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Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

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Big Baldy 
Buck Rock 
Castle Rocks 
Chimney Rocks 
Gorge of Despair, The 
Hospital Rock Area 
Kaweah Lake 
Kings Canyon 
Little Baldy 
Moro Rock (SEKI) 
Obelisk, The 
SEKI Bouldering 
Tamarack Lake Area 
Tehipite Dome 
Watchtower, The 

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Tour De Granite
A tough climb up a big rock. Near Auberry, CA
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP 


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Location: 36.5647, -118.7734 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: limpingcrab on May 17, 2013
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Angel Wings, a 3000 ft backcountry wall
Always check road conditions and peregrine closures

Description 

The Area: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) is a land of giants. Near or within it's borders lie the largest trees on earth (Sequoias), the highest mountain in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney), arguably the deepest river canyon in North America (Kings below Spanish Mountain), the tallest granite dome in the Sierra (Tehipite), the longest cave in California (Lilburn), and steepest river in the United States (Kaweah). Scattered throughout these superlatives are high quality climbing areas where you can enjoy the beauty of these parks in relative solitude.

To keep things organized, this area covers the climbing that is accessed from the west side of the parks. The highest peaks, Sierra crest and northern areas of King Canyon should be in the "High Sierra" area until a better system is in place.

Climbing: The climbing is excellent and a bit more spread out than it's neighbor to the north, Yosemite. Some rocks are virtually roadside with five minute approaches, while other formations will take at least one full day to get to and test the endurance of the strongest legs and lungs. The resulting experience is similar to what the original explorers of the area got to enjoy; solitude. The rocks are mostly composed of solid granite, with some marble and other forms scattered throughout the park. No matter your climbing style there is enough variety for you to find something to enjoy. Dozens of areas offer slab, steep face, big wall, cracks, alpine, and even a bit of sport climbing.

Many of the major formations were first climbed around the same time Yosemite was getting developed, and by some familiar names such as Robbins, Rowell and Beckey. Most of the modern routes were pioneered through the 80's and 90's by a handful of strong climbers including, but not limited to, Herb Laeger, Richard Leversee, Eddie Joe and David Hickey.

The only guide for the region, "Southern Sierra Rock Climbing: Sequoia Kings Canyon," is long out of print and costs a pretty penny online. Many routes have been put up by park employees and a few other folks since the book was published in 1993, so some exploring will reveal many more developed routes than most people think. That being said, there are still miles of untouched rock for those willing to earn it.

If you're looking for somewhere to explore, get the wilderness experience, and enjoy some awesome climbing, this is the place to be!

PS: For some cool history, stories, topos and photos of this and surrounding areas visit southernsierraclimber.blogspot.com/


Weather and Roads 

SEKI is the same as most of the Sierra; hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. This means that some roads get closed in the winter, but there is climbing at at least one of the areas year-round.

Visit the SEKI website for updated road and weather conditions at
www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm


Getting There 

To access most areas in the Kings Canyon half of the park take Highway 180 out of Fresno. For the southern Sequoia areas the best approach is via highway 198 out of Visalia. A few backcountry spots around the Obelisk are accessed from trailheads near Wishon Reservoir. If you need more specific directions ask Google Maps for help.


117 Total Routes


['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',33],['2 Stars',39],['1 Star',25],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',7],['5.7',9],['5.8',12],['5.9',16],['5.10',23],['5.11',7],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',10],['V2-3',22],['V4-5',7],['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 Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP:
Moonage Daydream   WI4 M4-5 Easy Snow     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   The Watchtower
Mt. Harrington, North Ridge   4th 1 2 I M 1b     Trad   The Gorge of Despair
Direct East Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b A2     Aid, 4 pitches, 600'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
South Face   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 6 pitches   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Timber Tantrum   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 50'   Hospital Rock Area
Lunch Bucket Ledge   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Hospital Rock Area
Duet   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
South Cracks   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Pennies On The Patio   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 100'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Wall of Early Morning Fright   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
The Regular Route (Castle Rock Spire)   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a A2     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   Castle Rocks : Castle Rock Spire
Flight of Stares   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Bear Damage   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 75'   Moro Rock (SEKI)
Kitty From Hell   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Chimney Rocks : Chimney Spire
Browse More Classics in Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP

Featured Route For Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP
A friend on top

Mt. Harrington, North Ridge 4th 1 2 I M 1b  CA : Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP : The Gorge of Despair
No trip to The Gorge of Despair is complete without bagging Mt. Harrington via it's North Ridge on the way in or out. For any skilled rock climber this route is a short, exciting solo. Guidebooks give the climb a grade of class III, I would say that it is certainly class IV.The summit is spectacular. From the top of Harrington the west ridge of The Monarch Divide, called Junction Ridge, drops about 9000 feet in 9 miles to Yucca Point where the South Fork of The Kings River joins with The Middle ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon
Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon
Great Western Divide from Moro Rock
Great Western Divide from Moro Rock
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