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Jailhouse Rock

Routes Sorted
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Burrito Supreme 
Cell Block Six 
Chain Gang 
Common Thug 
Conjugal Visit 
Electric Chair 
Felon 
Fugitive 
Iron Junkie 
Jailbait 
Line Up 
Slammer 
Soap on a Rope 
Straight Jacket 
Strange Ways 
Supreme Being 
Warm-up 11c 
Warm-up 11d 
Whipping Boy 

Jailhouse Rock 


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Elevation: 1,000'
Lat, Long: 37.907, -120.5582 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 16,741
Administrators: M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Tom Addison on Feb 1, 2011
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Epic battle at Jailhouse
Private property with a public access easement and conservation easement allowing climbing held by the Access Fund. Critical to see current requirements and restrictions. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The first routes at Jailhouse were established ground-up by Dave Schultz, then of Yosemite. Dave had the vision to look past the chossy nature of the overhanging blocky crag, and see its great potential for steep sport climbing. Others, particularly Tom Herbert, Todd Graham, John Scott, Troy Corliss, Justen Sjong, and Brad Johnson, have also been primary developers.

The owners of the property were initially alarmed by the climbing, and closed the cliff in 1992. The Access Fund got the cliff re-opened, but with a number of conditions from the owners, including the longstanding 'no publicitiy' policy. In late 2010, the current owners graciously have signed an access easement allowing climbing on their property with certain conditions, as discussed in the access box above.

Jailhouse offers steep, blocky, volcanic sport climbing on basalt. Routes are in the shade in the morning, and in the sun in the afternoon. The low elevation crag is best in the winter (although many routes seep given California's winter rains) or early spring/late fall. It's much too hot in the summer unless you are a reptile. The quality climbing here starts at 12d and currently goes to 14+, although there are some limited easier routes. The two easiest routes at the cliff are frequently closed for nesting raptors. The easiest route is 11d, but there are only 3 routes easier than 12b. Many routes, particularly the many extensions, require a 70m rope. Most will find kneepads and well-developed stamina helpful


Getting There 

Jailhouse is in western Tuolumne County above the Stanislaus River between Lake Tulloch and New Melones Reservoirs. As of November 13, 2011, the climbers' traditional access up a steep hill immediately northeast of the east end of the O'Byrnes Ferry Bridge is CLOSED and not to be used. Instead, the only legal approach to the cliff is through a locked gate off O'Byrnes Ferry Road west of the prison, but before the road drops and winds south into the hairpin turn down to the lake. Do not try to enter the gate marked Shotgun Creek Estates; this is not the correct gate and is private property. The correct gate is west of this gate, and is best found by following the detailed directions on the Access Fund website mentioned below. TO CLIMB AT JAILHOUSE, YOU NEED THE GATE CODE. The code for the lock is at:
www.accessfund.org/jailhouse

Before you go here, check with the Access Fund (accessfund.org/jailhouse) for current conditions or restrictions. Please read the Acess Fund information. If climbers violate the terms of the easement (for example, by leaving a gate open, or bringing dogs onto the property), that jeopardizes our ability to climb here. www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.7469161/k.E498/Jailh>>>


19 Total Routes


['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',2],['5.12',13],['5.13',4],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Jailhouse Rock:
Warm-up 11c   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Warm-up 11d   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Chain Gang   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 60'   
Common Thug   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 70'   
Line Up   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 50'   
Whipping Boy   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 65'   
Supreme Being   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport   
Burrito Supreme   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 50'   
Iron Junkie   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 90'   
Soap on a Rope   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Fugitive   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Cell Block Six   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Browse More Classics in Jailhouse Rock

Featured Route For Jailhouse Rock
Mason climbs Soap on a Rope

Soap on a Rope 5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b  CA : Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) : Jailhouse Rock
Classic at the grade for the area.A ten foot 5.8-5.9 crack leads into a juggy overhanging pumpfest.Might be 4 stars if holds didn't need to be epoxied on to prevent breaking....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

