15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Totality at Smith Rock
Ian Caldwell on Spank the Monkey (5.13d R) at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. Photographed by Jeff Kraemer during the total eclipse, Monday August 21st, 2017
Photographer Jeff Kraemer contacted Ian Caldwell and Tim Garland, two Smith Rock locals, almost two years ago to begin to scouting the possibility of this shot. The lining up of; the sun, the moon and earth coincided perfectly with the north side arete of the Monkey Face. Ian and Tim continued to work on red-pointing the route over the summers of 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile Jeff had been making regular trips to Smith Rock to rehearse and plan over the last two years as well. Positive the shot would work out, we set our goals early and stood our ground as dozens of other photographers and climbing teams tried to gain access to Spank the Monkey just days before the eclipse.
Ian has been climbing at Smith Rock since 1991 He is known as the Mayor because of his dedication to taking care of the park over the years. He volunteers by working on the trails, replacing bolts and Search and Rescue. He has completed many 5.14s at Smith Rock, including two 5.14 First Ascents.
“The whole experience was amazing” Ian said, “at first I did not think the eclipse was a big deal, but the difference between 99% and full totality is literally day and night. I was hanging on Monkey Face and saw Mt Jefferson, 40 miles away, go dark. Then Smith Rock went dark. There were hundreds of people on top of Misery Ridge cheering. Then about a minute later the lights came back on. It was like a magic trick. Combined with the mystique of Monkey Face, is was a truly a once in a life time experience.”
© jeff kraemer.
All rights reserved.
||The American Experience
||Nov. 14, 2017, 6:49 p.m.
||Canon EOS 5D Mark III