Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bigfoot Country Limestone ~ Spring/Summer 2015

There are several idyllic limestone crags in Northern California with a lot of incredible sport routes, good traditional routes, some top ropes and a few rare boulder problems. One of my favorites is the Limestone Natural Bridge near Hayfork. The routes are not as long (~50-70ft) as some of the other limestone crags in Nor Cal but they are technical and bouldery on gray, gold and blue streaked limestone cliffs and caves and boulders! After holding out on info for this area at first to try and ease into access here there was an increase in popularity leading to some access issues. Now with a renewed interest after a long break by myself and others and to preserve the climbing history I am sharing a list of all the rock climbs and boulder problems that I know of in the area.

Native American Historic Heritage Site - Access Issues
There was a horribly tragic Indian massacre here long ago so it is now a sacred site.
Be extra cautious and respectful of all other users and tread very lightly on this sacred ground.

Mountain Project - Natural Bridge CA

The Limestone Natural Bridge
*Star = ok / *****Star = World Classic ~100 total routes + boulder problems!

Sasquatch Cave
(R to L)
1 slab corner?
2 "Honey Bear" V2*** stand start. FA: CS
3 Honey into Sasquatch?
4 "Honey Nectar" Honey into Nectar!?
5 crimp start!?
6 "Sasquatch" V4***** cave start up right into V3**** stand start. FA: CS
7 "Bass Nectar" V5*** cave start then left to jug drop off. FA: CS/SR
8 crack up left to same jug drop off?
9 up left side of cave to same jug drop off?
10 ??

Limestone Natural Bridge {Bouldering}
(Bouldering - headlamps are good for the caves and under the Bridge)
11 "Bridge Traverse" V5/5.12**** start about midway and traverse left over rocky creek landing FA: CS or The Full Bridge Traverse - double digit future project!?
12 "The Opening" V5/6** start on far right of Bridge traverse left to jugs about 1/4 across. FA: CS
From this point the next 1/4 is the crux of The Full Bridge Traverse all the way to the V5/5.12 start.
13 "the tooth?" V4**** next to The Opening.
14 "tooth traverse?" V3/4/5** traverse.
15 "?" V1/2** far left side of bridge
16 "?" V4/5** left face of bridge
17 "Supercat" V6**** sit start low jug and bust over bulge on boulder in creek under bridge.
18 "?" V5*** FA: SB
19 "Wonderdog" V4*** FA: CS
20 "?" V4 FA: SB
21 ?? far right side of Bridge!?
22 V3/4** direct out mini roof under cave route start or V0/1** jugs.
23 V2/3*** left side of boulder above picnic table campsite. FA:CS?
24 "?" V4**** center face of boulder above picnic table campsite. FA: SB
25 "?" V2/3*** right side of boulder above picnic table campsite. FA:CS?
26 "?" V4/5 traverse from left to right on boulder above picnic table campsite - low V5/6! FA: CS?
27 "Riggins" V3/4R*** highball face with water groove runnels - overgrown/mossy. FA: S?
28 "Gray Wall Traverse" V0/1/2***
29 "Cool Beans" V4*** cave or V3 stand start - crack/hueco traverse left from cool cave. FA:CS
30 "Mystic Cave" V2/3*** left sit start to mid jug drop off (V-harder to upper jug drop off - proj!)
31 "Mist" V3/4*** right start to mid jug (V-harder from sit and to upper jug drop off - proj!)
32 "Mistic Traverse" V4/5** right start then down #18 into no-hands rest in cave? ~fun link-up!
33 upper traverse?
34 traverse?
35 Bridge Bulge - right corner!?
36 "Peaceful Warrior"? Bridge Bulge - center overhang to seam to left jug drop off!!?
37 "Peace Over Power"? Bridge Bulge - left overhang!?
38 "Cave Crack"!? inside upper cave entrance/exit
39 "Ice Cave"!? deep inside cave
40 ??

