SmithRock.com LogoSmithRock.com Logo SmithRock.com Alan Watts Interview
SmithRock.com East Face of Monkey Face
Sequence of Watts on the
East Face of Monkey Face
(5.13c/d) in 1984.

This is the third installment of our
interview with Alan Watts, one of
the first American climbers to put
in bolts on rappel to establish new
routes. It was his new routes -- an
techniques -- at Smith Rock that
brought sport climbing to the atten-
tion of the rest of the country's
climbing community.

He picks up here talking about the
turning point at Smith Rock. It was
the early 80's and people had started
to believe that Smith Rock was
climbed out.

To begin this interview at the
beginning, click here.

Alan: 1983 was the year when I started
to turn away from the cracks and
started to look at all the faces. Once
I did that, and it became obvious just
how featured those faces were, sud-
denly everything changed. So it was
certainly 1983 when the big changes
started for Smith Rock.

As for nationally, it wasn't until 1987
that what we were doing at Smith really
began to register. It just suddenly
happened. JB (Tribout) made his trip
-- and that of course got tons of
press -- and, at the same time, there
were a variety of different articles in
European magazines and an article
in Outside magazine.

Enough things happened that, come
spring of '87, Smith Rock was where
every serious climber in the country
decided to make a spring trip.

Before that, in '86, I wasn't around
very much. I was going to school
and I was in Europe. It was the spring
of '86 that a few people started show-
ing up, and then JB came over in
that October -- and it really changed
after that.

SmithRock.com: When did you realize
the long-term effect this would have

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