Sunday, April 10, 2011

Secrets Bouldering

Tafoni Sunset

Not So Secrets

Holly Anne VB FA!

Mike Whipple "Golden Hour" V2

"Sabertooth" V7 FA!

Travis Lombardo - V2 DWS!!


{{Secrets will stay a secret - Directions are word of mouth only}} I've never before published info about rock climbing/bouldering at Secrets for 3 reasons - 1 it is called Secrets, 2 there is plenty of other public rocks in the area, 3 Tafoni is fragile. Hopefully this blog post will not increase the popularity of the area too much. This blog doesn't get a lot of traffic other than mostly friends and locals who probably already know about it anyways.

Due to a recent increase in local popularity and the need to preserve the bouldering history before it is blown away in the sands of time I have created this ongoing collection of problems with names, ratings and first ascent info for some of the history of the mega classics at this incredible coastal sandstone playground - please contribute any knowledge you have of names/ratings/history by emailing me at;

I hope this helps you all at least know what is out there so if you're lucky enough to find yourself there you can at least sort out what has been done, about how hard it is and some of the original names from the probable first ascents. Remember most of the best secrets are found along the waters edge in the many small hidden coves and gully's. Have Fun exploring, climbing and chilling ~~ !! :)

**Update - 2014 Secrets info;
{{{UPDATE 2016 -- Giovanni "G" Traversi did the main roof project at the Fish Lips Boulders::
"High Tide Low Tide" V13!! ~~ the most difficult problem at Secrets by far and on the Sonoma Coast as well as one of the most difficult in the Bay Area and on the Pacific Coast of North America!!}}}

A Triceratops (VB-V5)
B The Wave Boulders (VB-V6)
C South Secrets (VB-V8) 
D North Secrets (VB-V13)

A The Wave Boulders

 A The Wave Boulders
B Semi Secrets
C Big Wave Boulder

The trail from Central Secrets to North Secrets.

> Secrets Boulder Problems from North to South -- The List;

North Secrets
Access directly from the North Fork of the Main Trail rather than from the South as seen in the pics.

A Hidden Gully
B Secret Valley 
C Hilltop Rock / Sabertooth Boulder
D The Point

A Hidden Gully
B Secret Valley

Hilltop Rock aka Sabertooth Boulder

Photo: Jason Kevin Moehlman

Jason and Ashley on "Cherry Bomb" V3 

1 Cherry Bomb V3 stand V4 sit FA=CS
2 Romancing the Stone V6 sit #1 trav right into #3 FA=CS
3 Golden Hour V2 stand or Bottle Rocket V4 sit FA=CS
4 Pachoong V7 sit #3 traverse left into #1 FA=CS
5 Feeding Frenzy V8 sit #7 traverse left into #1 FA=CS
6 Light Saber V7 sit #7 then up and around left into #3 FA=CS

Mike Whipple "Golden Hour" V2

7 Sabertooth V3 stand V5 mid V7 sit FA=CS
- or V9 low sit FA=KJ one of the most classic arete problems on the entire Pacific Coast.
8 ? V8 R / 5.13 TR highball cave! FA=KJ
9 Hole In The Sky V3/4 low stand or V0/1 stand start in mini hueco FA=CS
10 ? V5 arete or V1 crack? FA=CB
11 Orange Crack V0/1 FA=CS
12 Orange Cave V7 drop off, V9 into #11 with detached block, or V!!?? be very careful of the fragile precious magic orange moss/lichen :)

"Sabertooth" V5 stand FA - YOUTUBE

The Point / North Cove

A The Point (Top Rope / Sport Routes + #13)
B The Point Traverse V7 #14
C Secretes Wall 5.9 - 5.11+ and VB-V4
Horseshoe Crack 5.9 left crack TR or trad crack lead! FA=CS
Magic Indestructible Surf Palm??5.10TR?? FA=MH
!? FA=MH
!!?? FA=?
5.9!? bolt face at waters edge! FA=CS

Random boulder problems spread around The Point;
13 V3 R/X (or 5.11 TR) Short steep 25 foot highball/solo prow!! FA=MN/JM (TR) + KJ (Solo)
14 The Point Traverse V7 right to left or V7/8 left to right with spicy finish! FA=CS
15 !? V3/4/5R? sculpted pocket face. FA=RT/KJ??