Limestone Natural Bridge {Routes}
(R to L)
1 short cave?
2 "Scary Monster" 5.13c**** FA: CB
3 Scary Extension - up left to high anchor!?
4 Scary Roof - anchor up right of Scary!?
5 Scary Water - cut left off Scary Monster to Bridge Over Troubled Water anchor!?
6 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" 5.13a*** start #7 then right out undercling to anchor. FA: CS
7 "Bigfoot" 5.12c***** start center route in steep cave and go to midway anchor! FA (retro): TK/CS - or to the lip anchor is (5.14!?) mega project!! and to the top anchor is ultra mega project!!??
8 "High Anxiety" 5.12b/V5*** (5.11d/A1**) A1 or V5 jump start! - left side of Bridge. FA: KA
9 "Futurama" 5.13a*** Bolts and RB's or Top Rope. Backside of Bridge. FA: PH
10 "Fast Forward" 5.10b** Bolts and RB's or Top Rope. Backside of Bridge. FA: ?

Gray Wall aka Dirt Surfer Wall
(L to R)
11 "Skeletal Remains" 5.10d*** FA: KA
12 "Indian" 5.11b*** FA: KA
13 "Massacre" 5.11d*** FA: KA
14 "Ritual" 5.12b*** sustained. FA: KA
15 "Pinch Hitter" 5.12b**** bouldery! FA: CS
16 "Dirt Surfer" 5.11c**** the original classic! FA: PH/EC
17 "ADD" 5.11d/12a* start Dirt Surfer end Wake and Bake - beware hollow flake. FA: AR
18 "Wake and Bake" 5.10b/c*** sort of a warm-up ~ but awkward. FA: CS
19 "Burning Spear" 5.11d**** classic. FA: CS
20 "Firewater" 5.12a**** mega classic! FA: CS
21 "Supernatural" 5.13a*** steep arete to face - open lead project. FA(TR): KA
22 "Medicine Man" 5.11d**** steep arete/face. FA: KA
23 "Witch Doctor" 5.12a*** bouldery - hard clips. FA: CS
24 ??
25 ??

UV Wall 
(R to L)
26 "Ray Ban" 5.10d**** short fun route to chain anchor in notch. FA: AR
27 "Cold Blooded" 5.12d** project? left of Ray Ban.

Yellow Wall aka Orange Wall
(L to R)
28 "?" 5.12d*** bolts up steep prow! FA: PH/EC
29 "100 Innocent Souls" 5.12b**** prominent orange streak to tree. FA: EC?
30 right side? RB's?

Orange Cave
(L to R)
31 "Graceland" 5.10b/c*** - Left slab face. FA: AR
32 "Orange Cave" 5.11d**** Steep fun cave corner! FA: ?
33 5.12d*** Short steep face! FA: ?
34 5.13!? open project!?
35 ??


Wildwood Road - Rhinecastle
Main Wall - left
1 broken terrain??

Main Wall
2 left slab arete?
3 face to diagonal to slab arete?
4 face?
5 ?

Striped Wall
6 far left?
7 brown corner left?
8 hueco line!?
9 right side?
10 far right?

Flintstone Wall
11 "Pebbles" 5.8 TR right layback crack to pockets. FA: LB/CS
12 "Bam Bam Direct" 5.10a TR direct face between cracks. FA: CS
13 "Bam Bam" 5.9 TR left splitter crack to bulge face. {The first climb on Rhinecastle!} FA: CS
14 "The Flintstone" TR left face/arete?
15 "Flintstone Traverse"?

The Steeple
16 "White Castle"?

The Prow aka The Rhino
17 steep prow/arete!?
18 steep prow face!?
19 face right of prow?
20 ?

Wildwood Road - Wildwood Crags
Big Crag
1 ??
2 ??
3 ??

Crack Wall
4 left crack!?
5 right crack!?
6 ?

