The Climbers Map to The United States


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Social climber
Feb 18, 2014 - 12:26pm PT
more piece of art with bonus information

Yep, that sounds about right. A work of art first. Any information included does not detract from the artistic vision. Toula's work is the other way round: information driven.

Looking forward to seeing your finished map!

Sorry I missed you last Saturday. So many folks to catch up with, impossible to talk to everyone.

Next time.

Social climber
Prescott, AZ
Feb 18, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Indian Head Mountain and Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, TX. A destination area only because you better be ready to drive for hours/days from anywhere else...

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 18, 2014 - 01:31pm PT
Hey now I've made two great suggestions and haven't heard a response. Is this mike on? Testing, one two three testing...

Trad climber
Rocky Mountain High
Feb 18, 2014 - 01:32pm PT
2 thoughts.

First, about 20 years ago I saw a "Hitchhiker's Guide to Gravity" map, western edition (the only version), covering the western US climbing areas. Haven't seen it since. Anybody know anything about it?

Second, maybe you could find an "objective" measure to include the 'top 100'. Maybe someone with some good engineering / math skills on the Taco (and I know there are lots) could collaborate with MountainProject to do something like take climbing area route data by area, and multiply the # of stars for a route with the route length? In other words, the more climbing there is (10 1-pitch climbs vs 1 10-pitch climb) and the better it is, the more it counts? Someone else could figure out details like how to rebalance scores for e.g. bouldering areas vs multipitch trad areas, maybe by picking the top x% of the areas in each category, or filling in missing data (10' standard height for boulder problems, and 100' standard pitches for climbs, without height data?).

Trad climber
Bend, Or
Feb 18, 2014 - 01:50pm PT
Trout creek was on my maybe list. Do people frequent the area? It has always come across as an "in-the-know" type crag. Is that not the case?

I would say it used to be 100% an in-the-know crag - there didn't use to be any directions on how to get there posted anywhere online or even in the guidebook (although about 10 minutes of looking at google earth was all you needed to find it). Plus the fact that its a fairly burly approach for single-pitch trad cragging, and its pretty stout makes it not appeal to a lot of climbers.

The past maybe 3-4 years its become more well known, however there are some access issues and it is now closed entirely for usually about half the year due to raptor nesting. It is a sweet crag, but I don't know if it would qualify as a "destination".

Trad climber
Bay Area
Feb 18, 2014 - 01:51pm PT
A good list

But how do you define "destination area"?
For some weird reason, I've pondered what that means for some time.
To me it's something like:
1 - climbers from some other part of the country/continent/world have heard of it
2 - An are that an out of area climber is likely to want to visit.
3 - The out of area climber is willing to make a special effort to go and climb there when he's in the neighborhood.

You've got a VERY long list. I've heard of probably 90% of them. There are probably 25% that meet my definition of destination. (No I haven't actually read your entire list
You could put them all together in an online poll (I can't remember the website where you can set up a free poll) with 3 or 4 appropriate checkboxes and publish it on this thread.
Would only take 5 minutes for each of us to fill in the boxes.

Edit: An example. A few years ago at Donner Summit (CA) in June I met a young couple from Germany with a child. They shared our fire and company for the evening. They were very specifically boulderers. No interest in roped climbing on this trip. They had flown to Salt Lake, rented a camper van and driven straight away to Joe's Valley to boulder. Their planned next stop was to be Tuolumne and Yosemite Valley for bouldering. Then to Buttermilks (not "Bishop")Then Red Rocks as last bouldering destination. Followed by a non-bouldering stop at Moab, back to Salt Lake and home to Germany. As I recall their trip was 2 weeks. They hadn't come to Donner to boulder, but to see Lake Tahoe.
Their bouldering "destination" areas were Joe's Valley, Buttermilks, Yosemite, Tuolumne and Red Rocks.
Obviously trad climbers would have a different set of destinations.

Good luck with your project. The result will be interesting.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
Boat Rock? Nah. Substitute Rocktown, which is a much, much better bouldering area with some world class problems, probably 50times as many, and has great single pitch trad climbing on the same mtn top at the Lost Wall area. It (the mtn) is the Pigeon Mtn in PMI, the climbing/caving gear manufacturer.

