After getting bailed on by both Tony Holmes (understandable) and Jordan Disko (completely disappointed)
I found some climbers in Juan and Paul Dehaan. I tagged along with Juan and his friend Craig and we
met up with Stan Miller at Smith Rock for some nice fall climbing.

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The always stoic, always ready for anything, Juan Rodriguez. Did I mention he's a
sponsored climber now?

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Juan and Paul Dehaan take a break in the shade. Even though it's September in the high
desert, it still hit ~ 25 deg C (high 70s to the Americans) at Smith.

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Our friend Stan Miller bought himself a climbing cottage in Prineville, OR. Since he's such
a great guy, he lets all of us climbing dirtbags stay there when we climb as long as we help
him with something at the cottage. Paul and Juan are here helping Stan clean up some of the
juniper debris left over from Stan's whirlwind tour of the yard with garden clippers.

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Stan's 3/4 acre is situated on a nice hill overlooking the area. This is Paul D's view of the
high desert from atop Stan's hill.

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Juan and Paul at the local pizzeria in Prineville, OR. Before you say, "Paul, that's a dumb picture!",
have a look at the mullet in the foreground. I got Paul and Juan to go stand behind this mullet
so that I could best frame her in the picture. That's Stan and Craig laughing in the background.

Close-up of the mullet of Prineville in the "Prine" of her life (thanks Paul D!).

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Juan looking down into the Crooked River valley. Just downriver of here is where the bulk
of Smith Rock's climbing lies.

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We decided to spend Sunday in the Lower Gorge climbing on the basalt. I decided that I wanted to
push my climbing ability and so with Craig's encouragement, I got onto a 5.10a trad climb called
Gruff . The guidebook claims that it has great positions for gear placements (which it
did) as well as locker hand jams. Well, my hand jamming technique needs work and so I wound up
doing a lot of whining and crying (no comments Jason Stowers). Thanks to Juan for the pic.

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Me placing a piece of gear. I think I placed something like 12 pieces in 80 feet of crack.
A little over-protected, but I didn't care.

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Craig is the most patient belayer in the world, dealing with me whining and lowering off
and then getting back on for round 2. I did wind up finishing the climb, but not without
a couple of falls and quite a few takes. First 5.10a trad ticked off although I am a
LONG way from being a 5.10 trad climber.

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