Cold Weather Signals Perfect Smith Rock Climbing Conditions for Arc'teryx Climber Nina Caprez
December 2, 2017
On a quick reconnaissance trip a year ago October to Smith Rock, Arc'teryx Climber Nina Caprez fell in love. With a route, that is. Perfectly smooth and vertical for 131 feet (40 meters), To Bolt Or Not To Be teased her with its 100+ moves on tiny fingertip edges. She knew she had to return to master the complex choreography required to complete the route.
One of the world's most historic sport climbs, To Bolt Or Not To Be, rated at 5.14a and established by Alan Watts, had its first ascent in 1986 by French climber J.B. Tribout. This was the time when Smith Rock became the birthplace of sport climbing in the U.S. and a mecca for top climbers from all nations. It still remains a challenge for top-level climbers.
"To climb in it, you need both cold temperatures and really hard skin on the tip of your fingers," Nina writes on her post, on the Arc'teryx The Bird Blog.
She expounds on this in the video below. "It's kind of crazy to imagine you can climb at Smith Rock when it's snowing. This route is perfectly south facing, sheltered from the wind."
Not a stranger to cold conditions, she calls Küblis, a municipality in the middle of the Swiss mountains home.
Her passion for climbing began as soon as she stepped into her first real climbing shoes. Now she climbs full time as a sponsored Arc'teryx athlete.
On that perfect day of exactly freezing and snowy conditions last February, Nina set out with a local climbing buddy, Ian Yurdin. She waited just long enough for the sun to motivate her, and on the second try, she found her rhythm.
Watch and be mesmerized by her beautiful footwork as she dances on To Bolt Or Not To Be in this video by Arc'teryx.