Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Climbing at Waterfall Cliff in Castle Rock State Park, California, United States

After climbing Indian Rock from 8-12pm, we packed up our gear and made our way across the street, through the parking lot, and onto the Saratoga Gap Trail. Our destination: Waterfall Cliff.

Getting to Waterfall Cliff is easy. Simply get on Saratoga Gap Trail from the  Castle Rock parking lot and follow the signs. It should only take you about 20-30 minutes to get there. Once you are at the observation deck, you have to make your way around the fence, towards the river right above the fall. Cross the river and hike slightly up the mountain and around the crag. Once you come around, you should come face to face with tons of problems. However, don't stop there, the main crag is back down the mountain. Once you get to the top, head down the other side and voila, problems galore.

Featuring climbs in the 5.7 to 5.12 range, the area proves challenging for any ability. Most of the climbs are shaded with bits of sun. Depending on when you go, mosquitoes can be a real nuisance.

We mostly stuck around the side right of the waterfall. A good warm up in this area is The Greeboo YDS: 5. In some books, the route is rated a 5.10. On Mountain Project, it's a 5.9. I think, depending on how you ascend the problem, it can be either a 5.9 or 5.10. Personally, the route I took felt like a 5.10a/b. Holds are not great at all and the solution to the route seems to be trusting your feet and balance.

A problem that I felt was above my level that my friends attempted was Clamydia YDS: 5.11d. The holds looked so ridiculous. I don't think anyone was able to finish the problem but An did get pretty close.

Later that day, the group did transition to the other face, but by then I had already left to get some sleep. What started off as a brief hangout, ended up being a 6+ hour climbing session.

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