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The Falls 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 110'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a R [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,222
Submitted By: Paul Rezucha on Sep 18, 2004

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"The Falls". Photo by Blitzo.

Trails are closed from sunset to 6:00 am. MORE INFO >>>


The Falls starts 100' down directly below the observation deck on the stream bed beside two large fallen logs. This climb is actually on the left side of the waterfall and can easily be reached by walking down from the right side of the water falls climbs. The crux starts right off the ground and continues right to the first bolt 15' up. Pretty bold lead unless you are a solid 5.11 climber! The remainer of the climb eases off to 5.6 - 5.8 and meanders a bit from bolt to bolt to the top. The spacing off the bolts is quite far apart and makes for a pretty intimidating lead. Don't lose concentration until you are actually standing up on top holding onto the observation deck support bars as the last few moves are quite hard and you are about 10' above the last bolt!


6 bolts to observation deck support anchors. The first bolt is 15' off the ground with the crux about 8-10' up. The landing is not great. One could stick clip the first bolt, climb to it from the right using second bolt as protection to get to it, or clip as you rappel down. The remainder of the climb is fairly continuous 5.6 - 5.8 on runout terrain! Trad gear poor.

Photos of The Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber top-roping the falls.
Climber top-roping the falls.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the Falls
Climbing the Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: The falls from the right side
The falls from the right side
Rock Climbing Photo: The Falls!
The Falls!
Rock Climbing Photo: Compare this (Feb 2012) photo to the earlier ones ...
BETA PHOTO: Compare this (Feb 2012) photo to the earlier ones ...
Rock Climbing Photo: rappeling the falls
rappeling the falls
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelli marching up the wall with "textbook&quo...
Kelli marching up the wall with "textbook&quo...
Rock Climbing Photo: This pic shows the proximity of the Kings Creek Fa...
This pic shows the proximity of the Kings Creek Fa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sallie 1/3 up the slabby 5.8 section.
Sallie 1/3 up the slabby 5.8 section.

Comments on The Falls Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 5, 2017
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Sep 19, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This climb is rated 10a in Tresa Black's Rock Climbing the San Francisco Bay Area guide book. This climb is much harder than 5.10a.I've been told hard 5.10 or easy 11 and I would have to agree with this. There are no indications of broken holds. With the first bolt 15' off the ground, this makes for a scary V3 or V4 boulder problem. Only one fairly hard move after the first bolt then the route eases off in difficulty all the way to the top. All in all a bold lead even on the easier ground.
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Jul 25, 2005
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

I see on the BayAreaClimbers website that this route is 5.8 by traversing in from the right side. It also shows many bolts all the way up to the top. This is not the case as the last two bolts are very far apart and the runout to the top is quite long too! Unless you feel very comfortable with long runouts on thin face smearing this is not a good climb to lead if you are climbing in the 5.8 or 5.9 range. It is a pretty intimidating lead! Any comments on the difficulty of the direct start? It certainly seems much harder than 10a!
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 16, 2005

I have just climbed this route last weekend and I totally agree with Paul's comments regarding the hard start. There is absolutely no way this is a 10a (and no I'm not just a gym rat ;) ).The first three moves probably make for a V3-V4 boulder problem. Getting off the ground is already pretty tough, but then you have to basically dyno (with no good feet) to a small edge that is quite a longreach (unless you have a +10inch ape index), beforeyou can finally get a good rest on the next hold.

The climb does ease off afterwards but the holds towards the last 10-20 feet or so are pretty thin which certainly makes it harder than 5.8 (even by Castle Rock slab standards). So even if you skip the hard start and traverse from the right side, don't expect a 5.8 lead. I'd say 5.10a if you skip the bottom start and solid 5.11 if you start from the bottom.
By Blitzo
Sep 12, 2006

Nice and long!
By TBlom
Dec 24, 2007

When I did this route (maybe 1996?) The last bolt wasn't installed, it was more like a 25 ft. runout to the top. I tried to go straight up some thin crimps and blew the mantle topout, took a nice 50+ footer onto what was then the last bolt. I think it was a bit easier to do a move left to finish (just keep your balance!).

