Fair weather rock climbing is one the most fun things you will ever do outside. Far from the turbulent weather of the mountains, most of our days at the crag are spent chasing sun or shade instead of running from storms. At Smith Rock, our main concerns are usually dehydration and sunburn rather than altitude sickness and cold injuries. Regardless, good gear will make your climbing that much more enjoyable.
If you have any questions regarding the gear you will need for your climb, be sure to ask the office or your guide in advance of your program. Please call or email us if you have any questions. We’re here to help.
Please make sure you bring all of the items on this equipment list!
Clothing systems for rock climbing in fair weather do not need to be exclusively technical. We do, however, recommend wearing clothes that allow for a full range of motion and can stand up to the abuse of climbing. Shorts can certainly be appropriate for warm days. In addition to your regular clothing, we recommend that you also bring the following items.
- Softshell jacket or windshirt: A softshell jacket can also serve as a midlayer, but is even more useful as it can also be worn as a shell in less extreme conditions. These light, breathable jackets will repel wind or light precipitation and are far more breathable than their waterproof bretheren. Patagonia Guide, Houdini and Traverse jackets are great examples.
- Down or synthetic insulated jacket (fall through spring): For chilly days, it can be nice to have something to pull on when you’re not moving. It should be large enough to fit over your other clothes including the shell jacket and will be worn at rest breaks or during class time. Synthetic fill is less expensive and will still keep you warm even when wet. The Patagonia DAS Parka or Fitz Roy Down Jacket are good examples. For climbs in warm weather, a light Down Sweater or Micropuff jacket may be appropriate.
- Sun visor or ball cap: For protection from the sun. Cotton allowed! It’s just a baseball cap.
- Climbing pack: Your pack should be compact, and should be no larger than 40 liters in capacity. Look for a simple, light pack and one that fits you well. Stay away from wide, large packs, and book bag style packs. Black Diamond Speed 30 and Epic 35 are ideal.
- Lunch and snacks for each day: If you’re going multi-pitch climbing, you may want to bring a variety of stuff that’s easy to eat on the go. Bagels, cheese, salami, dried fruit, gorp, even Power Bars are good choices. Make sure to bring food that you’ll actually want to eat. ¾ to 1 lb. or approximately 1500-2000 calories per day. If you’re on a more casual agenda, feel free to bring a sandwich or whatever you like.
- Water, two or three 1L (32oz) bottles: A Camelbak or hydration bladder can also work. Wide-mouth Nalgene bottles are the standard but Gatorade or other sports drink bottles also work great as long as they can seal tightly. Water is available at Smith Rock State Park, but not immediately at the climbing areas.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses should be high quality and dark.
- Sun block (SPF 30 or more): The higher the SPF, the better.
- Lip balm (SPF 15 or more): Any lip balm with SPF 15 or more will work.
- Camera (optional): One charge should last you for the duration of the trip.
Technical Climbing Gear
These are the items that you will be expected to bring or arrange to rent. Timberline Mountain Guides will provide ropes, carabiners and protection as per objective.
All rental gear must be requested in advance!
- Approach shoes or trail running shoes: Lightweight footwear for the hike in. Light hiking boots can also be worn, but if you’re planning on multi-pitch climbing, you will most likely have your shoes clipped to your harness or in your backpack while on route, so you will want to avoid heavy and/or big boots. Five Ten Guide Tennies and La Sportiva Boulder X or equivalent work great.
- Rock climbing shoes (available upon request): Rock climbing shoes should fit snugly for optimal performance. Bonecrushingly tight shoes are not necessary, but they should be tight enough to allow you to utilize smaller holds. Shoes should not be comfortable for walking, but should also not make you want to cry. La Sportiva Mythos and Tarantula are great examples.
- Climbing harness (available upon request): If you have your own harness and it is a modern climbing harness in good condition, you are of course welcome to use it instead of ours. Harnesses should be able to fit over layers and be comfortable under a pack, and must have a belay loop in good condition. Black Diamond Momentum and Chaos are great examples. Bod style harnesses are not recommended.
