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Saddle Peak

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Block/Gully Var. S 
Christmas Chronicle S 
Last Dance S 
Richard's Rift T 
Route 1 - R.I.P Arete S 
Route 2 - The Roof Route S 
Route 3 S 
Route 4 S 
Route 4 1/2 T 
Route 5 S 
Route 6 S 
Route 7 T,S 
Route 8 T,S 
Route 9 S 
Xeno Dance S 

Saddle Peak  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,000'
Location: 34.07931, -118.65877 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,302
Administrators: jt512, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Bartosek on Apr 4, 2009
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77° | 52°
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A 360x180 I from the top of the wall. Interactive ...


North facing wall that is in shade most of day during winter months - summer can be very hot and in direct sunlight. The rock in this area is sandstone and conglomerate and there are approximately 10 sport routes.

Getting There 

Santa Monica Mountains. Park at the intersection of Stunt Road, Saddle Peak Road and Schueren Road hike up the Backbone trail to the west (towards water tower). The slabs are an obvious formation approximately 3/4 mile up the trail. The trail climbs for the first 1/2 mile and then descends slightly to the climbs - main wall to the left of the trail.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.1 miles from here

15 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Saddle Peak:
Route 1 - R.I.P Arete   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Route 8   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, Sport, 50'   
Route 6   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Route 5   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Route 3   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Xeno Dance   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Route 4   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 60'   
Christmas Chronicle   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   
Route 2 - The Roof Route   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Last Dance   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Classics in Saddle Peak

Featured Route For Saddle Peak
Route 2 shown on the right - follows the bolt line - there are some variations on this route.  The second bolt can be made easier by going left the right side is a bit more challenging.  The crux moves are pulling the slabby section below the crack at the top.

Route 2 - The Roof Route 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CA : Los Angeles Basin : ... : Saddle Peak
Last two bolts to anchors - steeper face with small holds but good feet....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Saddle Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Sunset at Saddle Peak
Sunset at Saddle Peak
Looking up routes 4 & 5.
Looking up routes 4 & 5.
From the parking area go up the dirt path by the phone pole
BETA PHOTO: From the parking area go up the dirt path by the p...
Approach Trail Map <br /> <br />From the parking lot: Look out at the ocean then head up the trail to your right. Follow the trail and stay to the left of the water tank and keep going. The trail opens up and you'll see the no bikes sign (Blue Circle) and go right here. Follow it down past a mellow slab and then you'll see the wall on your left.
BETA PHOTO: Approach Trail Map From the parking lot: Look out...
Photo of the edge of the slabs as seen from the trail hiking in.
Photo of the edge of the slabs as seen from the tr...
Looking down from the anchor for routes 4,5,6 while TR soloing.
Looking down from the anchor for routes 4,5,6 whil...
The Turnout/Parking for the Saddle Peak/Backbone Trail to the climbing area known as Saddle Peak.
The Turnout/Parking for the Saddle Peak/Backbone T...
Giant rock next to the wall. Looks like there is an anchor on top. Anyone have any info?
Giant rock next to the wall. Looks like there is a...
Saddle Peak, Corpse Wall routes.
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Peak, Corpse Wall routes.
Graffiti along the trail to Saddle Peak. Seems to be everywhere these days.
Graffiti along the trail to Saddle Peak. Seems to ...
Great Spring flowers in bloom at Saddle Peak.
Great Spring flowers in bloom at Saddle Peak.
Top roping "route 2"
Top roping "route 2"
A cross erected at the base of the slab, to honor the poor guy that commited suicide at Saddle Peak. Just downhill from RIP Arete.
A cross erected at the base of the slab, to honor ...
William Leventhal on the Roof Route 5.10a at the Corpse Wall. Photo Tom Slater
William Leventhal on the Roof Route 5.10a at the C...
Toproping RIP Arete.
Toproping RIP Arete.
This is where you turn off the main approach trail. Go right.
BETA PHOTO: This is where you turn off the main approach trail...
Trailhead sign for the Backbone Trail which leads to the watertank and Saddle Peak.
Trailhead sign for the Backbone Trail which leads ...

Comments on Saddle Peak Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 19, 2014
By benjamin malave
Jun 4, 2009
I just wanted to clear up some information about "the slabs." It is actually called Corpse Wall
due to the corpse we found at the bottom of the route "R.I.P. Arete" where the cross is located.
All the routes were put up by Abraham E. Benjamin M. Brahm H. Darren A. Mike O.
I also wanted to add that the corpse was a guy that committed suicide. We know this because he left a note.
There was a strong effort to make everything bomber. We did not put anchors on the top
of all the routes because it was not needed and would have been a much bigger footprint.

