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Climbs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs
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Jul 28, 2011
First trad lead.
I'm new to the Fresno area from Denver and am exploring the local climbing. It seems like there is a lot of rock between these two parks but not a lot of info. What are some routes, or formations that are worthwhile? Any information is appreciated. Also, any idea when Moro rock opens up after peregrine closures? Chris I
From Fresno, CA
Joined Nov 4, 2007
118 points
Jul 28, 2011
I'm not sure, but an old family friend has a beach house in Cayucos (near Moro rock) and the last time I spoke with him (a couple years ago) the closure was permanent.

As for climbing in the Sierras, I haven't done any but I've seen a couple guides. McNamara has a SuperTopo guide with stuff throughout the range and there's also a Falcon guide for the High Sierra. The Needles (Sequoia) have a lot of climbing but I believe the guide is out of print, my friend who has a copy said it goes for several hundred dollars used.. also, from what I've heard, climbing in the Needles is a bit serious and/or difficult. Like I said, I haven't done any Sierra climbing (hope to soon), but I thought I'd pass that on.
B.S. Luther
From Walnut, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
44 points
Jul 28, 2011
Bucky
Hey Chris,

There used to be three Southern Sierra guidebooks: Sequoia/Kings Canyon (blue book); Needles (yellow book); and Domelands (red book). Unfortunately, all three of these guides are out of print. You may be able to find a copy of the Domelands guide at a reasonable price, but the SeKi and Needles guides will cost in excess of $150 online (used). There is also a reprint of the Southern Yosemite guide available if you poke around online. However, the SoYo guide is limited in scope. Your best bet at this point is the "California Road Trips" book by Tom Slater. Unfortunately this book is also pricey, but at least you can get a copy (~$45). This book covers Moro Rock and various areas in the SeKi, Needles, and SoYo areas. You can find info on getting the book here:

slatervision.com/www.slatervis...

Have fun, its a beautiful area.
J. Albers
From Colorado
Joined Jul 11, 2008
2,221 points
Jul 28, 2011
B.S. Luther wrote:
I'm not sure, but an old family friend has a beach house in Cayucos (near Moro rock) and the last time I spoke with him (a couple years ago) the closure was permanent.


Funny. That is "Morro Rock" which is on the beach in San Luis Obispo county. No climbing allowed.

The aforementioned "Moro Rock" is in Sequoia. Reference this link:

nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/roc...
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
116 points
Jul 28, 2011
Lol okay, my bad, I thought it had 2 r's. Thought the original poster was in SLO for some reason so I assumed he meant that.. Sorry! B.S. Luther
From Walnut, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
44 points
Jul 29, 2011
Topping out, first time doing Juicifer without any...
west face of moro is open im pretty sure. just did pennies on the patio last weekend. if you need a partner message me, sequoias pretty much my backyard Benjamin F
From Arcata, CA
Joined Apr 22, 2011
816 points
Jul 29, 2011
This boulder has a few fun problems on it. It's ju...
ichris wrote:
I'm new to the Fresno area from Denver and am exploring the local climbing. It seems like there is a lot of rock between these two parks but not a lot of info. What are some routes, or formations that are worthwhile? Any information is appreciated. Also, any idea when Moro rock opens up after peregrine closures?



Chris, one of the best formations in the area is Chimney Rocks. Lots of 1 to 5 pitch trad and bolted climbs in all grades. Unfortunately, Chimney Rocks is closed just about every summer due to nesting falcons, however it is usually always open in the late summer/fall. It's in the Natl. Forest (between the parks), on Road 14S29, drive all the way to the end. You can also get to the Big Baldy formation by turning right off of this road and continue uphill on a dirt road. (Map recommended for this area)

Little Baldy is a semi-roadside crag with decent slabby sport climbs in the 5.8 - 5.10 range. There are also a couple of 5.8 trad climbs, and some good multipitch routes. Park at the large turnout just south of the Little Baldy trailhead, and walk 15 mins. uphill to the base.

At Buck Rock there is a dozen or so sport routes from 5.8 top 5.11+. Some of them can be toproped. There is a fire lookout tower here too. 4wd needed to get there or its a 10 min. hike in.

Moro Rock has some great mutipitch routes. Standard rack sufficient for most. Hard Aid climbs on Moro too. As of right now, the West Face is open so that leaves a dozen routes or more to do now. Dont know when the entire rock will open back up.

Usually a lot of falcon closures in the SEKI area. Especially at Chimney. This is the first closure on Moro Rock I can remember in the last 5 or 7 years.

Kings Canyon NP has North Dome, which has a lot of aid routes, Sentinel (2000ft+ big wall), sport climbing around Boyden Cave, and a host of other big formations such as Bubbs Creek Wall or Charlotte Dome.

It's now fire season as well so sometimes natural and prescribed fires makes it hard to climb at certain spots.

Its a great spot to climb. I hardly see any other climbers around when Im climbing and it's a wild place to climb with old gear and long runouts.

