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Swiss Cheese

5.4, Trad, TR, 70 ft,  Avg: 2.2 from 48 votes
FA: unknown
California > San Francisco B… > Castle Rock Area > Goat Rock
Access Issue: Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. Details


A fairly indistinct route, which partially explains the range of ratings from 5.4-5.7. The entire lower 30 feet of the route is deeply incut, vertical to slightly-overhanging sandstone. The route then reaches a "third class ledge" (ref: Morris's guidebook). Leaders will go left, up the "fourth class gully", tying off handles as in the lower section. On toprope, the recommended, and more challenging line, ascends an obvious arete to the right, directly to the enormous knob which serves as the anchor for the route. This variation is unprotected, though a single bolt would suffice to make it a dandy leader route.


If leading, you can ascend the lower section, and up the 4th class face to the left totally with natural pro, by tying off to the buckethandle holds. One of the things that makes this a really fun route.

An enormous knob, accessible from the backside of the rock, is the usual anchor for this route. A 40-50' piece of webbing is required to sling the knob and run over the lip of the rock.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

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.
Swiss Cheese in the fog.
[Hide Photo] Swiss Cheese in the fog.
Chat first outdoor climb on Swiss Cheese
[Hide Photo] Chat first outdoor climb on Swiss Cheese
Montage taken from base of Goat Rock by Morgan Brown.
[Hide Photo] Montage taken from base of Goat Rock by Morgan Brown.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] There are at least 4 to 5 spots where you can garth hitch handles, which is a fun experience by itself.

I saw two brand new 3/4 inc bolts but the hangers are gone. You can argue that you don't need these bolts with all the natural pro. Never the less, I don't understand why anyone would take the hangers. One bolt is over towards the 5.6 arete finish and would add extra element of protection to that variation. Sep 25, 2005
[Hide Comment] A fun easy solo. Sep 12, 2006
[Hide Comment] Whatever bolt anchor had existed for this route has been chopped. My book shows two anchors and I found where they used to be.

I wish there was some more beta about how many slings I'd need. Jun 9, 2013
[Hide Comment] Used 6 or 7 slings to girth hitch handles (didn't trust some of 'em), 2 being double length, and a #.3 BD C4 about 20 feet or so from the start (probably could've used at least 2 more doubles to prevent rope drag)... One bolt on top, which I backed up with 50' of static line to a tree just behind the rock..... didn't see any other bolts out there except about 10 feet to the left which I wasn't ballsy enough to walk across the "ridge". Jul 21, 2014
Max McKinnon
San Jose, CA
[Hide Comment] Don't use the bolts they are rusted out. Get 60 feet of webbing (I had two 30's) as well as another 30 and you can build a decent two point from wrapping around the rock and a good bolt to the side

This is a great problem to make sure you know how to tie anchors, etc. because if you get it wrong, it's basically a ladder you can climb all the way up or all the way down. The route is so easy this old guy was climbing it in sandals to see the sunset. He was an old time climber though, crazy guy. He's pictured in the guide book for this area. Jan 11, 2015
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
[Hide Comment] Apr 2016 - bolts at the top lack hangers; (as do the bolts in the middle of the face). As many have said before, a sling made from 30-35ft of 8 or 9mm rope or webbing loops over the rock knob.

There's also a 'hole' that takes either a gold ( #2) or blue (#3) BD Camalot located at the base of the knob, about 4-5 ft back from the bolt studs. Apr 18, 2016
Mike D
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Good times...

This route is great fun. I usually just did the bottom 30 feet or so up and down, and did the bottoms of the other routes as well on my solo circuit. The part from the ledge to the top is super easy (4th class?). Nov 28, 2016