Climbs 1000
Rocktype Pillow lava
Altitude 1835m a.s.l
Faces all

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Wish I could climb like that © jcw

Crag features

The Owens River Gorge contains the highest concentration of sport climbing in the Eastern Sierra. The climbing is varied, though endurance pitches on gently overhanging walls with pockets / flat edges predominate. Highest concentration of routes is in the 5.10-5.12 range, though easier and harder pitches can be found. There are lots of good pitches, though overall the climbing is not really worth a trip from UK / Europe on its own. If you're on the Eastside for bouldering / alpine routes, the gorge can make a good change of pace. It's possible to find sun / shade at any time of the year but conditions are best November - March.

It's worth noting that many of the routes were originally established ground-up with bolts placed from stances, or sometimes from hooks etc. This means that the bolting can sometimes appear somewhat erratic and you may not feel like you're sport climbing. This is particularly true of routes at 5.10 and below. Having said this, there are plenty of routes at all grades which are fully sport-bolted and most of the more recent / harder routes were established top-down.

Approach notes

Approaches differ for the different areas of the Gorge. The most commonly used are:

1. For the Lower Gorge, approach via the DWP road which leads to the power plant. This can also be used to access the Central Gorge.

2. Most often used approach is the Central Gorge approach which follows a well maintained trail down a gully. This leads directly to the Warm Up Wall. Lower Gorge, Central Gorge and some of the popular Inner Gorge areas are a short walk from here.

3. For the Upper Gorge drive the road until you reach a gate. Park and walk past the gate for about half a mile. Keep an eye right for a trail down into the Gorge. The best trail down is a good one, there are others which are loose and not enjoyable.

Consult a guidebook for more details and for information on accessing the Sub-Gorge and North Gorge areas.

Access Advice

No access issues other than to note that a lot of the land around the Gorge (and in the Gorge itself) is DWP owned. Stick to established camping / parking areas to ensure that access doesn't become an issue.

Couldn't agree less: I thought it was great.
cem - 30/Sep/14
The routes climb quite well but the setting is not very atmospheric to say the least. Better off sticking to the bouldering round bishop.
loundsy - 05/Mar/14
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