Potrero John Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Potrero John
A quarter mile further up the road from Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
lies this 80' cliff sporting a handful of quality sport routes. Bring traditional gear if planning on climbing the solitary trad line, Beginnings
(5.5). Also, some supplementary gear (nuts, TCUs) is recommended if leading Menage a Trois
(5.10b). A single rope is sufficient to get off all routes.
Information care of the late Reese Martin: "In 1995 Potero John Wall was retro-bolted with fat 3/8" bolts and additional anchors were added. This turned what had been a collection of runout 1/4" spinner horror-shows, into a friendly and fun place for the moderate climber. All five bolted routes are worthwhile. When you climb the insecure, tricky seam in the middle of the face, Menage a Trois, 5.10b, remember the route was first climbed in EBs and protected only by wired stoppers in 1976 by "Hot" Henry Barber and Yvon Chouinard. The bolts appeared recently. After your day of climbing be sure to check out the numerous swimming holes nearby. There is a great barefoot boulder traverse over the big pool 200 yards upstream. Fall off and you're wet."
1/4 mile up the road from Sespe's main "Black Wall". Park in a dirt turnout and walk down the hillside, across Sespe Creek. Approach time: 5 minutes.
(c)Reese Martin 1997
Weather station 5.1 miles from here
10 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Potrero John
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Potrero John
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Potrero John:
Miccis 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Featured Route For Potrero John
Erica crosses Sespe creek during the high waters o...
David practices lowering out, on a fixed line at P...
BETA PHOTO: Potrero John topo 2
BETA PHOTO: Potrero John topo 1
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Mar 16, 2006
This area would see a ton of traffic except that it's a bit too far from town and it's simply overshadowed by its big brother down stream.
Generally, these are very good routes in an idyllic setting. Potrero John is a perfect escape from the Black Wall on busy weekends.
By Michelle Lynn
From: Moab, UT
Jul 22, 2012
We had a little trouble finding this crag. The large pullout on the left (coming from Black Wall) is closest to the Fortress, not Potrero John. If you park here, walk on the road back toward Black Wall a few hundred yards until you're directly under Potrero John, then cross the river. The cliff is shady after 2 pm in the summer.
By Jared Krause
Mar 23, 2016
You can't see it in any of the photos but there are 2 bolts about 20ft above the wall. It's fairly easy to climb around the back and set up a top rope either through the bolts (with rings) on the top, or use those to protect yourself as you navigate the fairly exposed 4th class rock above the wall.