The Overhang
7 left seam!?
8 center face!!??
9 right face!?
10 ?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sugarloaf Ridge Bouldering ~ Spring 2015

Gunsight Rock
Mt Hood

Lizzy B
Mt Hood

"Illuminati" V4fa

Shawn R
"Illuminati" V4 

Shawn R
"Pyramid Power" V3

New boulder problems at the Canyon Trail Boulders in Sugarloaf Ridge Park 15min east of Santa Rosa near Kenwood. Darren W is to credit for bringing this area back to life and opening up a new boulder with several new classics. His original "Favors Undertakings" V1 is the main line up the flared corner in the center of the high face on this new pyramid tipped boulder. Located just uphill right next to one of the very first developed boulders in the park the old school Pyramid Boulder. 

Favors Boulder aka Conspiracy Boulder and The Pyramid Boulder
New problems Left to Right.
*barely worthy ~up to~ *****world classic:

1 "Left Wing" VB/0* left arete - look out for poison oak.
2 "Conspiracy Theory" V3** edges up right into #3, left arete is off.
3 "Illuminati" V4**** or V4/5*** low right start.
4 "Favors Undertakings" V1**** semi high flared corner left of center.
5 "Rosacrucian" V4**** semi high face right of center from good low holds.
6 "Right Wing" V3/4** start on the same good low holds as #5 then go right to arete or up arete! 
7 "Right Arete" V0/1R**? high right arete over bad landing.  
8 traverse left to right!?
9 traverse right to left!?
10 !?
Pyramid Boulder
11 "Pyramid Arete Low Sit" V4/5*** compression slopers into original start!
12 !?

Check out a FREE mini-guidebook to Sugarloaf Ridge on this blog;

And for Sugarloaf Ridge and a lot of other great bouldering spots in and around the area check out:
Bay Area Bouldering 2015 eBook update :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Castle Zone FA's!

Sunnyvale Mountain + Biddles FA's 3/15!
***** = world classic / * = barely worthy

Drunk as a Skunk Boulder
original problems - l to r:
Skalawag V1/2** - fa: md
Skalawag Traverse V2/3*** main problem (opposite the classic Poop Chute PirateV2/3***) - fa: md
Skalawag Mantle V3/4**  - fa: md
V3/4** short sit scoop pockets left side - fa=rs?
V1/2* crack corner low start - fa=rs?
Tall Bastard V8/9***  - fa: a?
V5/6/7/8/9!? traverse from Drunk as a Skunk left around Tall Bastard into V1/2 crack corner - fa=!??
Drunk as a Skunk V6**** - fa: rs
V1/2** pull over bulge on far right side - fa=cb?
V2*** lip traverse far right side - fa: rs/md

new fa's as of 3/15:
Funky Monkey V2/3*** sit or VB/0 stand - fa=cs
Drunk Monkey aka Skunky Funky V3/4*** Drunk sit into Monkey top - fa=cs
Tall Drunk Monkey** V4/5 Tall Bastard left arete sit into Funky Monkey - fa=cs
Mantonian V3/4*** direct mantle stand - fa=jh
Mantonian Traverse? V4/5*** left sit into mantle - fa=cb
Newtonian Traverse V6/7** traverse low from far left to far right - fa=cs
Lil Bastard V2/3 sit small boulder next to Drunk Skunk Boulder - fa=cb

*also some random new Biddles fa's as of 3/15:
Shake Hands With Beef V6/7/8!? left low stand or low left sit trav into V9/10/11!!?? - fa=gzm
Blue Steel V6/7***** sit start Biddles Platinum then angle up right into Biddles Steel - fa=md
Twist and Shout V5*** sit start to Flap Your Wings - fa=jh
Flap Your Wings V4*** l hand crack, r hand mini hueco, dyno, high left top out - fa=jh
Flapper V4** l hand crack, r hand mini hueco, dyno, right top out - fa=cs
Backstabber Arete Sit V6/7/8!? - fa=gzm
V6***? Copperhead into Zinc link-up - fa=md

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bay Area Bouldering eBook update 2015!!

Check out the newly updated 2015 eBook edition of Bay Area Bouldering by SuperTopo:

Bay Area Bouldering eBook update 2015 stats:

3 new areas briefly mentioned. More detailed info for the new areas and more new areas to come in the future eBook and print book editions.

Over 75 new problems from VB to V12!

