Friday, October 29, 2010

Cliff House Boulders

Benny Kong on "Flesh Wound" V5

The Cliff House at Ocean Beach in San Francisco has some great bouldering along the beach at the base of the actual namesake cliff faces on the north end of Ocean Beach. The Sutro Boulders are around the other side below the Cliff House and near the Sutro Baths. The rock is a common Northern California, Pacific Coast greenstone/sandstone with cracks, edges and a few pockets and slopers. The top outs are often sandy/dirty and may even have some broken glass and bushes to contend with but you're usually over a nice sandy landing albeit a bit highball even when the sand is in. The sand is at its highest level in the summer/fall season. When the sand is at its lowest in winter/spring all the problems are R or even can be R/X rated with pools of water, hard packed sand and even debris often filling the landing zones. In spring/summer the rock will be much more raw and adventurous feeling ~ often wet, sandy and parts can sometimes even be covered in a wet slime.

Cliff House bouldering photos:

Original first ascent names and history are lost in the sands of time for now but what is known is that many San Francisco locals have top roped and bouldered on these rocks for decades. Scott Loomis et al may have done some of the first lines and Benny Kong, Kevin Kinnison and crew re-discovered and brought back to life the old school problems and along with some help from myself and a few other random locals added several of our own possibly new low starts, link ups and traverses. Benny and his crew are to credit for the complete/final development of what is in my opinion the best place to boulder in Frisco! It is a close tie with the similarly difficult and highball Glen Canyon but what can beat hanging out at the beach!? :)
!!2015 - GLEN CANYON HAS CURRENT ACCESS ISSUES (even more reason to climb here)!!

Benny Kong on "Happy Ending" V5

The classic finger crack now nicknamed "Fingerbanged" (V2/3/4) was most recently first done just a couple years ago by Benny's friend (Kevin ?) and I have heard of a few friends that have done it as well before that but possibly never did the low low starts and they never nicknamed it. There have probably been many more ascents of the main crack since it is in Frisco but for now its got a nickname. Possibly all of these problems have been climbed for years by random locals but most info is unknown at this time - if you know anything about the history of climbing at the Cliff House like who installed the old bolt on top of the roof/face/crack please inform either Benny or I .

..and enjoy some fine sandy beach bouldering in a touristy yet crazy gorgeous mega chill spot! :)

EDIT (11-7-10) - After checking out the old Jensen Bay Area Guide I'm thinking that the new school steep finger crack nicknamed "Fingerbanged" could be "The Old Man And The Sea" (5.12a) top rope - now a classic highball V2/3/4!!??


A Climbing Porn Short - Cliff House Crag

A Climbing Porn Short - High Fructose Corn Syrup

A Climbing Porn Short - Punk Ass Decepticon

A Climbing Porn Short - Ocean Beach (sand is low = highballn!!)

A Climbing Porn Short - Happy Ending

Fingerbanged V3 - YOUTUBE

Like A V6 fa! - YOUTUBE

Shipwreck V1/2 fa! (direct variation to Defrostifarian) - YOUTUBE

Cliff House .com

Sutro Baths .com

{The topo pic was taken in fall when the fluctuating sand level is at its highest point of the summer/fall season. All the problems in the topo pic are highball / R or even can be R/X rated when the sand is low in winter/spring and pools of water with hard packed sand and even debris often fill the landing zone - the tide comes in quicker this time of year as well so look out for creeper waves! The cave is often wet in winter as well from seapage, cold air and lack of sunlight. There can also be a wet slime covering a lot of the rock in the winter/spring time. By early summer the slime usually has dried up and the sand will start to rise up. By late summer after busy weekends the cave can sometimes be smelly from being used as a bathroom but nothing a high tide can't clear out. Try to hit the goldilocks zones of late spring/early summer for highball action or the best ~ late summer/fall.}

1 Warm Up Traverse V2/3 l to r from far left into #10 -or- V1/2 r to l from the no-hands rest start below #6 + #7 -or- V2 from #10 to the far left to finish.

2 V0?

3 V0/1? -or- dyno variation V1/2!?

4 Archaeology V0 crack corner.

5 V0 diagonal crack rail.

6 V0?

7 V0 crack/face.

8 V1 sit start steep pillar up left into crack.

9 Defrostifarian V1 sit start steep pillar into roof direct -or- Shipwreck V1/2 sit start only
using center pillar (no right or left cracks)

10 Warm Up Crack (aka Batman Crack) V0 high sand stand start -or- V1 low sand/sit start wide crack --or-- Batman Forever V! bat hang! hang upside down from 2 (or 1!) feets!! :)

11 Flesh Wound V5 stand start face right of arete direct past pocket, no left arete! -or- V5/6 sit/low sand stand start -or- use arete V3/4 ??

12 "The Old Man And The Sea" 5.11+/12- old school top rope AKA: Fingerbanged new school V2 stand start boulder problem -or- V3 left stand start -or- V4 right sit/low sand start.

13 direct face right of Fingerbanged up into Rock Jitsu Project (V!!??)

14 Bellyacher Traverse V4 traverse from the far right face start low and left into the main Warm Up Traverse! or V5 undercling start!

15 Like A V6 (aka Finger Wound) sit start on the right same as Old Man And The Sea / Fingerbanged and the Bellyacher and traverse low and left into the sit start of Flesh Wound and top it out!

16 Wounded Knee Traverse V7 start on jug knob/horn right of undercling (or sit below it V7/8?) then traverse left into Bellyacher start - or do the new hard cave start to Wounded Knee for the entire Cliff House Traverse (V8/9!!??) - - LOW SAND Low Traverse V4 start in cave and traverse the line of sloper jugs and cracks across the main to finish on the far left - mega pumpy!!

17 Happy Ending V4 sit start below jug knob/horn (start of Wounded Knee) or V3 stand start on jug knob/horn and go up to crack jug then step back to slab on opposite side of cave and finish up the slab to top out - or Happier Ending V5 start in cave same as the Cliff House Traverse and traverse left to finish on Happy Ending - or Crappy Ending (V5 stand or V6!?) sit start Happy Ending and reverse traverse right to finish at the start of the traverse in the cave - or Crappier Ending V6 start on slab and reverse the swing move into Crappy Ending to finish - or Rock Jitsu V3 start on slab then reverse the swing move to the jug knob/horn at the start of Wounded Knee and then go up a few moves to the crack jug and step back to slab to finish the same as Happy Ending (do a complete 36o!) - or Rock Jitsu Project!? (V!!?) continue up from the crack jug and climb up left out of the tight cave corridor into Fingerbanged to top out - spotter and/or pads on the slab behind are a must.

18 Toof Roof V5 hanging tooth in cave - sit start then up left and back right to hang and drop off finish matched on high right hand layback in center of cave - or Toof Roof Direct (V!??) - or Cave Project (V-hard!?) - or Toof Roof Traverse V4 start same as Cliff House Traverse then traverse right to same hang and drop finish as Toof Roof - or sit start Toof Roof and reverse Toof Roof Traverse left into Happier Ending (V?) or Cliff House Traverse (V!?) - or start on far right and do swing move from slab onto the top of the Cave Project then traverse left into Toof Roof Traverse and finish either Happier Ending (V!?) or Cliff House Traverse (V!!??)

19 Cliff House Slab VB many slab/face/crack variations and a long fun slab traverse! (V!R no hands!!! :)

20 ! ! ? ?

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