Trip Report
California Central Coast Pictorial: Part 1 Big Sur
Tuesday December 22, 2009 7:23pm
California Central Coast Pictorial: Part 1 Big Sur

Disclaimer: I realize this isn’t a “Trip Report”, but maybe you’ll stop by on one of your trips and post one! Plus I like learning about little local obscure areas so I figured I’d share some of ours.

Since most people blow through California’s Central Coast, traveling either to the L.A. or S.F. areas, they miss a lot of good climbing. The best is found above S.B. (Gibraltar area) and in the morros of San Luis Obispo (Bishop Peak etc.), and is well known to most climbers. Steve Edward’s “ Rock Climbing SB and Ventura” and my “California Central Coast Climbs : San Luis Obispo” are the current guidebooks for this stretch of coast if you are heading through. But there are a few gems that most people have never visited and they offer a lot of adventure and almost zero crowds. Maybe you’ll hit one on your holiday travels. If you do, post up! So here we go…

Slate's Spire along the Big Sur coast.
Slate's Spire along the Big Sur coast.
Credit: Slater
Slate’s Spire is one of these areas and is found off Hwy. 1 near Gorda.

Credit: Slater
Tom Slater doing another lap after the FA in 1995.

Thau and Slater on the summit.
Thau and Slater on the summit.
Credit: Slater
This 50’ spire is found just off the boulder strewn coast of Big Sur. The Regular Route is only 5.5 with 2 SS bolts to a newly replaced SS anchor.

Credit: Slater
This is the original summit register. I think there were like 10 ascents in as many years.

Credit: Slater
This is the new summit register. Pretty cool eh?

Credit: Slater
Mike Morley heading up barefoot with the new register. Photo Jody Langford.

Credit: Slater
Keeping dry is pretty much impossible. Brandon Thau heading up. Photo Jody Langford.

Credit: Slater
Slater on the 5.7 arete, Poseidon Adventure.

Credit: Slater
The top down view. Photo by Jody Langford.

Not too many sea stacks in California that are accessible, so it's a pretty unique summit.

Happy Holidays - Tom




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Slater
About the Author
Slater is a trad climber from Central Coast and co-author of "California Road Trip - Climber's Guide to Northern California"

Comments
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Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Dec 23, 2009 - 08:30am PT
What mile marker on Hwy 1?
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Author's Reply  Dec 23, 2009 - 12:17pm PT
I kinda just know where it is but if I remember correctly it is about 7 miles north of the SLO/Monterey county line. Are you gonna do it?! There is a dirt road approach down to a cobblestone beach. You have to pull over and look for the spire, you can't see it from the HWY. Kinda tricky to find for a 50' sea stack!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Dec 25, 2009 - 12:31am PT
oh, kewl. didn't know access was kosher. I'd love to do this. I'm sure it is tide dependant though.

Clarke Brogger

Mountain climber
Laguna Beach, Ca
  Dec 30, 2009 - 10:32am PT
hows the rock quality?
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Author's Reply  May 7, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
Rock Quality?
Hmmm...

go do it and you tell me.

I think the spire shrunk since the FA ;)
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Author's Reply  Mar 6, 2014 - 09:45pm PT
Hard to believe it'll be 20 years since the first ascent.
Anyone do it lately?
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
  Mar 6, 2014 - 09:50pm PT
That is way cool. Love that stretch of remoteness. Thanks!

Eric
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