First Kiss is one of the best routes at Smith Rock for those seeking an easy multi-pitch sport route. The climb is a bit on the adventurous side but it's also 5.7, well bolted, with decent rock and comfy ledges at belay stations. Thus, it attracts climbers looking to learn or test their skills on multi-pitch climbing, leading to a probable line on weekends at the base of the climb even though its in the far reaches of the west side of the park.
Reach the climb by hoofing it up and over the Misery Ridge trail. Descend the switchbacks to the base of the Monkey Face pillar and look due north on the way down. The rock in front of you is where you will be descending back to the Misery Ridge switchbacks from when walking off after the climb. Hang a right when the trail Ts with the River Trail and walk another roughly 100 yards along the trail that heads slightly uphill. You will pass closely by a left facing dihedral where the first bolts start the climb on the left side of the dihedral.
Head straight up vertical rock in the dihedral on good holds. Not too far off the ground the rock becomes lower angled before having to step up high over a large and somewhat bulgy crack. A two-bolt anchor with the smallest belay ledge of the route lies straight above the beginning moves of the route.
Head up and slightly to the left after leaving the anchors. The hardest move of the route comes fairly early on stepping up onto a small face with some of the smaller holds you will use all route. Once past that you are walking up very low angled rock before making a few more climbing moves up to a two-bolt anchor on a giant belay ledge, staring at Monkey Face to the south.
Head out in the opposite direction from Monkey Face and start moving horizontally rather than vertically. Make a quick easy move over a small gap and walk along more a less a sidewalk before rounding the corner. From here make a few awkward moves up and left on low angle rock. Keep climbing past a chopped bolt around another corner and set up shop at a two-bolt anchor. This is the most "adventure climbing" portion of the route.
Walk up a bowled out portion of low-angle rock, grabbing big undercling and face holds before moving up more vertically on a short arete. Top out on the arete and move left to another large ledge at the base of vertical rock where a two-bolt anchor awaits.
Maybe the best pitch on the route, the start moves up dead vertical rock on jugs that are more fun than most easy routes at Smith. Climb up another short arete with some odd moves before a final face you top out on. Setup a belay at a two-bolt anchor about 5 feet back from the edge of the lip.
This route should not be rappelled. The walk off is easy and will not disrupt other climbers. Move straight east away from the anchor and look for a cairn that marks a path around a traversy section of rock with a slight dropoff to the north. Walk down through a short hole in the rock towards Monkey Face and pick up the faint hikers trail. Follow switchbacks back to the Misery Ridge trail to go get your stuff or hike out. Stay on the path and be respectful of the steep hillside as you walk off.
The starting pitch of First Kiss
The start of Pitch 2
View from anchors to start Pitch 3
Looking back from close to wrapping up Pitch 3
Heading up the low angle start of Pitch 4
Looking up the vertical fun start of Pitch 5
Looking down from the top out of First Kiss
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Last Updated on May 31 2023, 2:56 am PDT
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