Climbing near San Francisco

7:31 a.m. on November 13, 2002 (EST)

Hi there,

I'm a sport and trad climber from Portugal and I'm going to travel to San Francisco on December. I would like to know how are the conditions there to climb or boulder in that month, and which are the best places. What do you recomend? Should I bring my climbing equipment or my snow mountaineering equipment?
Are there any small clubs that enjoy partnership with other clubs around the world?

Many thanks in advance.

Regards from Portugal


9:13 a.m. on November 13, 2002 (EST)

a.k.a. chuck claude, Chuck_C, c_claude


I'd leave the ice gear at home, Cali is not the best state for ice climbing. Lee Vining is ok (if you climb WI4 you can do all the routes that regularly form in a weekend). Yosemite is awesome but very fickle with ice.

As for sport climbing:

what grade (US) do you lead... its important since some areas are fairly unforgiving (like warmups at 5.12a)

Just an idea; but not inclusive and assuming a car since most of the areas are within 2 hrs but Yosemite is 3hrs away.

For Bouldering:

Close to San Fransisco:

Indian Rock in Berkeley problems of all grades
Castle Rock in Saratoga (by San Jose): problems of all grades mostly slopey problems

Sport Climbing

Mickeys Beach: a couple problems in the 5.10 to 5.11 region but mostly in the 5.12's and 5.13's- nice problems

Calistoga (near Napa) problems from 5.7 to 5.12c. interesting but sharp

Pinnacles: Unique climbing on volcanic choss, ok if you are here but definately not a destination. ranges from 5.3 to 5.13d/.14a.

Table Mountain: some areas has sports climbing in the 5.10-5.12 region, some areas start at 5.12. (the Grotto has also incredible splitter cracks for trad leads in the 5.9-5.11b range, the .11b is more .10d/.11a'ish)


Some of the classic areas are under snow like Tahoe and Calavaras Dome, but I will climb year round in Yosemite usually climbing at the Cookie Cliff, Pat and Jacks, Arch Rock.

6:50 p.m. on November 13, 2002 (EST)

Try . It's a newer site, and only has about 170 routes listed so far, but if it's anything like for Colorado you will be sure to get some good ideas. Good luck and have fun!

12:43 p.m. on December 2, 2002 (EST)

Thanks very much for all help... I think I'm going to take my sport and trad climbing gear along.

See ya

June 24, 2018
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