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Routes in Northern Formation, The

Big Crack on "North" / "East" Face T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
East Face TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
East Ridge TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Equinox TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Face right of "Big Crack" T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Grovel Groove TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Up to the Giant Eastern Flake T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Elevation: 2,505 ft
GPS: 37.929, -122.577 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 7,639 total · 41/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Oct 6, 2002 with updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

This largest rock at Mt. Tamalpais, The Northern Formation consists of slabby featured volcanic rock with simpler climbing (5.3 - 5.7).

Setting up a top rope on the top of The Northern Formation is simple, as there are tons of large chalk stones and other formations to place slings around.

This rock faces south to northeast, so you will be in the sun most of the day, but in the shade in the later afternoon.

You can walk off any and all routes, which is recommended over lowering due to the jagged nature of the rock. The better walk off heads down the right (looking up) side of the rock, and is also a good way to set up a top rope.

Park closed nightly from sunset to 7:00 am Details

Getting There

Approach time: 10 minutes

From the parking lot, take the "wooden-steps" trail that starts left of the restrooms. Follow this as it gently curves around the mountain, until it makes a sudden 270-degree turn to the right with a 6 to 8 foot boulder in front of you. Here, go straight past the boulder on a climber's path 25 to 30 feet to the top of the formation. A climber's path to the base leads down to skier's/viewer's right.

You can also get a pretty full view of the Northern Formation from all of the other rocks on the east side of the mountain by looking north.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Northern Formation, The

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Up to the Giant Eastern Flake
Trad, TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
East Ridge
TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Equinox
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Up to the Giant Eastern Flake
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, TR
East Ridge
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b TR
Equinox
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
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Photos

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The "Bay Area Rock" guidebook lists a few more climbs left of Equinox. (I was hoping to learn here whether "Sun Slab Center" has lost some hold(s) making it harder than the listed grade of 5.10, or if I'm just weak!) 4 days ago
Eamonn  
Tried to utilize the upper approach to the Northern formation this weekend. The trail is EXTREMELY NARROW AND STEEP AND SHORT (Read: you almost need to crawl on your belly) Although I ran out of time, I recommend using the Loop Trail approach as mapped in the guide book. Oct 31, 2004

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