Elevation: 711 ft
GPS: 38.912, -121.036 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 283,023 total · 1,265/month
Shared By: Rough on Jan 20, 2003 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker -, Kyle Bishop, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen
Access Issue: The State Rec Area closes at dusk - most parking areas are self-paid Details

Description

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Within the boundaries of the Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA) is the remains of an old limestone quarry, formerly the Spreckels quarry. The quarry was bequeathed to the Bureau of Reclamation after the Teichert Inc. had determined that the lower quarry had yielded as much material as was financially feasible. The new land was then included in the State Recreation Area for management by the SRA for the Bureau of Reclamation. The SRA allows recreational usages include hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, equestrian/horseback riding trails, off-highway motorcycle riding, and whitewater, with Class II, III and IV runs. Ironically enough, climbing was not addressed in the recreational usage plan despite the quarries large rock cliffs being ideally suited for technical rock climbing.

Auburn Quarry Raptor Nesting Closures forum​​​.

History

Technical rock climbing has been practiced in the Old Limestone Quarry located in the ASRA since the late 1980’s. The original climbers established approximately seven rock climbing routes, which required some amount of fixed protection; pitons and protection bolts. From all accounts, early climbers were not discouraged or refused recreational opportunities at this time. Early climbers included Dale Christenson, Eric Kohl, Kirk Arens, and the Hatchett Brothers. On November 18th, 1998, Kirk and friends were practicing rope jumping on an elaborate rigging system. Kirk misjudged the length of his rope jump and was killed in the resultant impact. From this point forward 'til 2003, climbers were discouraged from using the Auburn SRA for technical rock climbing, but it was not technically illegal to climb there. In 2004, the ASRA created a memorandum banning technical climbing which was in effect until October 2012, where through the hard work of CRAGS (Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento), the Access Fund, and local climbers the ban was lifted and climbing could legally resume in the Quarry. Climbers in the early 2000’s started re-exploring the area for rock climbing routes and currently there are almost fifty established routes within the Auburn State Recreation Area. These routes cater to climbers of all levels from easy, moderate, and hard levels of climbing.

Climbing

The remaining rock cliffs left after the conclusion of active quarrying present a perfect opportunity for performance of technical rock climbing. The rock is highly featured limestone along with other sedimentary rock mixed in. The actual quarrying process itself has created large features, which are ideally suited to climbing.
It is not uncommon to see the Placer County Sheriff use the Old Quarry as a practice grounds for their Search and Rescue Team. So don't be surprised if on occasion you see a large group of folks rappel and jugging the Scale Wall. Please respect their right to use the area for this purpose and find a different wall to climb on until they are done!

Getting There

  • Highway 80 to Auburn.
  • Exit Elm Ave (exit 119c), and stay left at the fork.
  • Turn left on Elm.
  • .2 miles later, left on El Dorado St (also Hwy 49).
  • Turn right to stay on highway 49, head down the hill and cross the bridge towards Cool (there's a sign.)
  • About a 1/4 mile later, park in the street or in the paid lot on the left (it's hard to see, but it's a VERY wide pull in)

From the parking lot (I advise bringing a bike!!!): Follow the signs for "Cave Valley Climbing Area." Walk about 1 1/2 miles down the main trail (which heads more or less East out of the lot) way above the creek. You'll come to a large fort-like structure with a very wide trail heading straight up a steepish hill right of the main trail, which ends up taking you to the right of the fort. Walk another 150 yards to the FIRST fork, and go right. Follow this still wide (though often quite leaf-covered) trail trough another bend to the left, and you'll pop out at the entrance to the climbing area, with Scale Wall right in front of you.

Approach to close walls : 30 minutes (8 minutes by bike)
Approach to furthest bolted walls: 45 minutes

67 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cave Valley (aka Auburn Quarry)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 188
M+M
Sport, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 130
Scooby Snacks
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 112
Gold Dusty
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 112
Comfortably Dumb
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 128
Booty Crack
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 104
Short Term Memory
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 173
Uncomfortably Dumb
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 93
Sneaky
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 81
Hunger Pains
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 159
Scale Wall
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 103
Vacavillain
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 68
Bionic Bitch Slap
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 53
Howler Monkey
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 59
Destructomatic
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 55
Human Oddity
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
M+M Scale Wall
 188
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Scooby Snacks Scale Wall
 130
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Gold Dusty Scale Wall
 112
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Comfortably Dumb Horseshoe Canyon
 112
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Booty Crack Scale Wall
 128
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Short Term Memory Memorial Wall
 104
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Uncomfortably Dumb Horseshoe Canyon
 173
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Sneaky Memorial Wall
 93
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Hunger Pains Wreckage Wall
 81
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Scale Wall Scale Wall
 159
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Vacavillain Horseshoe Canyon
 103
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Bionic Bitch Slap Wreckage Wall
 68
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Howler Monkey Wreckage Wall
 53
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Destructomatic Wreckage Wall
 59
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Human Oddity Horseshoe Canyon
 55
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cave Valley (aka Auburn Quarry) »

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