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Amazing Face 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 14,905
Submitted By: Katie Purtill on Jun 23, 2002  with updates from JPMizell

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (205)
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Hitonmi almost pitches off of the 'Amazing Face' (...

Falcon Nesting Closure at Castle Rock MORE INFO >>>


A decent face route with some interesting moves. Apparently the most-wanted route in the area but I can't imagine why... The actual climbing on "Amazing Face" is pretty average, but you get a great view between your heels in the upper part of the climb. P.S.- The belayer gets two points for dropping a falling climber into either of the man-eating holes at the bottom of the route.


Eleven bolts lead to a bolted anchor with chains. Another anchor exists on top to allow climbers to safely rappel to the lower chains for top roping. Please use the lower chain anchor for top roping and lowering to stop the rope scaring and grooves left behind in the soft rock.

Please use your own gear for top roping off the chains to minimize wear on the expensive fixed gear, and NEVER thread a rope through the eye of a glue in bolt for any reason but an unavoidable emergency.

Photos of Amazing Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing amazing face :)
Climbing amazing face :)
Rock Climbing Photo: First dyno on Amazing face. Taller people can jump...
First dyno on Amazing face. Taller people can jump...
Rock Climbing Photo: A good closeup look at the sculptured face of Amaz...
A good closeup look at the sculptured face of Amaz...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul, high up on Amazing Face.  The lighting and t...
Paul, high up on Amazing Face. The lighting and t...
Rock Climbing Photo: climbing amazing face..
climbing amazing face..
Rock Climbing Photo: The caves are fun to climb!
The caves are fun to climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: 12yo flashing Amazing Face.
12yo flashing Amazing Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: leading the amazing face
leading the amazing face
Rock Climbing Photo: Hitonmi leads 'Amazing Face' (5.10a) at Mt Diablo....
Hitonmi leads 'Amazing Face' (5.10a) at Mt Diablo....
Rock Climbing Photo: Probably my tenth time doing this route. One I'll ...
Probably my tenth time doing this route. One I'll ...
Rock Climbing Photo: A long pitch finally eases a bit at the top.
A long pitch finally eases a bit at the top.
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Amazing face is to the right of the crack (that's ...
Amazing face is to the right of the crack (that's ...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 10, 2017
By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Jun 25, 2002

Getting in and out of the caves was fun. Try the variation of using no grips below the first cave. Tons of resting places on the way up the slabby face. Climbing pretty straighforward.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 31, 2002

I disagree with the quality rating. For the 5.9+/5.10a climber this climb is the best in its grade in the area for feeling up there and near veritical on a one pitch climb and with decent, but not juggy handholds. I still fondly look back several years ago when I first led it as a 'break through' climb. If thats your grade, you will love this climb! You can also scout your next break through on the 5.10c bolt route to the right
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 21, 2003

This is a very satisfying lead if you are pushing into 5.9 or 10a terrain.

Route should have at least 2 stars. It's the crag classic, and is a great 5.9+ lead.
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Jul 18, 2003

Amazing Face is a great climb! Had a buddy lead it as one of his first leads. He lead it clean. Following it I realized that for a beginner leader, the distance between the bolts and some of the body positions required to make one or two of the clips would make this quite exciting. No real hard moves but pretty continuous. Also, being quite used to Mickey's Beach rock, the sandstone takes quite a bit to get used to and certainly does not give you as solid a feel for the moves. Bolt Route to the right is more of the same great climbing, just a good solid number grade harder.
By Roger Platt
Sep 4, 2003

One of the best routes in the Bay Area. I have done it at least 15-20 times and I will never get tired of it. Highly recommended for beginning lead climbers if they are solid at the 5.9+ to 5.10 toprope level.
By Karl Royer
Oct 23, 2003

A must climb at the Diablo crag. Offers a couple of "scary" moves while leading. A very nice introduction route into sport climbing. I find most of the climbs here to require a LOT of balance, this route is a good warm up for the area.
By vincent L.
From: Redwood City
Nov 30, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Wow some climbers around here are hard to please. Don't let the indifferent attitude of the person who created the page for this route deter you. "Amazing Face" is a beautiful route and a classic by Bay Area standards IMO. It reminds of one of the pitches on 'Birdland' in Red Rocks. A route well worth doing again and again.
By Steve R.
From: Oakland, CA
Dec 5, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

By Peter Rakowitz
From: Portland, OR
Jun 9, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I think this is a great route. Maybe the best of it's grade in east bay. By the way the bolt route next to amazing face is definitely not a 5.10b, at least not anymore.
By Gregory Mullen
May 14, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

I've done it a few times, good, and fun, but not a classic.
By stevecurtis
From: Petaluma California
Jan 2, 2012

rope solo. I liked the route. Thanks to whomever keeps the Amazing Face "amazing".
By Joel Frederico
Feb 11, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

I was thrilled with my first outdoor 5.10a lead onsight - actually my first 5.10a outdoor ever. (For gym climbers' reference - I climb at Planet Granite at an 11a/b level on TR, lead 10c.) The lead is terrific - long, flowy, balancy. Every move is a rest, so no chance of pump. But it can get cold at the bottom even though the high was in the upper 50's. Climbing into the sunshine was definitely rewarding.

