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The Benches

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Bear's Lair, The 
Camo Crag 
Dollar Store, The 
Fast Food Wall 
Fortress, The 
Kudos Cliff 
Lightning Bolt Crag 
Negativity Cave, The 
Negativity Slabs 
Pebble Beach 
Slide Wall 
Steel Monkey Wall 
Sun Bench, The 

The Benches Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 4,500'
Location: 39.32533, -120.6494 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 94,819
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Johnsen on May 23, 2014
This Afternoon

58° | 44°

55° | 38°

52° | 38°

56° | 42°

62° | 45°

68° | 46°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Gabriel on Charlie and the Stick Factory (5.10d) a...

No overnight camping on PG&E property MORE INFO >>>


The Benches section, including Fast Food Wall, Steel Monkey Wall, Dollar Store, Lightening Bolt Crag, Pebble Beach, The Fortress, Bear's Lair, Two Unknown Climbs and Kudos Cliff, are well away from flooding potential. Now back to the Benches areas: There has been a lot of new development in the area since 2008. The approaches are moderate and well marked especially if you use the 6 page guide at the bottom of the main Emeralds page. (Photos) There is a lot of potential for new routes even in the 5.7 to 5.9 range. This area is climbable all year except for winter if it has been snowing or raining and the routes are wet. There is an organized campground at Spaulding Lake or nice dispersed sites on the Bowman Lake road and elsewhere. The Emeralds are divided into two distinct sections as defined in Mike Carville's 1991 Tahoe Guide Book. One section is The Gorge which includes The Wishing Well and the other section is called The Benches.

Getting There 

See the Emeralds Getting There section for driving directions.
For an overview map and walking directions to the climbing areas, with GPS coordinates, see page 1 of the 6 page guide in the "Photos of the Emeralds" Section on the Emeralds Main Page. Just before the Bowman Lake Road crosses the South Yuba River bridge you will find a gated dirt road heading up the river, follow the dirt road upstream on the south (right-hand) bank of the river. Keep on the unmistakable main trail (dirt road) for 750 Yards. Cairns change from time to time, so you may see them next to several minor use trails before reaching the true right hand turn to the Benches. The correct trail to the benches has an actual metal bench on it! Also You will know when to turn right off the road because ahead of you, 200 feet, on the road you will see a multi acre open area with many man made piles of gravel and rocks which the PG&E uses for construction. You can also pace the distances indicated on the 1 page guide. (They are accurate)

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.0 miles from here

85 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',30],['2 Stars',44],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Benches

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Benches:
Cast In Stone   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   The Negativity Cave
Bushmaster   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Dollar Store
Closed for lunch   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 60'   The Dollar Store
Ghost Town   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Right
Little Buddy   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Negativity Slabs
Push to Open   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Dollar Store
Rebirth   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Right
If the Shoe Fits   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Right
420 Club   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Chalkporium
Where's The Beef   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Fast Food Wall
Solar Winds   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 50'   The Fortress
Step into the Light   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Left
Charlee and the Stick Factory   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 70'   The Fortress
Super Size Me   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Fast Food Wall
Sun Burn   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 55'   The Fortress
Shadows on the Earth   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 70'   The Fortress
Duppy Conquer   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Left
In and Out Urge   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Fast Food Wall
Radio Static   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 70'   Steel Monkey Wall
Steel Monkey   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 70'   Steel Monkey Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Benches

Featured Route For The Benches
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Sumner on In n Out Urge .11c/d

In and Out Urge 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  California : Lake Tahoe : ... : Fast Food Wall
This route is the furthest route left on the Upper Fast Food Wall. At the top, follow the bolt line, don't cheat and go right to the Arete. Refer to the guide on the main Emeralds page (Photos)...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on The Benches Add Comment
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By Colby Wangler
May 22, 2017
Fellow Climbers,
Noticed several tents while walking into the emeralds climbing area this last weekend ( 5/20/17 ). PG&E has posted several signs at the gate and other areas that state camping is NOT allowed. Please respect this so that access does not become an issue!

Thanks in advance,

Colby W

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