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San Luis Obispo

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San Luis Obispo 


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Location: 35.3063, -120.678 View Map  Incorrect?
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Ken Klis on Edgeucation, Bishop Peak summit.
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Introduction 

San Luis Obispo, or "SLO" as the locals call it, is situated along the Central Coast of California, roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The town is best known for its university, Cal Poly. SLO is also the home of the regionally famous (and very pink) Madonna Inn, as well as the turning off point for tourists visiting the Hearst Castle. The town itself has a population of around 45,000.

There are seven main "morros", or small peaks, that define the quaint and bucolic landscape around San Luis Obispo. Even John Muir, famed naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, made note of them in his 1883 travel diary:

"The trail brings the traveler suddenly in sight of
Bishop Peak...
The town is fairly encircled with beautiful hills...
the one just named being most conspicuous."


Climbing 

  • Bishop Peak is the primary climbing area and offers several dozen (mostly) single-pitch routes as well as some of the best bouldering along the Central Coast.

  • Cabrillo Peak (Cerro Cabrillo) lies just south of Morro Bay and overlooks the scenic Morro Bay estuary. Cabrillo is a beginner-friendly area that's well-suited for toproping and larger groups.

  • Cerro Romualdo, which lies on some 500+ acres leased by the National Guard (Camp San Luis) affords excellent slab-to-steep face climbing.

As of January 2006, CERRO ROMUALDO IS ENTIRELY CLOSED TO CLIMBING. There are ongoing talks with the National Guard, and progress is being made. The hope is that a "win-win" solution can be achieved. For now, future access is uncertain. PLEASE RESPECT CLOSURES AS NOT TO JEPRODIZE THE EFFORTS OF LOCAL CLIMBERS THAT ARE WORKING VERY HARD TO RESTORE ACCESS.

There is **NO PUBLIC ACCESS** to Hollister Peak or Chumash Peak, as these are entirely on private property.


Resources 

  • The best climbing shop in town is Mountain Air Sports, located downtown at the corner of Marsh and Broad.


  • The Firestone Grill downtown is the place to go for tri-tip, burgers, and fries. The steak cobb salad is highly recommended.

  • Farmer's Market happens every Thursday downtown.


Climbing Season


184 Total Routes


['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',56],['2 Stars',76],['1 Star',38],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',21],['5.7',12],['5.8',24],['5.9',24],['5.10',41],['5.11',29],['5.12',7],['5.13',3],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',7],['V2-3',7],['V4-5',6],['V6-7',1],['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 San Luis Obispo:
Mushy   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Chlorissa
Ejakulator   V4- 6B     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : True Summit Blocks
Peanuts   V4 6B     Boulder, 16'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Boulder In The Woods
Pete's Problem   V5 6C     Boulder   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Pete
60 Seconds Over Soledad   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Shadow   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Bishop Peak : Shadow Rock
P-Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 80'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Mouse Maze   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, Sport, 40'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Impacted Stool Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 50'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Thin Man   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Bishop Peak : Shadow Rock
Poor Man's P Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : P-Wall
Civilized Evil   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Gold Rush/High Noon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Bishop Peak : Wild, Wild Western Pinnacle...
Camel   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Corridor Crack   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, TR, 45'   Bishop Peak : Hidden Gully
Lama   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Only Way To Fly   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Cunning Linguist   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     TR, 25'   Bishop Peak : True Summit Block
Western Airlines   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Bishop Peak : Cracked Wall
Mickey B Way   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 70'   Bishop Peak : True Summit Block
Browse More Classics in San Luis Obispo

Featured Route For San Luis Obispo
ArÍte

ArÍte V2 5+  CA : Central Coast : ... : Hummingbird Boulders
Really cool movement actually, one of the better problems at bishop peak. Directly to the left of the giant crack rail that is the start of Lunge. Start on the two obvious opposing chalked holds directly below and left of start of lunge. Put your feet some where move left hand up. Then do a few bumps with right to good top out holds. Pretty fun moves....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of San Luis Obispo Slideshow Add Photo
Hollister peak on the right
Hollister peak on the right
Sunset-Morro Bay. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Sunset-Morro Bay.
Photo by Blitzo.
Morro Bay winter clouds
Morro Bay winter clouds
Bishop Moon. <br />Photo Tom Slater
Bishop Moon.
Photo Tom Slater
Comments on San Luis Obispo Add Comment
Show which comments
By Sean P. Sullivan
From: Grover Beach, California
Mar 7, 2014

Does anyone know where exactly where the supa boulders are? (not listed on MP, but supposedly off the 41 outside of a-town.) searched all over even with the GPS and couldn't find jack. Anyone?

By Ken Klis
Mar 8, 2014

41 has 3 sites I know about between Mbay and Atascadero.

1) limestone area just west off the summit with small pullout to park, routes on north bank of creek, very good but limited qty

2) some little bs boulders are at the bottom of the east slope of the hills as you leave town, you can see them from your car and you may even want to stop and climb there once

3) fairly good sized cliff north and above road that I walked to once and thought kind of loose but I've been wrong 51% of the time my whole life