So Cal Obscura


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 22, 2005 - 02:01am PT
Way back when, I used to climb at a place called Mt Pacifico. I am sure some will remember the spot. Put up a few runout bolt routes but mostly climbed whatever would accept pro. I remember running into a bunch of rattlesnakes there. Before I had my drivers liscence I had to con friends into driving up there. If they didn't have a 4x4 the trip usualy involved a flat tire or a hole in the oil pan, fixes with a pine branch shoved in the hole.

Another spot that I climbed once was Strawberry Peaks North Face. With a copy of Mendenhalls 1935 topo in hand we did a route called Strawberry Roam. Loose rock, rockfall and ice is all I remember from the climb. We did it on New years Day.

Anyone else have some obscure areas in So Cal they remember from there youth?

Trad climber
Dec 22, 2005 - 12:49pm PT
While I never did routes at Pacifico, I did boulder there a few times. Spectacular views!

I remember in about 1975 we hiked down to this absolute choss pile off Angeles Crest Hwy and looked at a few poorly placed bolts. Turns out to have become a very popular place once 3/8" bolts showed up. Too bad it is going to get closed because of some frog.

Trad climber
Quartz Hill, California
Dec 22, 2005 - 01:57pm PT
Having moved to the Antelope Valley from San Diego many years ago, I know all about So Cal Obscura !! Williamson, Pacifica, and a host of other boulder piles in the San Gabriels. I still climb from time to time at Devil's Punchbowl. It's the freakiest rock I've ever encountered....pebbles loosely afixed to granulated sugar!! What is funny is the area has been well developed in recent years and there are actually some decent routes. Still, I prefer taking the extra two hours and heading for JTree or the Needles. Has anybody ever checked out the large granite boulders in the rolling hills Southeast of Bakersfield ?? I believe it's Tejon Ranch property. Looks really good!

Dec 22, 2005 - 04:18pm PT
just outside the trunnels 2 miles past williamson on hwy 2 has a few loose 5.9 to 5 12 sport routes i've climbed.

Texas canyon (in the socal quide) actually has a fun and long
5.11a not listed in the quide. and other long routes on the opposing boulder

Horse flats is a great bouldering area in the angeles forest.
a couple of hard free routes 2 miles up the trail on an 80ft granite face if you know where to look.

i heard Robbins/Chouinard put up lines at pacifico. i found some ancient hangers last time there.
beautiful setting and clean granite but short routes. worth the 2 mile dirtroad 1/2 mile walk-in if you haven't yet been. IMO


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2005 - 04:25pm PT
My dad took me to Pacifico when I was a kid. He climbed there back in the early 60's He also climbed Williamson back then too. He told me the only thing they climbed back then was the giant chimmney. I have some old prints of my dad rappeling the Waterfall Wall in the 60's.

I know the wall at Horseflats. Counted 8 rattlesnakes at the base of that wall one morning. Freaked me out. Was belaying my partner and looked down at my feet and saw one, then started looking around and they were all over. The sun was warmoing the rocks and they were coming out to sun themselves.

Trad climber
Dec 22, 2005 - 05:04pm PT
There is also Nellis Canyon but we aren't supposed to talk about it. I am not even sure how the access is at this point. It's pretty strange to climb on the rocks imbedded in the rock and not actually to touch the rock itself because it is too soft. Levy would be the one to talk about it though.

Trad climber
So Cal
Dec 22, 2005 - 05:55pm PT
Nellis Cyn. associated with Nellis AFB?

Kevin, thanks for the Strawberry Peak topo & route info - haven't gotten up there yet, but looking forward to an exciting time. Pacifico is a wild place - first time I ever placed gear on lead. There's a dirt road that connects Chilao Flats with Mt Hillyer/Sulfur Springs Road - there are some TR routes on the hillside just below.

Also, is there anything in the upper reaches of Big Tujunga Cyn?

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2005 - 06:13pm PT
Big Tujunga is a interesting place. I have kayaked from Camp Colby down through the Narrows to just above the resivoir several times. I have noticed that the rock down near river level is pretty solid although very polished, routes could go well over 150'. There are probably some good aid lines down in the Narrows but the higher you get the worse the rock gets. Still a fun hike and an even better in a kayak.

Trad climber
Dec 22, 2005 - 06:41pm PT
Not Nellis AFB. It's off Angeles Forest iirc how to get there. You get a 2 second glimpse from the northbound 14.

There is of course some good climbing in the desert too. Most is out towards Lucerne.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Dec 22, 2005 - 06:43pm PT
Pacifico first in '74 for me. It's between Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways.

Arroyo Seco, boulders.
Millard Canyon Aid route est by Lynn Kroll, 1969?

Freeway Cracks at Arcadia/Monrovia border eastbound 210 exit Huntington, take the next three rights to under the freeway, hands to fingers, nasty hard, 12 + but still cake for Brett from the couch.

