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Upper Gorge

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All You Can Eat 
Basement, The 
Cracked Towers 
Dihedrals 
Failsafe Wall 
Flavin Haven 
Franklin's Tower 
Gorgeous Towers 
Gotham City 
Holy Trinity 
ICBM Tower 
Joe's Garage 
Junior Area 
Lower Elbow Room 
Mini Buttress 
Sanitarium 
Trestle Wall 
Triple Play Cliff 
Underground Cliff 
Upper Elbow Room 
Warm Out Wall 

Upper Gorge  


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Location: 37.52573, -118.57495 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 143,390
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tom Helvie on Jul 21, 2006
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Aerili on "Pumping the Slots". Photo by ...

Description 

The Upper Gorge is a little narrower and more winding than the other sections of the Gorge. The cliffs face a variety of directions allowing the ability to chase shade or sun. There are several popular cliffs including the Gorgeous Towers, Gotham City, the Dihedrals and the Flavin' Haven. There is a good amount of quality moderates in the Upper Gorge. The hard climber should check out the Trestle wall, Holy Trinity, Joe's Garage and Franklin's Tower.

Getting There 

Use the Upper Gorge parking lot, hike down the upper power plant road for a couple minutes looking for a steep trail down to the right. This trail leads into a 3rd class gully and then down a steep rocky trail.

The page shows the coordinates for around the north parking area.

Climbing Season



Weather station 19.1 miles from here

135 Total Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',67],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',5],['5.8',10],['5.9',17],['5.10',48],['5.11',33],['5.12',20],['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 Upper Gorge:
Slip 'n Slide   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 115'   Lower Elbow Room
Hot Pink Socks   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   All You Can Eat
Cinderella   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   All You Can Eat
Giveaway   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Gorgeous Towers
Lava Haul   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Flavin Haven
Machine Gun Jumblies   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   Gotham City
Dr. Evil   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 130'   Gotham City
Gorgeous   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Gorgeous Towers
Wacked Scenario   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Gorgeous Towers
Superfly   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 180'   Gotham City
Pick Pocket   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Holy Trinity
O.R.G.asam   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Dihedrals
Knucko's Pride of the North   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Gorgeous Towers
The-Aretical   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Gorgeous Towers
Grindrite   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Gotham City
C'mon Knucko   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Gorgeous Towers
Flex Your Head   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Gotham City
Caldera   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Flavin Haven
Sex   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Holy Trinity
Sex Packets   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Holy Trinity
Browse More Classics in Upper Gorge

Featured Route For Upper Gorge
Kathy Boussina nears the lower crux of "Slip 'n Slide" at the Lower Elbow Room.  In this case, we climbed the route as 2 separate pitches.

Slip 'n Slide 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : Sierra Eastside : ... : Lower Elbow Room
Four bolts of slab climbing (with a 5.9 crux encountered after the fourth bolt) leads to a striking hand crack. Follow bolts up this beautiful, sustained crack which gets steeper and steeper with height. Simply awesome!The route can be climbed as one long pitch or broken down into two. With a single 50 or 60-meter rope, it will take two rappels to get back down. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Upper Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Swallowtail photographed at the Flavin Haven.
Swallowtail photographed at the Flavin Haven.
Beavers also have plans to dam the Gorge. Photo by Tony Tennessee.
Beavers also have plans to dam the Gorge. Photo by...
Stream crossing action below Flavin Haven.
Stream crossing action below Flavin Haven.
Looking south down the Upper Gorge from the parking area
Looking south down the Upper Gorge from the parkin...
Looking out over the Gorge from the upper parking area
BETA PHOTO: Looking out over the Gorge from the upper parking ...
Upper, upper gorge.
BETA PHOTO: Upper, upper gorge.
The Upper Gorge, from the approach trail
The Upper Gorge, from the approach trail
The narrow section of the upper gorge looking north from Trestle Wall
BETA PHOTO: The narrow section of the upper gorge looking nort...
The Owens River lazily flows through the Upper Gorge. April 2010
The Owens River lazily flows through the Upper Gor...
Gorgeous Towers, center.
BETA PHOTO: Gorgeous Towers, center.
Looking down at the Upper Gorge. April 2010
Looking down at the Upper Gorge. April 2010
Some damn fine FREE campsites along the upper gorge, if you can find them.
BETA PHOTO: Some damn fine FREE campsites along the upper gorg...

Comments on Upper Gorge Add Comment
Show which comments
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Apr 15, 2008
So much more natural than the Lower Gorge - quite a pleasant spot.

A cairn marks the start of the descent - look for it on the right as you walk down the road.
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 3, 2008
Why is every perfectly protectable crack in this area bolted??
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Jul 3, 2008
The LADWP enforces a strict "no tradding" rule in the Gorge as part of the use agreement. Bolts only! First offense is a confiscation of any hardware deemed "Trad" and a $50.00 fine payable to the ASCA.
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 4, 2008
Are you serious. WOW! That is pretty odd. Thx for letting me know.
By JMo
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 5, 2010
i heard fines double if they catch you with hexes
By JeffL
From: Salt Lake City
Sep 29, 2012
There is a rappel approach described in the book, here is the beta from personal experience. The hardest part is the first 3rd class scramble. There is a cairn marking the chimney or 4th class part just before the rappel bolts. We fixed a line and rapped the chimney with our packs, but down climbing and lowering packs would be ideal. Make sure you have a 60m rope to hit the ground, 70m is better for comfort as you can rappel past some scrambling. Watch for nettles as you pick up a trail and head upstream. One bridge you cross is nice, the other is broken