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naitch


Dec 23, 2005, 3:40 PM
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San Diego Climbing
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We're going to be near SD (Leucadia) for a week between Xmas and New Years and am thinking of bringing the climbing gear. I'm not sure I want to drag all the trad stuff but maybe sport or top-roping stuff (unless it's really worth lugging the trad stuff). I had wanted to go out to Joshua Tree but with all the family activities going on and it taking at least 4 hours of driving round trip, it doesn't seem worth it.

Now my question: What is the best climbing area that is close to Leucadia for ease of access, 5.5s to 5.10s, easy route finding, etc.? I have people along that only climb once or twice a year. And, what guide book would best suit. I hate to buy a book just for the one or two days of climbing but with the SDCC online guide being taken off-line I really don't have a choice (or do I?)


trenchdigger


Dec 23, 2005, 4:35 PM
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El Cajon Mtn has the best climbing, but is definitely an all-day affair. It'll be a 45min drive from Leucadia, then a 1.5hr hike (a little quicker if you're in good shape) to the base of the crag. Much of the climbing there is sport bolted, though there are some fun gear routes there too. For your first trip, just bring a bunch of draws and you'll have a blast.

Mission Gorge is a bit closer and has a much easier approach. Figure on a 30-40min drive and a 15min hike. Routes are single-pitch. Sport, trad, and mixed lines. Bring some gear. A light rack will suffice. A set of nuts and 6 or 8 cams (or a set of hexes if you want to go light) will get you up most routes there. See other threads for route recommendations.

Woodson is fun, but is tough for an out-of-towner because you reall have to know the area to get much out of it. If you can hook up with a local, woodson is a great option. The drive to Woodson should be about 45min also, and the hike depends on how far you want to venture from the parking area. The first good boulders are within 5 minutes of the car, and others are a solid hike over the hill. Bring a toprope (a short 100' rope is sufficient) and a light rack (1/2 set of nuts and 4-6 mid cams, as well as some webbing to sling/extend anchors).

As for guides, you may be able to find someone here that can send you a copy of the SDCC guides for Mission Gorge or El Cajon Mtn. For Woodson, you'll need to get a copy of the San Diego County Climbing Guide. That guide also has info on Mission Gorge.

Edited to shorten the drive time to El Cajon...


grimfandango


Dec 23, 2005, 4:37 PM
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get the san diego county climbing guide...

you can get it at rei or sports chalet.

also.. i would reccoment mission gorge there are climbs for all levels out there and the approach is manageable compared to el cajon mtn.


i might go out there this weekend if you are in town

-L



pm me


grimfandango


Dec 23, 2005, 4:38 PM
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actually i might have the sdcc guide on pdf in my mac somewhere...

ill search for it.

-L


lofstromc


Dec 23, 2005, 5:25 PM
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I would avoid Mission Gorge, in my opinion it sucks.
El Cajon is great, so is Woodson.
Santee has some good bouldering on slabs, slopers and crimps.
La Jolla cove and the outlying areas have some limited but very scenic bouldering.
If you can't find the SD county climbing guide, the Southern California bouldering guide lists Woodson and Santee too.


chanceboarder


Dec 23, 2005, 5:29 PM
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...It'll be a 405min drive from Leucadia...
wow...thats pretty damn far to go for a day trip :wink:


trenchdigger


Dec 23, 2005, 5:33 PM
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In reply to:
...It'll be a 405min drive from Leucadia...
wow...thats pretty damn far to go for a day trip :wink:

Haha... um ya... that's with lots of traffic though... yah. On every other day, I'd say about 45 minutes... maybe a little more. :D


naitch


Dec 23, 2005, 5:53 PM
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Hey, why do you say it sucks? I'd like to have some specifics so as to help make a decsion. I see you're also a Virginia climber now. Since I'm mainly use to Virginia and West Virginia rock (Seneca & Franklin), I'd be interested to know how it compares.


trenchdigger


Dec 23, 2005, 6:03 PM
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Hey, why do you say it sucks? I'd like to have some specifics so as to help make a decsion. I see you're also a Virginia climber now. Since I'm mainly use to Virginia and West Virginia rock (Seneca & Franklin), I'd be interested to know how it compares.

