are prepared to meet you at your skill level and teach you the techniques you’ll need to stay safe in the vertical world. In rock climbing, safety is paramount. Our instruction in designed to help you build your skills from the ground up.

All of our professional guides are dedicated climbers with wilderness medical certifications. We follow a well-rounded curriculum to help you become self-reliant in the mountains. Climbing can be unpredictable – weather conditions can change in a moment and bad decisions can lead to injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will teach you how to climb safely and successfully.

Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides

Mountain climbing blends physical and mental challenge with teamwork and unparalleled opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural world. Our group sizes are often smaller than those of other guide services, allowing us to provide our customers with rewarding, personalized adventures that make the most of all the mountains have to offer.

Our mountain guides have decades of experience and have climbed the peaks of the Northwest hundreds of times. They have completed many expeditions to the world’s most challenging summits, including Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. Our guides are knowledgeable and personable. Northwest Alpine Guides will ensure you enjoy your climbing experience as you advance your skills. To learn more about our services, history and philosophy please visit: Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides.

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