Various temporary Ice Climbs in the Angelus Forest.
Santa Suzana Pass
From the very old original Vogel bouldering Guidebook there are several areas including the beach, lIttle Corona Del Mar.
Chilao Flats, tr and bouldering, great beginner/1st dayer hang in the summer.
Mt. Rooobidough : ) (sorry no french)
Big Rock- Has anyone repeated "no hope without rope" since Grant Carlson?
20 minutes from woodson there is a 120 ft clean dead verticle to overhanging wall, on private land. sssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!
Bouldering in the "meadows" south of Idyllwild
Kong Boulder
Purple Stones
Malibu Canyon- planet of the apes wall
Point Dume
El Matador
Sespe Creek, a real pile

Dec 22, 2005 - 06:47pm PT
camp colby to the resivour in a kayak?

hats off dude.
how the hell did you make it through monkey canyon and the 30 foot falls shortly thereafter?
shame what the gangs did to the walls up there. spaypaint on trees and rocks, WTF?
used to be a great place to get naked, cliffdive and ponder ones youth.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2005 - 08:19pm PT

I have run everything including the falls at Monkey Canyon. The 30' falls downstream is a little more difficult and I have not worked up the nerve to run that yet. Down in the Narrows below the big bridge is another BIG falls that I portage on the right but I am sure some boater with bigger balls than mine would give it a go. It is a shame about the graffiti. When kayaking on the East and West Fork of the San Gabriel River I have actualy seen bangers spray painting the rocks as we flaoted by. If I had more than a lifevest on for protection I may have said something. Los Angeles Ghetto boating at it's finest.

Trad climber
On that V2 problem at the Happies
Dec 22, 2005 - 08:58pm PT
Robbins did put up routes at Pacifico back in the day.
I did my first aid climb there a few years ago.
that's a fun mtn bike ride from Chilao to Pacifico.
re: snakes at horse flats. yeah, I've seen lots of 'em.
most memorable trip was on the Y crack. after topping out, another dude climbs it doing some jams. next thing you know is he says something is moving in the crack. all of a sudden he whips his hand out of the crack and he's got hold of a rattler,
flings into the nearest tree. pretty awesome.

anybody here climb at Alder Creek? Tobin put some routes there back in the day. That rock is super polished.

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Dec 22, 2005 - 09:11pm PT
When I was Rajmit's age we pushed through the brush up-hill from Big Rock and found an overhanging arching crack with some fresh piton scars, threw a top-rope over and fooled around on it. That same year we did the same thing at Riverside Quarry. Too loose and dangerous for our tastes, plus too much of a trash dump. Now I see there is a guide-book of Riv-Quar for sale. I wonder if it's cleaned up any in the last 23 years. I doubt it.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2005 - 09:43pm PT
Nellis? I think I know the crag. Driving up the 14 toward Acton you get quick glimpse of it off to the right. Looks huge from the 14. Never been there but I am sure my wife is tired of me telling her I need to go check that out someday.

Alder Creek is a tributary of Big T. right? I have boated some of that and noticed some rock down in that drainage when up on Pacifico.

Sespe Creek has some huge stuff way down in the gorge miles from nowhere. If anyone is interested I have some shots of when I rafted it from Lions Camp to Filmore this last spring. There has to be the biggest boulders in California down in there. We spent 4 days making the descent. I can email some shots, dont know how to post pics on this board.

I also did a few solo bolt routes on some crags on Hwy 2 just below Mt Waterman on the ridge to your right as you head up to the hairpins just below Waterman. Not worth the effort to hike to though.
Dapper Dan

The OC
Dec 23, 2005 - 12:07am PT
might not be too obscure since a certain blond flamboyant soloist ws recently filmed there , but it's called tic rock . its near santa monica and it has a few decent routes... the approach is great , rock quality was pretty good . dogs of war.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 23, 2005 - 12:53am PT
I have noticed the NFS is getting lazy with opening the Pacifico Rd. The last few years it has been closed for much of the year. In the summer due to fire danger and then in the winter due to snow. I think it's just easier for them to keep it closed and put up with a few unhappy climbers.
One of my favorite climbs on Pacifico is straight up the main face veering to the left and out a small roof protected by giant chickenheads. Up and to the right of the main face is a shallow dihedral with that takes some small pro and goes over a short overhang near the top. Between those two is a climb that ascends a pillar starting in a chimney then traversing out onto the pillar and climbing on sparse pro to the top.
I gotta get back up there. There are so many fun climbs up there and probably a few more to be discoverd or rediscovered.

Monument Manor
Dec 23, 2005 - 01:48am PT
Lucerne Limestone,Section 6,Margeritiville,DMZ Giant Rock,Guadalupe Reservoir Nor Cal,Conway Summit,Copper Mt.Quarry UCSC.

Social climber
Davis, CA
Dec 23, 2005 - 03:05am PT
Guadalupe! hahahaha!

Site of some of my early toproping antics. Still have fond memories of that little rock. We'd hit it up after the morning sesh at pleasure point or the hook.

Trad climber
So Cal
Dec 23, 2005 - 10:53am PT
The Pacifico Road has a minor wash-out at the east end (near Horse Flats) - consequently, gate is shut at both ends. The Forest Circus has no scheduled repair date.
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