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Trad multi-pitch area suggestions in California (5.5-5.9)


Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
Matt Himmelstein wrote:

I don't think that you are going to find a rental drop off in Idylwild, but you can drive there, climb for the day, then either drive back to your base or head further south to San Diego and then bike back up the coast to PV (though the route take you through Camp Pendleton, and I don't know how easy it is to get on the base as a tourist).

If you want to climb in Red Rocks, that is generally at least a weekend trip, though the park loop is a ride in and of itself.  Using a bike for transportation to the crag and back to your campsite will make for some long days.

Oh, Idlywild!

That was the “end” of a small bikepacking trip I had in jan 2018. No, there is no rental/dropoff point there unfortunately. So, if I understand correctly, am I to assume that all the climbers in Red Rock have a car? Looks like there are quite a bit of restrictions applying for camping as well, as in bivouac’ing (no tent) at the base of a climb to have an early start is out of question?Thanks
Roots · · Redmond. OR · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

Tahquitz and Suicide

Ashort · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Niccolo Gallio wrote:

Oh, Idlywild!

That was the “end” of a small bikepacking trip I had in jan 2018. No, there is no rental/dropoff point there unfortunately. So, if I understand correctly, am I to assume that all the climbers in Red Rock have a car? Looks like there are quite a bit of restrictions applying for camping as well, as in bivouac’ing (no tent) at the base of a climb to have an early start is out of question?Thanks

Yes, most climbers in red rock have a car, and vegas is pretty car-centric.

As far as bivying:

  • Mount Wilson : All routes on Mt. Wilson are available for a one night permit.
  • Levitation Wall : All routes on Levitation Wall are available for a one night permit.
  • Rainbow Wall : All routes on Rainbow Wall are available for a one or two night(s) permit.
  • Buffalo Wall : All routes on Buffalo Wall are available for a one, two, or three night(s) permit.
  • Bridge Mountain : All routes on Bridge Mountain are available for a one night permit.
  • Hidden Wall : All routes on Hidden Wall are available for a one night permit.
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 612

Yes you really need a car for Red Rocks. The climbers’ campground is not in the area with the climbing. And then many of the climbing area trailheads are miles in on a one way loop road. Plenty of people do it as a bike ride, but not bike/climb combo. There are no places to secure your bike at the trailhead. And then the approach to your route is typically not friendly even to carry a bike.

Another thing is that most rental car companies in the USA have one way drop off fees. It will cost you more to drop off a car than to keep it. 

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

From LA with a car, you have access to all of CA and the entire Southwest.

You're going to get dozens of answers.

Tahquitz/ Suicide and J-tree are the closest destination areas.  Then Yosemite, Tahoe, Red Rocks, and all of the Arizona areas.

It would help if you were to define how far you are willing to drive.

Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
chris magness wrote: From LA with a car, you have access to all of CA and the entire Southwest.

You're going to get dozens of answers.

Tahquitz/ Suicide and J-tree are the closest destination areas.  Then Yosemite, Tahoe, Red Rocks, and all of the Arizona areas.

It would help if you were to define how far you are willing to drive.

I wouldlike to drive as little as possible. 

But it really depends on some factors:With the premise that I’m interested in trad multipitch routes I’d say that:
I’d like to ride my bike to the climb, even renting a car to load the bikes then dropping the car to a dropoff close to the climbing area (close means less than, say, 50 miles)I’d like to be able to free-bivybag (or pay for a camping spot) as near as possible to the climbs. I’d like the temps not to go below zero C at night. If the above mentioned conditions are met in an area then I’m willing to drive quite a bit
Thanks!
Gumby King · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25

Pro tip, if you "twist" an ankle at Tahquitz you can get a free helicopter ride down

Beer-Muscled Has-Been · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

Somebody needs to explain to our bicycling friend that California is almost twice the size of Italy.

Pete Bohler · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 25

A lot is possible on a bike given enough time and fitness. But it is true that a lot of these areas are impractical without a car. For example, at Joshua Tree the nearest camping (Hidden Valley) is 23 kilometers from town, and you need to bring your own water. And that's if you can find a spot to camp. It can also get pretty cold at night in November, though probably not below 0 degrees C.

On the plus side, it's a really incredible place to experience...

Rock Monkey · · Bonita · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 15

Rent a car, get a cheap bike rack at Walmart, drive to the awesome spots, park car, climb, then go bike around a bit. My vote is for Joshua Tree and Tahquitz. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,540
Beer-Muscled Has-Been wrote: Somebody needs to explain to our bicycling friend that California is almost twice the size of Italy.

Maybe he's the reincarnation of Pantani? With drugs of course.