4 new V11's (one is V11r)!

Replaced and re-cropped some pics and added many new color pics (2 V11 fa pics - see below)!

All pic caps are updated to be more descriptive and even funny now.

Added more photographer credit and photographer website links.

Fixed some route descriptions and some directions and added more mile marker info to help find where to park along highways.

Added more fa credit for some of the classics.

New/updated/researched names and history.

Updated dining and amenities.

Clay Breitweiser - Biddles

Darren Wiemeyer - Sugarloaf Ridge

Frankie Ocasio - Mickeys Beach

Giovanni Traversi - Mendo

Gavin Honda - Aquarian Valley
Photo: Robbie Temmerman 

Valentine Cullen - Granite Creek

Kevin Jorgeson - Mickeys Beach

Mark Heal - Mt Tam

Sarah McKay - Fort Ross
Photo: McKay Collection 

Shawn Rogers - Super Slab

Travis Lombardo - Mendo
Photo: Mike Shoys

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Washoe Boulders Nevada - Winter 2015

Washoe Boulders, Carson City, Nevada - "Winter" (March) 2015

Desert volcanic welded tuff boulders, wild horses, sweet views and four-wheelin just on the outskirts of town.

Possible first ascents of 4 V4ish problems near the classic "Hollywood Hangover" (V8/9!?) at the Lower Washoe Boulders in Carson City Nevada:

"Gastoned" V3/4 stand, V4 direct sit - traverse low from left to right past classic gaston match moves up into the fun V1 right arete - or direct face (no arete) variation dyno to add a /(slash) grade (V4, V4/5) or dyno by itself is V1/2 stand start no right arete to big pointy jug on lip.

"Hangover Traverse" V4 start right arete sit (V3 by itself into V1 stand) then traverse past no-hands rest at base of Hollywood Hangover and then bust a final V1/2 section to no-hands finish in the big wide crack.  

"Wild Horses" V4/5 traverse low from far right to far left around corner. Long and pumpy with three distinct and varied crux bulges.
Some of these or even all of these may have been done before but they had the tell-tale signs of fa's; no chalk but chalk on problems next to them, partially uncharted area separate from the already not so popular main area and loose and/or uncleaned holds. If not fa's they were fun problems anyways and I will delete these nicknames if/when I find out someday :)

Lower Washoe Boulders - YouTube

"Gastoned" V4 fa!? - YouTube

and some of the original Washoe classics: 
"Jason Lives" V3 + "Storm Cycle" V5 - YouTube

The Washoe Boulders and possibly also the nearby Prison Hill bouldering area will most likely be covered in the small "nearby areas" section of the next edition of my Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo. The updated info will be coming out in a few years in the print book format but hopefully this year in the eBook version. For now check out a lot of info for Washoe in our Lake Tahoe Bouldering eBook which is not available in print format any longer but is available at the link above on as an eBook. Now that the new and more comprehensive, locally published Tahoe Bouldering Guides are out we are no longer making the print book for Lake Tahoe Bouldering. Check out the new locally made Tahoe Bouldering Guides here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clear Lake Berryessa Bouldering Tour

Bouldering areas listed south to north 1-10

Locations on map are not precise. Follow written directions to established areas listed below or wait for more info to possibly come in future editions of my guidebooks also listed below or message me for info on the currently unlisted new/developing areas:
{potential = how much potential there still is for new first ascents in the area}

Other than the excellent Vacaville and Putah Creek basalt most of these rocks are not for everyone. Most boulderers may not want to drive on long back roads to a small wild place with only a handful of funky problems until they have tried the other more popular and easier to find and access main local areas. These rocks could be good for you if you like to get out and see something new or if you are in the area. Have fun :) cheers!!

Solano County Basalt Areas (#1 #2)
The highest concentration of good moderate problems is at Vacaville and a few of the most classic as well as most of the harder problemos are at the similar but smaller Putah Creek.
For more info check out: Bay Area Bouldering by SuperTopo
#1 Vacaville aka NutTree
Two separate grassy hillsides of rock with nice oak trees and cows. The Stonewall and The Mother are the coolest boulders but the single must do problem is the intoxicatingly addictively fun classic Gimme My Forty Sucka! V1. 
{mostly tapped potential}
About 150 problems from VB to V9.

