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South Area

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Purgatory Wall 
VD (Very Direct) Wall 
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South Area Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 4,440'
Location: 34.41121, -117.85638 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,622
Administrators: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Bill Olszewski on Apr 16, 2009
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Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The South Area of the Devil’s Punchbowl consists of several long sandstone slabs arranged on a hillside, facing north. This area sits in a valley to the south of and about 300’ below the parking lot. A creek graces this area in the winter and spring, flowing down out of the San Gabriel Mountains, along the base of the climbing walls. The preeminent wall in this area is Very Direct (VD) wall. It features by far the most routes and sits in front of the other walls. The sandstone in the South Area tends to be more homogenous than what is found in the North Area, lending well to fine smearing and not a lot of aggregate rock. It is also in this southern part of the park where most of the moderate climbing is found. Since the walls are predominantly north-facing, the South Area is best for climbing on warm days. It can get very hot in summer.

Getting There 

From the parking lot, take the trail at the south side (to the left of the Burkhart Horse Trail sign). Follow this trail a short distance to a fork. Take the left fork over to a nice lookout of the southern valley. From here, follow the trail down on the right, into the valley. The trail will switch back to the left and continue east to the bottom of the valley, with several small turns and switchbacks. Once you encounter the creek, head right. Continue upstream, making a few crossings along the way, until you reach the base of a large sandstone slab. This is Very Direct (VD) wall. Allow about 10 minutes hiking from the parking lot.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.7 miles from here

29 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in South Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for South Area:
Slot Machine   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Tree Corner   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Water Cracks   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, Sport, 50'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Rurp Rip-off   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Overhanger   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Velcro   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Follower’s Folly   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 180'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Reqiuem   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Taboo   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Behind the Scenes
Lower Bolt Route   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Spike the Punch   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Rupert The Bear   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Arched Demon   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   VD (Very Direct) Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in South Area

Featured Route For South Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff Constine re-bolting No Philosophy. Start on t...

No Philosophy 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  California : High Desert : ... : Purgatory Wall
P1. Slabby and a tad gravelly and there's a 5.10c traverse left about halfway with a nasty runout.P2. Head up then traverse to get above the overhanging wall to the right. The second pitch is about 5.8 and is totally classic involving exposed steep face climbing on those ubiquitous knobs. This pitch more than makes up for the nervy and less than perfect first pitch....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of South Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Punchbowl Creek in late afternoon.
Punchbowl Creek in late afternoon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers above the cave on VD wall.
Climbers above the cave on VD wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the trailhead for the South area.
BETA PHOTO: This is the trailhead for the South area.
Rock Climbing Photo: The climbing slabs of the South area.
The climbing slabs of the South area.

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