Trip Report
"Freezing Man" Northern Nevada Bouldering - Winter 2007
Sunday February 8, 2015 7:01pm
Purgatory Boulders
Purgatory Boulders
Credit: drunkenmaster

"Purgatory" is supposed to be a place between heaven and hell. In the case of the bum-fuk Purgatory Boulders it can often be both ;-/

Purgatory Hills
Purgatory Hills
Credit: drunkenmaster

Every year in the heat of summer the Burning Man festival is held nearby the Purgatory Boulders. In winter you can have your own version, "Freezing Man" when the bouldering is cold and good and you create your own rock climbing art party! The rest of the year it is a desolate and barren wasteland.

Purgatory desert granite
Purgatory desert granite
Credit: drunkenmaster

I'm not sure how many folks on this site are fond of bouldering but I/we make bouldering books here at SuperTopo so I figured I ought to post at least a few bouldering trip reports. This is an oldie but goodie imo. I hope you like it and get inspired to check out some of these under-appreciated spots and have a great time like we did. I will post at least a few more bouldering trip reports for the areas that I cover in my/our ST books coming soon.

On the way to Purgatory for the first time - psyched for new stone!
On the way to Purgatory for the first time - psyched for new stone!
Credit: drunkenmaster

Donner Pass
Donner Pass
Credit: drunkenmaster

"Are we there yet" on the way to Purgatory - Pyramid lake maybe!?
"Are we there yet" on the way to Purgatory - Pyramid lake maybe!?
Credit: drunkenmaster

I just dug up these old photos of this epic trip that seems like yesterday but was almost a decade ago. Scary how time flies. 8 years ago in January, 2007 I met up with some friends from TahOe (Charlie, Bonnie, Annie et al) and the always stoked OregonE Crew (Jesse, Eric + Tom, etc..) for a winter bouldering session in the arid Northern Nevada Desert. There was some hard lowball crankin, a fair share of highballs partaken and a lot of adventure and fun, no mistaken. I'll let these photos speak a thousand words so I don't have to:

Almost high noon at Purgatory. Bout time for a shootout!
Almost high noon at Purgatory. Bout time for a shootout!
Credit: drunkenmaster

Purgatory parking/campsite
Purgatory parking/campsite
Credit: drunkenmaster

Charlie Barrett onsite flashes "Sympathy For The Devil" V4 semi highba...
Charlie Barrett onsite flashes "Sympathy For The Devil" V4 semi highball mega classic at Purgatory NEV
Credit: drunkenmaster

Eric "Sympathy..."
Eric "Sympathy..."
Credit: drunkenmaster

Jesse "Sympathy..."
Jesse "Sympathy..."
Credit: drunkenmaster

Oregon Crew Purgatory
Oregon Crew Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

Annie Purgatory
Annie Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

Annie Purgatory #2
Annie Purgatory #2
Credit: drunkenmaster

Chris mini lunge Purgatory
Chris mini lunge Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

Charlie Barrett "The Clam" V8 Purgatory
Charlie Barrett "The Clam" V8 Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

Charlie Barrett "The Clam"
Charlie Barrett "The Clam"
Credit: drunkenmaster

Bernie(?) "The Clam" V8
Bernie(?) "The Clam" V8
Credit: drunkenmaster

Eric "Fat Daddy" V9
Eric "Fat Daddy" V9
Credit: drunkenmaster

Chuck B "Fat Daddy" V9 Purgatory
Chuck B "Fat Daddy" V9 Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

Bonnie Hedlund "Knuckle Buster" V6 Purgatory
Bonnie Hedlund "Knuckle Buster" V6 Purgatory
Credit: drunkenmaster

stalked by a big kitty :)
stalked by a big kitty :)
Credit: drunkenmaster


Purgatory Boulders Sunset
Purgatory Boulders Sunset
Credit: drunkenmaster

Northern Nevada Desert Twilight
Northern Nevada Desert Twilight
Credit: drunkenmaster

Purgatory hike out
Purgatory hike out
Credit: drunkenmaster

campfire party time!
campfire party time!
Credit: drunkenmaster

until next time..
until next time..
Credit: drunkenmaster


These areas, Purgatory and Pig Rock, are north of Reno and nearby some of the spots covered in our currently out of print Lake Tahoe Bouldering guide - check out the new local/Hatchett bouldering guides for Tahoe: http://www.laketahoebouldering.com/guide/

and check out a free online guide for Purgatory by one of the first ascent pioneers of the area, Tom Herbert here on SuperTopo.com:
http://www.supertopo.com/topos/obscurities/purgatory.pdf

There are also a few hard (5.12-5.13) sport routes at Pig Rock / Little Shop of Horrors and some top roping and bouldering. The Little Shop of Horrors Traverse V5/6 aka Porkys Traverse adjacent to Pig Rock is a long technical vertical face climbing traverse challenge I may have gotten the F.A. on with Tom thinking maybe too. There seems to possibly be some cool hard looking short top rope climbs on Pig Rock proper that may or may not have been done yet.!? Can you say Huecos!? Mountain Project and RockClimbing.com both have info for Pig Rock and the Reno area.

