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The Chocolate Block (aka Rocky Top)
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Peanut Butter & Chocolate S 

Peanut Butter & Chocolate 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 175'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Jeff Mahoney, Chris Wing, Katie Martin, Alex Lau, Carole Christianson, Shin Nimura, Mark Buntaine and Julian Lim
New Route: Yes
Season: Year-round
Page Views: 2,359
Submitted By: Jeff Mahoney on Oct 23, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Keeping the ground-up ethic alive in the Hills. Al...


PB&C takes the long line from the ground on the dark rock (the chocolate), then crosses "Krugerrands" to get out on the lighter and slightly crumblier rock face left (the peanut butter). Hit the nice, thin ledge and move up through the slight bulge (careful of the obvious death flake on your left---the crumbling cookie---which most likely will be gone or at least diminished before too long). Pass a few thoughtful bits on the way up before the angle eases and you reach one of the best view top-outs in the Hills. Good movement, lots of mileage and sporty runouts make this a nice companion piece to the other chocolate-inspired routes on the formation.

New 1/2" Fixe ring anchor and 3/8" hanger & chain installed to replace the snapped aluminum foil Kong-Bonatti with its companion spinner and laundry cord rap station.

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.)


Starts on the face to the right of the "Krugerrands" crack. The first bolt is obvious.


9 bolts

Photos of Peanut Butter & Chocolate Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Eeek, I wonder who got the jolt when this thing sn...
BETA PHOTO: Eeek, I wonder who got the jolt when this thing sn...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Wing just getting to the easier angle sectio...
Chris Wing just getting to the easier angle sectio...
Rock Climbing Photo: "PB&C" (yellow line) crosses "Kruge...
BETA PHOTO: "PB&C" (yellow line) crosses "Kruge...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 9, 2016
By A. Lau
Oct 23, 2013

Good sustained route, nice and long with great views at the top. Bit crumbly, but should clean up nicely.
By Banana Hamikk
Nov 3, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A nice route that flows well. Worth doing and the view from the top is one of the best in the hills.
By JC w KC redux
Apr 17, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Cool route and the longest one I have done in the Hills. The name is a bit deceiving as I expected the Peanut Butter to be the lighter grainy rock so common on Hills slab climbs - not so - it's fun plates all the way up. The death flake is spooky but common sense keeps you well to the right. Definitely sporty. My partner enjoyed finding our way down. Worth a repeat.
By butters
From: Mammoth Lakes, Ca
May 21, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

great route! good climbing and mostly solid rock until the last bit. a few solid 5.8 moves but always near the bolt. always a good hold when you need one. bolts are spaced nicely and great clipping stances. go do it! killer top out and fun adventure out with some tunneling.
By BAd
Nov 8, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Just did this today--great fun. It is sporty by sport climbing standards. Expect runouts up to 20 ft., give or take. If you're solid on 5.8, you should be okay, but I was definitely focused at times. We descended to climbers right after the rappel--to the left facing out--and swung round the formation to find a corridor that took us right back to our packs. A little tunnelly/bouldery but nothing dramatic. Recommended.
By Mtnfly
From: El Segundo, Ca
Nov 1, 2015
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13

I've spent a long time climbing in the the Alabama Hills. While I greatly appreciate the route development in the area, I am dissapointed by the Runouts left by the FA party on what could be a great Alabama hills 5.8 enjoyed safely by those entering to the grade. Instead we have a 5.8 climb with approximate 15-20 ft runs on less than Yosemite grade rock. You could be a 5.12 climber and end up in the hospital on this one. I didn't realize the Alabama hills needed runout climbs, considering it's generally a moderate cragging destination. Just one guys opinion. The view at top is indeed great.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 2, 2015

I appreciate your input, Mtnfly, however, I did not set out to make a runout route. I had no ego invested in putting it up: the line itself dictated what it became. It was done ground-up in good style and is well-protected at the crux points. ("Sporty runouts" in the description, along with "9 bolts for 165 feet" should give you enough guidance for what to expect.) Separately, I and the rest of FA party are nowhere near 5.12 climbers (and I am a good deal older than you). We too have logged many years of climbing in the Hills, and this particular line revealed itself as it stands, and it should remain as such.

