Ascend Ozone with Mountaineering Club

  Mountaineering Club members prepare to ascend during their February 1st climbing trip.

Mountaineering Club members prepare to ascend during their February 1st climbing trip.

When the Mountaineering Club pulled up to the Ozone climbing area last Saturday I eagerly awaited my first view of the jagged basalt rocks, hidden within a forested area. We clambered out of the van and surveyed the rocks, thought about which routes we wanted to climb, set up our gear and talked excitedly about the promise of the day. 

The weather at Ozone has been phenomenal this year, and Saturday was no exception. It was crisp and cool, with pervading sunshine that filtered down on us through the trees and illuminated the rocks and our chosen routes. Ozone overlooks the Columbia Gorge and offers rock climbing that ranges in difficulty from 5.9-5.12. 

The seven of us stormed the wall putting up a handful of bolted and mixed routes and then proceeded to tackle the rock. It’s nice to get off campus and set yourself to a more physical challenge, to clear your brain from the cobwebs of physics and Hum homework and remember that there’s a world outside of 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. that needs to be played in. 

The highlight of the trip was watching Jonathan, one of our members, hop on a 5.12 called  “The Crumbling”. He struggled at the beginning, letting out a couple of yelps and even a couple whimpers, but determinedly clung to the rock, eventually making an impressive ascent of the route. 

The Mountaineering Club is planning a pile of trips to Smith Rock State Park as well as trips to closer rock climbing destinations this semester. If you want to climb with us, come to a Friday meeting in the Backpack Co-op, or email ntill@reed.edu