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(1) School Gate

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Above the Groove S 
Blackface Arete S 
Bull King Dihedral T 
Choose Your Size T 
Disco Fistcrack T 
Fight S 
First Corner S 
Nowhere Man S 
Oh No! S 
Oh! S 
Piranha  S 
Reincarnation S 
Right Disco Crack T 
Seaface T 
Staircase T 
Stepover S 
Stone Z S 
Surprise Crack T 
Tiger's Tooth S 
Triple Cruxes S 
V-Groove S 
Warm-up Route S 

(1) School Gate Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 26'
Location: 25.11292, 121.92183 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,632
Administrators: Nate Ball, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 10, 2009

78° | 73°

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75° | 69°

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3D Image 

Compiled from drone footage: click here


The School Gate crag is the looming, square-shaped sentinel that can be seen from across the bay. It is most people's introduction to the Dragon Cave since it has the shortest, easiest approach and contains a number of moderate trad and sport routes. It is also densely packed, allowing large groups of climbers to conveniently lay siege. You can expect there to be a huge concentration of people here from March-October. If you climb 5.12 you will find a number of great routes and won't have to cue.

While the namesake crag is the first one you encounter, there are two other distinct areas. On the ocean-side is Appentice Rock, with several short trad routes and/or high-ball problems (no anchors, easy walk-off). On the uphill-side is Disco Buttress, for which the meaning has been lost to the ages. Several high-quality sport routes between 5.10-13 are packed in all around this.

The area is mostly southeast facing, and so is pretty toasty in the summer. However, there are some routes with northerly aspects that are in the shade for most of the day. If it gets too hot, you can head out to the ocean. There is one great spot - fairly obvious - that is sheltered all around by rocks that stick up out of the ocean. Some have been known to jump off said rocks. This is about a 3-minute walk south of the crag. You'll probably be sharing the area with day-trippers and divers. The latter are the ones responsible for the red arrows on the rocks. If only I could catch one of those bastards in the act...

Japanese hornets have also been known to congregate here in the warmer months. They have even stung someone into unconsciousness - be careful! If you see them - or hear them coming in like a death-wielding drone - do your best to avoid them.

Finally, this area picks up a lot of garbage from high storm tides. Please help us by taking a little bit with you on your way out.

Getting There 

Approach via the North Parking (see Area page) and head NE along the coast on a trail for maybe 10 minutes, following it until some large cliffs are seen. The first of the obviously climbable tall cliffs is a large block on your right side, called School Gate. The East and South Faces of this contain several sport and Trad lines, and along it's North face there is a protected Gully that contains a surprisingly good and long sport climb or two.

Rain & Shade 

All routes get wet in the rain. All walls except north face of Disco Buttress dry quickly.

Illusion Wall is shaded from sunrise to 1pm. Disco Fistcrack start is shaded from early morning onward. Disco Buttress north face is always shaded. All other routes are in the sun until late in the afternoon.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in (1) School Gate

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for (1) School Gate:
Surprise Crack   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 70'   
V-Groove   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 50'   
Piranha    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 65'   
Warm-up Route   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 35'   
First Corner   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in (1) School Gate

Featured Route For (1) School Gate
Rock Climbing Photo: Anja on "First Corner" at School Gate.

First Corner 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a  Asia : Taiwan : ... : (1) School Gate
Originally named In And Out of the GrooveAn incredibly fun sport climb for any venue, and certainly one of the best here. This climb has a little of everything, overhanging jugs, slapping of aretes, hidden pockets, technical footwork, and if you stay belly to the bolts (harder) even some flaring jams. The grade will depend on how directly you do the route, but will be in the 5.11 range.Climb up past 2 bolts to a technical crux, where a taller climber can clip the third bolt before riski...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of (1) School Gate Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Side shot looking toward the ocean from approach t...
BETA PHOTO: Side shot looking toward the ocean from approach t...
Rock Climbing Photo: 帥哥
Rock Climbing Photo: The east face
The east face
Rock Climbing Photo: Disco Buttress from a distance
Disco Buttress from a distance
Rock Climbing Photo: Illusion Wall, contains several 5.10-12 sport rout...
Illusion Wall, contains several 5.10-12 sport rout...
Rock Climbing Photo: The mob descends... blastin' that bubblegum pop fo...
The mob descends... blastin' that bubblegum pop fo...
Rock Climbing Photo: hao duo ren
hao duo ren
Rock Climbing Photo: Sea face
Sea face

Comments on (1) School Gate Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anmin Deng
From: Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Mar 24, 2012
The name "Apprentice Rock" should spell "Appentice". It means "an architectural structure above a gate in traditional east Asian style", instead of referring to "the relationship as Skywalker to Juda in Starwars movies". It is named after the rock shape and position, at school gate.
By Anmin Deng
From: Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Mar 24, 2012
"Disco Buttress" is also known as "Human Face Cliff" among local climbers. I'd personally guessed that "El Capitan" is a much more accurate translation.

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