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Big Face

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Crow's Nest T 
Fontaine’s Face T 
Fragile Rock T 
Heartbreaker T 
Medal of Honor T 

Big Face Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,770'
Location: 38.32968, -119.55493 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 870
Administrators: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Rondo Bauer on Oct 14, 2016
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This is a climbing area little known to the climbing world but well traveled by the Marine Corps. Named by the Marines, Big Face is used by the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center to teach multi-pitch rock climbing, though as it is on Forest Service land, is open to the public and everyone is welcome to climb there. The rock at Big Face is predominately basalt. Pro placement is good, though the rock can be weathered and in places frangible. Natural anchors are available on top and bottom. In addition, many climbs have bolted anchors. Pitons and riveted hangars are over 20 years old and should not be used. Many bolted routes were done to aid the Marines in learning lead climbing, and as such may be placed where traditional protection could have been used.

Getting There 

Two options for the approach. 1) Park at the pull-off on the left after the uphill hairpin above LTA (lat/long 38.3276571, -119.5552833). Walk across the street onto the obvious climber’s trail. Keeping left at forks will take you to the top of Big Face where you can set up top ropes or rap in, while going right will take to you the bottom. 2) Park at LTA, scramble up through the LTA cliffs and walk uphill to Big Face. This is the longer option but convenient if you wish to leave gear at the bottom or plan on climbing at LTA.

Climbing Season

For the Sonora Pass Highway (108) area.

Weather station 18.0 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Big Face
Rock Climbing Photo: Medal of Honor aka Leg Breaker

Medal of Honor 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : Sonora Pass Highway (108) : Big Face
Also known as Leg Breaker in honor of C/Sgt Tinsley, who was a British Royal Marine mountain leader exchange instructor in the early 90s. He took a whipper mid-way up and hit the overhang with his leg, breaking his tibia. To add insult to injury, he re-broke the leg when dropping into a telemark turn at Mammoth the following winter.Climb cracks and edges to roof. Climb the roof on the left side on good holds. The route meanders generally straight up on small edges and cracks. The face gets smoot...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

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By Jeff Scheuerell
Jul 29, 2017
Painted names? Very lame!

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