#2 Putah Creek aka Purgatory
This is the single best spot in the Clear Lake Berryessa area. The basalt is uniquely featured and steep. Many classics such as Welcome To Whine Country V8, Hellspawn V7 and SHP V5.  
{mostly tapped potential}
About 50 problems from VB to V9.

Putah Creek Bouldering YouTube

Lake Berryessa / Knoxville Areas (#3 - #7)
A cool drive after a rain when the paved road dips through the creek about 10 times! Depending how high the creek is you may need a 4x4 with clearance. These spread out areas are a mix of a few semi old spots and a few newer ones that are all a bit rough around the edges and have never been visited by more than a few locals a few times. At or near all of these areas is some mostly untapped potential for more new, mostly easier to moderate level problems. A unique mix of pocketed, edgey and cracked volcanic features along with some serpentine type green stone at Pope Creek and around Lake Berryessa. *#6 and #7 are closer to Lower Lake/Clear Lake than Lake Berryessa but they are near the adjacent Knoxville so they are considered part of the Knoxville areas. The main area out of all of these is the roadside Billboard Boulder (#7) and it is the closest to Clear Lake but as mentioned above it is very near Knoxville that is in between Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa.
#3 Lake Berryessa
This area has a lot of rocks but most have unsure access and some are sadly on Private Property. There are some established boulder problems spread around. Most are at the newly developing Sunshine Boulders below the bridge on the northwest side of the Lake and nearby at Pope Creek (listed below #4).
{big potential - access issues}
About 25 problems from VB to V5.

#4 Pope Creek
Poison Oak and weird short or tall problems and kinda chossy yet unique rock. Pumpy traverse. Pope Creek/Heritage Rock is the main area with legit access and the other area, The Drought Boulder has the classic "Redemption" (V4 sit V3 stand) but also questionable access. There are a few more problems on these rocks to do and other rocks in the area to be explored.
{small potential}
About 10-15 problems from VB to V5.

"Redemption" V4 fa YouTube
Marc Bowen on the new "Drought Traverse" V4.

RC Hollenbeck "Drought Traverse".

#5 Devilshead / Knoxville
Possible access issues here now. A few fun moderate and scenic highballs and a short fun crack on this slightly ominous and exposed pillar of stone. More potential in the area if you like splorin!
{small potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V4.

#6 Bushwhack
Gnarly 15min uphill bushwhack hike - access unsure. Big boulders with a few grand problems.
{medium potential}
About 10 problems from VB to V6.

#7 The Billboard
Out of all the Berryessa/Knoxville areas this is the single best as far good and varied problems at a mix of grades with easy and fairly legit access (in a roadside creek with a huge pullout with a nice view and no fence or priv prop signs etc). *As stated above; this area is closer to Lower Lake/Clear Lake than Berryessa but it is near the adjacent Knoxville so it is considered part of the Knoxville areas.
{small potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6.

"The Billboard" V0r fa YouTube

"Billy Jack Traverse" V6 fa YouTube

Mount Konocti / Clear Lake Volcanic Areas (#8 #9)
Pocketed volcanic stone with mostly moderate lowballs and easy legit access with good landings. 
For more info check out: Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo

#8 Black Forest
Legit access to small pocketed boulders with flat landings and short mellow approach trails.
{small potential}
About 25 problems from VB to V6.

Lake County Bouldering YouTube

#9 Clear Lake State Park
Campsite 110 has a few fun problems and to the right of the park entrance.
{small potential}
About 10 problems from V1 to V3.

Bartlett Springs Road Area (#10)
A long drive on a deep back-cuts dirt road is required to the main Cascade area but other new unclimbed rocks could be lurking around any corner out there.

#10 Cascade Falls
Several boulders spread out in the cool cascading creek alongside the road in bum fuk.
{medium potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6+!?