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Late July climbing options? Where can I go that isn't roasting?


Original Post
Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45

Another one of my cousin's is getting married.  I'll be down in L.A. for her wedding on Saturday, July 22.  I'm hoping to squeeze in a day or 2 of climbing afterwards.  

What are my options?

Is there any place in SoCal that is climbable in late July without having to wake up at sunrise and finish before noon, or, without having to wait until the early evening?  

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 6,480

Idyllwild & Tahquitz/Suicide

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35

Holcomb Valley, and any of the highway 38 crags.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125

As noted, Tahquitz or Suicide for trad.  Suicide gets more sun exposure.

Holcomb Valley or other routes by Big Bear are good for sport.  If you are further north/west with the wedding festivities, you can also try Malibu Creek for sport.  If you are in the Valley, it is worthwhile to check out Stoney Point for sme late afternoon bouldering if you want to get a perspective of the area.  If you are down in OC, Pirates Cove is also an interesting spot to boulder, but summer weekends are way too crowded.

Ryan Strickland · · Idyllwild, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 131

At that time of year, the west face of Tahquitz will be in shade until about noon. It's your best bet in Idyllwild. There are many good routes (3-5 pitches each, plus some single pitch stuff) on that side of the face at all levels of difficulty. The north face gets some morning sun that will probably be in your face as you look up and the south face will be in full sun at your back. On the north face, Whodunnit stays pretty shady because it's a west facing corner system and it's in a recess. I can say from experience that you probably don't want to be on Open Book in the sun on a hot day; it roasts in that corner. If I remember right, Open Book goes into sun sometime mid-morning at that time of year. In my opinion, the worst part of climbing Tahquitz in summer is the friction descent; it gets blasted with sunlight all day and it seems to never be windy there.

Most/all the routes at Suicide will be in sun in the morning, though the belayer may be in shade. Go to the north face for limited shade or wait to climb until 2-3pm. I wouldn't recommend a full sun ascent of the Weeping Wall or Sunshine Face, unless you just love hot, greasy slab and face climbing with some runouts. Those faces are great objectives in the late afternoon and evening, though. 

In late July, you can get lucky and have a very cloudy, cool day with threatening rain/storms. Those are my favorite provided you don't actually get caught in a storm. Storms don't usually start here until the afternoon, but there are always exceptions. Climb fast or have a bail plan if it gets bad. Many west face of Tahquitz routes can be rappelled after one or two pitches using fixed anchors and/or trees. 

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 195

Malibu

everbrad · · Orange County · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

Lots of good stuff in the local mountains; don't bother with Malibu, stoney point, or pirates cove, head for higher elevations.  Highway 2 is closer than Idyllwild and big bear.  Good bouldering at horse flats with some high balls/trs.  Tunnel crags has sport.  Williamson would have been the obvious sending spot for you but the Sierra club speaks for the frogs and the frogs apparently don't like us.  

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45

Thanks for the replies, everyone!

I should have been a tad more specific: I am looking to sport climb and/or trad climb.  Bouldering does not interest me.

I've been to Malibu Creek in mid-April back in 2013.  I enjoyed the climbing there, and I'd like to go back and do some more climbing there - in a cooler month than July.

When my other cousin got married in mid-June of 2015, I took the opportunity to do 2 days of climbing at Tahquitz.  That was hot enough for me in mid-June.  I really don't think I'd be able to tolerate the heat of July there.  

I may have been born in a very warm country, but I sure don't handle the heat well!  Thankfully, my family and I moved to Canada when I was 2! LOL!

Most of my family in L.A. live in The Valley.  I will be renting a car so I can drive almost anywhere within a reasonable driving time.

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
Daniel T wrote:

Holcomb Valley, and any of the highway 38 crags.

THANKS!

That area is currently at the top of my list of all the suggestions so far.  I'll do some more research on that place and see if it fits the bill.

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
everbrad wrote:

Lots of good stuff in the local mountains; don't bother with Malibu, stoney point, or pirates cove, head for higher elevations.  Highway 2 is closer than Idyllwild and big bear.  Good bouldering at horse flats with some high balls/trs.  Tunnel crags has sport.  Williamson would have been the obvious sending spot for you but the Sierra club speaks for the frogs and the frogs apparently don't like us.  

