/ Mount Woodson soloing/bouldering, S California

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Dave Garnett - on 26 Jun 2012
I'll be in the San Diego area for the next 10 days or so, and need to think of something to do over the weekend. Has anyone climbed at Mount Woodson, south of Escondido?

I have some bouldering topos and it looks like quite an extensive area. Does anyone know how highball it's likely to be (I won't have a pad).

Is it any good? I could also head out to Joshua Tree for the weekend (but then there's still 4th July!)

In reply to Dave Garnett:

Hi Dave

I went about 15 years ago and although it is a lovely place the climbing was a bit of a let down - house size golf balls from memory - the bouldering was/looked to be the same and poss high ball. Much better at J.Tree.

Cheers

Mark
Offwidth - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I've not been there but this is from the So Cal bouldering guide: "San Diego is ear-to-ear with boulders and then some. Virtually out of control in terms of volume and density they gather unchecked throughout the county, forming ominous gangs which loiter amongst remote hillsides and valleys with impunity". Reading more it seems lots are very highball and Mt Woodson is the main area but there are several others covered; next biggest is Santee and there are lots of smaller places like Pump Wall a popular traverse venue at the Beach. If I were you I'd post some questions on Super Topo forums and take a lightweight harness when you go so you can join others.
In reply to Offwidth:
Just googled Mt Woodson and got this http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1360984&tn=20

Pretty much what I remember - not great.

Dave Garnett - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply:

Thanks both. I'm thinking that there's more to do on my own at JT (hiking as well as climbing), plus more chance of getting chatting with someone who has a rope. I'll take a harness and see what turns up!

Now I just need to figure out where the hell Gunsmoke is. I must have been within 50 metres of it last time I was there but couldn't find it.
Styx - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

You could try SuperTopo, Mountainproject and Summitpost if you want to try and meet a local in advance, you'll also get endless amounts of good beta on local areas there too.
Alan Rubin - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:I, too, only visited a long time ago, but have very different memories than Mark does.I recall excellent featured granite much more enjoyable to climb on than the grainy rock so prevalent in JTree. The boulders come in all sizes from house-sized--often led or top-roped instead of bouldered down to sizes perfectly appropriate for a lone boulderer without a pad. However alot of the rocks are out in the chapperal ( spiky desert underbrush)--though there are usually beaten paths to the better ones.Learn to recognize--and keep an eye out for--poison oak and rattlesnakes (anywhere in California).It is a popular place so there are likely to be folks around especially on weekends, though summertime in southern California (even in "always mild" San Diego)is going to be awfully hot. There should be guidebooks available in the local outdoor/climbing stores. I've also been to the "People's Wall"--not particularly worthwhile, though nice locale.
Dave Garnett - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Alan Rubin:

Thanks. I'm think this might be worth a visit on 4 July, when I suspect the office will be fairly quiet and there should be a fair chance of running into someone atthe boulders.

I'm not bothered by rattlesnakes, it was puff adders and cobras in the Cape!
In reply to Alan Rubin: Hi Alan

That's a good spectrum of experience:) I only went to Mt Woodson not down in the desert. What you describe re top-roping etc fits what I saw (and the pics in my previous link to Supertopo. I would most definately go to J.Tree and give Mt Woodson and surroundings a poke around based on Alan's comments Dave.

Btw gunsmoke traverse is great and here are a couple of pics to get you in the mood Dave.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=200422
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=200423


Cheers

Mark
In reply to Dave Garnett: Let us know how you got on Dave.
Dave Garnett - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Mark Glaister - Assistant Editor:

Well, I spent yesterday aftenoon avoiding most of the 4th July madness on Mt Woodson and I thought it was splendid. In terms of sensible height bouldering at achievable grades (especially on your own, sans pad) it was at least as good as J Tree, and much more concentrated.

There's a fairly recent guide to Southern California that lists 838 problems and routes with reasonable diagrams (although meeting a local certainly helped). There's everything from 10 ft high 5.6s to 40ft toproped or bolted 5.12+.

There are photos of Hamburger Crack and Baby Robbins in the guide, so I did those because I was certain where I was!. The grades don't seem very consistent (HC is 10b but felt easy (perhaps V0+, 5b) BC is 5.9 and was slightly trickier (finger jams), Fisticuffs is supposedly 5.8 but is a really awkward width for my small fists anyway).