MG has a lot of really slick granite. That's probably the primary reason people hate the place. The dust on the ground is really fine and just nasty stuff. Make sure you have a rope bag or tarp if you go there or your rope will be filthy. Most MG routes are not very long, and many are not especially interesting. There are definitely some good ones mixed in though. No "classics" but fun nonetheless...

You can't compare Mission Gorge, Woodson, and El Cajon Mtn. They all offer very different climbing. As someone mentioned, Santee Boulders is always another option. Some people hate that place with a passion too. Personally, I climb at all of them and appreciate each for what it offers best.


lofstromc


Dec 23, 2005, 6:13 PM
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Let me retract that statement about Mission Gorge sucking, to, I think it sucks, but other people like it. When I lived in SD I went to Mission Gorge a few times and these are the impressions I got.
1. Slippery water polished rock. Believe me, I enjoy slab climbing, but the stuff i was on had no friction.
2. Why waste your time there, when Woodson and Santee are just as close.

I can't think of any comparisons between Mission Gorge and Seneca and Franklin. Different rock type and atmosphere. If your familiar with Carderock, MD that might be the closest comparison to Mission Gorge.

The choice is yours, but if you do go to Mission Gorge, keep in mind that Santee is up the road from there in case you want to bail.
I'd say, go to Woodson and look for climbers to help you locate some of the gems, but be ready to wonder throught the brush if you can't find any beta.

When you get back to VA and if you need climbing partners, give me a PM or email.


esoteric1


Dec 23, 2005, 6:14 PM
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im thinkin mission gorge will be your best bet. I personaly dont climb there much but for san diego, its the easiest place to go clip bolts for the day.
If you dont take to the slick granite, follow the crag lateraly to the right if your looking at it, and it tends to get a little less slick, if not, get there before the sun hits it and your rubber will stick a tic more. easy to set up topropes there and a couple of fun cracks...
mark


hosebeats


Dec 23, 2005, 6:48 PM
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In reply to:
Let me retract that statement about Mission Gorge sucking, to, I think it sucks, but other people like it. When I lived in SD I went to Mission Gorge a few times and these are the impressions I got.
1. Slippery water polished rock. Believe me, I enjoy slab climbing, but the stuff i was on had no friction.
2. Why waste your time there, when Woodson and Santee are just as close.

Yeah, Mission Gorge is a waste of time. Just go to Woodson and do Robbins Crack, Posion Oak Crack, and a few of the other good topropes on the front side of the mountain. If no one is into hiking too much then Santee is a better bet. There are some decent topropes you can set up. Nothing too long but fun anyway. Or just bring a crashpad and high ball it.


ikellen


Dec 23, 2005, 7:00 PM
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I would reccomend Mission Gorge if you're just looking for easy access climbing. El Cajon Mt. is excellent climbing, but it's a long approach and a long drive from where you'll be. Stay away from any thin slabs at MG - they're pretty much impossible after about 10am. However, there are some good routes if you're just visiting:

The Ramp (5.7 ****) - Excellent, but the good part is short. Also, very hard to get on as it is usually gang roped by guides.

Crack of Dust (5.8 ***) - A hidden gem. Again, short, but it's a good finger crack with good stemming.

Skyline Pinnacle (5.7 ***) - Suprisingly, one of the longer routes at MG, with a great summit and a mix of everything. Follows discontinuous cracks to a summit block that face climbs past 2 or 3 bolts (can't remember).

Mission Control (5.8 ***) - Somewhat stout for the grade, but fun. VERY safely bolted, but a pure sport route and pretty good climbing. Can be combined with the summit block of skyline pinnacle for a longer linkup.

Suzie's Wild Ride (5.9 ***) - Interesting sport route that follows an odd line, but the final 3 bolts of climbings are very good.

And if you climb at the grade:

Escapade (5.11a ****) - I haven't climbed it , but supposedly a classic.

