OverviewCastle Rock Towers are a tight-cluster of granite/conglomerate granite crags located just off of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernadino Forest. They offer a variety of routes in both the trad and sport climbing genres ranging from 5.5 to 5.11.
Getting ThereLocated off of Hwy 18 just west of Big Bear City. If in Big Bear City, head west past Boulder Bay and a left turn in the road will present itself with a turnout. There is a trail head about 50m farther down the road, in bend, labeled Castle Rock Trail. Follow this trail uphill (moderately steep) trending to the right (west) The towers can be seen about halfway to them on top of a hill to the right. You will pass the East ans SE faces of the formation on the trail, from there pick your way up trace trails to your wall of choice. Allow at least a half hour to get there.
If coming into Big Bear City, the trail head will appear in the bend of a sharp left turn and you will be able to see the sign for it. If you have made it to Boulder Bay you have gone too far.
Red TapeForest Pass required to park at the bend in road.
General Rack InformationWhile the climbing rack can certainly be customized to meet specific route needs (likewise, if all you want to do is sport climb then just bring draws), if you are looking to get a well-rounded day then there are certain things that would be useful to have.
Stoppers #5-#11 most useful (BD sizing)
Cams .5-4 with doubles on the 1 (BS Sizing)
Lockers (Belay Chains present)
20-25ft cordelette for TR setup to reduce rope drag.
RoutesBlack Tower Crack- 5.6
Easy as your Sister's Best Friend- 5.5
Ball and Chain- 5.9+
Pigeon Wings- 5.8+
For those of us less inclined to lead 10s and 11s, there is a gully on the North-Northwest side of the main formation, almost exactly opposite of the Black Tower, that provides boulder-hopping access to several anchors at the top of the harder climbs. This gully also allow one to access the bolted anchors at the top of the South Wall, though with some downclimbing.
There will be more route information available soon.