Trip Report
San Francisco Bay Bridge Pedestrian/Bicycle Path
Sunday September 8, 2013 4:04am
I've been chastised for not posting enough trip reports. Here is my second. To be honest, I took the trip, and then I forgot it. Demand for this TR was prompted by this request: the new San Francisco bay bridge? safe or......

Short answer: NOT. You're gonna die, you think I'm stupid? I was further inspired by some photos posted by our illustrious colleague, Mr. Dingus: Cool Bridges Thread. Cool thread, I love bridges.

I'm not sure if this is a cool bridge. I gather it was expensive. At the moment it is very white. If you like white, now is the time to catch it. I'm more into grey myself, give it a couple of months. I couldn't locate the summit register, perhaps someone else here beat me to it. Dingus was off-route by virtue of mechanical assistance. Most aid climbers will barely see it.

Here is some beta for the approach:

Their site was down for maintenance when I did my reconnaissance. I believe this qualifies my ascent as a redpoint. Furthermore, I reached the peak entirely on bicycle, approach and descent, from front door to high point and back. I chose not to to bring a proper camera, but rather travel stealth. Who wants to look like an another idiot with a camera at Olmsted Point?

Fortunately, I am well-acquainted with the area. I chose the south approach. This region is a little sketch - you may cross bicycle racers advertising stuff on tight short pants. Apart from that, easy second-class: container-sized bricks, big logs and aging talus. Some of it semi-stationary, some of it moving fast. At Maritime & Burma, minivans dump vermin and more bikes. You can drive further, but you can't park. Booty! A good place to score a used mattress. Lots of cops in cars and on bikes. If only I had a donut truck.

It starts off level, the wind hits your face. You go over some sketchy temp bridge and then engage the first and only pitch. An even grade to the top. It's kinda like driving to Tuolumne, people get into the lane in front of you, slow down, you're stuck staring at their ass. Pause at a turnout and pick a pleasant butt. Follow it to the top.
“I have found a dream of beauty at which one might look all one's life and sigh.”
 Isabella L. Bird, Adventures in the Rocky Mountains

The old bridge looks TOTALY SKETCH!!!6666!! Roger Brown, Clint - meet Sisyphus:
photo not found
Missing photo ID#320224
Holy crap, I can't believe I've been riding over that!!! How the hell did it stay standing up? The best part about the new bridge is you can't see underneath. The experience of the bike path is kinda meh, crowded and real noisy next to 24 lanes of traffic. The views are nothing special. Just like I expected.

Obligatory summit shot:
photo not found
Missing photo ID#320225
"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory."
 Ed Viesturs

You could walk the whole thing, I suppose, but that would be kinda boring and it's not steep enough to glissade. The water is shallow and grungy and uninviting underneath. You want something with wheels for a fun descent, a skateboard or soap-box derby car would work. I took Grand Ave. back to camp, gave some bad beta to the next group heading up.

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About the Author
Hey - I don't go to Facelift but I have a cheap little camera I need to get to Lynne L. She's off-grid & roads have been closed since the last time we met. If anyone in the Bay Area plans to meet Lynne at Facelift, could I get it to you, you could get it to her? If you live near BART, I'll bring it over; if not, I'll mail it. No strings attached. Thanks.

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Author's Reply  Sep 8, 2013 - 07:14am PT
Edit for FortMentäl. No prob. I never knew the guy in real life, no offense intended. But if someone's gonna call your topic gay, BURT BRONSON is the gold standard. Ask Sir Largo, he can explain it.

What's up with the wandering umlaut?

Author's Reply  Sep 8, 2013 - 07:29am PT
Nobody reads TR's anyway, they just come here for the gossip. Nice talking with you here in the comments - thanks again - we're good.

state of being
  Sep 8, 2013 - 11:52am PT
The ped/bike path doesn't quite get you to land but does end above the island. Part of the old bridge needs to be removed to complete the path.

Who will be the first to rappel to the island?

  Sep 8, 2013 - 10:30am PT
They rebuilt the bridge?

That's what I get for living in Pennsylvania and China the last thirteen years.

Even when I was staying at my folks in Marin in early 2011, I never heard anything about it.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Sep 8, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Thanks for the info. We have our boat up in Alameda and I've been wanting to give this path a try. Here's a pic from down under the bridge when we were out sailing recently.
Credit: SCseagoat


Author's Reply  Sep 8, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
Cool - thanks for that shot. One thing you may notice are the black panels hanging diagonally under the span. They are "wind vortex panels" which prevent the Galloping Gertie effect - that movie of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge we all saw as kids.

This article explains that along with another question I had - I heard some hissing, saw a compressed air pipe running along the rail. Turns out it powers the five maintenance travelers, movable platforms hanging from tracks.

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Sep 8, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
QITNL, man this is the best TR in the last five years.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Sep 8, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
black panels hanging diagonally

Very interesting. The old span looks so like my brother's erector sets when we were kids.
We're headed up to the boat....think I'll take my bike and give it a spin on the bridge. Going to the Giants game on Monday night. Fun would be biking all the way over rather than the Ferry.


Credit: SCseagoat
Closer view of underside and the diagonals

lawrence kansas
  Nov 12, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
  Nov 12, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
QITNL, I love your TR !!! and I love the new camera. Did you see the great shot it took of Bridwell and TM at the Oakdale Fest? You are a radical friend. It was really fun to have coffee with yo in Beserkely. Ride, hike and climb on. Hope to see you sometime in the next 6 months. Already miss the Sierra and tripping (literally) in the Bay Area. Cheers and Joy, Lynnie
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