The boulders below the Sierra Buttes crest at Free For All Valley offer great bouldering, on rock of high quality, and in a spectacular alpine setting.
Early in the season there are a number of creeks that flow as snowmelt flows down the mountain - these are typically dry by August.
The bouldering potential of the Free For All Valley has only just begun to be tapped (summer 2008). The boulders that ly below the spectacular Sierra Buttes are extensive, and with a little more exploration the area will surely rival other hot bouldering venues in the west.
The rock is volcanic and very good quality. There are a few suspect holds, but these will clean up easily. The small holds are often sharp angular crimps, which are generally kind on fingers.
The stiff hike from the parking area may deter some, but trust me, take the hike and enjoy the bouldering.
Driving south on highway 49 drive for 2.5 miles passed the gas station at Bassetts. About 1/4 mile beyond the 5000ft sign a small pullout can be seen on the right (west) side of the road. Pull into this slightly over grown pull out, drive up and over a pile of rocks and park up. The trail up the mountain starts on the other side of the creek.
Follow the trail first along a creek bed, and then up a steep slope after the creek is crossed. The trail is mostly in pine forest, which provides welcome shade. As the trail clears the pine forest (30 mins), continue up until the first large boulder is reached (45 mins). This is The Only Boulder.
Start low on the obvious large hold. Move up and left to a good incut hold for the left, and a tricep for the right.Move left and reach up to a small crimp below the large jug. Gain the large jug with your left and then continue direct to the top....[more]Browse More Classics in CA