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).
Climbs the middle of the Celestial Aretes.Gain the start of the climb by traversing a ledge leftwards which leads to the buttress. Scramble up for a few hundred feet to where the rock gets steeper; rope up here. Several moderate pitches lead to the first impasse, a gendarme which is bypassed on the right with a super-exposed traverse (5.7). Climb down to the base of the Ibrium Tower. A cracks lead to a platform and the second impasse below the flawless section of the Tower (5.8). Pass ...[more]Browse More Classics in CA