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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 6a+ 19 VII- 19 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
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Type: Sport, 150 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,744 total · 39/month
Shared By: Salamanizer suchoski on Oct 11, 2006
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock Details


Starts 40 ft to the right of the Cave Route and climbs up past five bolts into a cave, belay here on three bolts. Exit the cave to the right and continue up and slightly to the left past another cave and bolt. Now move out right and follow the natural line. Don't worry if you don't see the bolts. You're probably still on route, they'll show up eventually. There's a large loose block about half way up you have to crawl over to avoid harder moves. It would take some prying to pull it off, but careful anyway. Follow the shallow scoop strait up past a few more bolts into a large cave near the top. Exit the cave to the left past two more bolts to the top. This route has some decent runnouts (30+ft) with most bolts being 15 ft to 20 ft apart. Though the cruxy moves have bolts near by under them, this route can still be a bit heads up. Makes for some classic heady oldschool Pine Canyon climbing.


Walk off the back to descend.


12 Quickdraws, Runners useful.


bergbryce   California
These route descriptions are really great, but several of them do not mention what feature they are on. Based upon the overview photo, what piece of rock is this route on?? thx Sep 20, 2010
Salamanizer suchoski
Vacaville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Vacaville Ca.  
You're right, the way the routes are organized in this database is sometimes hard to follow. They should be segregated into groups based on which feature they can be found.

Anyway, West Face is on The Rock of Ages (aka. Acid Rock). The base of the route can be found on the right side of the formation before you start to head around the corner and up hill. Just to the right of a tree with three or four trunks growing in a group at the base of the wall. Head right at the first cave. All bolts were replaced or seemed bomber as of 2009. Oct 29, 2010
The route description is spot on, but may exaggerate the runouts somewhat. 20 ft is probably the average for the second pitch, but I doubt there was anything 30 ft or more. Somewhat brittle rock that only seemed to cause problems for our followers, although I did take a hand full out of a great-seeming undercling near a dried-up beehive.

Can walk off but probably worthwhile to trail up a second rope as we did and rap from top to bottom with two 60m ropes. Dec 20, 2011
Phil McAllister
  5.8+ PG13
Phil McAllister  
  5.8+ PG13
Agreed - there are probably three bolts with 20ft run out as estimated by 3x my body length. Still keeps you on your toes. Bolts on the 2nd pitch are better (but further apart and sometimes out of sight until you climb upwards) than those on the 1st pitch. 2nd pitch is definitely more 5.8 than the 1st pitch.

The beta refers to a large loose block on the second pitch and climbing on the left side - i think that it means climb UP THE LEFT SIDE of the block - there's few holds on the face on the left. Mar 10, 2012
A very fun route and well protected. One 60m pitch from the base to the top. Aug 23, 2012
Salamanizer suchoski
Vacaville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Vacaville Ca.  
Well protected? That route is runnout by almost anyones definition. 7 bolts in about 120ft (two of them close together near the top) on the second pitch isn't runnout to you? Aug 28, 2012
Riley McDonald
Riley McDonald  
Can be done in one pitch with a 60m rope. Sep 24, 2012
Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
old5ten   Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
Fun route with aesthetic moves, nice position, and WAY better than the Cave route. 2nd pitch is not as tightly bolted as the first in general and it's a little ways from the 2nd to 3rd bolt (up from the cave) in particular, but it wouldn't be R by Tuolumne standards. There is however the friable nature of the rock to consider. Mar 18, 2013
Shannon Warner
Concord, CA
Shannon Warner   Concord, CA
Avoid using the 2 spinner bolts in the first cave to set up your belay station for starting pitch 2 (see photo; we did not find 3 bolts in the first cave according to the description). Continue ~15 feet up to the second cave (left and up from the first cave) and there are 2 newer bolts in this second cave for setting up a belay station.
Jan 19, 2014
Salamanizer suchoski
Vacaville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Vacaville Ca.  
Those anchors used to be bomber, all three of them. The rock is solid in that cave and those hangers, although they look like rusty old leepers, are actually rusty newer leeper hangers that are absolutely bomber.
There also used to be a SS SMC hanger but that one was removed after someone without the experience to tell the difference from a good anchor and a bad one decided to smash the hangers and move the anchor to the upper cave. They also lacked the skills and courtesy to remove them properly, which is a shame.

Unfortunately, this altered the nature of the West Face eliminating one of the bigger runnouts from the original (lower) cave up to the next bolt located just up and left of the upper cave. It's no wonder people don't find this route to be all that runnout these days.

On the up-side, it makes the first pitch a more appropriate length. Jan 19, 2014
Mike Dahlquist
Oakland, CA
5.8 R
Mike Dahlquist   Oakland, CA
5.8 R
On the downside, there's quite a bit more piss and shit in the second cave; not a very nice place to hang out. Luckily this can be done as one pitch. Aug 10, 2017
The first bolt on the initial pitch is loose, meaning it actually flexes downwards if weighted. The rock in which it is placed appears to be rather weak, even for Pine Canyon standards, and I would be wary about trusting it to hold a fall.
And I agree with the caution regarding the initial cave belay. The hangers are fine (though they appear to have been bashed at some point), but the bolt placement is questionable given how closely they are sunk next to a crumbling edge and soft nature of the rock under the thin shell patina. Also, heading right out of the cave puts you on some very weak rock. Oct 15, 2017

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