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Temple Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dark Star T 
Eclipsed Arete T 
Mendenhall Couloir T 
Moon Goddess Arete T 
Planaria T 
Sun Ribbon Arete T 
Temple, Galey, Sill Traverse T 
Venusian Blind T 

Temple Crag  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,999'
Location: 37.1096, -118.491 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 185,992
Administrators: Chris Owen, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Mar 9, 2006
Forecast:
Today

56° | 35°
Friday

59° | 25°
Saturday

55° | 29°
Sunday

62° | 25°
Monday

63° | 29°
Tuesday

62° | 26°
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Looking up at Temple Crag from Second Lake.

Description 

This huge granite cathedral, with its flying buttresses (the Celestial Aretes, Venusian, Moon Goddess, and Sun Ribbon) on the left, and the truly awesome buttress of Dark Star in the center, is the premier long rock climbing area of the Palisades.

Getting There 

From Big Pine on 395 turn west up Crocker Street (to Glacier Lodge); trailhead is signed on the right (about 10 miles).

Hike up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek past Cienega Mirth, Lon Chaney's old cabin, to First Lake, then, just past the lake cut left and head towards the far (south) side of Second Lake - this is where I camp (4.3 miles, 2,300 ft elevation gain). The base of Temple Crag can be reached by hiking up a scree slope to the west of the lake. Some people hike to Third Lake and approach the climbs from there. Some people bivouac beneath the Crag (especially useful for Dark Star).

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.9 miles from here

8 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',2],['5.8',1],['5.9',0],['5.10',3],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=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 Temple Crag:
Venusian Blind   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches, 1500'   
Temple, Galey, Sill Traverse   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, Grade IV   
Moon Goddess Arete   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 18 pitches, 2000'   
Sun Ribbon Arete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 22 pitches, 2000'   
Dark Star   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 16 pitches, 2000'   
Browse More Classics in Temple Crag

Featured Route For Temple Crag
Photo of the first (crux) pitch. Hopefully this he...

Dark Star 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  CA : High Sierra : ... : Temple Crag
One of Peter Croft's "Big Four Free Climbs" of the High Sierra (see Peter's book here).This is possibly the most direct line on Temple Crag, taking a plumb line from the lowest point of the face to the top. Either start from the nadir of the face and climb 400 feet of lower class 5, or walk up around the left side and traverse back right on a large ledge. Climb up to a small, right facing dihedral and climb it (crux). On the next pitch, work your way up and left to a crack be...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Temple Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Reflection- Temple Crag
Reflection- Temple Crag
The beautiful water of Third Lake, Temple Crag in ...
The beautiful water of Third Lake, Temple Crag in ...
These fish were pulled from Third Lake. Fish the i...
These fish were pulled from Third Lake. Fish the i...
Temple Crag and evening light
Temple Crag and evening light
An oil painting I did of one of the lakes.  I thin...
An oil painting I did of one of the lakes. I thin...
The classic view from Second Lake
The classic view from Second Lake
Temple Crag.
Temple Crag.
Temple Crag from Second Lake(6/6/2011).
Temple Crag from Second Lake(6/6/2011).
A nice campsite near the base of Darkstar Buttress...
A nice campsite near the base of Darkstar Buttress...
Checking out Temple Crag and Second Lake
Checking out Temple Crag and Second Lake
Dark Star buttress
Dark Star buttress
Camp...
Camp...
Temple Flowers
Temple Flowers
November storm clears over Temple Crag.
November storm clears over Temple Crag.
Alpenglow on the Dark Star buttress - Temple Crag
Alpenglow on the Dark Star buttress - Temple Crag
Heading towards the summit after Moon Goddess...
Heading towards the summit after Moon Goddess...
Pano looking west from the Temple Crag summit.
Pano looking west from the Temple Crag summit.
High ridges on Temple Crag. Nearest one is Sun Rib...
High ridges on Temple Crag. Nearest one is Sun Rib...
early views of Temple Crag
early views of Temple Crag
Temple Crag, as viewed from Second Lake.
Temple Crag, as viewed from Second Lake.
even the pines are colorful this time of year
even the pines are colorful this time of year
3rd lake..
3rd lake..
Rita Shin - The Queen of Temple Crag.  Photo by St...
Rita Shin - The Queen of Temple Crag. Photo by St...
Temple Crag rappel anchor- Why you should always c...
Temple Crag rappel anchor- Why you should always c...

Show All 40 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Temple Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Adam Burch
Jun 24, 2015
CONDITION REPORT 
As of the weekend of 6/21/2015, the small snow field directly below dark star has running melt.
By Gil Weiss
Mar 3, 2012
Temple-Gayley-Sill traverse, c2c
trip report with photos here:
pullharder.org/2012/03/02/temp...
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Nov 8, 2012
Gil, dead link.
By mpech
Aug 10, 2015
Note on driving directions: turn onto crocker st in the town of big pine (crocker street turns into glacier lodge road, which you then follow to the end).
By kenr
Aug 20, 2015
Descent ...
A typical climber's descent from the summit (or its SE or E side where Venusian + Moon Goddess + Sun Ribbon reach) is ESE down talus 1200 vertical feet to Contact Pass (perhaps only 600-900 feet if skip going to the summit). Then N and NNW down more talus (with some scree and sand) toward Third Lake or Second Lake. The steepest section has a rappel not more than 26 meters just above Contact Pass. We had a 50 meter rope, so I did not have to try the other options ...

I've heard that as a climb the difficulty of this rappel line is around 5.6. I've heard of people doing the rappel with a rope less than 50 meters and down-climbing the lowest section. The topo photo on the MountainProject for Sun Ribbon says there's a class 4 way nearby. An older guidebooks says there is a 5.2 line nearby, and two class 3 ways which reach the talus about 300 feet or more south of the top of Contact Pass.

The rappel anchor (or other options) might not be easy to find in the dark.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Aug 20, 2015
I must confess I have only done the descent three times - I have never rappelled and can't remember it being hard - just needing some route-finding.
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