Looked like a lifetime's worth of stuff to do. I don't know whether the Wideboyz have been but there are lots of hideous-looking cracks from really thin fingers (Jaws 11a, Lie Detector 12b) to really wide. I had a brief look at Mother Superior (11d offwidth) and it's gruesome, as you might expect.

Joshua Tree is great but I really missed having a rope. Onsight soloing is OK but the big question is can you get down again? I had a no guidebook adventure (deliberately) getting up and down Cap Rock (easy when you know how but exciting if you aren't sure), but a lot of the bouldering is hard to find from the guide I had.

I did find Gunsmoke (11+) which is excellent (and strangely familiar). I didn't manage it in one push but did all the moves and it's definitely achievable if you are fitter than I currently am.
Offwidth - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

What are the temps like?
wilkie14c - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:
We are looking at moving out to Escondido in a couple of years and so I joined supertopo and asked about the climbing. Got nothing but good responses from the guys over there and many offers to take me out and show me the sights. Great scene it seems. Join supertopo!
Dave Garnett - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to Offwidth: It was very comfortable (even J Tree was OK) in contrast to the 100+ week much of the mid-west and east coast was having. By the evening I was climbing in light fleece on Mt Woodson.
Dave Garnett - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to blanchie14c: Yes, the Kennedy/Hubbard San Diego county guide has loads of nice-looking venues. The multipitch routes on El Cajon Mountain and Corte Madera look really worth the trip. Next time I'll try to be better organised and arrange to meet with the locals!
PeakDJ on 08 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I spent a lot of time the past few years out in SoCal, and visited Mt Woodson on a couple of occasions. I thought it was OK, but it was pretty hot when we were in that area. For the summer months, I liked the bouldering up in the mtns above Palm Springs around Ildyllwild (just a couple of hours away if I remember correctly)....can be accessed by cablecar and perfect temps in summer. A real gem of a place with loads of quality bouldering. Whilst woodson is OK, this place is brilliant.

Also, from what I remember, there is a new small bouldering gym somewhere just south of Camp Pendleton (in Encinitas perhaps?). Really friendly place and loads of info on some of the granite routing in the hills surrounding San Diego. It's in a small industrial unit on a back road somewhere down by the beach, and they have loads of locally produced guidebooks kicking around for some of the more recently developed stuff.

I also thought that Stoney Point in LA was great and worth a visit to tick some of the classics (but again - very hot in the summer). If you're up that way, whilst some locals will say that places like Malibu Creek are crap, we thought it was OK and good for a quick day of bolt-clipping with easy access. Easy enough to find shade down there too.
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jul 2012
In reply to PeakDJ:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)

>
> Also, from what I remember, there is a new small bouldering gym somewhere just south of Camp Pendleton (in Encinitas perhaps?). Really friendly place and loads of info on some of the granite routing in the hills surrounding San Diego. It's in a small industrial unit on a back road somewhere down by the beach, and they have loads of locally produced guidebooks kicking around for some of the more recently developed stuff.
>

That sounds like the Vital climbing wall in Carlsbad. The office is in Carlsbad, so this is handy but I didn't visit this time. I'm just working out whether I'm there often enough to join as a member.
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jul 2012
In reply to PeakDJ:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> I spent a lot of time the past few years out in SoCal, and visited Mt Woodson on a couple of occasions. I thought it was OK, but it was pretty hot when we were in that area.

I'm sure you're right. It was unusually cool on the west coast, with quite a lot of damp, misty mornings, so Woodson was probably cooler than usual for the time of year.
PeakDJ on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

That's the one - it was indeed in Carlsbad. Great little place. We were in San Clemente most of the time when we were out there, and we used to drive down to Carlsbad to train some evenings. There are some OK little beach bouldering locations around on the orange county coast. If you want any further info drop me an e-mail and I'll see what I can dig out. I think this place was fairly handy for us: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=165754
In reply to Dave Garnett: Thanks for the trip report Dave. Always good to hear of new info and places.
jon on 13 Jul 2012
Dave Garnett - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to jon:

Nope, and I don't think the Painted Boulder is painted anymore either. I did notice one place where something had been sprayed over in grey paint.

I have to agree with some of the comments about the subject matter. I'm not condoning any graffiti, obviously, but I was expecting satanic nazi child abuse propaganda at least!

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