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 Knoxville - Devilshead/Bullet Point
A few fun moderate and scenic highballs and a short fun crack on the slightly ominous and exposed pillar of stone known as The Devilshead in the Knoxville off-road shooting range. More bouldering and some top ropes further down the dirt road near the hunting camp at Bullet Point. Possibly more potential in the area if you like 4x4 splorin.
{small potential}
About 25 problems from V0 to V5.n

#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 / Dead Forest
Out of all the Berryessa/Knoxville areas this is the single best as far as good and varied problems at a mix of grades with easy and fairly legit access in a roadside creek and on the hill above. There is a huge pullout with a nice view and no fence or priv prop signs. *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 located between Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa.
{small potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6/7.

"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 there are a few more 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 dirt between Clear Lake and Indian Valley Resrvoir out in the middle of nowhere.
{medium potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6+!?

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