Thanks!

Looking up Tunnel Crag now...

Bummer about Williamson!  I signed the petition!!!

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35
Khoi wrote:

THANKS!

That area is currently at the top of my list of all the suggestions so far.  I'll do some more research on that place and see if it fits the bill.

One of my favorite places is Frustration Creek on highway 38. If you are intrested in heading there I might be able to meet up and show you the area.

If you see other areas on highway 38 let me know I can scout them out for you, I want am excuse to see more of those crags. 

I say might because that's the time frame I'll be shutting down and moving the factory I work in.

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

Frustration Creek?!?!?

Shudder (poison oak infested)

Won't it be hot as hell there that time of year also?

Holcolmb is a nice option because there are routes facing every direction, so it's pretty easy to do the sun/shade thing. And routes at a wide range of grades. 

everbrad · · Orange County · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

Thanks for signing the Williamson petition, spread the word!

My recommendations for the big bear area are Holcomb for sport, black bluff for trad, and castle rock if you're short on time, it's less of a drive and has a short approach

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
Daniel T wrote:

One of my favorite places is Frustration Creek on highway 38. If you are intrested in heading there I might be able to meet up and show you the area.

If you see other areas on highway 38 let me know I can scout them out for you, I want am excuse to see more of those crags. 

I say might because that's the time frame I'll be shutting down and moving the factory I work in.

My cousin's wedding is on Saturday, July 22.

I am planning on climbing on Monday, July 24 and maybe/hopefully Tuesday, July 25 as well.

How do those dates work for you?

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

Malibu is nice in the hot hot summer.....    sea breeze in the shade. Starts up about 2pm... till dark.

ECHO.... same thing, 3 pm onward...till dark

Stoney Point.... not sport, but for those unfamiliar- the sea breeze hits early about 4pm... backside in the shade. It will be 10-15 degrees cooler than the local weather report for the valley.

Suicide ..... sleep in.. hit the stone on the north side about 2--- goes full shade.... sometimes I go to the Quarry till the sun shows... then cruze to Suicide. Next am get up really early climb at Taqutiz till 1pm... head home. 


Tunnel .....  the two climbs by "Yosemite Sam's" go into full shade at 3pm.... one is 10d the other is a 11... best climbs at the place, now that they got fixxed.


OR go to Willie.... your from out of town, just plead igorance of the closure because most likley it will not have a sign posted.....   but you did not here it from me. 


everbrand.......  pirates cove?    where is that? 


The key is to not be in the sun, at all.


Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Good advice from Guy.  If you want to hit Idyllwild, either hit the shade at Tahquitz or Suicide in the afternoon.  Malibu Creek and Echo are fine in the summer.  Just find some shade, which is available, and stick to it.  

Someone mentioned Pirate's Cove (which used to be my home area), but that's never doable on a weekend.  Purely a midweek after work thing when the tourists and lifeguards are gone.  

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

I second the Tunnel Crag.  Just follow the shade.  In the morning there are some fun newer climbs in the shade on the Rubble Wall and move over to Yosemite Sams area in the afternoon.  

everbrad · · Orange County · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

Pirates cove aka the beach boulder spot on the OC coast.  Not the place to be on a summer weekend even if temps are nice.  Mid week in the afternoons are nice.

yosem1te · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 15

Regarding Pirate's Cove in the OC, during summer access is an issue.  The extreme busyness of OC beaches in the summer (even during the middle of the week) means that the lifeguards don't like climbers there.  From when most of the schools let out (end of May/early June) to Labor day, beaches are busy literally all day in OC.  The beaches are crowded enough that it could be hard to find a place to set your crash pad, and even if you don't use one, it could hard to climb without falling on anyone.  The page for the area says that climbing is prohibited until 5PM, but it might be later, as beaches don't really empty out until it is dark.  Please be mindful of this access issue to make sure we don't lose access to a super cool spot.  

Jake-up Casarez · · Santa Cruz CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 165

Go surfing

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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