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Slate's Spire

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Slate's Spire Rock Climbing 

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Location: 35.8558, -121.4153 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jeff Beckman on Mar 9, 2004  with updates from Happycontrails
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Tom Slater and Brandon Thau on top of Slate's Spir...


Slate's Spire sticks out of the Pacific Ocean and is only accessible during minus tides and small surf so plan carefully. The rock is sandstone with some loose holds and be sure to watch out for crabs at the bottom. There is a little sandy spot on the beach that is good for setting up your hibachi.

Here's a good tide predictor:

Getting There 

Go north on Highway-1 about 65 miles. The parking area is between mile markers 7 and 8 in Monterey County. Hike south along the beach to get there.

Climbing Season

Weather station 14.8 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Slate's Spire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Slate's Spire:
Regular Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Slate's Spire

Featured Route For Slate's Spire
Rock Climbing Photo: Sitting on top.

Regular Route 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a California : Central Coast : ... : Slate's Spire
You can probably climb this rout without shoes if you are not worried about the bird crap. Suzanne got bit by a crab at the bottom so be careful. The rock is rather loose since it is not climbed often. I would suggest using all three bolts at the top anchor seeing as it is exposed to salt air all the time. Make sure you keep an eye on your watch since the tide can come in fast. If you figure out a way to get your rope down dry let me know....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Slate's Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Regular Route goes up the obvious face past tw...
BETA PHOTO: The Regular Route goes up the obvious face past tw...
Rock Climbing Photo: Atop Slate's Spire in Big Sur, California
Atop Slate's Spire in Big Sur, California
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach
The approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Caught the spire at a negative tide! Classic
Caught the spire at a negative tide! Classic

Comments on Slate's Spire Add Comment
Show which comments
By Slater
May 24, 2006
It is 9 miles past Ragged Point.
The rock is solid and featured.
A classic!
By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Aug 26, 2009
That is so funny -- crabs as 'objective hazard'! Are these Sally Lightfoots?
Jun 2, 2010
The spire is very close to mile marker 7, and the path down to it is next to a large easily visible turnout. Right now bolt two is hard to see through the bird poop (is coated completely white), but bolt one is visible. All bolts and the rap anchors are still good. Fun climbing! I agree that this can be done at a moderately low tide, assuming you don't mind wading through chest deep water. If you have dive booties, you might want to climb in those to save your shoes. BONUS: they keep your feet warm ;). When my friend Andre and I climbed it this weekend, (5/31/10), there was a birds nest on top of the spire (seagulls I think) and the log was gone. Just FYI.
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
Jul 25, 2011
the 2 bolts and the rap anchor looked and felt solid, as of 7/22/2011. didn't clip them to see. waded out in a pair of old expendable rock shoes and freesolo'd. no longer a log/register on top as someone else said before. very fun
By Peter Borden
From: nyc, ny
May 29, 2012
A couple notes:

  • Avoid the spire from mid-May to mid-June as seabirds are nesting on top. Or, if you must do it, do a hanging belay off the 3 anchor bolts and don't pull over onto the summit.

  • Did this at a) high tide and b) in heavy surf, which necessitated a full swim out to the base of the spire. Not impossible like this, but probably quite dangerous. Had to belay from the beach. Water was over my head (I'm 6'4").

  • Water is cold.
By Max Rausch
From: Monterey, California
Jan 16, 2015
Climbed it yesterday for the first time. It was more of just to say 'that we did it' and for a photo. Likely one of the grossest things I've ever done. The entire rock is covered in a rediculous amount of bird crap. Don't climb this if you aren't comfortable with getting dirty. Still can say that we had fun and got some good photos out of it. The top has 4 bolts, 2 with rap rings that were crusted to the rock by more bird crap.
Rock Climbing Photo: Slates Spire.
Slates Spire.

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