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Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA
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Poll: Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA
Yosemite 0 / 0%
Joshua Tree 0 / 0%
Bishop 1 / 11%
Other 8 / 89%
9 total votes
 

jenatx


Oct 16, 2011, 3:24 PM
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Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA
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I've only been climbing about a year and would like to get more experience lead climbing on well-protected routes. I'm planning a trip in december to spend a week or two climbing in southern CA. What area do you recommend for the beginner/intermediate climber? I climb 5.9-5.10. Also, ease of access to camping is important to me. Thanks!


Kartessa


Oct 16, 2011, 3:59 PM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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jenatx wrote:
I've only been climbing about a year and would like to get more experience lead climbing on well-protected routes. I'm planning a trip in december to spend a week or two climbing in southern CA. What area do you recommend for the beginner/intermediate climber? I climb 5.9-5.10. Also, ease of access to camping is important to me. Thanks!

None of the above. I'm not from anywhere near California so I can't give the beat answer, but Josh is almost all trad, same goes with Yosemite. Bishop is famous for bouldering.

Youre gonna have to do some research on this one but I do remember New Jack City to have a lot of sport in the doable range.


lucky


Oct 16, 2011, 8:01 PM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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I second New Jack City. I've spent many enjoyable weekends there. There is plenty in the 5.9-10 range to keep you busy for a while.

A couple suggestions:
Route 66
Little Red Book
Welcome to NJC
Change of Scene
White Heat
White Out
Hired Gun(11a) if you feel strong


lucky


Oct 16, 2011, 8:01 PM
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jenatx


Oct 16, 2011, 8:13 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion! That looks like exactly what I want. Do either of you have experience camping in the area?


Kartessa


Oct 16, 2011, 8:38 PM
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I haven't crashed there, but from what I gather, you can pretty much just pitch anywhere for free.


kennoyce


Oct 17, 2011, 6:49 AM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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jenatx wrote:
I've only been climbing about a year and would like to get more experience lead climbing on well-protected routes. I'm planning a trip in december to spend a week or two climbing in southern CA. What area do you recommend for the beginner/intermediate climber? I climb 5.9-5.10. Also, ease of access to camping is important to me. Thanks!

Well, Neither Yosemite or Bishop are in SoCal, so that eliminates those two, and J-tree has very little sport climbing, and even less in the beginner/intermediate climber range.

As has been said, NJC has plenty of sport in the beginner to intermediate range, free camping (last I was there anyway, but that may have changed with all of the new "improvements"), and is generally a fun place to climb. If you were coming in the summer I'd suggest Holcomb valley, but it'll be covered in snow in December (oh, so will Yosemite, btw). There are other smaller crags scattered around, but NJC would certainly be the most bang for your buck.


jt512


Oct 17, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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jenatx wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion! That looks like exactly what I want. Do either of you have experience camping in the area?

In December, New Jack is your best, and arguably only, bet. There are about a dozen developed campsites in the climbing area. As far as I know, they are still free, although the campground host told me that the BLM will eventually charge for them.

Guidebook is Southern California Sort Climbing by Troy Mayr.

If you're going to be out here for two weeks, consider making side trips to Red Rock (near Vegas) and J Tree. RR is about 2 hours from NJC, and you should find enough sport routes in your range to keep you busy for a day or two. J Tree is 1.5 hours from NJC. There are very few sport routes in your range there, but you can toprope; however, you should be competent at building TR anchors (and rappelling), since few routes have bolted anchors; however, even if you don't climb, J Tree is worth making a day trip to see.

Jay


surfstar


Oct 17, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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I've never been to NJC or NYC for that matter, but from what I gather, its not a vacation destination.
Depending on the weather you can climb Alabama Hills or Owens River Gorge - not SoCal, but well worth the drive for camping scenery. Bouldering nearby too. Lots of moderate, well-protected sport climbs in 'bama Hills, on rock similar to Jtree.


ilikepargo


Oct 17, 2011, 10:43 PM
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Re: [jenatx] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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Josh is almost all trad, and I don't think of either Yosemite or Bishop as really being "Southern California." They're more "central."

Malibu Creek has a number of beginner/intermediate routes.
New Jack City has quite a few easier routes as well.


Kartessa


Oct 18, 2011, 6:55 AM
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Re: [surfstar] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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surfstar wrote:
I've never been to NJC or NYC for that matter, but from what I gather, its not a vacation destination.
Depending on the weather you can climb Alabama Hills or Owens River Gorge - not SoCal, but well worth the drive for camping scenery. Bouldering nearby too. Lots of moderate, well-protected sport climbs in 'bama Hills, on rock similar to Jtree.

Let's be realistic, there is no real "beginner sport destination", beginners usually start close to home, hone their skills and venture out to try their luck. Or they go out with a guide who can let the toprope the shit out of anything.

Everyone agreed that NJC is probably the best place to go because there are a lot of routes in an easy enough range, the camping is free and you're still close to other destinations. Sure, the OP can go to JT for a day or two and try out Final Furious Farsi (5.6), Tim's Valentine (5.7) or Bish (5.9), Dos Chi Chis (5.10a) can be great too but for the dozen or so sport routes it's hardly a destination for this guy either.

Day trips can also be made to Red Rocks where there is a nice handful of easy-moderate sport climbs and tons of easy trad too. Go another 2 hours and you're in Zion, no sport but worth seeing and even staying a day or two.

OP- maybe you should consider a road trip rather than one multi-week destination.


jenatx


Oct 18, 2011, 8:12 AM
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. To clarify, I will be going on a roadtrip from Texas to Los Angeles. I plan on stopping at Hueco Tanks on the way and I'm meeting a friend in LA to sport climb with. I like both. I climb outside a lot, I'm just not into super hard run-out routes. I'll be s
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taying in the LA area for 2 weeks or so, so any sort of climbing/camping destination around LA is what I'm after. I just want to explore and climb and see what CA has to offer.


ilikepargo


Oct 18, 2011, 3:52 PM
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Re. NJC: Camping is still free as of last June. The park has a decent number of campsites scattered around, generally in small groups. All are "first come/first served." For non-climbers, the area is called "Sawtooth Canyon." When you're not climbing, the nearest town is Barstow, which is something other than exciting, but at least it's there. There is an outlet mall just a couple of exits up the highway, if you're into that sort of thing. And it's just a couple of hours from Disneyland.


donald949


Oct 20, 2011, 4:32 PM
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Re: [surfstar] Best Beginner/Intermediate Sport Climbing in Southern CA [In reply to]
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surfstar wrote:
I've never been to NJC or NYC for that matter, but from what I gather, its not a vacation destination.
Depending on the weather you can climb Alabama Hills or Owens River Gorge - not SoCal, but well worth the drive for camping scenery. Bouldering nearby too. Lots of moderate, well-protected sport climbs in 'bama Hills, on rock similar to Jtree.
NJC, Alabama Hills, Red Rock.
As I recall, Owens River Gorge at Bishop should have a good number of 10's, if thats in your strike zone. Alabama Hills is in Lone Pine about an hour south of Bishop, that has a bucket load of 7-9's if thats more in your zone. They're both really a little further north than So Cal, but if you're on a road trip and have the time, go for it.


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