Northern Point, Smith Rock

A Quick Stop in Bend — April 12–15, 2016

On the way down to California, I made it a requirement we stop in Bend, Oregon. Having been the previous fall, it had easily entered my favourite three places. With this requirement, we had booked two nights at the go-to vacation rental in Bend, the Bend Riverside Motel. This was the only thing we booked before leaving for the trip.

Before getting to Bend, we wanted to go to Smith Rock to do our first outdoor rock climbing together! A few days earlier we bought a new rope at MEC. The next day we planned to have a Spring ski day at Mt Bachelor, and drive to Mt Shasta the following day.


With a morning start in Portland, we eventually made it to Smith Rock at 4:00pm. We were greeted by magnificent basalt tuffs, towering over the Crooked River.

Looking across the Crooked River at the Smith Rock Monument Area from Northern Point

Even though we arrived a bit late, the Spring and southward travel brought longer days. We were able to spend three and a half hours climbing the cute top-rope area called Rope de Dope. This area was a perfect intro for us, with easy to moderate climbs and a scramble to the top just hard enough to keep you on edge. We were more than satisfied.

Rope de Dope Block, Smith Rock
David perched on How Low Can You Go?, Rope de Dope Block

As the sun started setting, we packed up our gear and headed back to the car. We drove the short distance Bend, so that we could check into our home for the next two nights.

Vulture Ridge, Smith Rock
Rewarding ourselves with 10 beers from 10 Barrel Brewing, Bend, Oregon

After checking into our accommodation we headed out to indulge in the local fare. Our choice for this night was 10 Barrel Brewing.

After checking the weather forecast, we quickly realized that a storm was headed our way and would make our dreams of summiting Mt. Shasta impossible on our current schedule. Since the next day promised decent climbing conditions, overcast with minimal chance of precipitation, we decided to save skiing till after what was the final winter storm of the year. And instead, head out for another, this time full, day of rock climbing in Smith Rock. This would require us to extend our stay in Bend by another night making our quick stop longer. Neither of us complained.


The next morning, we had a a few stops to make before heading to Smith Rock: Humm Kombucha, to fill our Growler for climbing; Sparrow Bakery, for Ocean Rolls and a bagged lunch; and REI, for some climbing supplies (this was my first time going to REI).

Local treats. Bend, Oregon

For our second day at Smith Rock we opted to climb at Northern Point. It is the end of a basaltic lava flow. We had another great day and enjoyed challenging ourselves on some moderate climbs. To finish the day off, we hiked up misery ridge to see the Monkey Face formation.

David rappelling down a beautiful basalt pile. Northern Point, Smith Rock
Smith Rock Monument Area from Northern Point, Smith Rock

The next morning the predicted storm hit with full force. A morning Yoga got us into a relaxing mood for our planned day on the town. After yoga, we met one of David’s new coworkers, Jeff, at a Sunriver Brewing for lunch. They recommended we head to Townshend’s Tea company, which was delicious. We decided we wanted to get outdoors for an activity, so we looked to get a view of the city and climb Pilot Butte. The weather was on our side and we got a clearing as we neared the top.

A break in the Storm from Pilot Butte, Bend, Oregon
Sunset brews at Crux Fermentation Project, Bend

At this point, we could see the fresh snow on the mountains and were excited for the potential powder day that lied ahead.

That night we were able to catch the sunset while sipping on brews at Crux Fermentation Project.


The next morning the skies had cleared and we got an early start up Mt Bachelor. The storm had left more than we expected. We were surprised with an 8" (20 cm) powder day!

Mt Bachelor, Oregon

After and epic morning of skiing excellent spring powder, our time in Oregon was coming to an end. We had to head back to the car earlier than we like to continue on our strict schedule.

West Bowl, Mt Bachelor, Oregon

As we left Bend and Oregon in our rear view mirror, we already had the next adventure on the horizon.

Mt Shasta, California
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