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Kern Slabs and Weather

Original Post
Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 98

Not sure if this belongs here or in the Northern Ca section.
Thinking of heading up there this weekend. Looks like rain Friday and then again Saturday night. If it holds off Saturday day, would it be ok to climb then? Or would I be dealing with run off and wet granite? Does it climb well enough in these conditions or should I just hold off and wait? Thanks for the insight.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Hi, Joe.... I just checked the weather forecast for Kernville.

Looks to me like it is cooling down over the weekend.... Tomorrow would be fine, 59 and sunny is the ticket.

If its raining, you cant really climb because you get wet.

If it was me, I would save this weekend because it is likely to be cold and raining. If no rain was forecast, or if little chance, 20% or less, I would go.

If you go and its raining, the only way to get to dry climbing is out at Great Falls Basin (Trona) it almost never rains in that canyon even when its pouring in Trona.

I'm thinking about organizing a RINCON trip for anybody who might like to climb at one of the best hidden secrets in California... waiting for the normal winter weather to kick in... its best up there when its sunny and the temps are less than mid 60's with cold nites. Look for an announcement on MP.

And this is definitely a Southern California Place....

Happy new year.

Rkelly666 · · Bakersfield California · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Local here from Bakersfield who hits the slabs up almost every weekend. Kern Slabs climbing is ripe for the picking and excellent in the cold after a good rain drys up for some grippy granite. if just a light sprinkle it still climbs well. If you need a partner i can lead up to 5.8 (follow a bit harder) and i have a rack. 661 444 8960


C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 551

Curious -- thoughts on if New Directions and the Slab would be dry Sun/Mon after all this rain?

Are the cliffs prone to seepage after a soaking?

Mike Flanagan · · Redlands, CA · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 55

Guy- keep me in the loop if you organize a RINCON Meetup please!

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Also interested in this RINCON meetup!

Fernando Cal · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 5
Guy Keesee wrote:I'm thinking about organizing a RINCON trip for anybody who might like to climb at one of the best hidden secrets in California... waiting for the normal winter weather to kick in... its best up there when its sunny and the temps are less than mid 60's with cold nites. Look for an announcement on MP. And this is definitely a Southern California Place.... Happy new year.
Rincon after the surfspot? I've heard of climbing there at some point but not sure if my mind is putting the two together...nonetheless i've be interested
Rkelly666 · · Bakersfield California · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

C Brooks

Chances are its a muddy mess right now. No clue since im a weekend warrior and domt always have the time to take the 2 hour drive/15 min approach up the hill to check. Im avoiding it till the rain holds off but its usually my go-to spot

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

OK let me clarify.... "The Rincon" in the Kern River canyon is visible when you look up at "Salmon Creek Falls" a posted viewing spot approx 11.5 miles north of Kernville. There is some sort of Pipe you look through and this puts your eyes on the falls..."The Rincon" are the fine looking formations located a bit south of the falls...sort of to the right of a ridge that descends from the Salmon creek falls.

These formations are 2,000 feet above the Kern River. The hike has been done in a little less than one hour, buy some super fit youngsters I took up there once... only problem-- there legs were mush after the hike and they couldn't climb ... I spend maybe 1.5 hours and up to 2 when lugging FA gear. The start of this hike begins at the Rincon Trail head, a off-road trail (motorbikes only) ... this trail follows the Kern from way down by Kernville. The best place to pick up the trail is to go up to the Valhalla Parking and poke around just a bit south... IIRC the dirt road you take is marked "Audit 9-12" These Audit roads are for the water company to access the water that flows in the pipe, cement culvert. (one can see the pipes hi above Kernville as they are directed down to the generating plant) The Audits are points where there is a tunnel or a open trough or a bridge going over the creeks. The correct dirt road starts just a bit south of the viewing pipe for Salmon creek falls. You know your on the right one when you hit a turn-around about 300 yards up from the pavement. (hint you need to make a hard up-hill left turn but you can't cause its to steep and sharp so they made a place where you do a 180 and back track.

The best place to look at the Rincon is down by that lone motel, hotel deal they made... it keeps going in and out of bizz so the name changes.. there is a bit of really good bouldering right at this spot.. right there at your car, if you are familiar with the Kern you have seen the chalk before... good steep traverse problem. From this point you can look right up at the sunny ledge and big green, yellow headwall...thats the main Rincon. Tons of potential over to the right.

The approach is up the Rincon Trail... signed posted with the off road rules... you go up this for about a mile.... up hill all the way. Where it sort of tops out and turns left and gets level for 200 yards.... you are really close to the cut off spot. Keep walking for a few hundred yards more ... past a really deep grooved spot that is the crux if your on a dirt bike, but before you get to salmon creek.... you hang a right and plunge into the "COW BRUSH: as we call it... after a hundred yards you sort of break out from the thick brush and you will see a huge boulder that over hangs on 3 sides with one side vert with a thin crack going through it.... Kris and I did this as a climb ("A Couple of Nuts 5.10C) it has yet to be bouldered, and the way up is the way down.

You can pick up our climbers trail at this boulder and it has some carins ..... look for the faint signs of a trail...going uphill... I was there 6 years ago and we were able to still see traces of where we dug out spots ... there is some 4th class on this where you go up some steep chmineys.... when you get to the Rincon you will first see the "E" cracks.... two 5.12C crack climbs put up Eric Erickson, these have a big OAK tree shading the base... traverse a bit to the right and crawl through a tight spot that gets overgrown by oak trees and walk on out to the Sunny Ledge... you have arrived!! About 7 or 8 climbs start right here... some up cracks, flakes some face. "Snow Job" was the first root put up there-- its two long pitches... not sport climbs but real honest by god face climbs. Mike Flood, Rob Brown and Troy Bailey in 1994? its 5.10B PG.

Just a bit to the right of the ledge there is a wall with 4 one pitch climbs all 5.10 or harder... you can 3rd class the right side of this wall to get up to what we call the Pine Tree Ledge... another 8 or 9 climbs start here... The Best is "Mikes Flight 5.11A" it starts at the pine tree. The Best Climb in the place starts on the far left end of this and you climb up and out left over the big air on tasty looking flakes this is "Endless Summer"... Kris Solem, Mike Brown 1-6-98 and is 5.11D up at the lip of the slightly overhanging face.... its all bolts-- this can not be top roped due to the left leaning nature of the climb and must be followed.

A good rack for the place is "One of everything from a #3 down, with doubles on the finger size and some wired stoppers" ... and some webbing cause you will not find chains and the raps will need freshening up some... bring two ropes (we do have one stashed where you tunnel through the oaks, we use it to pull down the rap line...and to use for the huge TR's you can set up from the cluster of anchor bolts at the top of Snow Job.)

There are close to 40 climbs up there... the easyest is White line fever 5.8R ... this is found to the extreme right and around the corner from the Sunny Ledge... follows a white dike... the first bolt is about 40 feet up.

If you go do it when its cold, when the temps get over 65 or so it will be to hot on sunny days....

I have been injured the last few years with back problems that make walking up steep hills a problem for me... I am getting better and one of my goals for this season is to get back up there.... I will post up here and on ST if and when I think i can make it. Look for it.

Feel free to PM me for more beta if you wish... I have a deal with my friends that I will not make a MP guide. But you never know, some of those guys don't climb anymore and the statue of limitations is about up.

Happy climbing to all

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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