Michael Reardon on Sculpture's Traverse - you'll b...
The local area for the climbers of Los Angeles; Stoney Point can boast to be one of the very first bouldering areas anywhere. It’s historic significance should not be underestimated – many of America’s luminaries cut their teeth here; Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, Bob Kamps, Ron Kauk, John Long, and John Bachar to name but a few.
This sandstone crag is surrounded by many fine boulders and there are some great top rope problems on the walls, and in the canyons. At its best, the rock is fine grained and quite compact, which makes it very kind on the hands and enables long bouldering sessions. There are also many flakes, which break easily, especially after prolonged rain, so take great care after such weather. Because of this, the bouldering at Stoney Point does take on a kind of ephemeral state; as holds break off you’ll find your recent send to be a thing of the past. This raises another issue as some “climbers” have resorted to chipping and otherwise modifying the rock – needless to say this is utterly unacceptable. There’s a lot of variety here and one can put together quite an eclectic cocktail of boulder problems for an excellent training session.
The climbing season lasts all year long – although in the summer it can get very hot, and of course, as stated earlier, rain stops play.
There’s a lot of trash and graffiti at Stoney Point, and it’s a bloody crying shame. There’s usually a clean-up effort at least once a year and local climbers are encouraged to attend and contribute whenever possible. Stoney Point is a city park – granted mainly through the efforts of climbers.
Stoney Point is located in the San Fernando Valley, just north of LA. It's located on the southeast corner of the intersection of the 118 Fwy. and Topanga Canyon Blvd. Parking is free on the northbound side of the road.
Apparently it's turned into quite the spot for drug addicts. Goofed off there a few days while I was consulting at Meggit Safety Systems. Saw multiple people every day huddled in the cracks on the top, obviously hiding what they had and looking disheveled. Bummer too as the park's got some fun bouldering and views.
Jonny, and I climbed at Stoney a couple of weeks ago. Here's my take on it;
The grafitti sucked, and climbing on the lacquered spray paint on one route we did was slippery in a few spots but the rock was friendly on the hands, and the climbing was fun. The atmosphere wasn't too bad; I chatted with a couple of potential 5150s that were disheveled, yet sporting new climbing shoes meandering at the base of the routes. The homeless guys were staying low key, and had their items neatly stashed so it wasn't too much of an eye sore. There were a couple of guys that looked like they were maybe Rabbis with long beards scrambling in their religious clothing, and tennis shoes. The demeanor of the drug addicts; mellow, non-aggressive, non-confrontational. If you said "Boo!" they'd probably run home to mommy. Although I did see gang-like graffiti, I didn't see any gang activity while we were there anyway; no signs of MS-13. The only thing that frightened me was being forced to walk through a blockade of born again Christians on the trail, as they were filming an amateur religious video. They exhibited a paranoid wide-eyed look when I said, "Hey, what's up?" I guess I could be pretty scary too. Anyway, I enjoyed imagining the old school climbers back in the day cutting their teeth at these crags in a much more peaceful, beautiful, remote Stoney Point. The freeway noise was an annoyance but being from LA, it was to be expected. I loved watching, and hearing the trains go by while belaying, and climbing.
It's all good.
Stoney Point is a must visit place, and Chris Owens book was awesome.
Try it, you might like it.
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Oct 27, 2007
Thank you Gigette. I'm trying to remember what my first impressions of Stoney Point were when I first arrived there in 1984; not positive I expect but I've grown to love the place.
On June 6, 2009, Saturday, I parked my car along Topanga Canyon Road shortly after 12 p.m. When I returned around 4 p.m., the driver side window was smashed. The burglar took items from the glove compartment and the console. The traffic was heavy along Topanga Canyon Road, and many cars parked on the east side. When I reported the incident to LAPD, they appear indifferent.
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Jul 7, 2009
Patton sorry to hear about your break in, not an unusual occurrence I'm sorry to say. I park by the Stoney Point sign, the idea being that people at Boulder 1 would see stuff happening up on the street. There seems to be more broken glass up by the traffic light.