That said, best climbing in GA is Tallulah Gorge, with multipitch bullet quartzite. Just not many routes there, so Rocktown/Lostwall should get the nod.

Also agree on Joe's Valley vs. Ibex. You could probably do 30 areas a piece in UT/CO/CA.

noriko nakagawa

Trad climber
the bubble, co
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:12pm PT
Contact the admin of (Jon St John). He may share his list of areas.
Phantom Fugitive

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 03:21pm PT
DUDE! this is all SUPER helpful stuff.

Thank you thank you guys!
Really buttoning up the southeast well.

And redefining the other areas too.

Philo, hush now. I went looking for you to chat on fartbook and didnt find you.

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:25pm PT
DMT have you climbed at Suck Creek Canyon? Let's keep Bee Rocks on the hush-hush...;)


Social climber
kennewick, wa
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:53pm PT
Crunch- So many features in Estes, I just opted out with RMNP and Cochise is in there, as well as Paradise Forks, Mt Lemmon. Elephants, good call. Its on the stand by list.

Mojede- of your list would Gallatin be the most "destination" worthy?
As in, worth driving 1000 miles for.

jer, is Cliff Drive worth 1000 miles? lol just pokling at you surely misery needs something. Hows about WA climbing.
Fall Guy

Mountain climber
Feb 18, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
Why does everyone refer to the Teton range as the Grand Tetons? The highest peak in the range is the Grand Teton and it's in Grand Teton National Park but it's the Teton Range.

Trad climber
Feb 18, 2014 - 07:48pm PT
Cool idea, looking forward to seeing the finished product. But you might as well leave out Washington. Nothing good there and it's too wet.


Grey Matter
Feb 18, 2014 - 07:53pm PT
Beyond El Cajon Mtn, it would be accurate to just list San Diego + some Riverside as one of the best general winter overall destinations. But that won't really spiff up your map.
This winter is atypical, but the weather has been perfect almost every day for the last 100.
Not just one crag - it's the sum of many. Woodson, Riverside Quarry, Rubidoux, El Cajon, Eagle Pk, Corte Madera, Mission Gorge, Santee, Culp + lots of other small crags.

Not too far away are High Desert areas like New Jack, Apple Valley, JTree, Punchbowl; or the LA area - Echo, Malibu, Stony Pt, Texas Cyn, which are up to 3 hours from San Diego.
Phantom Fugitive

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 08:38pm PT
Splater and lalamur-
I was at El Cajon a month ago. Its easily the best San Diego has to offer. You are right, its added.

Phantom Fugitive

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 08:54pm PT
golsen- cliff drive isnt worth a 10 mile drive.

Mountain climber
Feb 18, 2014 - 09:07pm PT
Please leave all of the Lake Tahoe locations off the map. That place sucks now and it's overrun by bay area hippy's and some weird polish demographic from Texas that likes cocaine and jib... STEER CLEAR!!!
looks easy from here

Ben Lomond, CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 09:46pm PT
1. is a classic american destination
2. unique by description or location
3. fills a gap so that the locations are well distributed across the country

Pinnacles National Monu...err, Park

1. 80+ years of technical climbing history, including the first bolted climb in the U.S. (general source of some disdain by some climbers, but few of those who have been to this particular location).
2. Google sez...yep, only one.
3. Hey, it's not my fault there's so much awesome climbing here on the Best Coast.

Trad climber
Feb 18, 2014 - 11:12pm PT
Lover's Leap, Needles(CA), The Incredible Hulk (or any number of classic High Sierra). There's plenty more, these are some pretty major ones.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Feb 18, 2014 - 11:36pm PT

Have you checked out Eagle Peak in San Diego?

Way Shorter approach, camping at the trailhead, and easily as good or better climbing than El Cajon.

I think a destination area needs convenient camping, or lodging close by.

I agree with the poster who noted that SD County in general is a worthy climbing destination. You have Woodson on your OP list, and it's killer for what it is, plus it's got history, but the total of SD climbing makes Woodson look minor. Lots of SDs climbing is so new that the climbing masses haven't caught on to what's up

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