Elevation: 3,294 ft
GPS: 35.816, -118.454 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 45,087 total · 308/month
Shared By: Dave Daly on Oct 15, 2008 · Updates
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

This beautiful dome-like slab has a wealth of history and a host of classic slab climbs, with rewarding views looking up and down the Kern River. Kern Slab received its initial first ascents starting in the early 70's, with ascents of The Lieback and Claustrophobia Crack (originally rated 5.5). This was during an age when old hexes and homemade manufactured thread nuts were used. Many of the bolted slab climbs didn't come until much later. Of those most notable, especially for their bold and somewhat runout nature, Cornflakes (5.9R/X) and Branscum-Martin Route(5.9R) stood as testiments of daring skill and ability. However, several modern bolted slab climbs have appeared in recent years, which have proved to be engaging, thoughtful and challenging yet a bit less runout. The Beer Wall (left lower side of the slab) was recently developed in the last few years by locals Marco Kreb, Matt Chambers, Dave Daly, and legendary Herb Laeger, who has completed hundreds of FA's since the 70's throughout the southern Sierra and beyond. Most of the routes on the Beer Wall range from 5.7 to 5.9, with one or two dipping into 5.10. Highlighted routes worth checking out: Hop Matter (5.8+), Lagers With Laeger (5.9), and Friction Brewing (5.10c/d)

 Overall, most of the routes at Kern Slab are moderate in nature and equipped with 2-bolt ring/chained anchors to rap from. In regards to multi-pitch routes, always carry 2 ropes. Some of the older routes were done with (2) 50 meter ropes. You'll discover that using a single 70 meter rope to rap with won't quite make it to the next set of anchors. If you decide to top rope, please minmize the use of threading ropes through the chains or rings and use an equalized anchor system. This cuts down on the wear and tear of the rings/chains.

The best time of year to climb at Kern Slab is from late fall to late spring. If you're going to climb during the summer months, best times would be 7AM to 10AM, before the sun crests over Powers Ridge. Also, be aware that this is also rattlesnake country. Keep a good eye out near the base of the rock for them, especially in the early to late spring. Lastly, please be mindful by packing out what you packed in. Lots of good folks have worked hard to keep this area clean to demostrate that climbers are responsible users of such wonderful natural resources.

Getting There

Drive approximately 4.7 miles north, after passing the Kern River Brewing Company (on the left side of the road) while passing through the town of Kernville on Sierra Way. During the last 1/2 mile, you'll see the dome-like slab on the upper right. Upon arrival, there is a fairly large pullout on the right hand side that can accommodate up to 8 cars. The trailhead starts at the back left side of the pullout and winds up somewhat steeply. At the top of the trail, one can either go left, which ends up over at the Beer Wall section. Or go up and right to locate such classics as Chouinard Special (5.8), The Lieback (5.8), Claustrophobia Crack (5.7), and Dirty Dishes (5.7).

26 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Kernville Rock (a.k.a. Kern Slabs) Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Kernville Rock (a.k.a. Kern Slabs)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 14
Claustrophobia Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 19
Dirty Dishes
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 4
Hop Matter
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 54
The Lieback
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 18
Chouinard Special
Trad, Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 4
Lagers With Laeger
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 5
IP Yay!
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 4
This Buds For You
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X
 5
Cornflakes
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 3
Old Dog, New Tricks
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 6
Fine Line
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 5
Friction Brewing
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 25
Initiation Crack
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 3
Claustrophobia Direct Start
Trad, TR
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 3
Well it Looked Easy!
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Claustrophobia Crack
 14
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Dirty Dishes
 19
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Hop Matter
 4
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
The Lieback
 54
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Chouinard Special
 18
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Sport
Lagers With Laeger
 4
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
IP Yay!
 5
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
This Buds For You
 4
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Cornflakes
 5
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X Trad, TR
Old Dog, New Tricks
 3
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Fine Line
 6
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Friction Brewing
 5
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Initiation Crack
 25
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Claustrophobia Direct Start
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, TR
Well it Looked Easy!
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Kernville Rock (a.k.a. Kern Slabs) »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos