Thursday, May 21, 2009


Black Mountain Wednesday was spent at the Chappies yesterday, and what a nice little bunch of boulders! The Chappies aren't a new area, but they are rarely climbed on because info is rather scarce. The rock is a little different than Boulder Basin, and feels more like the Tram, or even at times, like the Buttermilks.

Directions (stolen from the SoCalPD): Drive past Boulder Basin until you get to the Fuller ridge road split. Go down hill, or left if you're looking at it like a fork, and continue from this point for up to a 1/2 mile. There will be a very obvious sandy pullout on your left, really the only left you can make after the split. Park here and continue on foot down the road/trail found in the back left of the "parking lot" area.

Continue down hill on trail through "campsite" (do NOT camp here) and cross the small stream up hill to left into the obvious pile of rocks. The Chappies spread up hill from here, to the road, and down hill from here, to the road again.

Fun rocks abound, like the v3 above (anyone know the name?). A complete classic! But it isn't all easy, and once this area is fully developed, it could have the largest concentration of hard climbs on the mountain. In one day we spotted at least five lines with the potential to be double digits.

Here we have Ian on (what we think is) a new problem, Moss Apocalypse (v7). A cool heel hooking lip leads to a scary topout, but luckily the climbing gets easier as the climber gets higher.

I leave you with this: Joe trying trying trying...falling.


Monday, May 18, 2009

December Boulders

Some images from the weekend...

Bridget sending Moondrops V7

Alex FA'ing the December Project (Name yet Alex?)

Joe on a little overhang right off the road on the way to Cracker Boy, dubbed Born Under Punches (V7ish) until determined otherwise.

Alex on the impeccable warm up face near the December boulders. We are referring to a little cluster of boulders between the Corral and Basin perched on the ridge below and north of Bang On as the December boulders. These blocks have most likely seen some action in years past, particularly the moderate faces, but the harder steep lines appeared untouched unfortunately, because it was a ton of work to clean them. Anyone curious about this little area of about 20 problems from V0-V10, with some classic midrange climbs, can access it via the left turn off of 4S01 (Black Mtn Truck Trail) onto the Boulder Basin Campground road. Park at the immediate turnout by the gate and walk up the road a few hundred yards until it curves right towards the campground. Here you cut left off the road as if you were going to walk cross country to the Corral through a wash and onto the ridge were the blocks sit at about the same elevation as the road. About a 10 minute approach. If anyone knows any history to this area please let us know so we can get accurate names and info. Thanks!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meeting with Forest Service

The meeting went amazingly well. We met with John Ladley, Recreation Office, and Andy Smith, Assistant Recreation Office (check outAndy's work at Taquitz). Both were not only friendly, and seemed to truly care about the mountains, but were also open to reasonable suggestions for change. Here's the cliff notes version of the meeting, in ascending order of importance:

1. John and Andy didn't know about the dirt road to the Republic, so there is little chance of it being cleaned up any time soon. Ah well, real men have trucks anyway.

2. Of course you need an adventure pass to park on the road, but the Golden Eagle Pass - or what do they call it now, the "America the Beautiful Interagency Access Pass" (how lovingly bureaucratic) - also works. Just put it on the windshield.

3. Parking in the campground with an adventure pass is allowed (although I've heard reports to the contrary in the past), just don't do it on a busy weekend when you may be taking sites away from campers. Use common sense.

4. There are some pictographs around OK Corral. We've all seen them, but I just assumed it was paint from the 70s or something. We were first told to enjoy them and then to respect them. Remember Hueco, and be kind to the writing on the rocks.

5. The lower gate is closed to prevent people from trashing the road and getting stuck when there is mud and snow. But as we pointed out, the road below the Corral - and to a large extent the campground as well - dries out early in the season. We suggested that another gate be added directly above the Corral or the campground, and John and Andy were both open to it. HEAR THAT! WE COULD HAVE NEARLY YEAR ROUND BLACK MOUNTAIN ACCESS!

A second gate isn't a done deal by any means, but the possibility is a live one. It needs to get cleared by the fire people, and someone has to pay for it (perhaps $3,000), but there may soon come a day when the summer is Black Mountain's off season.

Overall the meeting went as well as could be imagined. Any thoughts on all this?

Vote! Best Problems!

Why? Because why not. Vote suckas! Do it here, do it now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meeting with Forest Service

Alan and Ian are meeting with a rep for the Forest Service Wednesday morning. We see it as a way to open up a dialogue with the Forest Service so that we can sort through issues before they become blown up with the publishing of the new guide. So far, we are planning on discussing.

1. Access: Is there any way to get those gates open earlier.

2. Trail Building: Is this a problem?

3. Parking in the Campground: What exactly are the rules?

4. What concerns does the Forest Service have?

What else? What questions do you all have? How should we approach these issues? Comment here and we'll post answers later this week.

Friday, May 8, 2009


With the gate open, posting our Black Mountain plans for the weekend just doesn't seem to be so important. There will be plenty of people going up there anyway, so who needs us? That being said, we'll be out there both days. We're not sure on Saturday, but Sunday begins at the top, at the base of the lookout tower, before moving down to the Bang On area. Come on out!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Black Mountain Wednesdays are getting popular! Ten of us were at the summit yesterday, climbing around NRA, Bang On, and Cracker Boy. How did we get up there, with the gate closed and all? Easy, THE GATE IS OPEN! No more long hikes required.

Above you can see Alan on an unnamed v8 near Cracker Boy. What's going on there? A nasty mantle topout, that's what.

Below is Mike on a v2 warmup near NRA. There is a few boulders with a bunch of quality v0-v3, right through the cave from the main circuit. The summit is much cooler than the Corral or Boulder Basin, so check it out on those hot hot summer days.

And a question. Does anyone know about all those climbs near Bang On? There are a number of tall faces in the area, and I'm sure someone has climbed them, but who?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

One Month, 1,000 Visits!

Today is a day of celebration! It appears as if the BMB is doing its job - getting word out about Black Mountain's unknown climbs and putting us in touch with the older generation of Black Mountain climbers who know more about this mountain than anyone. Hats off to everyone who's contacted us about putting up problems in the 80s and 90s! This mountain has such a history, it makes us proud to be contributing to it.

In the month since BMB conception we've had over 1,000 page views and nearly 400 unique visitors. We hope this keeps up!

Below Loh's

After tromping around the mountain, solo, or with one or two other people for the majority of the spring, it was very nice to have a few extra heads, spots, and pads yesterday. We focused our efforts on the cluster of large, previously undocumented blocks below Morphic Res and Loh's Roof. There are five or so gigantic boulders of decent quality further down the gully that have some high ball potential as well as some steeper, not so tall angles. Has anybody scoped these out in the past? Above, Alan is attempting a ground up ascent, brush in hand, of an enormous but featured face, gained by bouldering through the steeper V6ish lower section. Below, Alex and the T brothers are trying to power through for a second ascent of Lobotomy V11ish located 10ft to the right of Loh's Roof.

Friday, May 1, 2009


The weather isn't perfect, but we will persevere! OK Coral on Saturday, Republic on Sunday. We should have a large crowd both days, and as always, all are welcome.