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Kernville Bouldering


Original Post
Benjamin Barry · · Kernville, CA · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

Hi All,

I moved to Kernville earlier this year and aside from Kern Slabs, New Directions, and the Needles - there's also bouldering everywhere here. I wanted to post some of it in a new area under "Needles/Kern River Rock Climbing" but am having a hard time finding locals who know about first ascents, names, etc. Any help appreciated, thanks!

David P · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0

I would love to get more info up about bouldering in the Kern area.  There's so much there.  All the kern bouldering posts in r/socalclimbing on reddit can be viewed by clicking on the Kern Bouldering filter in the sidebar.  There's only one post there so far.

splitclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 17

how cool is that!!! exploring and finding boulders without guidebooks or MP entries.  ;)  

claudio ricardez · · ESCONDIDO · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 55

Pretty sure Herb Laeger is a local you can get in touch with a lot of knowledge up there. Or he can at least point you in the right direction it seams.
Maybe try emailing and see if you get a response.
http://kernvalleyclimbs.com/

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

Hi... if you wish to Boulder- go up on the Kern Plateau and look around. Been walking past so much on the way to real climbing. Have at it, just walk around. Photo is 5 min walk from Big Meadow... lots more to see.

​Find Dave Daly... he hangs out in KRBC after work- the new Mayor.

And Herb has fled Kernville for greener pastures.

Mike Brady · · Van Diesel, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 673
Guy Keesee wrote: Hi... if you wish to Boulder- go up on the Kern Plateau and look around. Been walking past so much on the way to real climbing. Have at it, just walk around. Photo is 5 min walk from Big Meadow... lots more to see.

Find Dave Daly... he hangs out in KRBC after work- the new Mayor.

And Herb has fled Kernville for greener pastures.


Look out everyone, we got a honest to goodness "real" climber here

claudio ricardez · · ESCONDIDO · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 55

Didn't know Herb had moved on Guy, thanks for the info. Been wanting to head up to Kern more myself. Wish I could move there, but not enough work for me.

Benjamin Barry · · Kernville, CA · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

Thanks everyone. Good for Herb but too bad for us, I was hoping to get in contact with him! As to your comment, Guy - I agree. It's pretty crazy, lots of bouldering around these parts and easy to find. I've run into a handful of climbers here in town, usually at the brewery, and although some people do boulder around here, no one seems to know names, first ascents, etc.

It seems like Kernville has generally suffered from a lack of local climbers to develop areas; I mostly just don't want to post specific locations of bouldering areas without talking to an old-timer first.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311
Benjamin Barry wrote: Thanks everyone. Good for Herb but too bad for us, I was hoping to get in contact with him! As to your comment, Guy - I agree. It's pretty crazy, lots of bouldering around these parts and easy to find. I've run into a handful of climbers here in town, usually at the brewery, and although some people do boulder around here, no one seems to know names, first ascents, etc.

It seems like Kernville has generally suffered from a lack of local climbers to develop areas; I mostly just don't want to post specific locations of bouldering areas without talking to an old-timer first.

Troy Bailey is one- he lived in Wofford Heights for 15 years. John Newman (sp?) was climbing things around there 40 years ago. Scott Loomis has also spent tons of time bouldering. AJ and His brother Spencer Josif grew up in Kernville and they have a place in RiverKern but live in the SFV- it’s about the jobs or lack of that keeps a community from forming. Most of the people who have climbed a bunch up there originated from Stoney Point SFV and Kernville is one of the go to places. It’s only 2.5 hours for me .... But don’t listen to me! I go climb REAL stuff, on the really big stones you can find everywhere up there and I have walked past hundreds of good looking boulders located in the trees. 

Hint: hike to the top of Kern Slab... lots of really good golden ones just sitting there.

Feel free to PM me I’ll share anything I have. Think twice  about putting things up on MP or anywhere on line .... it’s pretty nice that the place isn’t Black Mountain or Holcomb now is it? Last time I went to Kern Slab I ran into others! 
Benjamin Barry · · Kernville, CA · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

Thanks Guy, those are exactly the sorts of people I was wanting to talk to, l'll send you a PM for some more info.

Your warning about putting stuff up on MP is well taken, the lack of guidebooks for the area is a blessing and a curse. I generally agree that leaving stuff on Kern Plataea, Alta Sierra, the top of the slabs, etc.; off of MP are good - but those crags are generally only frequented by climbers.

On the flip side, my wife and I spent days and days picking up trash and broken glass from areas like Boulder Gulch and French Gulch, areas that are more often frequented by recreational campers and fishermen. I can only speculate that more climbers in those areas would be a great way to care for them.

Colin Yinzer · · Los Angeles · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 50

My older brother first brought me fishing and hiking along the Kern back in like 2007, before I was a climber, and it blew me away. Coming from PA the scale of the hills / mountains, the colors, and the sheer amount of rock were always mind boggling. The other thing about Kern area is that the granite itself is of the highest quality... always dense, solid.. sometimes orange / patina'ed or gem-like...

After enough Dome Rock & Needles trips, the tons of boulders started catching my eye more... A few spots that are on the far-side of the river before town (some have fences, cow / farmland?) probably would be trespassing or require a raft- and a group at the top of the windy canyon road on the right, around where that dam south of the lake is look good and BIG, maybe even single pitch sized... A variety peppered along the west-shores of isabella stretch (again, access legality?) and then everywhere north of the lake.

I've been up that road to 'big meadow' only once, for a little overnight trip with my brother... memorable night of lightning strikes and coyote howls..  but it was stunning... can imagine up there & in chimney peaks area / domelands wilderness there are a lifetime of boulders. The one thing is the rock is so clean, and they're so ball-like, many seemingly don't have holds or the biggest baddest looking boulders are just really rounded without lines.. I'm only a V3 boulderer, mostly a trad climber-  but the ambiance, the quietness... I just love the Kern.

best to keep it chill, I feel like Kern could be third in line as a destination after Milks & Happies for CA bouldering as it continues to draw attention. Plus the weather is just super good. Heading to Needles tmr. Benjamin, Let's link up sometime. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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