Recommended Routes:
-South Cracks into South Face Moro Rock 5.9
-Gray Squirel (fun dihedral) West Face Moro Rock 5.6
-T-Rex West Face Moro 5.8
-Magic Carpet Ride (5.9) Harmonic Balance (5.9) Crystal (5.8) and Ask Mr. Lizard (5.10). All at Crystal Wall/Chimney Rocks.
-Mowing the Yawn (5.10a) & Temporary Insanity (5.11+) at Buck Rock.
-Sparkler (5.10) Prodenominator (5.8) Bit by Bit (5.7) at Little Baldy.

Get a hold of me if you ever want to climb or look at the guidebook.
Chad Namolik
From Sequoia N.P., CA
Joined Jan 30, 2010
889 points
Jul 29, 2011
OTL
Any feedback on the 'California Road Trip' book? Basically does it replace the need to find the out of print guides? Or are they still more comprehensive for seki and soyo?

Finding some great info on this thread - like supertopo minus the politics.
Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
368 points
Jul 29, 2011
I'm not a big fan of the California Road Trip guidebook. In my opinion, it could have been a lot better if the author focused on quality, lesser-known routes and areas not covered by other guidebooks. As it is, it includes a little bit of everything, but not enough to actually be very useful. He could have left out places like Yosemite and Lover's Leap, which are already very well-documented, and provided more detail on Sequoia/Kings, Needles, Shuteye and others. I don't find the photos very helpful for identifying individual routes and there are virtually no detailed route descriptions. For popular areas, there are better guidebooks available. And for the lesser known spots, there's better info on this site and elsewhere on the web. Tom Fralich
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Nov 12, 2006
62 points
Jul 29, 2011
Kris Solem climbing the route, 11-30-08. Photo by ...
Hey if you like back country climbing you are in the right place.

Check this:

King's Canyon, Gorge of Despair
Kris Solem
From Monrovia, CA
Joined Apr 2, 2004
328 points
Jul 30, 2011
East face of the Monkey with Mt. Jefferson to the ...
So much cool climbing up there. I have made a few trips down to SEKI. For close in stuff Chimney Rock Spire is great. There is a post above with the directions. "Wall of Early Morning Fright" is a great multi-.9, also some great multi on The Watchtower out of Lodgepole Lodge. Did some craggin right off the road at Baldy which is nice also. There is FS ground patchworked in along the crest road, so you can camp for free up there and not get bothered. With the Valley and The Needles so close, lots of road trippers skip the area.
An added bonus is the backcountry skiing in the winter out of Lodgepole. I think it is Pear Lake that has a nice hut 6-8 miles in from the plowed trailhead.
As for Fresno, which sometimes gets a bad rap, there is an all-you-can eat Chineese Buffet joint that is the bomb. I think it is on Blacksmith Ave.
Have fun!
hotlum
From Roseburg, OR
Joined May 4, 2009
253 points
Jul 31, 2011
hotlum wrote:
As for Fresno, which sometimes gets a bad rap, there is an all-you-can eat Chineese Buffet joint that is the bomb. I think it is on Blacksmith Ave. Have fun!


BlackSTONE Avenue...but that's not very helpful information. Everything in Fresno is on Blackstone Avenue.
Tom Fralich
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Nov 12, 2006
62 points
Administrator
Aug 1, 2011
8-21-09
Tom Fralich wrote:
BlackSTONE Avenue...but that's not very helpful information. Everything in Fresno is on Blackstone Avenue.

Or "BLEAKstone"* as one friend used to refer to it... (just joking with you, Tom)

You may find some additional information here.

  • Definition of BLEAK from Merriam-Webster

1: exposed and barren and often windswept
2: cold, raw
3a : lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness : grim
b : not hopeful or encouraging : depressing
c : severely simple or austere
M.Morley
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 1, 2002
7,006 points
Aug 1, 2011
First trad lead.
Thanks for the info guys. It's been fun exploring around. A buddy and I made it to Fresno Dome and did some climbing. Without a guidebook though, we got into some hairy stuff and maybe made the weirdest FA in the area. We wandered up a slot next to the Whiskey Bill face. Lots of route potential up there but it was lacking in natural pro. Kings, Sequoia and Courtright look excellent, but I still am not sure how you figure out what you're getting on without more info. I'll be in touch with some of you to see if we can get on some rock. Thanks for the offers.

And as far as Blackstone goes, I think definition 3b is the most accurate.
Chris I
From Fresno, CA
Joined Nov 4, 2007
118 points
Aug 2, 2011
This boulder has a few fun problems on it. It's ju...
I could scan then pm you some topos if u want. Any particular crags you interested in? Chad Namolik
From Sequoia N.P., CA
Joined Jan 30, 2010
889 points
Aug 3, 2011
Chris,

I have the Sequoia/Kings guidebook (I can tell you privately where I got it, as there may be more available). It's not a great guidebook, but you are welcome to swing by sometime and check it out.

As an example, Mary and I are planning to do Timex Route on the Watchtower in the next couple weeks. There's a hand-drawn topo and this description: "5.9 8 pitches The first free route on the tower. Good rock, enjoyable 1000-foot route."

Helpful, right? You can also look at my California Road Trip guide if you want.

-Tom
Tom Fralich
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Nov 12, 2006
62 points
Aug 3, 2011
Me.
Lots of California info here:

stanford.edu/~clint/

JW
Jonathan Williams
From Minneapolis
Joined Mar 4, 2007
1,258 points


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