"Porky's Traverse" V5/6 (fa!?)
"Porky's Traverse" V5/6 (fa!?)
Credit: drunkenmaster

Little Shop of Horrors Traverse aka Porky's Traverse V5/6 (fa!?&#4...
Little Shop of Horrors Traverse aka Porky's Traverse V5/6 (fa!?) Pig Rock NEV.
Credit: drunkenmaster

Pig Rock NEV.
Pig Rock NEV.
Credit: drunkenmaster




  Trip Report Views: 2,632
drunkenmaster
About the Author
drunkenmaster is a social climber from santa rosa.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
this just in

climber
Justin Ross from North Fork
  Feb 8, 2015 - 07:12pm PT

I'm not sure how many folks on this site are fond of bouldering
There are plenty here who are very fond of it. Great report and thanks for sharing a place I haven't heard of.
drunkenmaster

Social climber
santa rosa
Author's Reply  Feb 8, 2015 - 07:20pm PT
Thanks! :)
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Feb 8, 2015 - 07:52pm PT
Thank you. At least I appreciate a pointer to good looking rock south of here in a drier climate.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Feb 9, 2015 - 12:21am PT
Gnar
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Feb 9, 2015 - 12:38am PT
...some hard lowball crankin,
a fair share of highballs partaken
and a lot of adventure and fun, no mistaken.

cool t.r.--freezin', even.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 9, 2015 - 04:11am PT
Noice!!!!
jonnyrig

climber
  Feb 9, 2015 - 08:00am PT
Purgatory Peak boulders are here (from GoogleEarth):
4020'30.18" N 11918'22.33" W
There are some known routes in the peaks in the background of the first couple pictures, for those brave souls who like a killer approach.

Pig Rock is here (from GoogleEarth):
3953'36.00" N 11938'37.12" W
There are some very easy routes here in addition to the difficult, overhanging 70ft Little Shop of Horrors. This is also on a semi-popular 4x4 trail, so you could be entertained by them driving by to challenge the rock obstacle just a half mile or so further. Also a popular area with teenagers and target shooters. Lots of other rock in the area for those who wish to get off the beaten path.

Come on out and explore the desert! Bring water.
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Feb 9, 2015 - 08:13am PT
THOSE LOOK LIKE SOME GOOD 5.3D'S HURR HURR HURR


all jokes aside, looks like quality bouldering....Nevadastan provides, thanks for sharing the stoke!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Feb 9, 2015 - 08:42am PT
Looks cool. How sharp is the rock? JT-esque, or more fine grained?
jonnyrig

climber
  Feb 9, 2015 - 10:11am PT
The rock at Purgatory is much higher quality than that at Pig Rock. Never been to J-tree, so no frame of reference from me.
Pig Rock
Pig Rock
Credit: jonnyrig
Pig Rock is volcanic stuff, and though the main outcrop is pretty solid, some of the other stuff varies in quality quite a lot. You just gotta look around. Don't be afraid to explore. There is some bolting that's been going on down the road.
Purgatory is more of a granite, so you can rely on it being pretty solid. Acres and acres of small to huge house-size boulders that have come to rest down there. Some are no doubt tall enough to be roped, but that's just for dorks like me that won't go over six feet high without one. No anchors that I know of; but I haven't really explored out there, other than camping once before I started climbing, and stopping by just to screw around for an hour. Don't have any pictures of it.
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Feb 9, 2015 - 10:24am PT
Nice Chris. Good of you to keep this forum on track and on-topic.

Nevada desert is so hot right now. :)

Killer K

Boulder climber
Sacramento, CA
  Feb 9, 2015 - 11:20am PT
I was just about to check this place out along with Iron Butte this last weekend but the weather held me at bay.... I like the solitude along with an undeveloped feel. Good change up from Bishop.
drunkenmaster

Social climber
santa rosa
Author's Reply  Feb 9, 2015 - 02:02pm PT
Yeh my bend friends like it because its half as far as bishop for a winter spot and never crowded.

its hard for me to remember specifics about the rock for the most part since i was only there 2-3 days 8 yrs ago. i think it can be a bit of both grainy and polished. it is mostly solid with a cool crusty patina. its generally more polished like buttermilks or yosemite granite and a bit less like coarse grained j-tree monzonite type granity. i think.

and thanks for the good beta jonnyrig.

glad you all like it! keeping on the positive track here at st :)


drunkenmaster

Social climber
santa rosa
Author's Reply  Feb 9, 2015 - 02:10pm PT
the rock at Pig Rock is another story. some of it is really cool volcanic stone like Smith Rocks with nice sinker pockets (but a few of the pockets on the harder lines look manufactured) on the Little Shop of Horrors wall and pig looks like it has some pretty good tr's maybe but some of the other nearby rock is crumbly choss. there seems to be a lot of possibilities for new routes/problems out there and always fun 4x4 and desert eXplorin for sure! :)
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go