Belaying from a slab that waves crash onto, this rock is the best short (40' - 50')sport rock in the bay area in my opinion.
Containing short sustained sport climbs on mostly excellent sandstone, this rock is has many excellent interesting qualities to it:
1) It's a quick approach from the car (5 minutes), but it requires a rappell for the short route.
2) Waves will splash you when the tide is high or there is a swell. The crashing waves and resulting suction noises add to the wonderment and thrill of climbing here. This is the only place in the bay area where looking behind you is usually looking into a ferocious wave.
3) The multicolored sandstone is gorgeous.
4) Just around the corner from the main areas of Fisk Mill cove, this rock gives an incredibly remote feeling, despite the relative proximity of both the observation tower on top of Senital Rock and Shipwreck Wall.
5) Climbs are deceptively sustained.
This is my opinion is the BEST short sport rock in all of the bay area. Sport climbs range from 5.10a to 5.13b, with a very diverse range in between. There's also a 5.7 crack for you tradheads out there.
Climbing is in the sun most of the day, as the cove faces southwest. You'll probably find some shade here in the winter.
Be warned - a nasty wave WILL cause havoc and pull anyone and anything that it hits back out into the ocean. Use caution while climbing in high surf and/or high tides. The once a day wave that surfers love will be a major concern to climbers entering this remote feeling rock. Getting help will not be easy either, as the walk around (assuming it's possible) will take you 15 minutes at a full run.
Approach time: 5 minutes (rappell) or 20 minutes.
Assuming you're okay with rappelling, this is the approach for you. Head Northwest out of the main parking lot on the Trail to Fisk Mill Cove. Find a way to the rock just below the oberservation tower. Supposedly there is a trail nearly directly from the parking lot, but I couldn't find it. I walked the 200 yards to the observation tower (which involves taking a left headed uphill at the sign that says "Senitel Rock" about 150 yards into the trail), jumped the fence, walked and slid down 150 feet or so on the class 3 rocks that make up the slope looking left from the observation deck.
During this slide, you will be at the top of the shipwreck wall, though this is not a good way to approach this rock, since there are no easily accessable rappell or top anchor bolts. Continue down the right side of the ramp until the rock ends and the cliff is in front of you. You will find rappell bolts in a 3' wide crack section about halfway through the face. From this area, the bolts and anchor of the rightside route (?) are visible. The rappell is about 45 feet.
It should be noted that this approach is only "easy" at very low water. It's probably not safe a good chunk of the time.
Follow the Fisk Mill Cove Trail Northwest out of the parking lot about 500 yards as it stays above and parallels the beach. Using a staircase whose days are SEVERELY numbered, you will gain access to the beach and will be in full view of the Shipwreck Wall, which is down the beach to your left. Walk over to Shipwreck Wall using the large rocks once you get close. Water height or bouldering ability will get you over the last few rocks out to the right edge of the Shipwreck wall, and the Treasure Chest is just around the corner.
This route is FUN FUN FUN, and unique!This route begins on the arete on the left side of the Treasure Chest area, and is the second bolt line from the left. Climb up the left face of the arete - holds around the arete are on route as well - and into the strange roof-chimney. Climb out of the chimney and up on the right side of the slightly overhung face above it.I may be a little overly cautious giving this route the 's' rating, but climbing above the third bolt probably should scare you. Onc...[more]Browse More Classics in CA