Bend's location abutting the state's prime climbing areas and the country's mecca for sport climbing, Smith Rock, makes this time of year—with cooler daytime temps and autumn sun—ideal for getting out on the rock. Climbers may still be looking for shade but it's far cry from the mid-summer heat.
Smith Rock Climbing School
Since 1983, Timberline Mountain Guides and Smith Rock Climbing School have been getting students on rock with specialized training and guides. The school is an official accredited program of the American Mountain Guides Association and as such all guides hold AMGA certification. SRCS offers the gamut from the classic 350-foot Monkey Face freestanding tower to the most recent acquisition of permits and access to the Marsupial Crags. Family and kids' courses are also offered. And the school goes beyond Smith Rock to offer rock climbing and mountaineering skill-building in the North Cascades, Red Rocks and the Portland area. smithrockclimbing.com
While perhaps not the easiest approach nor kindest rock, and cam and tape intensive Trout Creek offers pure, traditional crack climbing year-round if you plan your sun and shady spots accordingly. Located north of Madras on the Deschutes, Trout Creek offers basalt columns ranging from 5.10-5.12 with lower angle crack climbs on the north side. What speaks to the area's uniqueness and local stewardship is found under a boulder and at the top of anchors...steel carabineers stay put at the top of anchors for ease of cleaning the classic routes, and a community bucket lives under a nearby boulder complete with a guide book, first aid kit, odds and ends, and perhaps most importantly, a mason jar full of hand salve. mountainproject.com
Bend Rock Gym
Finding a good partner and good weather are key to climbing, but at the Bend Rock Gym not necessarily a necessity. The gym is open daily and provides all you need to get on the wall, and beyond. Shoes, harnesses, belay devices, and beginner to advanced instruction for all ages are all part of BRG's program. Technique, top rope, lead and outdoor climbing instruction are offered year-round. So when the weather turns, climbers can turn inside.