Access Issue: Climbing permitted, but keep a low profile Details
Access Issue: Current San Diego County Advisories Details


The west side of Cougar Crag.

Getting There

Turn left on the approach.

22 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cougar Crag West

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Zackary Rehfuss
San Diego, Ca
Zackary Rehfuss   San Diego, Ca
After going to this crag today here are some things to note.

1) The approach is up a the steep hillside next to the fence and through lots of bushes and really loose dirt/rocks. From the gate at the quarry follow the fence line just left of the iron barred gate. Continue up until you see individual faint trails that go to various parts of the crag. BE CAREFUL LOOSE ROCKS AND A HIGHWAY BELOW.

2) The routes don't get climbed that often it seems because they were all full of dirt. On a couple dihedrals the only placements were buried and had to be brushed out. There are some rusty old hangers on some of the routes that probably should be replaced as well as some old pitons, these looked in pretty bad shape so i wouldn't use them. Also, some of the routes can be fairly runout.

3) There are lots of anchor options with larger cams ( BD #1-3) and slings. Be Careful atop sesame street buttress, there are some large flakes that are totally hollow.

4) Some people have said they had problems with the quarry management but every time i have been here no one has bothered me (fingers crossed they don't). Aug 22, 2016
Cougar Crag West lies across the valley from Cougar Crag East. The quarry operation occupies the valley in between. As Zackary states, the approach to CCW begins west of the quarry gate.

The OP's statement on this page ("Turn left on the approach.") is misleading. If you are hiking up to Insecurity Never Wins, on the left side of CCE, you could take the left turn. If you are hiking up to Cougar in Heat and Stranger Danger, you could take the right turn. These directions only apply to CCE, not CCW.

Including Mel's Climb with CCE adds to the confusion. Furthermore, the Whitewall Route is listed on this CCW page, although it is at CCE, 20 feet right of INW. Enter Slabman is the first route you encounter if, at CCE, you "Turn right on the approach." Stahn Solo may also be at CCE

Because CCE and CCW are totally separate crags, situated a half mile apart, I think that the Admin should change the title of this overall area to Cougar Crags (plural). The Admin should also move Mel's Climb to CCW and the Whitewall Route, Enter Slabman, and maybe Stahn Solo to CCE. Dec 26, 2016
Tanner Wright
Encinitas, CA
Tanner Wright   Encinitas, CA

Hey climbing community, recently I was at cougar crag on 11/25/18 and forgot my gear pack in the turnout where you park for this climbing area. It was an orange Patagonia Crag Pack full of trad gear. It was actually full of all of the climbing gear I own and have accumulated over the years. It got left behind because was more focused on getting into my car because I locked my keys in the car before I walked to to cliff. I guess this is just proving that I am one forgetful dude. Anyways if anyone has seen it, knows anything about it, or picked it up I would love to get it back and will gladly offer a reward for returning it to me. I am really depending on the climbing community to come through and tell their friends to spread the word. Thanks for any help you can offer, and feel free to contact me at 909-938-7980 Dec 2, 2018 · Temporary Report