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Areas in Pine Creek Canyon

Avalanche Wall 4 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Bad Daddy Canyon 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Barbershop Buttress 3 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Cliff Notes Cliff 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Cosmosis 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Crack of Noon Buttress 7 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Cyanide Cliff 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Cyanide Gully 10 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Fashion Slab 6 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
G.o.T Crag 8 / 7 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
La Escuela 1 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Lamb Canyon Wall 2 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
OJ Buttress 6 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Rattler Crags 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Scheelite Canyon / Pratt's Crack Gully 37 / 87 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 121
Scheelite Crags / PSOM Slab 31 / 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 50
Three Hour Buttress 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Uptown Rock 6 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 37.382, -118.672 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 259,435 total, 1,955/month
Shared By: Tim Steele on Jan 11, 2007
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

A beautiful granite canyon nestled between Mount Tom & the Wheeler Crest. Most of the routes are concentrated in Sheelite Canyon, a side canyon that feeds into Pine Creek, but routes are also cropping up elsewhere, especially up canyon. The best season is late spring until the weather craps out in the late fall. Summer conditions are especially pleasant, as most routes are in the shade and a cool breeze often fans the canyon.

The canyon has a long history, with classics such as Pratt’s Crack and Sheila dating back to the 1970's. In the early 1990's, with the boom of sport climbing in the area, Tommy Herbert added what is arguably one of the proudest 5.13a's in the country with his seldom repeated masterpiece, Ecstasy, a 100 foot laser-cut arête.

The prolific and industrious Louie Anderson almost single-handedly turned Pine Creek Canyon into a sport crag with his development of the Ministry Wall (a dense concentration of quality 5.11’s) and the Planetarium Wall, with his ultra-classic, Atomic Gecko (5.12b) getting the most traffic of any hard route in the area. It stands as a must do for the 5.12 climber. Another standout test piece is 'Wind in the Willows Extension' (5.12d) which sports 110 feet of intense granite climbing.

Recently, there has been a resurgence of development, especially at the hands of the dynamic duo of Marty Lewis and Kevin Calder, who have almost doubled the number of sport climbs in just a couple of seasons, adding numerous new 5.11 classics to the area, including a three pitch affair.

The best source of information for the canyon can be found in Peter Croft's and Marty Lewis’ excellent guide, "Bishop Area Rock Climbs".

Getting There

Take Hwy. 395 North from Bishop to Pine Creek Road. Turn left onto Pine Creek Road. Continue through the town of Rovana and several switchbacks until you see Sheelite Canyon (the obvious deep canyon) on your right. Just across from the Campground, take a dirt road and park in one of two parking areas. Walk up the road and into the canyon.

297 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Pine Creek Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Racing Lizards
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pratt's Crack
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
The Big Deal
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Becky Route
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Sheila
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Never Believe
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
John Fischer Memorial Route
Trad, Sport 7 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Rites of Spring
Trad 4 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Supergrinder
Sport 2 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
B-Gizzle
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Window Shopper
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Coven (Seriously Though)
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Flame Thrower
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Burning Inside
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
The Megaplex
Sport 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Racing Lizards Scheelite Crags /… > PSOM Slab 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Pratt's Crack Scheelite Canyon… > Pratt's Crack / Dihedrals Area 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
The Big Deal Scheelite Crags /… > PSOM Slab 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Becky Route Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Sheila Scheelite Canyon… > Pratt's Crack / Dihedrals Area 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Never Believe Scheelite Canyon… > Ministry Wall 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
John Fischer Memorial Route Scheelite Crags /… > PSOM Slab 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Sport 7 pitches
Rites of Spring Scheelite Canyon… > Armando's Stilletto / Rites of S… 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 4 pitches
Supergrinder Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport 2 pitches
B-Gizzle Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Window Shopper Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Coven (Seriously Though) Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Flame Thrower Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Burning Inside Scheelite Canyon… > Ministry Wall 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
The Megaplex Scheelite Canyon… > Mustache Wall 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Pine Creek Canyon »

Weather Averages

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
Jason Albino
San Francisco, CA
Jason Albino   San Francisco, CA
This canyon sports some of the best rock quality of anywhere I've seen in the Sierras outside of the backcountry. If these routes were in The Valley, they'd likely be constantly mobbed!

Note that the camping is actually just some cut-out dirt spots on the left side of the road as you approach the crags on the right (room for about 6-10 "sites"), so if you're looking for a "campground" as a landmark for the parking, don't expect to find any major signs. Instead, look closely for the dirt road loop across from the cleanest-looking rock you'll see at you get ~6-8 miles up the road from 395. There's a bit of wider dirt road down in there that's good for shady day parking, which only adds about 1 minute of hiking across the main road to the mildly 4X4-accessed parking that's on the right and just slightly closer to the rock, but totally exposed to the sun.

While we came expecting to do mostly trad, and did quite enjoy Shiela, Rites of Spring, and Armando's Stiletto, we got sucked into the awesome sport climbing of Mustache Wall. Every route was so darned good and so expertly and tastefully bolted that we never even got to Ministry Wall or the other sport walls just around the corner. Those North-ish walls are great all-day-shade spots for the summertime or warm spring or fall days, with a cool breeze typical through the corridor and easy stream access behind Ministry Wall.

Bring your stiff edging shoes for the sport climbs, and get ready to puzzle out great lateral movement on spaced out rails, beautiful crimps and the occasional jug. The multis are definitely worth doing as well, especially the fantastic Megaplex.

Kudos to the developers for such beautiful routes. I can't say enough about the dense quality on Mustache Wall - a must-visit for the 5.11/5.12 granite sport climber! I can't think of a better granite sport wall at that grade range anywhere else. Jul 24, 2017
somillionaire Viradia
Los Angeles, California
somillionaire Viradia   Los Angeles, California
I was at pine creek a few weeks ago and ended up having one of my Evolv Geshidos, size 9.5(i think), disappear. I think it was near the base of flame thrower. We guessed that a dog might have picked it up because I was only missing one half of a pair. If anyone knows about it, please let me know. Thanks! Jul 20, 2015
Victor Lawson
Bishop, CA
Victor Lawson   Bishop, CA
New routes going up left and right...bolted, trad, multipitch, shorties, loooong single pitches, ground up, top down...whooo! It's like a golden age up in heya! Many FA parties are leaving topos at Wilsons to be xeroxed and used...but many single pitch "cragging" routes are still sitting mysterious, and rarely climbed despite their quality. Tim? Tom? You guys gonna give us the beta or what?

over 20 new pitches went up in Pratt's canyon alone over this summer and last. I vote for a community compiling of route info, available for free at Wilsons...or if someone wants to give me a small loan, I'd be happy to pen a Pine Creek guidebook....

vic Jul 9, 2010
Bruce Willey
Bishop, CA
Bruce Willey   Bishop, CA
Tai Devore (AKA Mr. Pine Creek) is putting in so many new routes it's hard to keep track. But go into Wilson's and he'll hand you some topos for some really fine routes. Aug 17, 2009
Bishop local Tom Costa did a great color PDF mini-guide to the sport routes a few years back, he has it in a few different formats at: homepage.mac.com/oohrah

It does not include all the new Marty Lewis/Kevin Calder routes. Jan 16, 2007

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