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California Yosemite

rockclimbing California
Credit ©Tom Kenney
NEEDLES PEAK KERN RIVER
The Needles in Sequoia National Forest

Climb Ratings

Climb ratings are broken down into a three-part system. The first is called the Grade. This grade is the overall length and severity of a route. Grade can be subdivided into six categories, designated by Roman numerals.

GRADE I - Very short climb requiring only 1 or 2 hours
GRADE II - Short climb requiring about a half a day
GRADE III - Climb requiring most of a day
GRADE IV - Climb requiring an entire day
GRADE V - Long climb requiring 2 days
GRADE VI - Very long climb requiring more than 2 days

The second part of the rating system is called the Class. This describes how difficult the climbing is. Class is also subdivided into six categories, represented by numbers.

CLASS 1 : Extremely easy, such as walking along a trail or path
CLASS 2 : Off-trail hiking or boulder hopping that occasionally requires the use of hands for balance
CLASS 3 : Climbing that requires the constant use of hands; the slope steepens, some climbers will desire a rope for safety
CLASS 4 : Strenuous climbing with considerable exposure; very steep slopes mean that nearly all climbers will desire a rope for safety
CLASS 5 : Technical rock climbing where proper use of ropes and other climbing equipment is essential for safety. Class 5 is further subdivided by decimals (Yosemite Decimal System). These range from 5.0 (easiest, large holds for hands and feet) to the current maximum of 5.14d, (extremely steep and difficult with tiny holds for hands and feet). From 5.10 to 5.14, the class is subdivided once again by using the letters a,b,c and d. Class 5 is also known as "free climbing", because ropes and other equipment are not used for upward progress; they only catch the climber in the event of a fall.

CLASS 6 : Artificial or "aid climbing", where the use of equipment is necessary for upward movement.

The final component of the system is the Aid rating, used only for class 6 climbs. The aid rating is subdivided into the following five categories:

A1 : Extremely easy aid climbing, placements are very
A2 : Easy aid climbing, placements are relatively strong
A3 : Strenuous aid climbing, sometimes difficult to make good placements for upward progress
A4 : Difficult aid climbing, many placements are weak and may only hold body weight
A5 : Extremely difficult aid climbing, extremely weak placements, high potential for a long a dangerous fall. Sometimes referred to as "borderline death".

These three rating components are combined to provide a detailed description of a climb, with the Grade listed first, the Class listed second and the Aid rating, (if applicable) listed third. A route described as (IV 5.8 A2) means that the grade is IV (an all day climb), the class is 5.8 (moderately difficult, technical rock climbing), and the Aid climbing is relatively easy. A climb rated (VI 5.11 A5+) means be prepared for many days of intense, dangerous climbing and make sure your life insurance is paid up!

kelbaker road

Favorite Climbing Areas in California

Joshua Tree National Park National Parks

    • large boulders in spectacular surroundings, near high desert region Joshua Tree, California

Inyo National Forest

    • Buttermilks, large boulders in spectacular foothills area of Bishop, California off Hwy. 168, West Line Road

Los Padres National Forest - Region just north of Ojai, California along Hwy. 33NATIONAL FORESTS

Mojave National Preserve - Southern Desert Area between Interstate 15 & Interstate 40. Granite Boulder with very few crowds. Located off 6 miles off frwy, on Kelbaker Rd. DESERTS CALIF

Sequoia National Forest - South Sierra region just north of Kernville, California above Hwy. 178

San Bernardino National Forest - SoCal region near the small community of Idyllwild, CaliforniaUSDA NFS WOODS

Yosemite National Park  NATIONAL PARK IN CALIFORNIA

Classes are available from Yosemite Mountaineering School
Yosemite Valley
September - May
209/372-1244
Tuloumne Meadows
June - August
209/372-1335

More Climbing Areas

Lake Perris.....campground near Big Rock
Anza Borrego State Park ... Piedra Grandes
San Diego urban park - Mission Trails Regional Park
San Diego backcountry - Valley of the Moon

Zion National Park, Utah

 

CALIFORNIA VACATIONS


California Rock Climbing Instruction

Guides & Rock Climbing Schools

California Alpine Guides
P.O. Box 8486
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
877 MTN-CLIMB

