Comments: This moderate evokes the serious nature of Sierra Highballs! Proud, for sure. Crazy good stone with beautiful positioning. It felt like you could exit left early (and deprive yourself of the "true experience") or even exit up and left of the tree on top.
Comments: As always, way to be intrepid! When I was at Westmont back in 2001, and just getting in to climbing, I did a little bit of exploring up there, but it never amounted to much. Usually, we had ropes with us, and were on our way to the Tangerine Falls sport climbs. I can't tell you how many times we looked at those boulders and said "hmmm, there's probably some good problems..."
But again, we never did anything about it. Tony Becchio et al might know more. I think they spent more time back there. C... more >>
We always topped out the route sort of to the left, on a hand-crack just right of the anchors to Sword In The Stone. There's a lot of ways to finish, but this one had the best rock and coolest moves, and it made it convenient to lower off the SITS anchors. Also, for gear-junkies, there a amazing little pod that accepts a perfect #1 Camalot before you enter said penultimate hand-crack.
Comments: Left hand on sloper, right hand on open-hand edge, deadpoint with left hand to decent open-hand edge, then step LEFT foot high and midline to smeary hold, and high-step right out to hard-to-see foot. Once you weight the foot, it's mostly over. Top-out is more or less straight up from there. I do grab the finish jug of West Nile with my left hand, but that's literally as I top out.
I promise you I'm not being a sandbagger! It is tricky to figure out, but definitely in the V4-5 range.
Comments: We called this line "The Wicked Duke Takes A Wife", after a hilarious romance novel cover we saw at a used bookstore. No, I wasn't perusing the Romance Section. Even if I was, it's none of your business.
Comments: Grading was tricky. Thomas did it first, then me, then Dean. All of us thought it was in the 7-8 ballpark. But that's just three opinions. Personally, I grade traverses based on She Made Me Do It, which I believe is THE benchmark for V8 (locally), and a litmus test for how easy or hard something claims to be. Stone Cold Stunner felt about as hard as She Made Me Do It—maybe slightly easier, but not by much.
Comments: I could be wrong, but the problem referenced in the book actually refers to the LEFT exit. Same start as you described, but you bust left pretty early, grab a devious-but-awesome-looking thin crimp, and do some very, very hard presses on sloping holds. Way, way harder than V7, and judging by the look of the photo, full of moss at the moment.
Comments: The Red Line was always the popular "up" line on this stone. When Darren Odgers showed me around here years ago, we seemed to think it was V5. Whatever, who really cares. The climbing is great. The inimitable Joel (also known as Acid Joel... sorry if that's a deprecatory handle, Joel, but literally everyone I know called him by that name) climbed here TONS. Anyhoo, the rock is actually better than it looks (sometimes).
Comments: While it has fallen in to disuse in recent years (until recently), The Noir boulder has seen lots of attention from key players and psyched boulder-seekers like Russell Erickson (who initially cleaned the boulder), Jason Kamen, Bernd Zeugswetter, and Brian Spiering—to name just a few. Back in 2003 or 2004 (I think) I remember Jason Kamen working some hard traversing lines L-R, and I know for a fact that Bernd did literally every single hard "up" line in the creekbed, including Shake Junt (a la t... more >>
Comments: Suspect foothold has broken... while I was literally going to top the dang thing out. My bad. There is still a foothold there, it just isn't very big. It's maybe a half-grade harder? We'll see. This is an excellent problem, by the way.
Comments: I gotta admit, when Jeff first told me about Panic Town, I was skeptical. I've searched and bushwhacked the canyons behind SB looking for routes, only to have my hopes repeatedly dashed. And how many times have you heard an overzealous local touting "untapped potential" in thar hills?
Panic Town may have a "long" approach by some standards, but when you factor in house-to-crag time, and the sheer number of vertical feet available, Panic Town is not only a convenient destination, it might be th... more >>
Comments: Great work on the landing, guys! This problem follows a tempting line of pockets, and gets savage at the very, very top! Not a gimme. I sent after working the moves for about 30 minutes, but I am a tad taller than my climbing partners (who happen to be a tad burlier than I), so I reeled this one in without too much drama. Still, the top-out was quite hard, and doesn't really favor the tall or the short. That said, the lower crux is STIFF for shorties.
Comments: I climbed to the top of the Pillar via Land Before Time (5.10a), then did the rest of Timeless as a 2nd pitch (didn't know at the time that Timeless could be done as one, singular pitch). Anyhoo, the zig-zag crack on Timeless has become my new favorite stretch of rock on the Warning Signs cliff. Absolutely wild and exposed: you'll feel like you're in Yosemite, high up on some classic grade IV... except for the fact that you are clipping bolts. Super, super fun.
Comments: Yeah, it could be titled as The Scorpion boulders, but to be honest, I'm not 100% sure that that was even what it was called. Kelly seemed to be hazy on the details, and I just wanted to include what it MIGHT have been called. I'll take any historical info folks can offer. In the meantime, I wanted to honor the extremely dedicated and motivated folks developing the area.