Rock Monkey · · Bonita · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 15
Tradiban wrote:

Maybe he's the reincarnation of Pantani? With drugs of course.

IL PIRATA LIVES... yes!!! I never believed one could die from cocaine poisoning.

Gumby King · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
Beer-Muscled Has-Been wrote: Somebody needs to explain to our bicycling friend that California is almost twice the size of Italy.

Done

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Los+Angeles+International+Airport+(LAX),+1+World+Way,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90045/Joshua+Tree+National+Park,+California/@33.9995575,-118.2760719,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2b0d213b24fb5:0x77a87b57698badf1!2m2!1d-118.40853!2d33.9415889!1m5!1m1!1s0x80da8f85b965a87b:0x1977eda73aeb9de2!2m2!1d-115.9009923!2d33.873415!3e1

Note: some of the roads are private roads.  You can't trespass on properties in the US like you can in Europe.

Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
Beer-Muscled Has-Been wrote: Somebody needs to explain to our bicycling friend that California is almost twice the size of Italy.

 It's 4/3 of Italy.

And I'm not planning on riding it all, some of it it's not that cool.
Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0

This topic has taken a weird turn.
I never said I want to cycle from LA to the base of the climb.
I said I'm willing to rent a car and put my bike on it to get closer to a climbing zone where I can camp and reach the climbs on the bike.
 I've never claimed to go fast or to be able to ride 20hrs a day, it's just that I don't like cars that much, I'm a cheap-ass and have some free time that I don't mind spending peddling and climbing. :-)

Ashort · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55

Plenty of people bike across the entire us in 3 months. I think you'll be fine, but you will spend more time biking than climbing. I'd say pick you're sport to focus on and do that. The cycling is way better in France and Italy anyway.

Gumby King · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
Niccolo Gallio wrote: This topic has taken a weird turn.
I never said I want to cycle from LA to the base of the climb.
I said I'm willing to rent a car and put my bike on it to get closer to a climbing zone where I can camp and reach the climbs on the bike.
 I've never claimed to go fast or to be able to ride 20hrs a day, it's just that I don't like cars that much, I'm a cheap-ass and have some free time that I don't mind spending peddling and climbing. :-)

For most of the climbing areas are out here in CA the trails aren't ride-able from the parking lot.  You're better off just hiking.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 167
Niccolo Gallio wrote: This topic has taken a weird turn.
I never said I want to cycle from LA to the base of the climb.
I said I'm willing to rent a car and put my bike on it to get closer to a climbing zone where I can camp and reach the climbs on the bike.
 I've never claimed to go fast or to be able to ride 20hrs a day, it's just that I don't like cars that much, I'm a cheap-ass and have some free time that I don't mind spending peddling and climbing. :-)

I kind of assumed all that, but California climbing areas are not all that friendly for bikepacking.

Lets say you can get someone to give you a ride with your bikes up to Idyllwild (just ask other climbers who are headed there).  You decide to camp at Fern Valley ($10 a night), 6.5 miles and 900' above Idy.  You coast into town, then huff up to the trailhead (couple of miles, 600' elevation gain).  Lock up the bikes, hike a 1/2 mile with 1000' of gain, climb, then coast back into town and ride up to your campsite.  You are doing 1,500' of elevation on the bike every day, plus the hiking and climbing (if the weather is good in November).  When you want to leave, hitch, get a ride from a climber or just ride your bike down to the Perris train station and catch the Metrolink to Buena Park and then ride back to PV from there (Beach Blvd to the coast then to PV is a way better ride than Downtown LA to PV).

You can probably do all that, but recall, you are doing all that biking with all your climbing gear and food and water for the day.  I wouldn't want to do it.  I don't know enough about RR to lay things out like this, but You should be able to sort it out with a little internet digging.

You wanted multipitch trad, so I would steer you away from JTree.  There is a little bit of it, but not a ton.  The ride from Hidden Valley Campground (assuming you get a spot) in and out of the town of JTree is 14.5 miles, and you need to bring your water into the park (at least in Idy, you can buy some in town each time you pass through).  JTree is pretty spread out (though there is a lot of climbing right around Hidden Valley), so you are in for more riding to the specific climbs.

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 384
SUFFERFEST tre - The Italian Job
Ashort · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Matt Himmelstein wrote:



You can probably do all that, but recall, you are doing all that biking with all your climbing gear and food and water for the day.  I wouldn't want to do it.  I don't know enough about RR to lay things out like this, but You should be able to sort it out with a little internet digging.

The red rock loop road on its own is 13 miles and roughly 1250 feet of elevation gain. Combined with some long approaches and short days and I don't think it is that feasible, or at least not enjoyable. Riding into town and such from the campground is pretty easy though. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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