The routes have all been put up in the last 5 years. There are some more recent routes that
have not yet been bolted but can be TR.
I would also like to add that there are some random bolts on the wall that someone
put in for no known or obvious reason.
There are some routes that use pro as well as draws. In general. the routes were never intended to be sport routes.
If anyone's interested, I'll post the names and ratings of all the routes in the next couple of weeks.

Climb Safe and be good to our planet.

Benjamin M.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Jun 18, 2009
Might want to change the name to Saddle Peak, since that's where this is. This place was developed by the same guys who did Tick Rock but they've disappeared so no route info is known. Very cool place for what it is.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Jun 18, 2009
I think they had gear in mind between some of the bolts. I know I brought some, and maybe placed it. If the routes were at my limit I certainly would have. I recommend a small rack if pushing limits and onsighting here.
By Michael Bartosek
From: Los Angeles
Jun 30, 2009
Thanks Steve. Feedback appreciated. I need to get out there and get some beta on the other 7 or so routes. It is a fun area to climb in and the slabs are a nice break from the pockets and overhangs at MCSP.
By Michael Bartosek
From: Los Angeles
Jul 9, 2009
Benjamin - thanks for the clarification on Corpse Wall - I changed the name and it would be fantastic if you could update the information on that page..
By jt512
Apr 16, 2011
Changed area name to Saddle Peak per historical FA information from S. Edwards above.
By JeffMK
Jul 4, 2011
Not sure if it was done intentionally to keep this place quiet, but the "getting there" info is missing the turn to the right in the trail by the "boundary" sign.
By Eric Wilkins
Jan 29, 2012
Can anyone tell me if there is an easy approach to set up a TR here for the various routes?
By Jim H
From: Pasadena, CA
Jan 31, 2012
Eric, The approach for setting topropes is super easy. Just keep walking along the top of the cliff (instead of turning right and walking to the bottom of the wall). Some routes have bolt anchors (reachable from the top) and placing gear for the others is possible.
I think all of the routes are toprope-able (I haven't tried, but it seems pretty possible).
By Tristan B
From: La Crescenta, CA
Feb 6, 2012
If you're a skater, there is a sick clean empty pool right before the water tower. You might want to throw your deck on your pack and get a little session in on your way in or out.
By Maidy
Apr 7, 2012
All the routes can be TR'd and access to the topside is easy (follow Jim's directions). Some climbs share anchors and may need a directional clipped to a bolt. The (shared) anchor for the RIP Arete and the Roof Route requires extension with a cordalette to TR without major rope drag.

PS: @Benjamin- We are definitely interested in the real route names. If you have the time to send us the info, we'd love to edit the route index for this wall to reflect the names that were originally chosen.
By Wil Sterner
From: Topanga, California
Nov 27, 2012
I am wondering about the large formation directly across the trail from corpse rock or saddle peak. Never brought my binocs but there appears to be some shiny anchors on top? Also, I found a misterious bolt on top of another rock on the trail that covers the ridge that goes from the old foundation and radio tower trail over to the top of red rock. If anyone has any idea what I'm talking about I would love to know more about it.
By Brandon Riza
Jan 27, 2013
Hey everybody.
I've been climbing here a lot lately. Cool spot.
I shot this interactive photo from the top of the wall...not really a beta shot, but cool to look at.



Also here:

By Maidy
Feb 1, 2013
About the big slab opposite Corpse Wall.

Yes- there are anchors at the top of this formation.

This west-facing pocketed face rates 11-ish (?). Top-side access up the bushy south-face gully. Some 5.0 climbing involved to get down to the bolts. You'll need LONG webbing to extend the anchor since the rope drag is gnarly. We anchored and belayed off the boulder over by the RIP Arete to reduce rope drag. The rock quality is poor compared to Corpse Wall.

The north-facing big slab-climbs are a grunge-fest. Belay is only possible from the topside-down because of the manzanita jungle* at the base. The big gullies that split the slab make it less fun than it looks.

That being said.. it definitely will liven up your day if you are bored with the 5.9 slab climbing.

  • *Please note that cutting manzanita is against state law and the park service has prohibited any new access trails being created around the formation.
By Chris Owen
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Aug 10, 2013
Visited this place for the first time today - with Sara Susca. It was a perfect day.
By Maidy
Aug 13, 2013
Note: The topo for Corpse Wall in the most recent So Cal guide has a number of errors. Fortunately, since all the grades are moderate you won't really run into trouble. The info and topo here on MP is more accurate.
By Mia D
Dec 1, 2013
I went there today to check it out, and seems like there are spots to TR.

Gonna try it next weekend.

Brandon, can you post the names and ratings for me?

Thank you so much!
By Mia D
Jan 19, 2014
For routes 4,5,6 I was able to top rope it using the chains up top.
Fun routes, especially the crack climbing at the beginning