That should get you started. Expect short routes, lots of guides/newbies on the classic moderates, and lots of dust. If you search around though, you can find some hidden gems. Nothing to call home about, but fun stuff that will satisfy for a day.


roseraie


Dec 23, 2005, 7:09 PM
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Now my question: What is the best climbing area that is close to Leucadia for ease of access, 5.5s to 5.10s, easy route finding, etc.? I have people along that only climb once or twice a year. And, what guide book would best suit. I hate to buy a book just for the one or two days of climbing but with the SDCC online guide being taken off-line I really don't have a choice (or do I?)

If you're just spending one day, why not give Dixon Lake a go? Nearly everything is toprope-able, the RC.com Routes DB gives you all the information you need, and to get there from Leucadia you just hop on the 78 to get over to Escondido... closer than MG, MUCH closer than El Cajon Mtn. It's a SHORT walk, and a great spot to take the family for a picnic or something. And usually not nearly as crowded as MG.

Check out the Routes DB info about Dixon Lake... http://www.rockclimbing.com/...tArea.php?AreaID=650


jv


Dec 23, 2005, 7:10 PM
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What is the best climbing area that is close to Leucadia for ease of access, 5.5s to 5.10s, easy route finding, etc.? I have people along that only climb once or twice a year. And, what guide book would best suit.

You asked for the best place to go to top rope or clip bolts on 5.5 to 5.10, with non-climbers in tow, that is not too far from Leucadia. Really, there is only one place: Mission Gorge. And now that SDCC is off line, there's only one guidebook: San Diego County Climbing Guide by Kennedy and Hubbard. If someone will send you a hard copy of the SDCC on-line guide, that's much better.

Santee is slabby boulder problems. Not much fun for beginners. There's a couple of short low angle cracks about ten feet long. Don't bother. Woodson boulders are bigger, but further apart and harder to find, especially with Kennedy's horrible drawings. You'll spend half or more of your time searching and setting up. The easy top ropes are usually occupied.

The Gorge has several 5.8 to 5.10 climbs at and near the main area that can be top roped or led with a rack of draws. There are several easier climbs that can be top roped. It's 40 minutes from Leucadia, and a ten minute hike up from the road. Your car must be out by 5 unless you park outside the gates.

JV

To ikellen's list I would add Knob Job (.8), The Blocks(.5), Hangman's Climb (.10-), The Owl (.7?), Empathy (.10b), Orange Walk (.10a), Double Trouble (.10b), The Tower (.7) and As the Crow Flies (.8). Unless you're solid at the grade, skip Escapade. If you like cracks and don't want to tote the gear, top rope Nutcracker and Gallwas Crack (.9).


naitch


Dec 23, 2005, 7:28 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. Lots to choose from. It's always nice to get insider's opinions and suggestions - especially important from my experience back here on the East Coast and climbing at Seneca Rocks.


welikoa


Dec 23, 2005, 7:28 PM
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you should go to lake dixon. 2o minutes away, 3 minute approach. Fun to tinker around if you dont have much time. Id be happy to show you around to if your interested. Im doing the same thing with my family.


trenchdigger


Dec 23, 2005, 7:37 PM
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To ikellen's list I would add Knob Job (.8), The Blocks(.5), Hangman's Climb (.10-), The Owl (.7?), Empathy (.10b), Orange Walk (.10a), Double Trouble (.10b), The Tower (.7) and As the Crow Flies (.8). Unless you're solid at the grade, skip Escapade. If you like cracks and don't want to tote the gear, top rope Nutcracker and Gallwas Crack (.9).

Just to add it here for others that may be interested, I PM'd a list which also included (among others listed by JV and weilkoa)...

Mariah (5.9) - Butt kicking, but fun toprope.
Hangman's Climb (5.9) - good sport lead.
both at the left end of the Main Wall

and for those new to climbing...
The Stairs (5.4?) - Can do the Ramp from the same anchor... busy area though.
Chimney (5.2) - Good TR for beginners. Far left end of Main Wall
Beautiful (5.4) - Crack TR/Lead. Lunch rock area.


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