News and Events For Jailhouse Rock
Photos of Jailhouse Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Mich Kemeter on The Fugitive 13a.
Mich Kemeter on The Fugitive 13a.
Jailhouse from the left side
Jailhouse from the left side
Left side of Jailhouse
Left side of Jailhouse
Aerial photo by D. Cowden circa 2000. Easement boundaries added by J. Sambataro but are only roughly placed.
BETA PHOTO: Aerial photo by D. Cowden circa 2000. Easement bou...
Lowering off one of those super steep routes
Lowering off one of those super steep routes
Joe Maier on The Lineup 12b. His first 5.12 on sport, go Joe. 5/28/11
Joe Maier on The Lineup 12b. His first 5.12 on spo...
Map of 75-acre Conservation Easement area with boundaries shown in red and current access trail in yellow/orange as of 11/15/11. Please do not park outside the fenced parking area (your car will get chewed by curious horses!). Close ALL gates and stay on the road and trail to the Conservation Easement area. Public access is not allowed beyond the easement boundaries.
BETA PHOTO: Map of 75-acre Conservation Easement area with bou...
Jailhouse from the right side.
Jailhouse from the right side.
Nice hike to the cliff
Nice hike to the cliff
Mike Arechiga on,Chain Gang.5.12a
Mike Arechiga on,Chain Gang.5.12a
Unlock Jailhouse: Help the Access Fund keep Jailhouse open forever.
BETA PHOTO: Unlock Jailhouse: Help the Access Fund keep Jailho...
Photo of Jailhouse Rock cliffline from O'Byrnes Ferry Road bridge over Tulloch Lake
BETA PHOTO: Photo of Jailhouse Rock cliffline from O'Byrnes Fe...
Mike Arechiga on, Line Up.5.12b
Mike Arechiga on, Line Up.5.12b
Joe Maier on The Fugitive, 13a. Joe's first 5.13! 5/28/11.
Joe Maier on The Fugitive, 13a. Joe's first 5.13! ...
Mike Arechiga on,Fugitive.5.13a
Mike Arechiga on,Fugitive.5.13a
Comments on Jailhouse Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Feb 2, 2011

Hey Tom,
So I guess your posting up Jailhouse means that information no longer needs to be kept "word of mouth", eh?

Thanks for all the hard work that you put into getting Jailhouse officially opened.
Cheers.

By Tom Addison
Feb 3, 2011

Hi Jon
The new easement does not require that the cliff not be publicized, and we want to make sure that climbers know about the easement conditions (for example, dogs are no longer allowed). On the other hand, the owner wants to discourage non-climber traffic on her private property, so they do not want articles or stories about the climbing in non-climbing media, such as the local Sonora papers. We all get to climb out there because of the kindness and generosity of the owners, and we really want climbers to make sure that our current good relationship with them continues to be a good one. We're trying to strike a balance!

By RNclimber
From: Riverside, Ca
Jun 19, 2011

can I ask how long the approach is?

By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jun 19, 2011

The approach is 20-30 min.

By Tom Addison
Oct 3, 2011

On November 12th, the Access Fund is sponsoring a work party at Jailhouse to close the current trail approach to the cliff (from the bridge) and install gates, fencing, and parking via the new approach (from a gate higher on O'Byrnes Ferry Road). Please come help us; we have a lot to do in one day. Also, from that point on, the old approach will be closed, and we will drive through the gate and park at a new parking area. The gate will be locked, so you will need the code to get in! The code will be available on the accessfund.org/jailhouse website.

Dogs are not allowed per the conditions of the easement.
Thanks!

By Daniel Scott Brown
Aug 26, 2012

Just Climbed here today,the gates were left open. Regardless we parked near the bridge and hiked to the rock- APPROACH 50min-1.5hr depending on if you can find the trail or not. This is not an extremely popular climbing sight due to the difficulty of the climbing but it is a must see if you are capable- never seen a ledge like it- one of the most vertical climbing spots in California.. Pictures cannot do it justice. And it is indeed hot as ---- in the summer time.

By Luke Stefurak
From: Mountain View, CA
Jan 25, 2013

As Tom Mentioned above. DO NOT park at the bridge and use the old approach. This crosses private land that was sold to a new owner. There is a specific climber parking lot that is approached via gate on closer to the 120/108 on O'Byrnes Ferry Road. More details at the Access Fund site.

Jailhouse Approach Map
Jailhouse Approach Map