beginner sport crags


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Topic Author's Original Post - May 10, 2014 - 02:38am PT
Hello everyone.
I am in the process of planning a family holiday wherever amongst all the usual eating, sightseeing and kids activities, I would like to squeeze in a weeks climbing. Ideally I am looking for a sport crag with easier grades and not to spaced bolts. I like steep and positive and my wife likes safe and child friendly (easy walk ins, lower offs, easier routes for the 7 year old)
Does such a place exist? Can anyone recommended a great crag. Ideally we are looking at something on the west coast of the usa, or anywhere in france, but would happily take suggestions

Boulder climber
May 10, 2014 - 02:54am PT
Owens river gorge - Bishop CA

May 10, 2014 - 02:54am PT
Red rocks

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
May 10, 2014 - 02:57am PT
Clarks over Gorge for kid friendly

Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2014 - 04:01am PT
Hi guys, thanks for the suggestions, owens river gorge and red rocks were both on my shortlist list, is it clarkes canyon that you meant. Just googled it and it looks good, thanks for the suggestion.

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
May 10, 2014 - 04:26am PT
Castle Rock State Park, Idaho
near City of Rocks National Monument

Kevin Pogue routes

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 10, 2014 - 08:16am PT
Rumny NH has a huge collection of easy well bolted routes. Even a multi pitch 5.3

Social climber
May 10, 2014 - 10:45am PT
What Labrat said: Go climb my routes at Castle Rocks and the City. That's why they're there - for the masses. Enjoy!! Also check out Spring Mountain in NE Oregon with over 50 "Pogue routes", and French coulee Washington with about 35. BTW For every grumbling curmudgeon elitist "overbolted gumby route" comment I've received over the years, I've received about 100 that were very appreciative. I always thought it was ridiculous that vertical to overhanging 5.12s with bolts 6-8 ft. apart (where a falling climber would encounter nothing but air) are almost never described as "overbolted", whereas that term is inevitably applied to a 5.8 slab with similar bolt spacings, where a falling climber would potentially experience the dreaded "cheese-grater effect". IMHO, beginning and intermediate climbers pushing their limits deserve climbs that are just as safe as those of the elite.

Social climber
May 10, 2014 - 10:52am PT
Just saw that you were also looking as far afield as France... You should check out Kalymnos in Greece. Thousands of routes on spectacular limestone bolted the same (safely) regardless of grade, plenty of easy routes, great beaches for the kids, great food, relatively cheap accommodations. In the warmer months you can climb comfortably in the shade throughout the morning - then hit the beach in the afternoon. It's basically paradise.

Trad climber
May 10, 2014 - 11:00am PT
I wouldn't recommend Owens River Gorge, just because of the occasional rock fall hazards (thinking mostly of your 7 year old). I've nearly been pelted there myself, so just throw that into the hopper as something to consider.

Isn't there a sport climbing place around St. George, Utah that's supposed to be super sewn up, labelled, kid friendly? I haven't heard of it for years, but it was some highly developed sport climbing playground, if I recall.

Wherever you end up going, have fun!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 10, 2014 - 11:48am PT
I'll second the City of Rocks....many moderates and Pogue's routes are tightly bolted. The camping is super nice and it's certainly a children's friendly place. You aren't far from the Tetons and Yellowstone for other vacation activities.

Trad climber
Bay Area
May 10, 2014 - 12:23pm PT
Gianelli Edges and the Roches above Pinecrest Lake.
Hwy 108 above Sonora, California
Excellent toprope climbs for all ages and all difficulties.
Every climb I know can be top roped. Many are moderate leads, some are bolted.
My wife and son have had great times climbing there.
Dog friendly, if that matters.
Away from the maddening crowds. Midweek you'll likely be alone
Good "civilized" family camping/swimming/fishing/rowboat rental at Pinecrest Lake
Even free outdoor kids movie nights.
The Roches are a bit difficult to find.
Most climbs you have to build your own anchors. Take medium sized cams and/or nuts.
You'll want 2 ropes to toprope many of the climbs.
45 minute drive on somewhat rough roads from the campgrounds.

mtnyoung here wrote the guidebook.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 10, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Once again, it's hard to beat Tahoe. Great for the family with lakes, rivers, beaches and trails. 90 foot wall is TR heaven in a fantastic location. The kids can hike the 1.5 miles to Eagle Lake and swim to the island.
Luther Rocks has easy sport routes. Donner Summit has fun beginner climbing. Meeks Bay campground and Donner Memorial State Park have campgrounds with beaches. There is some history and museums.
It's not exactly Clark's Canyon or France for family-style bolt clipping but it is definitely fun for the whole family. The Sierra Eastside isn't exactly happy kid and mom land. It's great for dirty climbers and such but there isn't a ton of kid and family activities.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 10, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
Smith Rock, Oregon.

Some of the best sport climbing in the US. Good, generally flat bases with well-maintained trails. Relatively short approaches without much elevation change. No people walking around the top of the crag kicking things down on you, and the routes get climbed a lot so there is not much loose rock. Lots of routes, at all ratings.

The routes are generally near-vertical with pockets, edges, and pebbles. It's more footwork/technical and endurance oriented than overhanging crags where bouldering type power is the game.

Aside from that, it's a beautiful area with reliably dry weather. Gets very hot in summer. Camp sites close to the climbing within the park, and free primitive sites a little drive away.

For a destination area, that's where I'd go. Sport climbing in California is not destination worthy, it works for people who live nearby, but there isn't any that I'd travel long distances specifically to go to.

Red Rock, NV is a good choice as well.

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
May 10, 2014 - 02:44pm PT
albama hills is THE best for what you are looken for! unlimited 5.8s and easier with bolts closer then bajesus, and you can almost belay out of your car...

did I mention it has one of the best views of the whole Sierra! stareing at mount whitney and many others!

great town for food and such minutes away, lone pine that is

camping is free and you can camp anywhere!

have fun!

PS, bishops peak in San Luis Obispo is also fun if you make it to the central coast...

Gym climber
May 10, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
What time of year?
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
May 10, 2014 - 03:12pm PT
Mooser I think is referring to Crawdad Canyon, maybe 30 miles north of St George. Lori and i spent a very pleasant afternoon there. This is a commercial facility. We looked all over to find someone to pay the modest fee to, gave up and started climbing. The rock is basalt, there are brass plaques at the base of the routes with the name and difficulty. Also, there is a restaurant and pool and all year stream.

Trad climber
May 10, 2014 - 03:45pm PT
City of Rocks is SUPER kid friendly. Lots of craggin' with flat open base areas. Lots of room to roam around and explore. If you goto Castle Rock(the newer area)there are loads of easy, heavily bolted moderates. The original area will require some traditional rock skills at some point. The camping can be busy on the weekends. Reservations are advised. Sorry if I'm repeating another CoR thread...didn't read through all comments

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 10, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
For the record I love Kevin Pogue routes.
Thank you.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 10, 2014 - 04:53pm PT
Not dissing Kevin's routes in the least...I like them too. The gentleman was requesting well bolted climbs.
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