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The Chocolate Block (aka Rocky Top)
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After Eights S 
Amazon Woman S 
Chocolate Mice S 
Chocolate Monkey S 
Chocolate Pocket S 
Dark Chocolate S 
Drop Out S 
Orange Chocolate S,TR 
Peanut Butter & Chocolate S 

Chocolate Pocket 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 145'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Jeff Mahoney, Chris Wing, Alex Lau & Bill Flaherty
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,311
Submitted By: Jeff Mahoney on Aug 3, 2015

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The Pocket

Description 

Variety 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 fun—complete 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. It’s 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 you’re 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 you’re getting tired of the Shark Fin hero shots and the Tall Wall selfies, get over to the Gunga Din area—and the Chocolate Block especially.

(Urban Dictionary defines “chocolate pocket” two ways. Take your pick.)

Location 

The 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.]

Descent
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.)

Protection 

12 quickdraws


Photos of Chocolate Pocket Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Yes, you gotta squeeze through that triangle. (No,...
BETA PHOTO: Yes, you gotta squeeze through that triangle. (No,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking into the pocket around the anchors
BETA PHOTO: Looking into the pocket around the anchors
Rock Climbing Photo: Miles working the chimney section of Chocolate Poc...
Miles working the chimney section of Chocolate Poc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Myles Moser on a shirtless(!) lap of Chocolate Poc...
BETA PHOTO: Myles Moser on a shirtless(!) lap of Chocolate Poc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex belaying and praying that Chris doesn't have ...
Alex belaying and praying that Chris doesn't have ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The route has a very obvious start from inside the...
BETA PHOTO: The route has a very obvious start from inside the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Wing working his way up to the bulge crux on...
BETA PHOTO: Chris Wing working his way up to the bulge crux on...

Comments on Chocolate Pocket Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 13, 2016
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 29, 2015

After the chimney, stay on the bolt line. Heading into the loose corner left not only lowers the grade, but has the tendency to dislodge large plates that will rain down on your belayer. With traffic, the bulge is starting to clean up pretty well. (Still fairly crappy rock in that short section, but it will keep you focused...)
By Sean Haynes
Oct 16, 2015
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Great route Jeff 👍
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 16, 2015

Thanks! Stoked it's getting traffic and people are enjoying it as much as we do.
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Feb 10, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Even slightly camo hangers would be a plus. Same visuals over to the left of the Tall Wall. Was that you guys too? Lots of very chrome hangers.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 12, 2016

I'm all for sighting a line then putting in the time and expense of a new line but really the uber shiny bolts are a total eyesore. BLM land or not, it's poor manners and reflects badly on the FA efforts.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 15, 2016

Due to some typical miscommunication, the bolts weren't camo'd beforehand, but should be sufficiently hidden in a few weeks. And no, the route left of Tall Wall wasn't me; it was that kid who stole your shovel...

But seriously, did you not enjoy the route?
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Feb 15, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Due to some typical miscommunication, the bolts weren't camo'd beforehand, but should be sufficiently hidden in a few weeks. And no, the route left of Tall Wall wasn't me; it was that kid who stole your shovel...

hahahaha! That Bastard!!!!

It was the only route over there we didn't do. The hangers were too bright. ;)
edit: we did not try the "unknown" one on the left side of the canyon either.
By Joe Garibay
From: Ventura, Ca
Feb 16, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I plan on climbing this route over and over. Absolutely love it! Twice climbed and I've brought up 3 behind me.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 18, 2016

Thanks, Joe. Great to hear that from an unsolicited source. (We haven't met, right? I want to be clear this isn't a shill job ;-)

Not sure when you'll be up there again, Russ & Susan, but I'm sure the glare will be reduced enough so that you'll be able to enjoy the route without long-term corneal damage. (I'll even let the air out of the tires of that kid---I know where he lives now, or at least I will if he doesn't mess up the escrow closing...)
By Joe Garibay
From: Ventura, Ca
Feb 20, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

We haven't met before that I know of. Starting to go after some climbs up in SB. I'm sure we'll meet at some point. Thanks for the work.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 9, 2016

Well, you asked for it. Good luck finding the bolts now. I'm raising the grade too, dammit...

(Contrast adjusted for visibility's sake. If I hadn't tweaked the pic, you'd just be looking at some monzogranite.)

Rock Climbing Photo: "Chocolate Pocket" bolts as of 3/9/16.
"Chocolate Pocket" bolts as of 3/9/16.
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Mar 10, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good job on the Camo! Worth at least a letter grade ;)
By Dave Daly
From: Kernville, CA
Mar 31, 2016

I know the route author for that route over at The Tall Wall. I'll have a chat with them this coming A-Hill Weekend.
By Moser
Apr 10, 2016

Sorry boys... you gotta be a real man to wear a Banana Hammock! 5.11a
By bmdhacks
Apr 27, 2016

Hate to be that-guy but I found this route a bit on the dangerous side. The third bolt requires a gymnastic move with nasty fall potential in the chimney, and the gap between the fourth and fifth bolt is extremely chossy and has strong injury potential as a fall would impact the triangular squeeze. I pulled off a hand-size piece pulling the bulge and my petite partner blew two footholds on the face below. I would be surprised if nobody is injured before this cleans up.
By Derek Sanders
Jun 20, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

As mentioned in earlier comments, parts of the route are a little chossy, but are cleaning up quite well. Scary part is not being able to communicate with belayer if there is a good amount of wind. I didn't personally find any part of the climb to be extremely dangerous, but a helmet is always smart when climbing in a chimney. Part of the upper face gets really thin and you'll have to really reach for the small crimps. Wonderful climb!
By BAd
Oct 7, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Oy, the "pocket" was tough for a 6'4" dude. Enjoyed the route and scored a bail draw, too!

BAd
By Miles Weaver
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Nov 1, 2016

Hell of a climb. Thanks for putting this up. The choss wasn't that bad if you are calculated with your hold choice. I agree that it will clean up nicely. I'll definitely climb it again.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 12, 2016

Good and varied climbing. The chimney start was fun stuff and the squeeze chalkstone slightly slick... all to adding in the fun. Camo bolts WAY better and much appreciated. Buzzed over late in the day specifically to do the route. Good stuff and felt the rating was spot on. A little crumbly but not overly offensive, agreed this is a route that will clean up well over time.
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Nov 14, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good long route with a bit of everything. Nice add to the area.
By Jason Schliekelman
From: Woodland Hills Ca
Dec 13, 2016

probably the highlight route of my weekend. such a diverse climb for A Hills. Above the squeeze is cleaning up well. the crux move for me was getting onto the good foot for the 3rd(?) bolt might have been the 4th bolt. either way super fun route. totally agree with the rating

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