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Portent, 5.6

Portent, 5.6

Portent, 5.6

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 36.47842°N / 121.18394°W

Object Title: Portent, 5.6

Route Type: Sport Climbing

Season: Spring

Time Required: Less than two hours

Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)

Route Quality: 
 - 3 Votes


Page By: lisae

Created/Edited: May 7, 2007 / May 13, 2007

Object ID: 291522

Hits: 6741 

Page Score: 79.04%  - 10 Votes 

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Portent, 5.6, on Discovery Wall, is a truly a Pinnacles classic. It was one of my first climbs, when I began climbing outside of the gym. I still remember how difficult I thought the start was and the exhilaration and fear I felt during the exposed traverse that I now think is the most enjoyable part of the climb.

Getting There

From the Bear Gulch Visitors Center, head towards the reservoir via Moses Spring Trail. When you come to the sign post, marking the turn off to reach the Bear Gulch Caves, continue right on Moses Spring Trail. When you come to the a second sign post, indicating a climber’s trail, again bear right to reach Discovery Wall and Portent.

Portent is one of the first climbs you notice as you hike up to the base of Discover wall. There is a large boulder near the base.

Sign Post
First Sign Post
Sign Post
Second Sign Post

Route Description

Rubine’s guide recommends climbing Portent as a two pitch climb. There is an anchor to the right of the bolt where the route begins to traverse left, consisting (currently) of one good bolt and two older bolts. However, most people climb this route as a single pitch, as it is a popular route and a single rope enables you to reach the anchors.

The start is the crux of the route. Rubine’s guide rates it as a 5.7, but it feels like a 5.8 to me. It is height dependent. If you are tall you can reach several good holds and scramble up to the alcove. If you are short, it is easier to move into the right corner before working your way up to the first good hand holds.

Portent, 5.6
Steve Reaches for the Opening Holds
Portent, 5.6
Steve Scrambing Up
Portent, 5.6
Almost Past the Crux

Jenny demonstrates grace on the opening sequence.

Portent,  5.6
Moving into the Corner
Portent, 5.6
Making it look Easy
Portent, 5.6
Good Hand Holds

Portent is bolted; however the first bolt is quite high, maybe 30 feet or so. You can place gear near the start of the climb, in the small chimney or alcove. If you do place gear, use long runners to reduce rope drag. The bolts on the rest of the climb are spread out, but the climbing is easy.

Portent, 5.6
Steve Placing Gear
Portent, 5.6
Ron Nearing the First Bolt

Portent tends left, paralleling the left facing corner, until you begin to traverse left. The traverse is easy, but feels very exposed as you move across a bulge. At the last bolt, head up towards the anchors.

Portent, 5.6
Ron Traversing Left
Portent, 5.6
The Traverse
Portent, 5.6
Approaching the Anchors

To descend head right on the trail that parallels the top of Discovery Wall to reach the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail will lead you to the High Peaks Trail and back to the base of Discovery Wall.

This route is very popular. It is not unusual to have a party waiting to start the route after you.

Essential Gear

Quick draws, long slings and carabiners to extend the clips, your favorite anchoring system and a small rack if you want to place gear near the start of the route.

Red Tape

Discovery wall is not usually affected by the annual raptor closures, but you should check the closure list before you climb at the Pinnacles.

You can get more information about the Raptor Advisory Lists at this web site: