Boy Scout Rocks Mostly Rock climbing37 routes in crag
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Featured sandstone that makes for technical face climbing as well as unique pockets and jugs
The Boy Scout Rocks are located within Mt. Diablo State Park ($10 entry fee!) and offers some of the closest decent sport and top rope climbs in the bay area. The rock is sandstone and the quality ranges from great to loose and sandy. The climbing is mostly technical face climbing, pockets, and jugs on vertical to slabby formations. A few cracks exist but placing protection can be questionable due to rock quality. Some excellent sport routes exist, with the majority of the climbs being an easy top rope setup from access at the top of each cliff.
The area is frequented by climbers and non-climbers alike, with "graffiti" often carved into the sandstone caves. Due to the nature of sandstone, CARE MUST BE TAKEN WHEN SETTING UP TOP ROPES! Access to the top of each cliff is easy (except Butt Rock) and allows for top roping but LONG SLINGS/STATIC ROPE ARE A MUST FOR MANY ROUTES! You will note many deep rope groves from top roping being setup far from the lip of the rock. Some routes have bolted anchors hangers in good condition, others have bolts missing hangers, and others are set up using natural features and trees.
Please climb softly as holds often break easily. Take care of this delicate but awesome rock! It is also advised to NOT CLIMB A FEW DAYS AFTER RAIN! Many holds have been broken off because the rock was still saturated from rain. The area sees moderate use so clean up after yourself and try not to destroy the rock!
The Lower Tier is approx. 90' tall and offers sport routes, trad routes and top ropes and has the highest quality rock and the best climbs. Be careful of loose bolts and anchors as many have not been upgraded. Amazing Face (5.9) and Ozone (5.10c) are area classics.
The Middle Tier is almost all top rope climbs, though there is a few cracks that could be done trad as well. Look for coldshuts on the top of the rock, which can be easily accessed from the far side (south) of the rock. Have a go at Jungle Book (5.10b) and In the Buckets (5.11c).
The Upper Tier is a tall piece of sandstone about 90 feet tall 100 feet across. Most of the routes are top rope due to the fact that it is unsafe to put bolts on the sandstone face. The obvious crack in the middle of the rock is known as Chouinard's Crack (5.9) and serves as an easy reference.
Butt Rock offers a variety of climbing from moderate slabby face climbing to steep face and finger crack climbing. Routes can be toproped using very long slings. A long 5.3 chimney on the south side is the easiest way to the top. A short rappel off the west face is the best way down. Butt Rock is about 100' north of Boy Scout Rocks and there is an easy 2 minutes approach trail leading down from the road. Looking down you can see the rock identified with several large boulders on top
State park. $10 fee.
Park at Rock City. There is a turnout at the top of the upper tear, but I have been told you will be ticketed if you park there.
For easiest access to Lower Tier/Middle Tier from the bottom, cross the road and find a trail on the east side of the road near the bathroom that heads south (the direction you drove in from (if coming from south gate.) Follow this trail down along a small creek (drainage) for about 10 min. until you see the lower tier ahead of you and to the right. Scramble up to the base of the cliff. See tier descriptions for access info.
For access to top of Upper Tier, hike south along the road for a few minutes until you come to a rock formation on the east (your left) side of the road. This is the top of the Upper Tier and the tree that you see near the road in the middle of the rock is a common top rope anchor.
Butt Rock is about 100' north of Boy Scout Rocks and there is an easy 2 minutes approach trail leading down from the road. Looking down you can see the rock identified with several large boulders on top
Use long slings and ropes to ensure your top rope extends over the lip of your route. No more rope groves are needed! Don't climb a few days after rain due to the fact that you will break holds when the rock is wet and be sure to climb softly as some holds are delicate!
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