Sport Climbing Smith Rock State Park

Central Oregon's iconic climbing destination, captured on 35mm film

Sport Climbing Smith Rock State Park

Author

Vic Garcia

Photographer

Vic Garcia

Camera

Leica M7

Film

Ilford Delta 400, Kodak Portra 400

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Climbing for the first few times at Smith Rock in Central Oregon has probably been a little more spoiling than I realize. Before climbing I’d just head out on weekends to hike around and take pictures. But now, I don’t think i’ll see it the same.

Well before I had any idea you could climb at Smith, that it was a world famous destination for sport climbing, or even where to pin point it on a map of Oregon, I simple knew it as a beautiful place. I was about to begin interning for the company that I currently design for. Six years ago they flew me out from Milwaukee, WI for some training and on the way home I saw a postcard of Smith at PDX airport, so I bought it, only because to me it was such an insanely gorgeous photo of such a random geological feature. I kept it with me in a binder full of class notes I took to school everyday.

Occasionally I’d take the postcard out and draw it, or show it to my friends. At that point in my life I had no idea I’d end up moving to Oregon, much less get to see this place in person—and even less of an idea I’d get to climb there whenever I want. I didn’t even know what the fuck rock climbing was at that point, to be honest.

Life is nuts. I love mine and I love where I now live.

These photos are from my first few climbs out at Smith. Rock climbing is new to me, as is shooting a rangefinder, and film. So while these may not be the best photos in the world, they mean a lot to me and I’m proud of them.

Moral of the story—try new things!

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Published 02-20-2017

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