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Indian Rock

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Indian Rock  

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Location: 37.89218, -122.27269 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 76,067
Administrators: Aron Quiter, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Jun 17, 2002


77° | 59°

83° | 59°
Labor Day

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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: Taken May 20, 2003


Inner city bouldering at its best. This area is located inside the city of Berkeley, and elimination problems are the rule. It can be busy after 5 and on weekends, but if you've got a couple of hours to spare, it's only a few miles from the Berkeley campus, and set in a nice upscale neighborhood.

Rock is mostly smooth, but there is some sharper stuff on the upper area of the rock.

Super classics include the main traverse, and the watercourse area.

Camping can be found in Tilden Park. (510) 562 - PARK is the best way to find information and directions.

A decent selection of beer can be found at the local safeway, which is on Shattuck about a mile south of the rock. There are also numberous breweries and bars in Berkeley's downtown area, and also on Telegraph ave, which can be found just south of the Berkeley campus.

Descent off the top of the rock can be easily accomplished by walking off the back of most routes.

An interesting History of this rock will be added at a later point, when I have a little more information on the rock.

Getting There 

From the UC Berkeley campus:

Go North on Shattuck until it bends left and becomes Henry (which will turn into Sutter without you noticing). Follow it until just before the tunnel. Hang a right on Del Norte instead of going into the tunnel. Head up the hill to the Marin Circle. Leave the circle at the second right (the widest street you can take) and veer right onto Indian Rock Ave. Continue up the hill one long block until you see the prominent rock on the left. Park, and you're there. The main bouldering area is down the stairs on the right side of the rock.

From the North:

Take I-80 south. Exit on Gilman, and turn left (east) onto Gilman. Follow Gilman to a left on Hopkins street. Follow Hopkins up to the Marin circle. Turn right on the 4th street (the widest street leaving the circle), go slight right (and uphill) onto Indian Rock Ave. Head up the hill a long block until you see the prominent rock on the left. Park, and you're there. The main bouldering area is down the stairs on the right side of the rock.

From the South:

Follow directions from the North, except turn right on Gilman instead of left.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.6 miles from here

44 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Indian Rock:
Warmup Traverse   V1 5     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
Pegboard   V1 5     Boulder, 18'   Indian Rock
The Ape   V2 5+     Boulder   Indian Rock
The Crack   V2 5+     Boulder, 18'   Indian Rock
Beginner - Watercourse Area   V2 5+     Boulder, 1 pitch, 30'   Indian Rock
Red's Revenge   V2+ 5+     Boulder, 1 pitch, 10'   Mortar Rock
Over the Bulge   V3 6A R     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
Embryonic Journey   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   Indian Rock
Center Overhang   V4 6B R     Boulder, 20'   Indian Rock
Flake Traverse   V4 6B     Boulder, 20'   Indian Rock
The Ramp   V5 6C     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
Sunshine (sit)   V5 6C     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
The Bubble   V5 6C     Boulder, 16'   Indian Rock
Black Plague   V6- 7A     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
Indian Rock Traverse   V6 7A     Boulder, 10'   Indian Rock
Stan's Treverse   V8 7B     Boulder   Mortar Rock
Nat's Traverse   V8 7B     Boulder, 10'   Mortar Rock
Impossible Wall   V8-9 7B+     Boulder, 18'   Mortar Rock
Bench Wall   V? R     Boulder, 1 pitch, 20'   Mortar Rock
White Men Can't Jump   V?     Boulder, 10'   Indian Rock
Browse More Classics in Indian Rock

Featured Route For Indian Rock
Photo by Chris Macnamara (supertopo.com)

Nat's Traverse V8 7B  CA : San Francisco Bay Area : ... : Mortar Rock
The best problem in the Bay Area hands down! I can't believe it wasn't listed yet. The obvious line starting from the corner as you come up the stairs...pulling the corner is the first crux...(the top rail is off)...then the bulge right after the tree is the next crux...it ends on the ramp and is about 30 feet long.....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Nov 21, 2002
It is my opinion after having visited Indian Rock numberous times that the locals all seem to think that problems that they have dialed must therefore be easier. It is my understanding of the ratings system that once you have a climb dialed, it will become easier to YOU, but that doesn't change the rating. Also, if something was a V1 25 years ago, and 10 grips have fallen off of it or the grips have changed from a good corner to a rounded one, guess what? It's not a V1 anymore. Period.

If you talk to people around there, they all seem to think that people who publish books and sites like this all rate the routes too easy.I've bouldered at my fair share of places in the country, and compared to the bouldering routes in other places in the area (and nation), the ratings on this site and in local books are pretty fair. They might be off by a rating, but the flake traverse is definately NOT a V1.

This is my opinion, please disagree with me if you like!
By Jonathan
Apr 6, 2003
I climb at Indian Rock all the time because i live kind of near there and i know that people sometimes say that problems are way easier than they really are but alot of the time that is either because they have only climbed there ever and indian rock has just developed its own V rating system, or they want to feel like they are better than other people by making them think that they can't do a V1. Also i know that Flake Traverse is not a V1 because that would be retarded.... Disagree with me if you really care that much.
By Anonymous Coward
May 20, 2003
I am one of the "locals" who never climbed anywhere else. One of my group of friends used to work at REI sporting goods. He stole us all climbing shoes and chalk bags. We would go to Indian Rock and hang out and do all the climbs with other similar people. The climbs, which all have names and well established ways that you are supposed to do them, are usually no more than a few moves but sometimes pretty hard. I would describe them more as problems than climbs, because you learn the technique and try it on a problem, often falling over and over again untill you get it. We also took a lot of acid and smoked a lot of weed. I would imagine this sort of thing is still going on there but i havent been there for a while.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 14, 2003
Nice rock ,nice people, nice view, pretty girls, damn good climbing and pretty damn nice that it's close to the house I'm staying in. Who cares about ratings they are all severely subjective anyway.
By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 5, 2003
Reading my comment, I've come across as quite a jerk, violating my own rules. Everyone I meet at Indian Rock is VERY nice, and all very accomodating on helping you find a problem that you won't be able to do that you've never seen before. I love climbing here. I love eating lunch here. I love the place, don't get me wrong, but I still think that a lot of the routes are underrated.

My thoughts a while later.
By Jonathan
Aug 12, 2004
Indian Rock shouldn't have ratings. There are times that ratings are good but I think that ratings at Indian Rock should just be wheather you personally can do it or not. Ratings are just guidelines anyway. they are only meant to help choose what problem you want to work on by giving a general idea of how hard the problem will be.

Aron Quiter looking back on his comment made me realize that the comment that I wrote about a year ago has several parts that make no sense at all. basically I am only leaving this comment because I want people to know that it was late at night and I was just rambling. Basically you can understand what I meant even through the randomly organized rambling. Although some time I may look back on this comment and realize that it is stupid as well.
By logan wolfe
Feb 10, 2006
I'm climbing here this weekend for the first time and who cares about grades! All I know is its not Mission Cliffs (in other words, not indoors).
By Ian G.
From: PDX, OR
Sep 2, 2009
Looove Indian Rock! I'm missing it right now. If you live in Berk./Oakland it is such an amazing resource. Many people speak negatively of the place, but you can't really appreciate the place until you realize you can't just hop on your bike, peddle up there, climb, and catch a sunset with friends.

Also, working Nat's Traverse and finally sending it after hard work is one of the most satisfying experiences a climber can have. What an amazing problem.
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