(5) Grand Auditorium Rock Climbing
From between Music Hall and First Cave, looking up...
This is an obvious and enormous amphitheater between Music Hall and Lower Dragon Ridge. From a distance, it looks like colorful, looming blocks split by bands of grass and dirt. However, there are some nice clean climbs amongst the debris for those willing to brave the razor plants and impending doom above. Oh yeah, there are snakes up here too.
Climbs face north, east, and south, and so depending on season and time of day, you will get all kinds of different temps and shade. Generally it will be entirely lit up in the morning and remains so into the afternoon. Very few people venture up here, as the climbs are few and far between, and generally pass through a lot of choss to get to the gems. But oh how those gems are worth it!
Starting from the left and most easily-accessible side, there is a section that can be climbed many different ways at >5.8. This will take you to the top of Dragon Ridge, which is an incredible viewpoint. To the right of this is a low overhang with a slab above. Several trad lines pull through or go around this roof to a shared anchor above. Continuing right, past an undeveloped section, you arrive at the inside corner start of Unknown Unknowns, a recently re-discovered climb. Several more routes all around this climb up to a shared anchor on the ledge above. Starting from grassy blocks, several of the most adventurous routes pull through the wildest features. This includes The Great Roof, a hardman's wet dream. These continue higher up the wall to a perch 2/3's of the way up the wall. Next are more grassy ledge starts for moderate classics such as Freedom Crack. Pass another, wider undeveloped section until you see your first lead bolts. This reveals the start of routes such as Arupa. Further on are the starts for Yellow Jasmine and Via del Drago, which is the last route before the rocks fall away and the trail wanders up to the viewpoint.
There is still a ton of opportunity for adventure up here!
Approach from either Golden Valley trail or School Gate trail. From the north, after passing Music Hall, turn right and bushwhack upwards to the looming walls overhead. From the south, pass the second cave and Dragon Ridge, and turn left.
Rain & Shade
All routes get wet in the rain. All walls dry quickly.
The north-facing wall goes into the shade early (maybe 9am?). Routes up to Freedom Crack are in the shade by 12pm. All other routes are in the sun until late in the afternoon.
Climbing Season For the Long Dong (Dragon Cave) area.
Weather station 7.0 miles from here
15 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in (5) Grand Auditorium
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in (5) Grand Auditorium
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for (5) Grand Auditorium:
Arupa 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport, 110'
Featured Route For (5) Grand Auditorium
Via del Drago 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Asia
: ... : (5) Grand Auditorium
Pitch 1 - Climb through some choss and over grassy steps to a set of parallel dihedrals. Climb these (5.8) up to the ledge. Beware of loose rock along the way. Belay on gear at the ledge.Alternatively, climb the first pitch of Yellow Jasmine Beauty, belay at the ledge, then do a short traverse right to the VdD belay ledge.Pitch 2 - Start up the steep crack on fists and thrutches. The crack is flared inward, so it can be tricky to protect. Getting into the pod is t...[more] Browse More Classics in International
BETA PHOTO: Ryan and Garrreth's 2015 FA's
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Mar 10, 2013
Today, the scorcher that it was, Matt G and I went up to climb Arupa and Verdon du Taiwan. As we were starting up our climb, Milk (牛奶) and a crew of others were going up Ten and Freedom Crack, each group continuing past their first anchors to a ledge where they could all meet up on. Meanwhile, I was failing to lead the first 35m pitch of Arupa, not being able to sack up and mount the arete. Then Matt put it up, and I followed with a second rope. The next pitch was sketchy from the beginning, with widely spaced bolts, loose rock, and a killer corner section before I topped out at...
... two very widely spaced mechanical bolts with quick-links, one of which had a rope hanging from it. Well, I didn't bring my trad anchor cordelette, and I wasn't about to risk a 55m fall to two bolts which looked more brown than gray. So I continued up to the "castle wall" and slung a horn, clipped into it, and used myself as a top anchor. Matt made it up fine, and we were finally ready to get off this rig. We added another sling, which we knew we could come back and retrieve later anyway, and Matt began to rappel.
Only he went in the wrong direction. There is a sharp arete to the left of the second pitch climb, and he came down on the wrong side of it. So, he has to put on a third-hand, jug up the rope to where he can stand and try to communicate all this to me, 30m above with tourists constantly walking up to me. Our first blessing was that 牛奶 and his group were there to communicate between us so that we could figure out how to get Matt back to the anchors. It involved putting Matt on top-roped rappel, him traversing across some horribly loose rock (with one large chunk nearly braining our friend Chet, below), and flicking 30m of rope around this arete. Finally, Matt reaches the anchors and clips in.
Now I come down, leaving the slings at the top and making sure to go down the correct direction. Everything is fine, although the rock here is so fragile that even putting your feet on the wall will send sandstone meteors. I clip into the anchors, and try to pull the rope. Stuck fast. Absolutely not what we need to have happen right now. But thankfully (second blessing), Chet is right there with a third rope, which we can retrieve with the rope I trailed up the first pitch. We get the rope, we tie our knot, we come down.
Later, I am able to retrieve the slings and rope from above.
Lesson learned: epics can be still be had at Long Dong