Route info: Book recommends 10' of slings. I used 30' of cordellette, which including knots, got my anchor just below the rope scars. There are tons of holds everywhere, just find the ones you like and trust.

Beta: The crux is at the bottom, where it seems to have been worn smooth. I'm 6'4", so I kinda just went for the first move to the cave, not a problem. The psychological crux is getting out of the second cave, where you quickly become not very well protected for the 1.5 moves until you clip the second bolt. For seasoned leaders, not a big deal. For a gym rat like me, something to get through. The 3rd bolt is a bit of mental work, but nothing like before, and then you get into a rhythm and the bolts just sorta flow by. The end is a bit annoying - after great crimps and flakes (no jugs) and nice edges for your feet, the last 8 feet or so are more friction/mantle. Whatever. Top out and be happy!
By CP Phx
May 22, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Great climb. Would definitely be hard for a newbie lead climber. Beta tip, just keep remembering that it's easier than it feels and the holds will show up as you go, trust me. Tricky clips in a couple of spots, especially if you are setting the clips as well. Pretty pumpy and exposed, can't ask for much more out of a hard 5.9/5.10a*!

  • might have been 5.9 back in 2002, but w/ the traffic it sees I think the sandstone holds have worn down quite a bit
By Tibo
Oct 15, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Best route on Diablo with good length. Definitely 5.9, not too steep, with stances between almost every move.
By James Cranston
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 25, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fantastic route. I found the hardest moves to be near the bottom, just after leaving the second cave, but my friends breezed up this (just finding high feet and locking into the next crimper is key). Well bolted, and sustained moves. For the 5.9/10 climber, once you can identify and place your feet well (which are totally there) you'll get into the flow of it. ANCHORS: You can set up a top rope by hiking around, and there's a not-too-exciting walk to the bolts at the top and you're protected from the exposure by a dip in the rock near the top. Longer slings or webbing is better... you'll see some grooves in the rock already. Get on this early in the day!
By jimi thornburg
Apr 2, 2015

Amazing Face has a new lower-off anchor several feet below the lip. This was placed to reduce the grooving caused by top-roping off of the anchor bolts on top. It should also reduce erosion in the gullies that are used to access the top. If you use this anchor (after leading the climb) please use the fixed draws for lowering only; if the second is going to top-rope, do it off your own draws to save unecessary wear on the fixed draws. If the fixed biners are looking worn, please consider replacing them. The loose second and seventh bolts have also been replaced with extra long glue in bolts.
By Colin Szehner
From: Oakland, Ca
Apr 26, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

love this route
By Bill Price
Oct 26, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I remember this being rated 5.8 in the '70's because the holds were more positive, I think "human caused" cliff erosion is occurring. (see my comment for the bolt route). I am much older now and it felt much harder. Mike Borris, Mark Rommel and I were free climbing this, the Bolt (Ladder) Route and Ozone back in '75/'76. Would like to know the history of climbing here, maybe some old Sierra Club members started here?
By Bruno Beltran
From: Stanford, CA
May 29, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Definitely a must-do if it opens up when you're at Boy Scout rocks. For stronger climbers, the movement is largely unmemorable but fun, but I definitely see how the combination of reasonable bolts, seemingly desperate stances that always secretly have a great crimp nearby, and accessibility would add up to make this a local classic in the 5.9 range.

Definitely didn't feel like I pulled a single 5.10 move though, the feet were always far too positive to feel like I actually needed bigger hands than what was there. The holds are clearly worn (color difference, varnish removed), and within the next few years I'm sure this will become a solid 5.10 as the feet become worse and worse...
By Nick Andrew
Sep 10, 2017
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

In my opinion there are a couple of moves that feel harder than 5.9 between the 2nd and 4th bolt. Also, the holds seem to become less and less positive as the sandstone sees more and more traffic.. all in all: a great route, and one that feels like what I imagined rock climbing would be like when I first started climbing a few years ago. Sustained, and safe fun with constant exposure. A great first 5.10/5.9+ lead!!

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