All Locations > California > Sierra Eastside > Lone Pine Area > Alabama Hills > Monument Slot (ak… > The Chocolate Block (aka Rocky Top)
Avg: 3.5 from 24 votes
|Type:||Sport, 145 ft|
|FA:||Jeff Mahoney, Chris Wing, Alex Lau & Bill Flaherty|
|Page Views:||2,657 total · 86/month|
|Shared By:||Jeff Mahoney on Aug 3, 2015|
|Admins:||Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
DescriptionVariety is the spice of life. (Or maybe chocolate is the spice of variety?) Not to get all hype-y, but this route is pretty damned funcomplete with a 40 chimney to big stems, a bomb bay squeeze, thin face section to a bulge crux a la High Plains Drifter and then finishes on those crazy fun plates we all know and love. Its a long route with excellent position and exposure combining for a nice mental and physical workout at the grade. [Note: the rock around the 8th & 9th bolts at the bulge area is still a bit crumbly, but should clean up---and the key holds should stay put---so that will add a bit to the head game, but pulling through feels quite excellent. Oh, and yes, the bolts are 4-inchers and they're sunk in the good rock underneath the patina.]
This route was put up at the end of July during a heatwave with monsoonal moisture. I only mention that to say that if youre itching to climb in the Hills during the off season, this route starts in a perennially cool and dark corridor chimney (and the entire northeast-facing wall goes into the shade around 2:30 in high summer). Not many people seem to venture south of the Portal Road, but if youre getting tired of the Shark Fin hero shots and the Tall Wall selfies, get over to the Gunga Din areaand the Chocolate Block especially.
(Urban Dictionary defines chocolate pocket two ways. Take your pick.)
LocationThe climber's-right side chimney (left of "Peanut Butter & Chocolate" as you enter the corridor) with the 3 bolts leading to the obvious triangle squeeze to escape. ["Drop Out" is the chimney route climber's-left around the corner with the exit getting around the chockstone.]
1/2" Fixe ring anchor and 3/8" hanger w/links.
40' rappel off the back (south) of the block, then work your way right (west) down and then through the cool tunnel/cave system which spits you out on the slabs above the parking area. Walk off with one 3rd class downclimb. You can also rap an additional 25' down and east and then walk through the cave system on that side. It's about the same amount of time either way. (With two ropes you could rap down and into the chimney, but then you'll spend another hour or more retrieving your fully stuck rope.)