The Welcome Wall is a big, highly featured cliff that looks as though the rock was very loose. Fortunelately, its not. The easiest landmark for finding routes is Wing of Bat, which is right in the middle of the face. It ascends a series of cracks and flakes in a slight dihedral.
Approach time: 20 - 25 minutes.
From the point where Shell Road turns to dirt, the trailhead to The Welcome Wall, The Grotto, Cave Wall, Ort Wall, The Eastern Front, and Mid Wall is 1.2 miles further down road.
Park in the main Table Mountain Parking lot, where there is a nice large sign stating that the road is closed for revegetation.Walk along the old road past the white gate, until you see the distinct (it's the only one!) access path heading off the main road to the left about 500 yards later.
You'll know you're on the right trail when you see a telephone pole with the number 41 spray-painted on it just to the right of the trail (its about 25 yards from the walk-in road, but you won't be able to tell until you get closer).
Once you're on the correct trail, it gets pretty simple. Follow the trail (watch out for poison oak) until it reaches a large talus field. Continue diagnally up and left as you're looking uphill on the talus, and soon you'll be beneath the Welcome Wall.
As mentioned in the rock description, Wing of Bat is right in the middle of the Welcome Wall. You can tell that the climbing goes up and to the right in a slight dihedral/crack to the first bolt, and from there continues straight up following a series of cracks. Route finding shouldn't be too difficult on this one.Fun climb with lots of large holds, lots of which you can either practice your crack technique, or use them as side-pulls. Some guides books have this as an 10a others as an 10b, af...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
There are two newer routes not found in the Falcon guide book at the Welcome Wall.
(1) Between Welcome Mat (10b), the furthest climb left on this wall, and what I think is Keebler's Revenge (11a) is a route with some shiny new hangers. The anchor is located directly next to the anchor for Welcome Mat, so the height is roughly the same (maybe a little longer since it starts down the hill a little), but this route has several more bolts than Welcome Mat (new school vs. old school). I climbed it a little on TR. It might go at 5.11? Name unknown. More info please if anyone has it.
(2) There is also a newer route that branches off of Wing of Bat (10a), the reputed guano reserve. This route takes off right after sharing the first four bolts with Wing of Bat. Several hard looking moves put you on a blank, overhanging pillar that's entirely covered in lichen. The anchors above look to be at the level of Keebler's Revenge (11a/11a R) to the right, so it must be roughly 85 feet long. Needs cleaning. Does anyone know whose project this is and what it might go at? 12+/13-?
Some notes about this wall:
(a) The lichen (if that's what it is) is deceptive. It was relatively cool in the shade, and the stuff doesn't really flake off. The rock is still tacky despite how much of it there is. (see route notes)
(b) The bolting and ratings vary a bit. Some are well protected, others are runout and have bolts in lame-seeming places. The two 11as were drastically different. The 10b felt like 10+ and I just got plain stopped by a bunch of stuff.
(c) Sick, guy. I'll be back. there's good projects here.
It looks like the Grotto area has a lot of fun stuff, too.
The Ort Wall looks like a gym.
The Grotto looks like a good place for the beginning trad leader to crag, place some gear, and not have to worry toom uch about building anchors (many fixed anchors).
the thing you are referring to, that branches off 'wing of a bat' is a route i put up a while back. i have spent some time cleaning and working it, but have yet to send. a little dirty but the rock is impeccable on that formation. it will continue to clean up as i work it. i have put up some other 12s in the area, and it feels much harder than any of those. i have pulled every more, but have not linked it. i feel like it will go soon.
I went up to the Grotto the other day and found the instructions lacking/wrong in a few spots.
At the parking area there are two white gates, do not follow the first one on the left but the further one that continues along the road you've come in on.
There are quite a few trail leading off this road probably from people like me getting lost. The one you are looking for is probably a ten minute hike up and begins as a 4x4 road that branches of left like a Y, not a sharp left. Follow this up and past a utility pole that has "40" painted on it (not "41) right next to the trail. The trail is obvious from here. good luck!