A variation of this has been popular with runners who go to Smith to climb and need a rest day activity. The route links the summits of all of the major formations in the park in any order and by any linkup trails. No matter the specific route used, it is at least 90 percent running, with a few class 4 or low fifth scrambles to reach most of the high points. In the attempts I know of the route starts and ends at the artificial climbing structure for kids by the main parking lot, and climbed the Smith Rock group first, though the route should be allowed in any direction. Overall, this is a great way to weave through complex terrain, find solitude in the park, and cover exciting terrain. It is great as a destination run for those that are comfortable with route finding or as an activity for a day off from climbing.
Included summit scrambles are:
- Smith Rock Group (highpoint goes at low fifth)
- Misery Ridge (class 2-3 boulder near the main hiking trail)
- Monument group (Monument Spire is climbed by a low fifth, unexposed chimney)
- Marsupials (Wombat is climbed by a short low fifth route on the back side)
- The artificial climbing structure by the parking lot
- Note: Koala was included in some of the past attempts I know of, but is not added here as it is a sub-summit of marsupials
- Note: Monkey Face may be considered an independent formation, but should not be included as it would make SmURPL 5.8 A0
- Note: Squaw rock is also omitted because it is outside of the park boundary
Garrett Genereux and Jason Hardrath added the following, much more technical loop:
The Conception and First Run of The Smith Endurance Love Letter
September 13th, 2022
25 guidebook pitches - Marsupials Traverse (5.7), Birds in a Rut (5.7), First Kiss (5.7), Sky Ridge (5.8), "West Tower" [SMG true summit] (5.4 A1).
All three Smith Rock High Points - Wombat, Misery, Smith Rock Group - a grand tour of Smith Rock.
Name and route by Garrett Genereux @scarecrow.gpg on Instagram
[Note: Trail Runners without extensive rock skills need not read any further, while this route fulfills the FKT Guidelines it pushed them to within minutes of their technical limits - namely:
- Ropes may not be employed for more than 10% of the Elapsed Time, and climbing grades 5.8/5a and harder even without a rope are considered climbing, not running or hiking - our time came out to 8.4% of the time on this described terrain.]
"In June of this year, while guiding a lot at Northern Point among other crags, I began dreaming of an enchainment to connect significant features at Smith Rock State park. As I dropped ropes from the anchors atop basalt columns, I’d look up to the Marsupials ridgeline, then to the Wombat, scan across the Monument section over to Misery Ridge, and then landing on the Smith Rock group. The topography called to me, the established climbing routes along the way made logical sense, and the park’s established trails could connect a lot of it.
I’ve never been someone who thought of myself doing FKTs or even following along to the incredible feats of mountain athletes; however, I thought that maybe there was just a chance that what I was thinking might fit within this style. I checked out fastestknowntime.com and noticed that Jason Hardrath had done some awesome work at Smith. A quick Instagram message and he shared that, “I have been pondering the most perfect expression of a ‘Smith Rock Grand Tour’ since 2018.” When then started messaging about what it might look like. Initially I rebuffed his efforts to make plans and trade notes. One, I didn’t have anything, just a dream, and also it seemed a bit ridiculous for someone like me to be making comparable plans with someone like Jason.
On a day that I couldn’t find a climbing partner, I decided to run/walk the non-climbing sections of the route plotting a track on CalTopo. It was on that day that I realized that it really was possible. Sure there was a question mark here and there, a few routes that I wanted to climb first before including, and really work on my endurance. I excitedly sent Jason a message that I finally had something useful to provide, thinking that my beta could give him the keys to unlocking his own plans. We had a phone conversation about the track, looking it over, discussing the climbing routes and the challenges I foresaw. Still in the back of my mind, I was thinking that I’d be in a place to give it a go in Fall of 2023 once those previous concerns were a bit more sorted.
On the Saturday of Labor Day, I received a message from Jason, asking what I was up to the rest of the weekend. Then, all of a sudden, we were going to give it a go."
Follow this route - https://caltopo.com/m/3S610 - do your best to follow this precise route.
Start your "SELL Grand Tour of Smith Rock" at the Gate
Run to Marsupials Traverse (5.8, 10 guidebook pitches) - there are only a few movements of 5.8 the rest is easier - mandatory rappels
Run to Birds in a Rut (5.7, 6 guidebook pitches)
Tag summit of Peak 4320
Run to First Kiss (5.7, 5 guidebook pitches)
Tag summit of Misery Ridge
Run to Sky Ridge (5.8, 3 guidebook pitches) - a bit over a full pitch at 5.8, all else easier - not a recommended solo due to rock quality
Tag North Summit (5.2)
Tag South Summit (5.4 A1) - like a high ball boulder problem of aid climbing
Run around the Southern Peninsula and then back to the Gate
"What an unbelievable day! 11.2 miles, 4k feet, 25 guidebooks of rock, 10 hours and 13 minutes. I lead all the rock, and Jason kept us pushing forward on the ground. We remarked a few times that we made a pretty good pair for this endeavor. I think it was more than that. I did not think that this was going to be possible for me at that time, Jason was a huge part of convincing me. The time is now, the time is always now. The past is irreversible, and the future does not yet exist. Don’t wait!"