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake May 22, 2010
As previously mentioned under "Other Resources" above.
hey all, i've got a blog going that might be interesting to stoney climbers, its got photos as well as some of my observations, opinions, the usual blog fodder. check it out at verticali-culture.blogspot.com. thanks and pray for no rain this weekend- Xan
My buddy Callum and I shot a bunch of climbs on our Flip and iPhone this winter. Thought you guys might get a laugh or two out of it. It's not the quality filmmaking Cole's documentary will surely be. Facebook cause of music rights.
Does anyone know the [his]story about toilets at Stoney? I am not a super-frequent climber out there but every time I do head out it strikes me that the high traffic of climbers, hikers, families picnicing on the weekends and the odd resident bum must add up to a prolific amount of human waste. Considering how many people enjoy Stoney, its beauty and historical importance it's baffling that there's nowhere to errr, go. I realize it's officially a city issue but is this something other climbers have tried to do something about [in vain] already?
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Jan 26, 2012
Junio, not for many decades to my knowledge - I brought it up at a council meeting back in 1994. I would certainly be worth considering, one issue that would need to be addressed (besides expense) would be the vandalism issue, how to prevent the bathrooms from being trashed and destroyed, or even burned to the ground.
It may be possible to find sponsorship through private sources. As mentioned previously policing is a concern, we did manage to get no parking after dark signs which have impacted the graffiti and trash, I think significantly.
Purplepineapple: I don't toprope too often, so I'm not familiar with the boy scout wall area, but it's my opinion that the bees should be kept wherever the boyscouts are climbing.
Maybe you should post under your real name if you are going to be proposing a big change like this. And only a few of the old timers actually belong to this site. Go to Boulder 1 on Tuesday and Thursday nights and ask everyone with grey hair what they think. I for one am not for glueing holds. I'm also not for messing with the bees. If you want to kill rattlesnakes, I'm okay with that.
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Apr 17, 2012
I'm with Rob on this and also have gray hair (I'm not implying that Rob has gray hair).
I can't see that moderate routes need to have holds glued, they've seen plenty of activity and erosion over the years and are in pretty good shape. Let's just let natural events make their mark and not try to manufacture routes - I think it's a bad precedence to set for routes on natural stone, at any grade.
I'm only aware of one beehive close to a moderate area (but I could be wrong), I've been stung by bees from that one. But really my attitude is not to mess with mother nature. The bees tend to stay in the same places over the years and if we move them from their established areas to new "out of the way" place that'll just allow more bees to move in to the newly vacated old areas.
Add quality bolt anchors - absolutely. Pink Drips in particular needs anchors, my only caveat is that they're set according to standard soft rock practices - Caltech Alpine Club has donated $50 for Pink Drips anchor replacement and I need to get off my butt and get something going - now that Spring is here it seems like a good time.
Sitting here watching climbing vids tonight I began to miss Stoney Point and decided to look over what routes were on here and add my tick marks from a 2011 trip where I fell in love with the place. I absolutely cannot wait to be in LA again just to go to Stoney Point. One visit gave it a special place in my heart and little did I know that it was so rich in climbing history too. Great contributions Chris. I hope to be out there again soon. If you're a climber/boulderer in South Cali this is a must hit destination.
Found a climbing rope earlier this morning on the bench next to boulder one neatly coiled up. Ping me if you think it's yours; for authentication purposes I would ask for some details, i.e. color and other distinguishing features
Does anyone know the name of the route on the wall between nabisco & sculpture? The bolts are on top of the east wall of nabisco canyon, about 10 feet further down from the big eye bolt above the easy crack, and the route is on the opposite side of the wall from nabisco canyon.
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Jan 23, 2014
Nick there are three routes on the outside wall of Nabisco Canyon (east of the canyon itself):
Quicksilver (5.9), Mercury (10a), and Winged Messenger. (10b).