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Table of contents
JFMAMJJASONDseasonalityTop Rope, Trad and Aid
Long/Lat: -122.437292, 37.765448
- Unique Features And Strengths:
Located right in the middle of San Francisco, you'll find a handful of fun, moderate slab routes on incredibly unique rock.
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 by anchoring 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:
In April 2014 SF Rec & Park placed signs at the cliff stating that climbing is via permit only. So far no climbers are known to have been issued with a permit, but before climbing here please at least attempt to gain one, by calling 415-831-5500.
More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/savebsw/
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 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 fence at the top of the wall.
Unknown 5.11 Face
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.
The Crack / Follow the Crack
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.
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.
|5.10a C1+ to C2 R||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. Pro to 2.5" with many small nuts.
|5.9 C2 to C3 R||60ft|
Right of Direct Start / Right Start
Follow the thin crack up and to the right of the direct start before climbing the face back and to the left. Balancy crux moves on thin hands and feet. Pro to 2.5" with many small nuts and no opportunities for pro on the first 25 ft (the crux).
Crack to Face
Start on 'Right of Direct Start' but continue up the face, avoiding the crack until the very top of the route.
Unknown 5.12 Face
A line of microedges leads straight up to the fencepost just to the right of the main climbing. 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.
Bolt Route / Aid Line
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, marginal for top rope, and terrifying to lead.
|5.11b C1 to C2 R||260ft,|
|5.9 C2 to C3||Crack Direct||60ft|
|5.10a C1+ to C2||The Crack||60ft|
|5.10d||Right of Direct Start||60ft|
|5.11b||Crack to Face||60ft|
|5.11b C1 to C2||Bolt Route||260ft,|
|5.11||Unknown 5.11 Face||60ft|
|5.12c||Unknown 5.12 Face||60ft|