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Routes in The Rock of Ages

Cave Route S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Evolution S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Old Bolt Route TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Red Face TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
West Face S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Sport, 140 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 13,850 total, 97/month
Shared By: Salamanizer suchoski on Mar 20, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock Details

Description

This route is a classic moderate climb that is well protected and has some great moves and a spectacular and unique finish. It starts on a slabby face and climbs around some small caves and up a large colorful water streak into a grassy cave perched high above the ground. You have several options to build an anchor in this cave. However, the nature of the route (like most of the routes in Pine Canyon) dictate that you bring gear to build your own anchor. A few cams .75" - 2" should do the trick. The second pitch is short but interesting and fun. You climb through a small squeeze chimney (protected by two bolts) which burrows through the back of the cave and out the back side. You emerge from a small hole on the back side of the Rock of Ages and set up a belay by walking down the hill a few yards and sitting down. There are no anchors here but by sitting down you will see that this is a good enough anchor because there is no way anyone is going to pull you through that hole. The lack of bolted anchors on a sport climb deters some people form climbing this route. They don't understand why a sport route would not have a more convenient method of anchoring. This is the nature of Pine Canyon. Bolts are not placed in many area's where they are not needed, usually for anchors. I think this adds to the quality and uniqueness of the place. Pine Canyon has some of the oldest routes in the Bay Area, and this is certainly one of them. It also has the best quality of rock in the canyon.

Location

This is one of the easier climbs to locate. It is highly visible by the presence of the large cave half way up the climb. Start directly below the cave and follow the bolts up. The base of this route is one of the cooler places to hang out in the hot summer months. However the climb is still brutally hot when the temps rise above 90. Best head to Tahoe on those hot days.

Protection

10 Quickdraws. Cams, 1-2ea. .75"-2"
Bruno Beltran
Stanford, CA
  5.7
Bruno Beltran   Stanford, CA
  5.7
Definitely not worth stopping by just to do this route "if you're in the [Bay] area" unless 5.7 is your limit grade, but if you're at Pagoda or Rock of Ages, it's a fun romp; do it!

In particular, the commenter trying to compare this to the red dihedral is just being contrarian. Of course a single pitch local sandstone 5.7 climb is not going to compare to (arguably) the best 5.10 in the Sierras. But that doesn't mean this isn't a fun, accessible chimney in Bay area people's backyard at an easy grade that's worth doing.

A casual 5.7 slab with some fun moves followed by a cute little chimney with
bearable amounts of poop on it. 2-3 star route for sure, like most of the stuff at diablo once you learn to spot the choss. I would tell my friends to do it before hopping on the more challenging route to the right.

I would be in favor of adding a two bolt anchor above the chimney exit to prevent further damage to the rock from people belaying over the lip. Sep 24, 2017
old5ten
Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
  5.7
old5ten   Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
  5.7
i don't quite see how this route could get 3 or even 4 stars. it is not aesthetic climbing. you've got a ton of new and old bolts on the first pitch, pretty much making it look like an aid route (those old bolts should be pulled and holes patched). the climbing itself is okay, but really nothing special. yes, there is the slot and squeeze chimney, but if that's a novelty factor you need to climb something nicer (red dihedral on the incredible hulk comes to mind). the cave was full of swallow sh*t (4 nests on the roof) and the way out of the cave covered with handfuls of sand on the holds. the west face was a little spicier, but so much nicer climbing! Mar 18, 2013
Brandon Bateman
Montrose, CA
  5.7
Brandon Bateman   Montrose, CA
  5.7
Great Climb! Fun to do in two pitches as its nice to hang out or have lunch in the cave. All of the bolts were in good condition (at least the new bolts). It is possible to do this climb without clipping the old hangars but closer to the cave it is reassuring to clip the last old school hangar to prevent a bit of a run out. Also, dont even bother bringing cams up for belay. The large horn at the cave entrance bomber! Especially compared to cams in in loose sandstone and plus a 20 foot sling is much lighter than three cams!

Do this route if you are in the area! Feb 1, 2013
Phil McAllister  
  5.7
If you use 2-4 ft slings on the pro on the 1st pitch then you can climb this in a single pitch. Heads up though - i use omega pacific oval biners on my sling draws and couldn't get them through the 'old school hangers' on the 1st pitch. There is a mix of newer and old style bolts on this route though - you don't need to rely on the old school hangers - and its an easy climb up to the cave. Mar 10, 2012
beachplus4
So San Francisco
beachplus4   So San Francisco
Kinda hard to find my way up the mountain (I think taking a longer approach up the far south side would be better then the directs given), but all in all a good route. Make sure you check yourself for ticks at the top. We came across tons of them. Second pitch is super sandy and will keep you on your toes. May 22, 2010
aaron hope
Walnut Creek, CA
  5.8-
aaron hope   Walnut Creek, CA
  5.8-
Fun route. Plenty of bolts. Don't know why you would need trad gear. Most of the route is 5.6 with one or two 5.7 moves right before the cave. Getting into the start of the Chimney, I thought, was the crux - slippery and dusty. But once in, the moves were super cool (and I don't even like Chimneys) Apr 28, 2010
Gregory Mullen
  5.8-
Gregory Mullen  
  5.8-
If you really want to do this in two pitches you can just throw a 20' sling around the knob at the edge of the cave.

Other then that epic route I can't wait to go do it again! Sep 5, 2009
treadnorth
  5.7+
treadnorth  
  5.7+
Great route. I'd recommend it for aspiring leaders, as it is well protected, and it's a good safe place to practice setting up a trad anchor after the first pitch. The first pitch is easy, with many bolts (new as well as old homemades), and the second pitch, through the cave, is very unique, although I've never had to commit to crawling directly through so much bird poo in my life. Take a shower after enjoying this route. :) May 2, 2009
McCrea
 
McCrea  
 
Fun first pitch. Easy climbing with TONS of bolts. Looks to have been rebolted, but all the old homemade bolts are still there. Cool cave, and easy to set up belay with a few cams (a 1,2 and 3 Camalot did the trick). The second chimney pitch was full of bird droppings (making it quite slick). This route is easily doable in 1 pitch with a 60m rope (what I should have done), but you might get some rope drag. Dec 10, 2007
aa-lex  
This was definitely the coolest climb I did the day I climbed here. Really easy climbing but way fun!! Going through the chimney is so cool! This is not a two pitch climb - with a 60m or 70m rope you'll make it in one pitch. The way to belay described above worked fine. Not really any need for gear, just do it in one pitch and belay from the backside of the chimney - there is no way that your belayer is gonna come through that chimney. THIS IS A SUPER FUN ROUTE!!! GO CLIMB IT.........GO CLIMB IT NOW!! Oct 8, 2007