Get Lost Adventures
1140 Venice Blvd #216
Venice, CA 90291
626-692-7646

Joshua Tree Rock Climbing Guides
735 Orinda Way
Bishop, CA 93514
877-686-7625

Sierra Rock Climbing School
242 N. Tumbleweed Rd
Bishop CA 93514
877-686-7625

hwy 395 CALIFORNIA

Santa Barbara Adventure Company
P.O. Box 208
Santa Barbara CA 93102
888-596-6687
805-882-2096

Mountain Adventure Seminars Guiding Service
148 Bear Valley Rd.
P.O. Box 5450
Bear Valley, CA 95223
209-753-65565

Vertical Adventures
P.O. Box 7548
Newport Beach, CA 92658
800-514-8785
949-854-6250
guides in Joshua Tree & Idyllwild area

outta state guides:

The Ascending Path:
Climbing Guide Service in Alaska
P.O. Box 1279 Girdwood, AK 99523
907-783-0505

Workshops & Classes

  • Adventure 16 - Outdoor & Travel Outfitters
  • REI - Recreational Equipment Inc. REI for climbing gear


Rock Gyms

Los Angeles & Inland Area

Alpine Experience
5100 E. La Palma Ave #108
Anaheim
714/777-4884
ClimbX
18411 Gothard St. Unit 1
Huntington Beach
714/843-9919
Hanger 18 Climbing Gym
256 Stowell St. Suite A
Upland
909/931-5991
Los Angeles Rock Gym
4926 W. Rosecrans Ave.
Hawthorne
310/973-3388
Rock & Roll
26860 Jefferson Ave.
Murrieta
909/677-7430
The Rock Gym
2599 E. Willow Street
Signal Hill
562/981-3200
Rockreation
1300 Logan Ave.
Costa Mesa
714/556-7625
Rockreation
11866 La Grange Ave.
Los Angeles
310/207-7199
Uprising Rock Climbing Center
1500 S. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs
760/320-6630

San Diego Area

Solid Rock Gym
2074 Hancock St.
San Diego
619/299-1124
Solid Rock Gym
13025 Stowe Drive
Poway
619/748-9011
Solid Rock Gym
Community Rd
Poway
619/299-1124
Vertical Hold Sport Climbing
9580 Distribution Ave.
San Diego
619/586-7572

San Francisco Bay Area

City Rock
1250 45th St.
Emeryville
510/654-2510
Class 5 Fitness
25 B Dodie St.
San Rafael
415/485-6931
Mission Cliffs
2295 Harrison Street
San Francisco
415/550-0515
Planet Granite
290 Mead Ave
Santa Clara
408/727-2777
Rocktopia
999 Bancroft Rd.
Concord
510/938-7625
Rocktopia
999 Bancroft Rd.
Walnut Creek
510/WET-ROCK
Sunrise Rock Gym
2455 Railroad Avenue
Livermore
510/447-8003
Twisters Rock Gym
2639 Terminal
Mountain View
415/967-5581
Vertex Climbing Center
3358 A Coffee Ln.
Santa Rosa
707/573-1608

Central Coast Region

Crux Climbing Gym
1160 Laurel lane
San Luis Obispo
805/544-2789
Sanctuary Rock Gym
1855A East Avenue
Sand City
408/899-2595

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Ascent Climbing Gym
717 S. Auburn St.
Grass Valley
916/272-0170
Gads Gym
867 Eloise Ave.
South Lake Tahoe
916/544-7314
Gravity Works
10095 W. River St.
Truckee
916/582 4510

Central California Valley

Ascent Climbing Gym
717 S. Auburn St.
Grass Valley
916/272-0170
Granite Arch
11335 Folsom Blvd (G)
Rancho Cordova
916/638-4605
Rocknasium
720 Olive Drive (Z)
Davis
916/757-2902
Sierra Climbing Center
3530 N. Lodi
Fresno
209/277-8993
Sunrise Rock Gym
2455 Railroad Avenue
Livermore
510/447-8003
Vertical Stone Gym
7721 Muirwood Way
Citrus Heights
916/723-2009



rock climbing

climbing related sites

  • Climber.org
    Climbers can find trip reports, local clubs, destination profiles, feature articles, discussion forums and other resources.
    Midwestern rock and ice climbers can find directories of crags, gyms, clubs and gear shops throughout the upper midwestern US and Canada.
  • SoCal Rock Climbing
    Southern California Mountaineers Association. Classes, Tripsl One of the oldest climbing clubs in the country.
  • Summit Post
    Huge, nationwide, online database of mountain ranges, trailheads, hiking, backpacking and mountaineering routes.

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