Sunshine Slab and North Secrets as seen from near The Point.
A Sunshine Slab
B Fish Lips
C Big Wave Boulder
D The Wave Boulders

Sunshine Slab
16 Secrets Slab V0/1R FA=CS
17 Sunshine V1/2 FA=CS?
18 Sandpaper V4/5 FA=CS?
19 Sunshine Traverse V0/1 traverse FA=CS
20 ?

Secret Valley

Secret Valley

21 V1 high face/slab? FA=JM?

22 V0/1? left face FA=JM?
23 V0/1? right face FA=JM?

24 V0/1 left arete FA=JM?
25 V1/2/3? sit start bulge face FA=JM?
26 V3/4 low stand direct arete FA=JM? or low sit pockets V5/6 FA=DW?
27 V6/7??
28 V0/1/2/3? lip traverse on backside FA=JM/CS?

*This photo shows where Fish Lips is compared to the other areas looking north from The Big Wave Boulder. Hike and scramble downhill from Secret Valley area directly to The Fish Lips Boulders. Just north of Fish Lips is the Spider Crab Boulder.
A Hidden Gully
B Fish Lips
C The Point
D Secret Valley
E Summit Boulder

Fish Lips Boulders

Fish Lips Boulder
(right to left)
29 Fish Lips V2/3 sit right top out or V3/4 left top out FA=CS
30 Thumb Thing V6/7? sit FA=CS
31 Slap Stick V8/9? sit #29 into #32 FA=CS
32 Fish Stick V5/6? stand FA=KA?
33 Slap Fight V7/8? sit FA=CS

"Thumb Thing" V6/7FA YouTube

(right to left)
*33 Slap Fight top out.
34 V0/1 slab (same top out as #33) FA=CS
35 V0 center slab FA=CS or V1? traverse right to #34 FA=LB
36 V? left arete ?

(right to left)
37 Fishhead Traverse V3/4? into #29 left top out. FA=CS
38 Fish Belly Right V2 sit right roof FA=CS/DW?
39 Fish Belly Left V2 FA=CS?
40 Fish Butt V1 sit roof top out direct! FA=CS

High Tide Low Tide V13 left start on rail under roof then crank up right!! or V12 up!? FA=GT
*left start on rail under horizontal roof bust out direct!!??
*same left start traverse far up right out of cave into V4/5 exit!?

The Waterpark
The Waterpark VB R/X FA=CS?
Waterworld VB/0 R/X FA=CS?
Waterworld Traverse V0/1 FA=CS?

Spider Crab Boulders

A Spider Crab Boulder
(In a pit below the arrow and letter A in photo - small boulder over pit in foreground is #44)

Spider Crab Boulder
41 Charlie Tuna V6 FA=CB
42 Nautilust V5 FA=CS

43 Spider Crab V5 sit start short steep prow on backside (often wet) FA=CS

44 ? V2/3 arete/prow! FA=RE

Crabby Boulder

45 VB/0's

Hidden Gully

Rib Cage Boulder
(At the top of the gully)
46 Rib Cage V2/3? left face start on orange ribs FA=CS
47 Cage Fight V4/5? short sloper right bulge/face FA=CS/RE?

Hidden Boulder
48 V0/1 left face/arete sit FA=CS
49 V1/2 left face? FA=CS?
50 Crouching Climber Hidden Pocket V3/4? start cave climb up and out left FA=CS
51 Hidden Monkey V2/3? backside cave. FA=CS
52 Hidden Traverse V5/6? left to right traverse down and out backside cave! FA=CS
53 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon V4/5? right to left traverse start #50! FA=CS

54 VB slab solo
55 VB/0 slab/face solo

The Wave Boulders
(The impressive main cluster of big, uniquely featured blocks at waters edge - low tide)

Mini Prow
56 Mini Prow V0/1 original right or V2/3 direct low left arete/prow! FA=DW/AW?