Otherwise, I remember the start being "sporty" but not that hard to boulder out. It's been a bit, but we felt it was 10a (just feels scary without clipping first). Maybe the route changed?
By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Jan 5, 2008

On Sandstone? You're lucky to be telling the story. Good job Bruce (et al!)
By David A
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sep 6, 2009

Clipped the first bolt on rappel, good thing to, because I couldn't get up the first section without falling a couple times. It was cold and the creek was flowing heavily, so spray from the falls moistened the route. Very scary leading the upper slab, but I pulled through! Might want to try on toprope first, then go for the lead.
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Oct 2, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Yeah, the start seemed tough for the grade, and likely gets exponentially tougher if you are shorter. At my (average) height, a committing deadpoint solved the crux. I'm not so sure it's in the V3-V4 range, more like V2 at most. The rest of the route is easier but always hard enough to make the 20 foot runouts really spooky! A calm 5.10 leader shouldn't have too much difficulty with the upper section.

R-rated lead if you don't stick clip, probably more like PG-13 if you use one.
By kevin deweese
From: Oakland, Ca
Sep 21, 2010

Climbed this yesterday.
1. First bolt on the traverse in from the right has the bolt coming 1-2 inches out of the rock and has been bent down by the bolter (I assume) I do not know how (if any) to access the amount of bolt fixed and set beneath the surface.
2. Second bolt is a rusting button head with a smc hangar. The stone around the base of the bolt is wearing away and the bolt is not that secure in the hole (moving a bit)
3. Third bolt seems fine
4. Fourth bolt needs to have the nut tightened as it was loose and I had to finger tighten it but did not have the tools to tighten it any more.
5. Fifth bolt seem fine.
6. I seem to remember a 6th bolt back in 2007 when i last climbed this but could not find a bolt hole to confirm this. I def do not remember it being as runout as it currently is.
7. The runout between the 4th 5th bolt (as well as topout) are incredibly runout as well as have a a nasty swing (for second as well.) A fall at the final bolt could yield a landing on the bulges and ledges below.

Does anyone know the rebolting regulations for Castle Rock park?
By Port
Aug 7, 2011

I would rate the direct start at 5.11c. It feels v3 to me and harder than many other 5.11b routes.
By millz
From: Canon CIty!
Dec 13, 2011

yeah my buddy and I toproped the falls a few weeks ago and used a damn stick to get past that first head scratcher section. it was cool setting up the anchor off the lookout post and rappelling down
By presto
From: Prescott, AZ
Mar 15, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Definitely not any harder start then 10a, the first bolt is not as far off the deck as people are implying, and while the moves may be scary, they are definitely not even v2. Either that or groom creek (az) has jaded my impressions.

I saw the stick someone used to skip the first few moves. We removed it. Just have your belayer spot you. Definitely not R rated, pg13 at the most.

Runouts on the slab are negligible due to secure and easy 5.8 slab work, and none of the falls come close to ground falls.

I would recommend a tricam in a pocket between the finial two bolts if you are concerned. With trad draws on the first few bolts of the slab section, and a 10ft extension of my anchor from the platform, a 60m rope can reach the bottom with a few feet to spare. There is a rusty hanger, but it is a reasonable distance between solid bolts.
By Bcervi
Nov 5, 2012

Would have to agree with presto, keep your head straight and your fine.
By BrianWS
May 20, 2013
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13

Nice route. The start is tough for 10-, but certainly not v4. The runouts are all on easy terrain, although some friable rock requires attentive climbing.
By Aleksei Potov
Sep 1, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R

Okay, I just came from waterfalls, and it's definitely not 10a start - 15 years ago maybe it was. First few moves felt at least V2 - so I would put 11a for direct start. After you get to the slopey shelf, it easies off to maybe 10a until first bolt, then it's steady 5.8-5.9 slab to the top.
By Miguel Madero
Oct 21, 2013

I just did it yesterday. The start didn't feel like a 5.10a to me, but I'm really bad at judging grades. I wouldn't say it was a v4 start, but not having a crash pad or a nice landing spot made for an interesting mental game.
The rest is easier, but delicate in sections. There were more than a few delicate moves were I felt I had to be really careful, combine that with the runouts and it certainly makes it feel harder than a 5.10a. IMO it's just mental, but there're not really hard moves.
Tri-cams would've helped.
Also the end was interesting. I went straight up from the last bolt. I think it was easier on the left. I'm just happy I didn't blew the mantle as Tevis Bloom. That would've been a long fall I didn't feel like taking.

