Mt Sir Donald (#6&7)

Near Revelstoke, BC


The lactic acid was flowing relentlessly in our legs after climbing Slesse as we made our way to the latest and greatest ski resort in BC, Revelstoke. This place is great! We concluded that we could move there if we ever have to flee the country for whatever reason.


Mt Sir Donald is located just up the road from here on Rogers Pass, the legendary backcountry ski destination. The terrain here is amazing, but we were here to climb, not ski. As we prepared for the climb in the parking lot we asked the question we seem to pose often, "how much crap do we need to carry for this climb?"


Click Here to check out the rest of the blog posting.

Mountain Media

Castleton Tower (#1)

Fisher Towers, Moab, UT


Janelle, Mark, and friend Summer Ruckman started off the project with a climb of the Kor Ingalls Route in the desert North of Moab Utah.

Janelle led the crux pitch, a 5.9 off-width lay-back and did great.  We had several other parties on the route, which was expected, but everyone moved efficiently up the route and we were able to get the job done in a short day.  The weather was perfect, the cracks we wide, and only one snagged rope on the way down....a pretty great day.

Project Intro

This is short video helps cast the vision of the Smiley Project.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery as the Smileys make their way up the East Face of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park located near Estes Park Colorado. 

This video was shot & edited by Erik Osterholm of 5 Degrees West Productions.

Having trouble understanding climbing jargon? Click here for Wikipedias climbing glossary

Mt Rainier (#2)

Rainier Nat’l Park, WA


The Smileys Project: Committed, continues with a successful climb of Liberty Ridge on Mt Rainier June 25-27. The climb was amazing, all 10,000 vertical feet of it.

Justin H. and Matt M. joined us for the climb. All told it took three days to get up and back down. Starting at the White River Campground we hiked into the Winthrop Glacier. Day two we advanced to Thumb Rock. Day three we went to the top and all the way down and out...it was a 16 hour day!

Liberty Bell Peak (#3)

North Cascades Nat’l Park, WA


After two attempts in freezing temps we got a break in the weather on day three.  This is another amazing climb with gorgeous views all around.  1200’ vertical feet of fun, and we were on the top.

Click here to check out the blog posting for the brief trip report. 

Mount Shuksan (#4)

North Cascades Area, WA


While doing our homework prior to attempting the Price Glacier route on Mt Shuksan we read, "follow the trail that parallels the Price Creek leading to Price Lake." In Colorado, when the guide books use the word trail, that naturally implies a 4 foot wide space, clear of all vegetation, well signed at any conceivable intersection where one might be required to make a route finding decision. If there is ever a section of trail that the rise-over-run ratio is out of code with OSHA standards, college "interns" are quickly recruited to make rock steps that bring it back into compliance....

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Slesse Mountain (#5)

50 miles East of Vancouver, BC


Eleven of the fifty classic climbs are in Canada. This year we are ambitiously gunning to climb seven on the list. The first being, Slesse Mountain via its NE Buttress. This buttress sweeps unbroken from its summit at 8,002 feet, dramatically to the Pocket Glacier 2,000 feet below.

This mountain is amazing! Our first view of the mountain made me think, "holy crap, we are going to go up all that! That's steep!" The trail gained elevation quickly and we were soon in snow at about 4,500 feet.


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Mt Temple (#8)

Banff National Park, AB


The lactic acid was flowing relentlessly in our legs after climbing Slesse as we made our way to the latest and greatest ski resort in BC, Revelstoke. This place is great! We concluded that we could move there if we ever have to flee the country for whatever reason.


Mt Sir Donald is located just up the road from here on Rogers Pass, the legendary backcountry ski destination. The terrain here is amazing, but we were here to climb, not ski. As we prepared for the climb in the parking lot we asked the question we seem to pose often, "how much crap do we need to carry for this climb?"


Click Here to check out the rest of the blog posting.

South Howser Tower (#9)

Bugaboos Provincial Park, BC


Upon reaching the parking lot your attention is grabbed immediately by the site of chicken wire fences around every automobile. The tops of these make-shift fences are held against the cars with three foot tall wooden posts and the bottom is kept against the ground with a softball sized rock every foot. All 35 of the vehicles in the lot were equipped with this accessory, and it looks truly bizarre. A psychology student could write their thesis on what goes through peoples’ minds when they see this scene. Even if you have no clue what purpose chicken wire serves, there is probably a 99% chance that you too will dig through the big bin of bundled wire, provided by the Provincial Park Service free of charge, and take the hour needed make your vehicle look like everyone else’s. I don’t know if the term used would be “group think” or “the power of suggestion”, regardless, everyone follows suit and fortifies their vehicle to mimic the rest.

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Devils Tower (#10)

NE Wyoming


Approaching the Ranger Station to check it prior to climbing the Durrance route we walked slowly, taking it all in. A friendly guy, sporting a 12 inch fu manchu, filled us in on what was going on. Seeing our ropes he asked us,

Biker: “You gonna climb it?”

Smileys: “Yes”

Biker: “wooow, how long does it take?”

Smileys: “about half a day.”

Biker: “How do you get the rope up there?”

Smiley: “well, first………then……and that’s how you do it.”

Biker: “wow, man, that’s crazy, I don’t get why you would want to do that, but good luck man.”

