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Summary

Located right in the middle of San Francisco, you'll find a handful of fun, moderate slab routes on one of the largest exposed slickensides in the world.

Description

The first thing you'll notice is the unique modification to the underlying rock (radiolarian chert): it's been polished to a glassy sheet by a shifting fault line, with just enough rough patches scattered across it to allow an ascent. In places, the rock looks like glass, polished enough to see one's reflection.

Most routes are top-roped via a chain anchor attached to the metal fence posts along the top of the cliff; however, there are options for placing marginal pro in the main crack if you're feeling particularly bold. Note however that the exceptionally polished rock will make it difficult to place bomber pieces (nuts won't "seat" very well, cams will slide right out, etc.).

The rock quality in the final 6 feet of the cliff is very poor, so be very careful to avoid knocking rocks off of the cliff when setting up a top rope or if topping out.

The mild climate of the city can mean cool climbing here in the middle of summer, but if it's foggy in the city, the rock may be wet. The cliff faces north and is hemmed in by buildings so is perpetually in the shade. The park underneath is also dark and damp, so expect it to be cold, even if it's hot on top of Corona Heights Hill.

This is a good spot if you're climbing with kids, as there's a good-sized playground right in the park directly underneath the cliff. They may be a little stymied by the tenuous nature of the climbing however.

People walk their dogs here, so watch where you step (or where you flake out your rope).

Access issues

SF Rec & Park land.

SF Rec & Park have been concerned about damage to the slickenside, and in 2014 this resulted in them temporarily imposing a permit system. While that system was removed after lobbying from local climbers, it is critically important that climbers not alter the rock here in any way, including any placement or replacement of fixed protection. This has been SF Rec & Park's primary concern.

Approach

The wall is located at Beaver Street and 15th Street in the northeast corner of the Corona Heights Park, right next to the Peixotto Playground. There is street parking on Beaver St. The Castro Street MUNI Metro station is 3 blocks to the south.

There is foot access for setting up a top rope; however, to maintain good relations with the neighbors, and to avoid unnecessary rockfall, do not scramble up the chossy slopes at either end of the wall. Instead, walk south on Beaver Street until you reach the bend. Follow the pedestrian alley (De Forest) up the stairs to the right (to the end of Flint St), and take the path uphill and right until you reach the top of the wall.

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Grade Route
1
5.11 Unknown 5.11 Face Top rope 60ft

According to the Bay Area Rock guide, there's a 5.11 route up the face to the left of the crack (photo topo is approximate). Expect thin moves up a chossy face, especially near the top, with lots of loose rock near the fence posts.

2

Follow the horizontal crack over to the main vertical crack, with interesting crux moves at the horizontal traverse. If leading or aiding, look for the hangerless bolt two-thirds the way up in the middle of the glassy face. Pro to 2.5" with many small nuts.

Top anchor is chains which are often backed up with a sling on the second fence post. You don't have to climb over the fences to set up a top rope; however, if you do pull the chains under the fence, be very careful to avoid knocking rocks over the cliff.

The aid grade for this route is C1+ to C2 R.

An interesting and recommended mid-5.10 variation on all of the main routes is to avoid the vertical crack, using only face holds just to the right of the crack.

3
5.9 * Crack Direct Trad 60ft

The direct variation is easier and has a few interesting moves off the ground. Climb directly up the face to the crack. The crux is low with no opportunities to place pro before reaching the main crack.

If aid climbing, the low section can be aided with hooks, then pro to 2.5" and many small nuts for the crack. The aid grade for this route is C2 to C3 R.

4

Follow the thin crack up and to the right of the direct start before climbing the thin face (balancy crux) back and to the left.

5
5.11b * Crack to Face Top rope 60ft

Start on 'Right of Direct Start' but continue up the face, avoiding the crack until the very top of the route.

6
5.12c Unknown 5.12 Face Top rope 60ft

A line of micro edges leads straight up to the fencepost to the right of the crack. The holds are small and painful, but the rock quality is good enough. The Bay Area Rock guide lists this as 5.11+, but it's probably harder.

7
5.11b Bolt Route / Aid Line Top rope 60ft

Three hangerless bolts, two bolts with hangers, and one piton mark a line up the dirty, chossy face with very thin holds and balancy moves. Face climbing up past two or three old bolt holes will get you to the first hangerless bolt. Use the right-most doubled up fence post as a top anchor.

This route is probably decent for aid (C1 to C2 R), marginal for top rope, and terrifying to lead.

Activity

Check out what is happening in Beaver Street Wall.