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Promontory Rock Climbing 

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Location: 41.6065, -124.1051 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Rick Shull, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Rick Shull on Sep 12, 2007

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Scenic view at sunset from the top of the Abyss Bo...


Promontory is a large "wave" of overhanging sandstone situated in a spectacular setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There are currently about 30 routes spread out between the main wall and several satellite walls. The climbing is generally excellent and ranges from overhanging pockets to vertical crimpfests.

Promontory was recently rebolted with titanium glue-ins and a number of new routes have gone in as well. Prior to the rebolting effort, the area only saw sporadic traffic for a number of years, due to rusted and suspect bolts. Although Promontory has recently received more attention from climbers, be aware that loose rock does exist on both new and existing routes, due to both the nature of soft sandstone and relative lack of traffic. It is recommended that you wear a helmet and do not stand beneath other climbers if not belaying.

Prime season for Promontory is typically spring through fall, when moderate temperatures prevail and precipitation is at a minimum. Winter can be good as well if it hasn't rained recently, although some routes seep. A handful of routes are tide-dependent, including Plague Of Flies, Reality Check, Mutiny, and Doggystyle.

There are a number of options for camping, depending on how far you want to drive and desired amenities. The Mill Creek campground is about 10 minutes north on the 101 and offers full amenities (i.e., toilet), but is closed in the winter. There are excellent bivy spots and a fire ring in the amphitheater below the main wall if you are willing to risk a ticket at the parking area (which doesn't seem to be enforced). The best spot to camp is 0.25 miles up the 101 from the Promontory parking; look for a dead-end road on your left and park at the end. Follow the trail, which quickly forks, and take the left fork. The trail gets a little vague but just follow the path of least resistance for about 200 feet, and you'll come on a small 10' by 10' clearing with amazing views of the north coast.

Promontory is technically on Redwood National Park property, and non-climbers often pass through while wandering up the coastline. Keep a low profile, be courteous, and enjoy one the most aesthetic climbing spots in California!

Getting There 

Promontory is located off of Highway 101 in Del Norte County. If you are traveling from the north it is about 12 miles south of Crescent City. Coming from the south(Arcata, etc.), it is approximately 5 miles north of the town of Klamath. Look for the bridge crossing Wilson Creek and park in the beach access lot just south of the mouth of the creek. From the lot, walk north about 10 minutes. The rock is plainly visible from the parking area.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.3 miles from here

33 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',16],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Promontory

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Promontory:
Blowhole   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 60'   Puff Boulder
Clicking Barnacles   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 40'   Puff Boulder
Plague of Flies   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 60'   Exploding Energy Boulder
Poop Deck   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 40'   The Abyss Boulder
Humboldt Current   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
The Slow Spring   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   Puff Boulder
The Mermaid   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   Main Wall
Ride The Woody   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Wall
Scurvy   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 50'   Main Wall
Gnarwhal   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 50'   The Abyss Boulder
Lost At Sea   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 50'   Main Wall
Shrapnel   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Main Wall
Pulling Teeth   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Wall
Riptide   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 50'   The Abyss Boulder
Great White   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Main Wall
Reality Check   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 60'   Exploding Energy Boulder
Mutiny   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 45'   Puff Boulder
Scared Straight   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 80'   Main Wall
Redwood Burl   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Main Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Promontory

Featured Route For Promontory
Rock Climbing Photo: Sequential and technical climbing with good interm...

Redwood Burl 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  California : Redwood Coast : ... : Main Wall
Ramp/dihedral and crack system that curves up to the right then back left....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Promontory Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Holladay-Ludwig in the distance...
Holladay-Ludwig in the distance...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta1
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta
Rock Climbing Photo: parking & approach
parking & approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun TR.
Fun TR.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Hatfield chilling.
Dan Hatfield chilling.
Rock Climbing Photo: Whoa! I was looking through these old fotografs an...
Whoa! I was looking through these old fotografs an...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view into the main wall corridor of Promontory f...
A view into the main wall corridor of Promontory f...
Rock Climbing Photo: wow!
Rock Climbing Photo: Centipede (5.9) on TR above first bolt. If leading...
BETA PHOTO: Centipede (5.9) on TR above first bolt. If leading...
Rock Climbing Photo: Humboldt Current (5.10a) with first bolt clipped. ...
BETA PHOTO: Humboldt Current (5.10a) with first bolt clipped. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rope on project or is that a scratch?
Rope on project or is that a scratch?
Rock Climbing Photo: Had to ford Wilson Creek that day...again.
Had to ford Wilson Creek that day...again.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beach Morning Glory on the approach to Promontory.
Beach Morning Glory on the approach to Promontory.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta2
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta3
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice...

