This huge granite cathedral, with its flying buttresses (the Celestial Aretes, Venusian, Moon Goddess, and Sun Ribbon) on the left, and the truly awesome buttress of Dark Star in the center, is the premier long rock climbing area of the Palisades.
From Big Pine on 395 drive up the road to Glacier Lodge; trailhead is signed on the right.
Hike up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek past Cienega Mirth, Lon Chaney's old cabin, to First Lake, then, just past the lake cut left and head towards the far (south) side of Second Lake - this is where I camp (4.3 miles, 2,300 ft elevation gain). The base of Temple Crag can be reached by hiking up a scree slope to the west of the lake. Some people hike to Third Lake and approach the climbs from there. Some people bivouac beneath the Crag (especially useful for Dark Star).
One of Peter Croft's "Big Four Free Climbs" of the High Sierra (see Peter's book here).This is possibly the most direct line on Temple Crag, taking a plumb line from the lowest point of the face to the top. Either start from the nadir of the face and climb 400 feet of lower class 5, or walk up around the left side and traverse back right on a large ledge. Climb up to a small, right facing dihedral and climb it (crux). On the next pitch, work your way up and left to a crack be...[more]Browse More Classics in CA