The Wave Boulder
(right to left)
57 The Wave Arete V1 juggy right arete. FA=CS?
58 The Wave V3R classic high right face! FA=RE
59 The Wave Traverse V4 long and pumpy classic!
Left to right into right arete or V5 into #56 for full value.
60 V1/2/3 left arete and right center face variations! FA=CS/RE/RT/SB??

Fish Brain Boulder
(left to right)
61 Stone Shroom VB/0 FA=CS/RE?
62 Fish Brain V2/3 FA=CS
63 Brain Wave V3/4 FA=CS
64 Waverider Traverse V4/5/6 to far right or into #64! FA=CS

65 Tidal Wave V0 R/X high slab face! FA=CS
- or V1 R/X!? direct slab face! FA=DH/DW?

Big Wave Boulders

Big Wave Boulder
(The lone boulder on the point just north of the main Wave Boulders - low tide)
66 Big Wave Arete V1 right arete - V3 sit FA = RE?
67 Big Wave Dave V2 stand V3 sit V4 left sit - center hueco face FA=RE
68 Big Wave Traverse V5 left to right - or V6 sit #66 end on #69 FA=CS
69 Kung Fu Spot V4 direct left face - or V1/2 easier far left face FA=CS

Death in Paradise
70 Death in Paradise V3 R steep wet cave with bad landing! (see pic) FA=CB
 - or Paradise in Death V3 R/W same wet cave start into backside over water! FA=CS

"Paradise in Death" V3R/W FA and "Big Wave Traverse Direct" V6 FA - YOUTUBE

Forgotten Cove(s)?
71 ?
72 ?
73 ?
74 ?


Dean Fleming "Triceratops" V4
Photo: Valentine Cullen

75 Triceratops V4 sit start double aretes with feet on huge flake ledge and compress and heel hook out to apex and pull over - mega classic! FA=RT
76 VB/0 right face ?
77 V0/1 high left face ?
78 V1/2 R face/arete ?

Dean Fleming "Triceratops" V4

Black Hole and Gold Crack

Black Hole
(Amazingly featured black-brown sandstone)
79 Dolphin Quest V1/2 sit low jugs then up right FA=CS
80 Black Hole V2/3 sit low jugs then up center squeeze FA=CS
81 Flipper V4/5? sit then up left face FA=RE
83 Gold Crack V0/1? R gold crack/face on hill FA=RT

Fishing Rock / DWS Rock
(At low tide walk across wet rocks to a 4th class scramble up/down climb)
84 DWS #5.11//V2/3!?? FA=RT??
85 DWS#1 V0 down/up in/out of DWS Cave FA=MN
86 DWS Cave V1/2! FA=MN
87 DWS Cave Direct V2/3! FA=MN

Lost Cove(s)?

The Potato

The Potato
(left to right)
94 Baked Potato Traverse V2/3 stand start or V3/4 sit start lip traverse FA=CS
95 Baked Potato V1 sit start jugs up into end of lip traverse or V0 stand FA=CS
96 Tater Tot V4 low stand right slopers or sit V5? FA=CS?
97 Mashed Potatoes V4/5? stand start or V5/6? low start - pocket sloper mini roof on backside of traverse face - FA=CS
98 ?

Sandy Corridor?


Sean Brady warming up on the crack (top pic)
and on "Tweaker Feature" V8 FA!

Jason Kevin Moehlman on "Barnacle Bill" V6/7!

