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The Great Roof

5.10b, TR, 80 ft (24 m),  Avg: 3.2 from 141 votes
FA: unknown
California > San Francisco B… > S Bay Area > Castle Rock Area > Goat Rock
Warning Access Issue: Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. DetailsDrop down

Description

The Great Roof is the extremely obvious roof hanging atop Goat Rock. The climb beneath the roof is easy (5.8), yet complicated by the fact that you have a top rope on - you can't go under the rock! Once you're in the large cave, you traverse out the left side, then up towards your top rope anchors.

Protection

Hike all the way up around to the back of Goat Rock. There are some rappel bolts on top, from which you rappel down to the proper top rope bolts. The bolts are set back a ways from the edge so bring long runners to avoid carving into the sandstone. The route is overhung enough that you'll swing a lot if you fall, but no worries, there's nothing back there.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Takes cam in crack. The 1/4" is iffy.
[Hide Photo] Takes cam in crack. The 1/4" is iffy.
Goat Rock as viewed from the approach.  You can see the right-facing climbs.
[Hide Photo] Goat Rock as viewed from the approach. You can see the right-facing climbs.
Inside the cave of Goat Rock. Full gopro video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivLkpyliswM
[Hide Photo] Inside the cave of Goat Rock. Full gopro video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivLkpyliswM
Goat Rock, The Great Roof
[Hide Photo] Goat Rock, The Great Roof
Pascal enjoying the Great Roof
[Hide Photo] Pascal enjoying the Great Roof
Enjoying the view from the top of the goat, but sweating bullets from soloing through the roof moves.  Felt pretty exposed.
[Hide Photo] Enjoying the view from the top of the goat, but sweating bullets from soloing through the roof moves. Felt pretty exposed.
The Great Roof and the great swing.
[Hide Photo] The Great Roof and the great swing.
Paul leading the lower 5.8/5.9 section.
[Hide Photo] Paul leading the lower 5.8/5.9 section.
Michael on the classic crux move
[Hide Photo] Michael on the classic crux move
You can see a crack to the right of me that would take a fingers sized cam and/or nut in the upper part of the crack. A fall onto a piece there could possibly swing you into a lower roof section. Oh, there's a total left knee bar in a big hueco too!
[Hide Photo] You can see a crack to the right of me that would take a fingers sized cam and/or nut in the upper part of the crack. A fall onto a piece there could possibly swing you into a lower roof section. O…
Be sure to experience the open air rappel.
[Hide Photo] Be sure to experience the open air rappel.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

George Bell
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] I remember leading this route many years ago, but maybe I'm thinking of the wrong route. Isn't there a piton or two under the roof? Can this be led safely, and if so what gear would be needed? Jun 28, 2002
Melissa Moore
Berkeley, CA
[Hide Comment] This is a really sweet climb! The area under the roof is essentially a mini-cave, and a great place to get imaginative with foot and hand positioning and think outside the box to get over the roof. If you take a fall the swing out is super fun, but the angle the rope holds you at makes it difficult to get back under the roof. So, if you come off the rock try to grab a hold on your first swing in, otherwise you will most likely have to be lowered back down to the top of the 5.9 section. When I did this climb the sun had already set, making it very difficult to see any of the holds under the roof. There are some pretty bomber holds to be found if you reach up and around to them however. I definitely recommend this climb if you're going to the Skyline Blvd/ Castle Rock area. Jul 6, 2002
Brian Quiter
Oakland, CA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] There's a 5.12 crack to the left, and you can use one of its bolts to protect yourself right before the crux of The Great Roof. So I guess you're memory was right, George. Jul 6, 2002
Aron Quiter
Oakland, CA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] The 5.10b part CANNOT be lead safely. Unless you like falling 15 feet and crashing headfirst into the face below. There are at least a dozen bolts in the cave, but the only bolts that lead out of it head up the 5.12 crack to the left. Oct 13, 2003
[Hide Comment] I did lead this one in the 90's... pretty committing give the bolts are probably 20+ years old. Don't do it unless you are confident for the grade. I saw a guy fall onto the second to last bolt and it held.. but htat was 20 years ago! May 6, 2004
Miles C
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] This route is extremely fun. And on a top rope, it's very safe. However the bolts do look old in places, and are pretty scarce. Oct 30, 2011
Joel Frederico
  5.10c
[Hide Comment] Old bolts, terribly committing at the top. I wouldn't lead it - I don't think it can be done safely at all. The bit up to the cave is very overhung. Whoever put in the glue-in bolts put at least one in sideways. So if there's weight on the ancher, it'll torque the glue-in. Both bolts have some play in them. I rather wish a pro would come in and do things right. Jun 9, 2013
Chandler Heppe
Nevada City, CA
 
[Hide Comment] Super fun top rope, the moves coming out of the cave are really unique and exhilerating as at one part (if you do it as I did), you have arms and feet out on either side and are facing the amazing view away from the rock with nothing below you, a must climb if you are in this area!! Jan 4, 2014
Cory Reider
Pasadena, CA
 
[Hide Comment] We top roped this. Lots of fun. Would recommend. The move out of the cave is super scary imo but still fun. Feb 27, 2018
Michael J
Incline Village, NV
[Hide Comment] This is a fun route, gets you pumped, if you fall the swing gets the blood flowing. What I didn't like about this route is that its right in the middle of what seemed to me to be the busiest area on the trail. Personally I like being away from civilization when rock climbing. In 1 hour I heard "wow look at that", "wow thats crazy" more times than I could count and about 3 groups of 5 people just sitting at the base spectating. Real annoying if you ask me, it creates distraction. Sep 24, 2018
jason hogan
south lake tahoe, ca/nv
[Hide Comment] You could lead this on gear I think. There's several slingable features on the way up and an obvious finger sized crack just before you commit to the roof moves (I wouldn't put a cam in the hand size crack below the fingers crack, too fragile looking). That being said you'd need a somewhat long runner and a trusted belayer as a fall from the roof jugs would be a tad wild, just don't fall, ha! Might wanna look at the holds from a rappel first cuz they're not totally obvious ground up. I found three different ways to climb thru the crux. My preferred way was to stem on smears and go to a big positive jug out left. I also stem/smeared and reached 1 o'clock to a good side pull. I guess most people reach out right to a clam shaped feature that seemed less positive and campusy to me. It's pretty powerful for a 10b imo, felt V2ish honestly but maybe there's easier beta. The exposure and setting are really cool! May 3, 2019
Leliko Mana
On the road in US
[Hide Comment] I climbed it yesterday and couldn't be happier. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, especially after my first try when I fell while trying to figure out how to reach the roof, and then tried again successfully. My advice to those who think they cannot do it is to try repeatedly until you do. Just remember that upper body strength and good core are REALLY helpful for this fun route. Feb 23, 2020