- Helmet (available upon request): If you have your own helmet and it is a modern climbing helmet in good condition, you are of course welcome to use it instead of ours. The Black Diamond Half Dome and Tracer are great examples.
Additional Gear for Long Multi-Pitch Climbs
(RED ROCKS, MONKEY FACE CLIMBS, ETC.)
Though a fully technical kit is not essential, you may want to consider synthetic baselayers and light softshells for longer, more committing objectives.
- Headlamp: Early starts or late finishes may find you moving in the dark. The new LED lamps are super light, get fantastic battery life and you don’t need a spare bulb. Make sure to start the climb with fresh batteries. Black Diamond Spot and Cosmos are great examples.
- Belay device (available upon request): ATC or non-mechanical style device. Black Diamond ATC, ATC XP or ATC Guide are great examples.
- Locking carabiners, two (available upon request): A few locking carabiners serve a wide variety of uses. Any model will work, but those that are lightweight, pear-shaped and with a keylock closure are ideal. Black Diamond Vaporlock Screwgate and Mini Pearabiner Screwlock are great examples.
- Small on-route pack (optional): For some many objectives, we’ll leave our bigger packs at the base and climb only with a small pack containing food, water, a headlamp, camera, jacket and some tape. 15-20L is all you need. Black Diamond Bullet, Shot or equivalent.
- Double-length (48”) sewn sling (available upon request): One nylon or dyneema (Spectra, Dynex, etc.) sewn sling for anchoring and rigging. Nylon is recommended. Black Diamond 48” Dynex or Nylon Runners or equivalent. PAS or Chain Reactor type lanyards are also acceptable.
Additional Gear for Self-Rescue Courses
- Auto-locking belay device (in place of the standard ATC): Non-mechanical auto-locking style device. Black Diamond ATC Guide or equivalent. Gri-Gri type devices are not appropriate.
- Locking carabiners, five: Locking carabiners serve a wide variety of uses. Any model will work, but those that are lightweight, pear-shaped and with a keylock closure are ideal. Black Diamond Vaporlock Screwgate and Mini Pearabiner Screwlock are great examples.
- Non-locking carabiners, six: Non-locking carabiners serve a wide variety of uses. Any model will work, but those that are lightweight with a wiregate closure are ideal. Black Diamond Hotwire and Ovalwire are great examples.
- Cordalettes, two: Two untied, 18-20’ lengths of 6-7mm accessory cord. Purchase from a retailer that carries climbing equipment and make sure it is intended for technical applications. Avoid Tech Cord or Pro Cord type cords.
- Prussik cord: One tied, 4’ length of 6mm accessory cord. Purchase from a retailer that carries climbing equipment and make sure it is intended for technical applications. Avoid Tech Cord or Pro Cord type cords.
- Double-length (48”) sewn slings, two: Two nylon or dyneema (Spectra, Dynex, etc.) sewn slings for anchoring and rigging. Black Diamond 48” Dynex or Nylon Runners or equivalent.
- Black Diamond Equipment: Timberline Mountain Guides is a proud partner with Black Diamond Equipment, manufacturers of the finest climbing, skiing and mountain equipment available.
- Oregon Mountain Community: Portland-based online retailer, offering gear for rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and general mountain travel. Timberline Mountain Guides’ customers receive 10% off all online orders.
- The Mountain Shop: Portland’s favorite outdoor retailer, “We pride ourselves on offering the best camping, climbing, hiking, and skiing equipment available. We make it easy for our customers to enjoy their time in the outdoors by offering full rental services, high quality equipment repair, and the very best knowledge for fitting you to the right equipment.”
- Pine Mountain Sports: Located on Bend’s Westside, Pine Mountain Sports has everything you need to complete your adventures in Central Oregon. Specializing in outdoor clothing and gear, Pine Mountain Sports offers the widest selection of Telemark, Randonee, Nordic and Alpine Touring equipment in Bend and have rental skis from K2, Rossignol, Black Diamond, and Salomon. They also rent snow shoes, climbing skins, avalanche beacons, probes, and shovels. Timberline Mountain Guides’ customers receive 5% off all phone orders.