Wind River Range (#11&12)

Central Wyoming


The 9+ mile hike into the Cirque of the Towers, up over Jackass Pass, is enough to make anyone’s brow glisten with a hint sweat. That didn’t bother us, we were pumped, the day was beautiful, the trail relatively flat, and we realize that the busy parking lot was the main jumping off point for many different outdoor enthusiasts, not just climbers. Rolling into our chosen campsite around 3:00PM we had a spectacular view of both classic climbs, the East Ridge of Wolf’s Head and the Northeast Face of Pingora.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Grand Teton (#13 &14)

Northwest Wyoming


The route wanders up and left, then right, then up to a scary old bolt anchor at a hanging belay. Next was the much talked about “double-pendulum pitch”, which required that we swing from these 50 year old bolts making the anchor! It was my turn to lead, so I got to see if the bolts would hold. Making it through the pendulum, I reached a corner system of rock. The only weakness in the rock angles out and up around a overhang. By pulling on insecure pitons and a stopper one-fourth of the way in the rock I was able to slowly make upward progress.
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Mt Moran (#15)

Northwest Wyoming


Mark took the first pitch and I followed with our huge 5 pound SLR camera. It was an awkward off-width crack. The camera multiplied the weight and bulkiness of the backpack. I had to struggle my way up it. I was so mad at the camera for causing me to struggle up a seemingly easy pitch. “Informing” Mark of my distress did not go well. It turned into a heated discussion to the point were I just sat down, not wanting to continue. I was not interested in climbing with this partner anymore. This is where a climbing partner/spouse does not seem like the best idea...
The Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Hallett Peak (#16)

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO


I tied in and “adventure climbed” (see above) up the first pitch. One hundred feet off the ground we felt the first drops of rain. Janelle wasn’t into it. Not wanting to be on an unestablished route (in the rain, on the cold shady side of a rock face) she suggested we come back another day. I yelled down, "maybe it'll just blow over." I hate bailing. I hate it more than being wet and cold. But reluctantly, grumpily, I made a quick anchor and rappelled to the ground.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Petit Grepon (#17)

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO


With a little route finding and a lot of laughs we were at the base of the final pitch, which is also the crux. At 5.7 it’s a pretty stiff 5.7 if you ask me. Maybe I didn’t see or use all the good holds, but it made me work. The 4 pitons you clip through the crux make it feel like you are sport-climbing. Sport-climbing on old pitons that is.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Creston Needle (#18)

South Central Colorado

By the time we arrived at his place in Lafayette, CO, he was already trying to get out of his newly appointed fatherhood responsibilities for the next three days with his wife, Becca, and maintain a happy marriage.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Mount Whitney (#19)

High Sierra’s, California

California - where the gas is stupid expensive and the alpine climbing is simply off-the-hook good. The High Sierras are home to some prime time routes, of which I’ve only done a handful, so I was excited to get back there.

The drive from CO to CA is a long one, so we broke it up with a stop in Moab, UT to climb sandstone with a couple Crested Butte friends.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Charlotte Dome & Travelers Buttress (#20 & 21)

High Sierra’s, California

The next morning, after climbing Whitney, we drove up to Bishop, home of the Shat's Bakery, where they make the best bread I've ever tasted. We drifted down each isle ooggolling all the fat filled delights; danishes, huge gooey cinnamon rolls, sourdough bread, hard candies, doughnuts, and much more. $27.58 later we were on their front patio, filling our faces with several wonderful combinations of sugar, flour, yeast, and butter....

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Fairview Dome & Half Dome

(#22 & 23)

Yosemite NP, California

Shortly after our pilgrimage to South Lake Tahoe, we had an engine idiot light illuminate on the Lulu's dashboard. Not knowing anything about cars, or how to fix them, we are pretty much at the mercy of the Dodge dealers' prognosis. That led to a rental car and our first (and only) hotel night stay that year. The hotel's bed was not nearly as comfortable, but the long hot shower and hours of mindless TV were pretty nice.

Read the rest of the trip report on the previous page.

Lost Arrow Spire (#24)

Yosemite NP, California

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

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Titan, Finger of Fate (#25)

Fisher Towers, Utah

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Mt Hunter, West Ridge (#26)

Denali National Park, Alaska

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Devils Thumb, East Ridge(#27)

Petersburg, Alaska

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Lotus Flower Tower (#28)

Northwest Territories, Canada

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Bugaboo Spire, East Ridge (#29)

Bugaboo Provincial Park, Canada

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Grand Teton, North Ridge (#30)

Grand Teton National Park, WY

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

El Capitan, The Nose (#31)

Yosemite National Park, CA

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

NW Face, Half Dome (#32)

Yosemite National Park, CA

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

SE Face, Clyde Minaret (#33)

High Sierra, CA

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Harvard Route, Mt Huntington (#34)

Denali National Park, AK

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

West Buttress Ski, Denali (#35)

Denali National Park, AK

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog. This route did not make the Classic Climbs list, but we did have fun skiing from the summit. The idea was to use the West Buttress route to acclimatize for the Cassin Ridge. After climbing the West Buttress, the weather went bad again, and stayed bad, until we had to go home. Such is life in the alpine.

Wishbone Arête, Mt Robson (#36)

Mt Robson Provincial Park, BC

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Salathe Route, El Capitan (#37)

Yosemite National Park, CA

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

South Face, Mt Waddington (#38)

Coast Range, BC, Canada

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

Japanese Route, Mt Alberta (#39)

Canadian Rockies, AB, Canada

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.

The Moose’s Tooth seen from the Root Canal Camp, Alaska

West Ridge, Moose’s Tooth (#40)

Denali National Park, Ruth Gorge, AK

Read the trip report on the Breath of Fresh Air blog.