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Trad climbing for a grad student in Berkeley????

Original Post
Dan L. · · Saratoga Springs, New York · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Hi all,

Sorry if this has already been answered, but I wanted to know how accessible trad climbing is from Berkeley? I get that most stuff is ~3+ hours away from the bay area. Is there a large group of people who make weekend trips? Are there places closer?

Also, is there any ice climbing?

Thanks for reading!


Ben Horowitz · · Berkeley · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 123

Current UC Berkeley graduate student here! There is rather lame trad climbing very close by (Mt. St. Helena, Castle Rock, Cragmont), and moderately good trad climbing 2-3 hour trip away (pinnacles national park, cosumnes river gorge, the grotto, sugarloaf).

A lot of people run off during the weekends; I run off most weekends towards the Sierras if the weather allows, which it usually does during the spring/summer/fall. You get used to the long drives very quickly so 3-5 hours doesn't really feel like much.

No real ice-climbing is nearby and there isn't any real ice climbing community (at UC Berkeley at least). There is some waterfall ice up in Tahoe and out at Lee Vining, but getting out there from the Bay area is hard during the winter. Some people I know actually fly out to Mammoth and drive to Lee Vining rather than drive from the Bay Area. There is a fair amount of Alpine ice though during the year that is accessible once the Tioga pass opens in the spring.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 521

There are a couple of organized groups in the Bay area. Rock Rendezvous is a nice group of people and the club gets reservations for weekend camp sites in the Valley and Meadows all season. They have monthly meetings and a mail list as a way to get connected.

Dan L. · · Saratoga Springs, New York · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Thanks for the replies! It's nice to know that people in the bay area still can get out a climb some great stuff (even if it is limited to weekend trips)!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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