GPS: 36.479, -121.184 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Ian Walters on Dec 31, 2008
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The Back Door is the somewhat secluded area down between the South face of the Monolith and the Reservoir/Tiburcio's X.

Although there aren't very many routes, the rock quality of the area is excellent, and the routes themselves are all quality. The route difficulty is varied, and challenging at most levels. This is a good place to check out when it gets hot. It's normally much less crowded than Discovery Wall or the Monolith, and is a great change of pace for the frequent Pinnacles visitor.

Getting There

There are various approaches detailed in the guidebook, but the most straightforward is to follow the main (Moses Springs) trail just above the East Face of the Monolith up a short ways to the reservoir. Once there, continue steeply up the trail for a short distance, passing under Tiburcio's X, until the West face of the Monolith is clearly visible. Scramble up the large boulder that borders the trail nearest the West face, and find the bolted chain anchor at the lip. Rappel here, and find yourself at the base of Auto Cream.

Another approach breaks off the Moses Springs trail where it meets the Northwest corner of the Monolith. Scramble up a gentle hill to your right at this juncture, and find yourself confronted by the imposing, lichen-covered face of The Druid. Follow the trial, passing under The Druid, and contour uphill to meet the Back Door wall. This small trail is hard to spot when the brush is thick, and the poison oak grows rampant around it in the springtime, so wear long pants- or approach in the winter.

Another more annoying approach is to trek down below the East Face routes, past Subterranean Tango and Bridwell Bolts, and then scramble up the loose hill, wending your way through boulders. This approach will put you right at the base of The Black Dagger boulder. Continue up the hill to reach the Back Door wall.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Back Door

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mr. Hugh G.Rection
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Limp At Last
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Auto Cream AKA Sunwheel
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mr. Hugh G.Rection
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Limp At Last
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Auto Cream AKA Sunwheel
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Back Door »

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Brad Allender
Alameda, CA
Brad Allender   Alameda, CA
The Backdoor:

Didn't climb enough here to add the area (wall), but it is next to the Monolith and below Tiburcio's X. Supposedly it has 3 approaches, but the approaches from below are iffy at best (if you can even find them). It seems like the best thing to do is rapel down from the trail that goes in front of Tiburcio's X to/from the reservoir. Apr 1, 2008
So San Francisco
beachplus4   So San Francisco
So one approach is down this super thin switchback (extra exposed, like X fall for sure) about 20 feet northish of the anchors, and the second is to crawl, climb, and boulder hop ur way through and out of bear cave. That last way was super covered in moss. Jan 16, 2011
Matt G.  
We got to this area by following the base of the monolith and scrambling up/down/around the base. It wasn't as dangerous as some of the other approaches sound, but it was really annoying and took the better part of 30 minutes. The vastly easier approach comes from trail to reservoir, and finding bolts or chains across the trail from Tiburcio's X. We left by this route, and had a nice downhill walk back to the parking lot. Feb 6, 2012
Sean P. Sullivan
Clovis, Ca
Sean P. Sullivan   Clovis, Ca
rapping in from TBX is really easy. The anchors for Auto Cream are rusted and spinning, but bolts seemed fine, we survived! Limp at last and Huge E Rection's bolts are in much better shape, but having a TR set up for Auto was our goal. Mar 1, 2015