Next time you're out there, I would recommend you climb "Chocolate Pocket," as that will give you an idea of how how much thought and care is put into the safety of the routes I put up. Had I left that route as it was originally done, it would warrant an R/X, but I added bolts purely to protect future climbers, and make sure it would get climbed a lot. (I only post routes that I want others to climb---I've got a few crappy R/X routes that didn't come together as well as they looked from the ground, and those hopefully won't ever find their way on MP or elsewhere. Again, this isn't an ego thing; it's about contributing to the climbing community.)

I respect your opinion to downgrade this route and give it a PG13, but you should also respect everyone else's opinion that it's a better route and not one that will put you in the hospital.
By Mtnfly
From: El Segundo, Ca
Nov 3, 2015
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13

Let me say again, I'm glad you guys are out there developing routes. I don't trust the rock quality in the Alabama hills enough to justify ANY long runs between bolts. I did fine on this route, but I kept thinking if I break a hold in a few of these spots I would be seriously hurt. So goes climbing I guess. But totally your right to put it up how you like........just my thoughts. Might help that climber not willing to run it out.
By Russ Walling
Feb 10, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Ok route and I see both sides of it as far as the runout thing goes. It is run out and it is pretty suspect rock in a few places. I actually pulled off a pretty good handhold around bolt 6 or so. That being said, runouts are usually because you cant stop to drill. On this route you can stop anywhere so im not reallly getting the runouts.

And watch out for bolt #5. The location is a biner breaker with the way the surrounding rock traps the biner. I multiwrapped a sling into the hanger then clipped that.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 15, 2016

Okay, okay, UNCLE! I will go back and put bolts in everywhere I can stop. (I will take a look at bolt #5 and see if any of the rock sprouted and will remedy. Woulda done it yesterday, but didn't see these interwebs the last few days.)
By Russ Walling
Feb 15, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

A man of action!!! Got to say though... if there was bolts all over that thing I would have been bored to tears.

If you really want to make it so all us old duffers have even more fun, here is something to think about:
Put a smooth pull station at the top for frontside rapping and....
Fix the bolt #5 location and turn it into a mid station so a reasonable rap off the formation is possible with one rope.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 15, 2016

See? That's why you're the man. Good idea about the mid-station, being on the old duffer threshold myself (but yeah, boredom kills). I'll post an update after remediation.
By JC w KC redux
Feb 24, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

For what it's worth I think the route is fine as is. The rap off the back is short and the walkoff is fun. Many of the climbs in the Hills are superbly protected but occasionally there is one that isn't. I think that is okay. Sporty in the Hills is runout in most other areas. Hoodgie on Hoodgie Wall comes to mind. An R designation in the Hills is often an old test piece with horrendous or death fall potential- Loaf Arete and Bad Bananas come to mind - each with 1 bolt compared to Pangborn's 11 bolts over the same height. Original Route is Fun on Hoodgie - 1 bolt and a good cam (or two) covers the same distance as Ankles Away just to the left with 9 bolts. I'm used to crappy rock and crazy runouts because I do most of my climbing at Pinnacles. I LOVE the Hills for a change of pace.
By BAd
Feb 25, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Hey, Jeff:

I don't recall the problem with bolt #5. The route was a little sporty, but the runs aren't that bad--if you're solid at the grade. Not all routes have to be mega-bolted. I enjoyed it. And now there's a more heavily bolted, somewhat harder addition to the left that I can't wait to try. Thanks for the hard work.

By Russ Walling
Feb 25, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Rock Climbing Photo: #5 bolt
#5 bolt

That rib of rock on the left of the bolt is the spine breaker. When clipped into the hanger the biner gets trapped under the rib and can't rotate freely or rides on top of the rib. NBD as long as you don't fall ;)
By JC w KC redux
Mar 1, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Nice documentation Russ. I don't remember that particular bolt but you definitely have a valid point/concern.
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 9, 2016

Russ had a valid point/concern (meaning the issue has been remedied).

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