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The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug

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The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,500'
Location: 40.48231, -121.51001 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,346
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Rick Shull, Lurker, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Muscrat on Jun 10, 2015
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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On the south-eastern aspect of Lassen Peak, this is an area of great climbs, from 5.7 to 5.12+, sport, trad and mixed. The long approach and descent, committing climbing, and beautiful exposure make for a full day. Seldom will you see anyone else here.
The Park frequently changes rules about approaching and climbing on the Belly Button; it is best to call and ask. Snowfields can be difficult to cross much of the year, depending on snow fall.
Much of the early development of the area was done by talented, bold climbers, hence some of the routes and descents are challenging for the grades. Admoniti Estis!
The area has been divided into 2 sub areas. The Bellybutton can be very confusing, routes crossing, taking off from other routes, etc. Bolted lines can be confused for other lines, it can be easy to get off route onto something other than what you intended to climb.
Also, because of it's location, photographs are difficult to take. The best way to scope out lines, the best source of photo's, is Paul Bernard's book "ROCK CLIMBS OF NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA". Much of the info for this particular area is from his great book. If you plan on spending any amount of time at the Bellybutton, the book is a must have.

Getting There 

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT CLIMBERS USE THE FOLLOWING APPROACH AS REQUIRED BY THE PARK SERVICE. From the Lassen Peak parking lot follow the peak trail approximately 1.1 miles to a right switchback where you will see a sign titled "Piercing the Rubble". From here leave the trail in a westerly direction (towards the base of the crag). Stay low and in the boulder-field (or snow if there). It makes for some difficult walking at times, but is of much lower impact on the flora and fauna.
The approach can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes.. Trekking poles are awesome. The descent can take as long. Remember headlamps!

Climbing Season

For the Northeast California area.

Weather station 4.6 miles from here

43 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',18],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug:
The Regular Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 300'   Left of the Regular Route
Tangerine Dream   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 265'   Left of the Regular Route
The Trophy   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, Alpine, 150'   Left of the Regular Route
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug

Featured Route For The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug
Rock Climbing Photo: P4

Tangerine Dream 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : Northeast California : ... : Left of the Regular Route
Might be the best moderate on the Belly. Great pro, perfect cracks from fingers to off-fist and big exposure make this a classic line. P1) 65' Look for a large detached blocky flake sitting 15' from the ground on a sloping ledge. Climb the left facing corner passing above the flake, to a right traverse under a knobby bulge, up a short crack to a very large comfortable ledge where you will find anchors on the far left.P2) 60' Wonderful pitch gets right to it. Leave the ledge on the far left which...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on The Belly Button aka Vulcans Eye aka The Plug Add Comment
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By splitclimber
Jun 12, 2015
such a cool crag. I never had the desire to go with the old topos. The new guide makes you stoked to go.

The last bit of the hike up to the crag needs carins as there are several ways to get there, some with more impact than others. We tried our best to stay off the loose stuff. With more traffic this last section could develop erosion issues.

Great featured rock, mostly solid, but don't let your guard down.

Thanks for adding all these north state climbs, Muscrat.
By Henry Kroeker
From: Greenville
Jan 5, 2016
The Plug is really awesome! The approach beta is good, however; it took going there to really "get it". The cut left (facing the summit) off the main summit trail at "Piercing the Rubble" puts you a little bit above the natural scree "shelf" and we were swimming in the loose stuff all the way across. I agree that with increased traffic there could be issues, but if you step carefully and don't leave trash there it's a rad place to go. We did "Clast Von Bulow" (from Paul Bernard's book), super fun, amazing view, I didn't bring gear for the runout - little sketch but doable. Left doing only one climb but had time to go to the summit and back- an nice plus.

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