About Chockstone Climbing Guides

Rock formations, basalt columns, and desert terrain surrounding the Crooked River at Smith Rock State Park

What sets us apart from other Smith Rock climbing guide services?

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AMGA Accredited Service Since 1999 as First Ascent and Chockstone
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Personalized, Professional Instruction and Guiding
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Our Commitment to Service and Stewardship
Large basalt columns and cliffs on a sunny day at Smith Rock State Park

AMGA Accredited since 1999

Chockstone Climbing Guides started as First Ascent Climbing Services. Under the name First Ascent Climbing Services, we were the first Smith Rock climbing guide service accredited by the American Mountain Guide Association in 1999. The AMGA is a non-profit, nationally recognized education, certification and industry standards climbing guide/instructor organization. Accreditation lets you know that all of our guides and instructors are committed to their professional development through coursework, exams and experience. Accreditation means that our staff follow best practices in the field and our company meets the highest industry standards of business practices regarding permits, insurances and environmental practices.

There are only two accredited guide services at Smith Rock State Park. At Chockstone Climbing Guides we believe all clients deserve the best service from professionals that are trained in the current, highest standards of practice in our industry. Visit AMGA.com to find more information about the American Mountain Guides Association

Yellow and orange sunset with clouds and mountains at Smith Rock State Park

Trusted Local Smith Rock Climbing Guides

As the first accredited guide service at Smith Rock, our depth of experience and knowledge of the area is unparalleled, with over two decades dedicated to guiding climbers across its diverse terrain. Hiring a locally-trained climbing guide is crucial for selecting climbs that align with your goals and skill level while maximizing your time on the rock. We'll also help you navigate Smith Rock's weather conditions to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Whether seeking shade on hot days or finding warmer spots in cooler weather, our guides make every detail count, providing the ideal climbing experience that only comes with years of insights.

Rock formations at Smith Rock State Park

Commitment to Service

As the home of Chockstone Climbing Guides, we deeply appreciate Smith Rock for allowing us to pursue our passion for over 20 years. In return, we commit to its preservation, ensuring its legacy and accessibility for future generations.

  • Contribute to on-going efforts in anchor and bolt replacement and new route development.
  • We participate in annual organized trail restoration and maintenance projects.
  • 10 yrs as “Adopt a State Park” volunteers; handling recycling and glass from Smith Rock State Park that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
  • Contribute to the preservation and service to our environment and community at Smith Rock.

Our Story: Chockstone Climbing Guides History

After guiding and working in Colorado for 10 years, Jim Ablao moved to Oregon in 1999 and immediately began guiding for First Ascent at Smith Rock State Park, the service based out of the Redpoint Climbers Supply Smith Rock's iconic local climbing shop.  Bringing his extensive, broad range guide and climbing experience in the rockies, Smith Rock, with only one other guide service at the time, proved a great place to test, hone skills and help shape the the trajectory of guiding at Smith Rock with the other local guides and climbers in our community.     After five  years as lead guide and manager, along with his wife Anne and a handful of committed climbing guides, formed Chockstone Climbing Guides with intention to expand a broad range of services to meet the growing and evolving climbing community. Chockstone continues its commitment to year round opportunities for guides and clients and maintaining the highest high standard of quality and professionalism in our industry.

First Ascent and Chockstone Climbing Guides officially merged together in 2005, when Jim purchased First Ascent Climbing Services. Carol Simpson, First Ascent’s founder and the first woman owned and operated guide service in the Pacific Northwest, was happy to pass on her company to someone she knew would carry on the quality programs that had been in place. Chockstone Climbing Guides continued to offer the women’s climbing clinics offered by female guides that Simpson had pioneered.

Jim began offering professional development AMGA SPI courses and exams that train and certify Single Pitch Instructors for many climbing programs throughout the Northwest US. As a person of color, Jim has instructed the BIPOC American Mountain Guide Association courses. Chockstone is committed to support inclusivity and representation in the continued growth of the climbing community at large and in the professional guiding industry.

Our Smith Rock Climbing Camps hold a special place in our history to mention. These overnight camps have been running for over 20 years; bringing talented, committed young climbers from all over the country, these advanced level camps focus on bridging strong indoor skills to developing experience and skills for independent climbing at the crag. They have been adapting and evolving to the changing face of indoor competitive climbers throughout the years and have become our flagship program.   We expanded our camp offerings to adults in 2013.  The Smith Rock Climbing Camps are one of the only overnight camps of its kind in the US.



Hear from our satisfied clients who've taken their love for the outdoors to new heights with our Smith Rock climbing trips, camps, and courses!

Excellent guides for all levels

“I recommend Chockstone Climbing without hesitation for all levels. I have used Chockstone Climbing for all three, and the experience has always been consistently great!”

Such a fabulous experience

“Jim and Sean were excellent, friendly, safe and knowledgeable guides who accommodated our group that varied in age from 8-51. Highly recommend them!”

A Memorable Experience

“Jim was extremely professional, easy to get along with, a great teacher, and most of all, he was very patient with both of us and our inexperience. ”

Blown Away

“I came from a background of only gym climbing and the guides were AMAZING!!! The amount of knowledge and expertise they bring to the table is incredible.”

Multi Pitch Climbing

“A friend and I hired Chockstone for a custom 2-day trad and multi-pitch skills course. Our guide Jim did an amazing job with it – he really made an effort to understand what we were looking to get out of the course and come up with a plan to provide it.”

Josh F Washington

Outstanding Guides

“The guides are excellent and have lived and climbed at Smith Rock for over a decade each. They were also excellent teachers and provided great instruction and encouragement to push the climbers.”

Climbing Dream

“Jim and Gabe are extremely skilled climbers and guides, you won’t find better guides around. They are fantastic cooks and their stoke for being out climbing made for a great atmosphere.”

Incredible and Unforgettable

“Our guide Patrick was incredible and made the experience unforgettable. We will definitely use them again when we go!”

Such a fabulAn AMAZING experience with Chockstone! Wish I could give them 50 stars!ous experience

“We booked a trip for 12 of various beginner levels and had an awesome day. They also offer advicon how to get up the rock and cheer us on when we needed it.”

Best Trip of our Life

“Thank you both for all that you did to make our time in Oregon so wonderful. Hoping we will make it back to Bend sometime in the near future. If we do, a guided climb with Chockstone will be a must!”

Our guide was friendly, focused, knowledgeable

“Our guide was friendly, focused, knowledgeable, answered all our questions, and generally delivered just what we were looking for. I would definitely hire him again if I was looking to do some guided climbs in the park.”

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Our AMGA Accreditation helps assure our clients receive the highest professional standards in our industry.
Our AMGA Accreditation helps assure our clients receive the highest professional standards in our industry.