Comments on Promontory Add Comment
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By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Nov 26, 2007
Any info. on the route to the right and around the corner of Redwood Burl? Was this a Bob or Doug creation? It looks fun.
By Rick Shull
From: Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Nov 26, 2007
If you mean the one on the south arete, it is called Shrapnel and is supposed to be 11c/d. I haven't done it as the bolts look to be in sad shape.
By Rodney Ley
Aug 15, 2010
Centipede was a great introduction to ocean area climbing: dramatic surf pounding nearby, steep/solid rock, and interesting moves. As a Colorado climber I was appalled at the condition of the bolt heads, but some of them might be 19 years old! Could not find a 2-bolt anchor at the top as mentioned in the local guidebook, but rigged okay TR anchor off two s/s bolts about 10 meters back and left of the master point.
Rock Climbing Photo: Veronica M. from Durango chimneys out of "oce...
Veronica M. from Durango chimneys out of "ocean corridor" area at the base of Centipede (5.9).
By Taylor Morrow
May 24, 2011
I really enjoyed this area, really easy to get to and the bolts on most of the climbs dont seam to be in such bad shape. cool little beach area.
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Dec 19, 2014
So fine you all are doing this crag up right. Thanks to You & ASCA!

Way to go. I hope you had a blast being out there in whatever capacity you helped/help!

I am so curious.

Where is Scared Straight? FA of Pulling Teeth?

2nd pitches to Humboldt Current, Great White, Redwood Burl?

Traverse the main face left from Shrapnel?

Ah... The Great White, I hope it is cleaning up nicely-what a route.

Is it getting some traffic? I hope so. Wow, titanium glue-ins!

Are there any routes, besides Blackbeard's Tears, which go to the top of the main wall?

That's a sweet crack, for sure...

Who did the .10b & .10d on Puff Boulder? When are more going in? Is there a huge overhang on that west side of this rock?

Kool routes on Abyss Boulder! This must be the east boulder, as I recall, of the two boulders across from Puff Boulder. I climbed the west one via E.E.S.

Happy winter!
By Lurker
From: Westwood
Dec 29, 2014
Hey Matthias. Glad somebody is interested in this place! Trying to get the locals stoked (or re-stoked) on it.

Scared Straight is just left of Great White, and appears to be a little harder. I think this and Pulling Teeth are Chemello and/or Humphrey routes, I should probably add the FA info.

Yeah, all those routes could probably have a 2nd pitch. Humboldt Current for sure, the other two would probably be pretty hard. We've still got a lot of work to do pulling old bolts, patching holes, scrubbing routes, so 2nd pitches are pretty low on the priority list. Would be cool tho.

Great White is definitely getting some traffic and cleaning up. Probably the showpiece route at Promontory, along with Redwood Burl and Blackbeard's Tears. We haven't rebolted Redwood Burl yet but it's next on the list. All of the old routes are getting titanium glue-ins (thanks to the ASCA), and new routes are going in with SS glue-ins.

I think one of the Puff boulder routes is a Humphrey creation, can't recall the other one. The Puff boulder does have a massively overhanging west face, which currently sports one .13+ r.b. route, that is likely still a project. Will probably receive new bolts at some point.

Face left of Shrapnel? Shrapnel is on the south arete/face. Maybe you mean the north arete/face? A couple folks have been eyeing a new route on the north arete (looks killer), haven't looked much left of that.
By Lurker
From: Westwood
Dec 29, 2014

Any clue how hard Blackbeard's Tears is free-climbing wise?

It currently sports 2 anchors, both of which appear to be in pretty bad shape, one before it gets steep, and the 2nd before the "wave". No idea if that thing has seen a second ascent. I think the condition of the first set of anchors is enough to deter somebody from going to the second set.

I've climbed it to the first anchor, which is a pretty nice 10+ crack. My guess is (mainly based on how steep it is) that the section to the 2nd anchors goes at minimum .12+/.13-, and that the route all the way to the top probably goes at .13+(R), if not harder. The route looks insanely steep up high! Also looks pretty spicy past the upper bulge.

We'll replace the anchors on this thing as soon as it drys up (great route name by the way), as it's pretty soaked right now. I think this thing will be quite the all-gear testpiece...for the right suitor.
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Dec 30, 2014
Thanks so very much for the info. & fotografs. Greatly appreciated!

Fascinating and fantastic.

I was thinking of a traverse/girdle from somewhere on Shrapnel over to Blackbeard's/Great White or further.

If I recall, there's that ledge system at the top of Redwood Burl/ Great White, then a horizontal weakness that goes across...?

Redwood Burl rebolt. Awesome.
By Samuel Trimboli
Jul 23, 2016
Just spent a couple days camping nearby and climbing here. What a gem! Definitely worth it bolt to bolt some of the harder stuff on the main wall and scrub the sand before giving it 100%. Super fun routes, great new bolts and an excellent hang!
Thank you to all who participated in retrofitting this crag and bringing some new life into it!
By Julian Bobilev
Sep 8, 2017
Regarding the camping 0.25 miles up the 101 from the Promontory parking: me and my buddies pulled off onto a dead-end road on the left at that distance and hiked all over the place trying to find this 10' by 10' clearing. We ended up camping on the road immediately adjacent to the 101 because we couldn't find anything. Not sure if we pulled onto the wrong road, couldn't find the clearing, or the clearing has grown over.

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