Smith Rock's Featured Guides

In business since 2003, Smith Rock Climbing Guides, Inc. is insured and permitted through the state of Oregon.  Our safety record is unblemished.  We are committed to providing a safe, professional, and rewarding experience.

Rest assured you are in the best of hands!     

Featured Guides 

David Potter, on 'Positive Vibrations', Sierra Nevadas, CA   David Potter

  Home: Redmond, OR
  Years Climbing: 25
  Years Guiding: 15


Certifications and training:

• AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
• B.S. Geology, San Diego State Univ., 2002
• Certified Wilderness First Responder, WMI, NOLS
• Combat Lifesaver first responder training (US Army)

David is originally from Washington state, where he started out climbing the northwest volcanoes with his family.  By age 13 he had discoDavid Potter on 'Monkey Space' at Smith Rock.  Photo copyright Howie Garbervered rock climbing, and was soon helping to establish new climbs on the basalt crags of central Washington.  A well rounded climber, David has onsighted 5.12d sport climbs, redpointed 5.12d crack climbs, and aided A4.  He has numerous first ascents on rock and ice in the western US.  He has guided in Washington, Oregon, and California, and has trip led on successful ascents of over 20 grade VI big walls, including numerous ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite.  In addition to vertical pursuits, David has guided class 5 whitewater, completed an Eco-Challenge (Borneo 2000), and currently holds the speed record for the traverse of the Three Sisters mountains.  Formerly a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard, he ​served in Iraq in 2004-'05 as a Cavalry Squad Leader.  As our Lead Guide and an AMGA Certified Rock Instructor, David is a skilled Guide with a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to share with his clients.


  Derrick Peppers

  Home: Terrebonne, OR
  Years Climbing: 9
  Years Guiding: 5


Certifications and training:

• AMGA SPI Course, certified 2012
• Wilderness First Aid, WMI, NOLS         

Derrick is a natural teacher, with a talent for relaying both technical information and a love for climbing to his clients.  A guide at heart, he enjoys meeting new people and introducing them to life changing experiences.  He began his instructional career teaching at gyms and youth camps in the southeastern US.  Soon he moved west and set his sights on Smith Rock, where he was drawn to the natural beauty and enormous variety the area offers.  He spends a great deal of time exploring the backcountry of Smith Rock State Park, and enjoys climbing the lesser know adventure routes.  One of his goals is to climb 1000 routes at Smith Rock, where he will surely put his 5.12 climbing ability to the test.  Having climbed Monkey Face in under 15 minutes, it may not take him long to reach his goal!  Derrick not only climbs rock, he is also a prominent member of the growing “high line” community.  Similar to tightrope walking but on tensioned nylon climbing webbing, he can often be seen traversing spans between rock towers, hundreds of feet off the ground, safely attached with a climbing harness.


  Taylor Haring 

  Home: Terrebonne, OR and Bozeman, MT
  Years Climbing: 12

  Years Guiding: 4


Certifications and training:

          • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
          • Wilderness First Responder, WMI, NOLS         
          • Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC)          
          • EMT-B          
          • AIARE Avalanche level II          
          • PSIA level III                    

Taylor Haring climbing in the Rockies

Taylor learned to climb in his home state of Oklahoma. After spending a couple of years honing his skills and nerve on sparsely protected granite domes, he moved to southern Utah to focus on desert crack climbing. Since then he has spent nearly all of his time climbing rock, ice, and skiing in the backcountry. A talented climber, he has redpointed 5.12c in both the sport and crack climbing disciplines, and he has a passion for alpine climbing. Some of his favorite climbs are on remote technical peaks in the Montana Rockies, which require a wide breadth of skill and technical knowledge.  Taylor spends the warm months guiding with us at Smith Rock Climbing Guides, and the cold months as a ski instructor at Big Sky and Bridger Bowl resorts in Montana. He has been at this for five years, but he claims to enjoy rock climbing more, as there is less time spent cold and wet. Along the way, he has been working toward a philosophy degree at Montana State University. Having completed the AMGA Rock Instructor course, Taylor is serious about advancing in the rock guiding profession as well. An intelligent, professional, and particularly competent instructor, he has a bright future in the industry.

  Jonathan Schrock

  Home: Bend, OR
  Years Climbing: 12
  Years Guiding: 5

Certifications and Training:

  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • Wilderness First Responder WMI, NOLS
  • AIARE Avalanche level I
  • Certified Private Pilot
  • B.A. Business, Linfield College, 2002            
Jonathan Schrock on El Capitan, Yosemite CACAJonathan is a native Oregonian, and learned to climb on small crags in the Willamette Valley before moving to Bend to enjoy Smith Rock and the Cascade mountains.  An intelligent and highly capable individual, he earned his Private Pilot License on his 17th birthday, and before changing directions and relocating to central Oregon to “play in the dirt”, he was a rising star in the world of corporate finance.  He applies his qualities of attention to detail and technical knowledge to rock guiding as well, and is one of our most requested instructors.  A strong climber, he leads 5.12 on rock, technical ice routes in the mountains, and has ascended big walls in Yosemite and Patagonia.  He is in his 3rd season with Smith Rock Climbing Guides, and we regularly receive high praise for his guiding ability, professionalism, and personable nature.



Dave McRae in the Grand Tetons, WY

  Dave McRae

  Home: Bend, OR
  Years Climbing: 21
  Years Guiding: 10

Certifications and training:

         • Associate of Science degree, Weber State University, 1998
         • Certified Private Pilot


Dave is an all-around mountain man.  An accomplished backcountry Dave McRae at Smith Rock.  Photo by Ryan Carrascosnowboarder, mountaineer, and rock climber, he can climb the hardest route on the mountain and then ride down it.  Originally from Ogden, Utah, he started climbing rock and ice in his late teens, and has since summited countless peaks in the continental U.S., Alaska, and South America.  He is also certified as a pilot.  His experiences have helped fuel a love of writing.  He has written feature articles for Climbing, and is the staff adventure writer for the Oregon publication Cascades East.  Dave has been a Smith Rock local since 1999.  Although he can lead 5.12, he also enjoys exploring the many easy and moderate routes, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area.  Most importantly, he posesses a great mix of outstanding technical knowledge and warm personality.  His clients are quick to become friends, and he is a highly requested and recommended Guide.


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