Barnacle Boulder
99 V0 stand V1/2 sit short right face jugs over rocks FA=RE/CS?
100 Barnacle Crack V3/4? classic crack FA=RE
101 Barnacle Bill V6/7? direct face left of crack into sloper match and crack top out FA=TL
102 Tweaker Feature V8 traverse from right to left past triple pocket match FA=SB
103 V0/1 left face seams - or V6/7? 1-move wonder low right pocket start FA=SB

104 VB/0 opposite side slab FA=RE?
105 V0/1 opposite side slab direct FA=RE?

South Secrets / North Playground

Blockhead Boulder

106 Blockhead Direct V0/1 right face FA=??
107 Blockhead V2/3 FA=TL
108 Blockhead Traverse V2/3 FA=CS or V3/4? into #107! FA=TL?
109 VB/0 left face FA=CS

Sands of Time Boulder


 "Sands of Time"
 Photo: Valentine Cullen


Sands of Time (next to Blockhead)
(left to right)
110 Sandy Fun Time V0 left side FA=CS
111 Sands of Time V8 sit left up into #112!? FA=GT
112 Sands of Time Direct V7/8? stand start (no right hand arete feature?) FA=GT? or V5/6? stand start center face (using right hand arete feature?) FA=CS?
113 Sands of Time Traverse V6/7? same start then traverse right FA=CS
114 V3/4? corner crack seam thing? FA=CS?
115 VB up/down-climb approach.

**The next are south is The Playground with a fun mix of top rope crack and face as well as a few short sport climbs and sporadic yet classic boulder problems.


Other nearby secrets;
(more info coming soon)

Stony Rocks / The Arch / The Quarry / The Call Box / The Pull Out

The Arch
?? FA = TL?
?? FA = RE?
"The Arch" V4 - FA = RE
"Fear of the Inevitable"  V7 highball! - FA = Giovanni Traversi 2013?

Richie Esquibel "The Arch" V4 FA The Arch - YOUTUBE

The Quarry
10-12 great fun low to medium high moderate boulder problems (VB-V7) - FA = RE/CS

V5 2nd ascent flash! The Quarry - YOUTUBE

Stony Rocks
(VB-V7 / 5.7-5.13)
?? TR project left of Stony!?
"Stony White Boots Johnson" 5.13a top rope or V7R/X (R if you have enough pads) boulder/solo!! - FA top rope = Marcos Nunez // FA boulder/solo = Kevin Jorgeson
"Stony Traverse" V7 sit Stony White Boots then traverse right to arete - FA = CS (V8 project if done around arete into complete roof traverse!?)
"Sandy Arete" V1R high sandy arete right of Stony White Boots - FA = CS
V3/4 roof - FA = MN
V4/5 roof traverse - FA = MN
V3/4 sit - FA = MN
V1R high face left of Stony Rock - FA = MN
"Stony Arete" V1R mega classic high arete left of face and over water at high tide! - FA = MN
V3 classic steep face over rocky water hole - FA = MN
V0 ?
V1 ?
V2 ?
V3 ?
V4 ?

Giovanni Traversi does 2nd boulder ascent of "Stony White Boots Johnson" V7 R/X!

Gully Boulder
The Gully V3/4 ? - FA = RE
Hillbilly V4/5 ? - FA = RE
Freakshow V5/6 ? - FA = CS
? project!?

Gerstle Cove
5-10 top rope or medium to highball boulder problems (V1-V5 / 5.10-5.12) - FA = JM/KJ/RE

Still Water Cove
10-20 top rope and an assortment of boulder problems (VB-V6 / 5.9-5.11) - FA = MN/CS

Timber Cove
!? (V?-5.?) - FA = RE/?

Info for the other nearby bouldering areas are in the guidebooks Bay Area Bouldering and Northern California Bouldering and the sport and traditional climbing nearby is in Bay Area Top Ropes ~ all by SUPERTOPO!

Fisk Mill Cove
(sport/trad routes 5.6-5.13 + bouldering VB-V!? FA=JM/MN/CS/RT/RE)

Shroomland / Waterfall Boulders / Johnny Cash
(bouldering VB-V7+ FA=CS/RP/RE/CB/RT)

The Playground
(sport/trad routes 5.6-5.11 + bouldering VB-V8+ FA=CS/RT/RE)

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