Overall a fun experience.
By JJ Foley
From: San Francisco, California
Sep 8, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Lead this yesterday

Bottom section is hard and bouldery mid 5.10 moves with bad feet.

The top is easy slab with crappy feet but low angle. But it is very mental. I ended up backing off the first time at the top run out, coming down and grabbing a purple .5 camalot which i placed in the first out of the two "holes". Placed it as a stopper set back in a constriction and it was bomber as far as i could tell. It was more mental protection i think.

With the cam it felt safe.

Falling just below the last bolt woud have been a solid 35-40ft fall.

Felt good to move through without falling but wouldnt say that the climbing is amazing, more just satisfying to finish.
By Tracey Pomeroy
From: Brisbane, CA
Jul 19, 2015

The route can be top roped from the observation tower. You can lower to the final ledge with a 60 meter rope, and climbing from here is a 5.8. To get to the ground, you need a 70 meter rope.
By rafael
From: Berkeley, CA
Dec 5, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

the direct start is certainly harder than 5.10a... At least 5.10d... prob 5.11a for a shorter person. How is this a 5.10a, its way way way way harder than degeneration, also rated somewhat bizarrely a 5.10a, and they are like 100 feet apart. WTF
By thewildtrev
Jan 8, 2016

I love this climb. Actually I love the whole waterfall cliff- both left and right, but that's besides the point of this comment. "The Falls" is probably, if not, is, the tallest climb at CRSP--and is also a great one! I know retrobolting is taboo in the rock climbing community, but I would like to know who put up this route in an attempt to talk/collaborate on adding a few extra bolts to get rid of the "R" suffix in its rating. I am pro-natural protection when ever applicable but this route does not seem to offer it. Thoughts?


By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Mar 28, 2016

I TR-soloed this a few yrs ago (2013) and agree with the 5.8 / 5.8+ if taking the start from the right, per the Morris Guidebook. I suspect the "direct start" is harder than 5.10a, since I couldn't / wouldn't do it.

If leading it, protection would be / is sparse. The route and moves are really beautiful.

More...I was back just a few days ago (13th of Apr 2016, and apparently after the commen below was posted) and again TR-soloed it. Noted that some of the bolts are pretty "manky", and I got off-route one place somewhere near the middle ( I went too far right).

But, apparently it had just rained hard in the past week or so, and while the rock was dry (no spray except for the very bottom) EVERY hold was sandy. Virtually every in-cut had to be brushed, as well as most of the foot smears. Glad I had a small brush along.
By Danil Kolesnikov
Apr 3, 2016
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

Climbed just today. This is by no means a 5.10a. My grade is 5.11a/b. 5.10d at least. I had on sighted Putrefaction 5.11a as well today. There is a big difference in these two routes. The Falls is a harder climb than Putrefaction 5.11a.
The Falls is again by no means a 5.10a. The rating must be changed! It confuses beginner climbers. Climb safe!
By Mike Ferrell
From: San Francisco, CA
May 15, 2017
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R

Here's the protection beta I wish I had before I climbed this since all of these comments are a bit old:

Climbed it this weekend and it was 8 bolts- looked like 2 had been added on the lower half to protect rusted bolts (which are still there).

Absolutely stick clip the first clip- the crux is below the first bolt and there is no safe landing if you come off. There is a giant tree limb down there you can use since the first bolt is ~20 feet up.

The first section is .10d/.11a but it's well protected if you stick clip. The second half is 2 bolts and extremely runout, but max 5.8 climbing. If you can maintain your head, this is an amazing climb and you shouldn't skip it just because of the low crux.

Bring a few slings to extend your draws on the two bolts before/at the lip- they will add a ton of rope drag if you don't considering how much the upper half wanders.

My 70m rope had some length left when lowering, but a 60m might be too short!
By Evan Liu
Jul 5, 2017

Careful sticking your fingers in those monos up top. There was one not too happy yellow jacket living in one that attacked us.

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