PSOM Wall - Approx. route starts and anchors shown, some approx. route lines indicate
PSOM (Palisade School of Mountaineering) Wall is a favorite for easy to moderate leads (although a serious slab route was sent in spring of 2014). There is much to be found in the 5.7-5.10 range, mostly slab with a few cracks thrown in. Most belay stations have mussy hooks. Some routes require 2x60m ropes for rappel, generally a 70m rope gives more options. Note that this wall is East facing and goes in the shade in the afternoon (earlier in winter/later in summer).
A - Unknown A 10b, short, awesome slab, 5 bolts, mussy
B - Unknown B 5.9+, short, good but not stellar, much easier if one uses the right hand edge at any point, 4 bolts, mussy
C - Crack, 5.8?, a bit vegetated, mussy
D - Same As It Never Was 11c, the aforementioned serious slab route, looks just plain hard, 9 bolts, mussy
E - Wanted Man 5.9+, serious start, decking potential, mussy
F - Breaking and Entering 10b, thin face/roof moves to grassy crack, mussy
G - Slow Ride 5.7
, fun route, 2 bolts and gear to 2" (mostly small), shares anchor with Lizard Gizzards
I - Digi 5.8
, bring a few small pieces (nuts/cams to yellow alien), start on ledge, go past two bolts on face, turn roof (bolt), follow seam/thin crack, go up past 3 bolts on easy face, then slightly up to the right past two more bolts (5.7/8) to easier ground and the upper anchor, rappel via two ropes or take one 70m rope (knot ends!) to a ledge above the start and downclimb
J - Pretty New Anchor 5.9+/10a
, not pictured on the main overview picture, this route is between I and K and starts with 2 bolts on a slab (5.9+/10a), leading to a groove (small cam), then goes straight up (3 bolts) crosses K (which trends left) and continues on the right via thin face (5.9+/10a, 3 more bolts) to the lower anchor; a bit of a squeeze, but a fine line with fun climbing, one tight 70m rap
K - Your Mother Was A Hamster 5.7/8
, fun slab route, start on buttress just right of J, go up past 3 bolts, then trend left and up past 4 more bolts, uses the left hand bolts (same as Digi) higher up, 7 bolts
K1 - Rattlesnake Errands 10a (2p), on the buttress just up the hill from 'Your Mother Was A Hamster' - fun slab climbing, P1 8 bolts, P2 10 bolts, single 70m rope, 2 rappels, mussy anchors
L - Racing Lizards 5.7
(3p), fun climbing with a bit of variety, probably the most popular route on PSOM wall (you might actually have multiple parties/people waiting), easy to get lost on 3rd pitch, several variations on 1st pitch (the bolted slab [shown] being the most aesthetic and maybe a tad harder)
N - PSOM Pinnacle 5.8, a popular route that looks good but has a bunch of choss on P2. The exact start is a bit obscure, essentially find the easiest way up between Racing Lizards and JFMR.
O - Forgotten Climb 10a, really fun first pitch, solid slab/easy hand crack
P - John Fischer Memorial Route 10d (7p), longest route at PSOM, same p1 as L (other pitches not shown), read up on John Fischer and remember the deer caution on the Pine Creek main page
P1 - Too Many Rules 10+, black bolts, fun steep slab/thin face route, single 70m rope, between P and Q
Q - Slab-O-Rama 10+PG13
, fun route with three distinct slab sections and an easy roof, sustained midsection, a bit R on the easier sections, 12 bolts, a few pieces of gear in the green/gray alien range recommended for the 2nd horizontal crack above the roof, 70m rope, 2 rappels (via Too Many Rules)
R - Serious But Not Desperate 10aR, great slab climbing leads to the right side dihedral of PSOM pinnacle, pretty run out
S - The Big Chill 10a?, corner to ledge to arching crack (not the straight crack to the left side of the large roof above)
U - The Big Deal 5.9
(3p), excellent route with a fun mix of crack and face climbing, roof sections look intimidating but are low key
V - Unknown C - bolted slab route just right of The High Life, 5 bolts, looks hard
W - Unknown D - bolted slab route just left of P1 for PBR Street Gang, 4 bolts, looks hard
X - PBR Street Gang 5.9+ (5p), solid/burly crux move, PSOM version of adventure climbing, upper pitches not shown; The High Life is a good 1st pitch variation
From the junction of Hwy. 395/Pine Creek Rd. drive West on Pine Creek Rd for approx. 7.4 miles.
Look for a small wooded area and nice gravel pullout on the North (right, crag) side of the road. Upon getting out of the car note the quaint creek (not initially visible). Backtrack down the hill to the first orange snow pole and pick up the approach trail (heading NE) here. The trail is pretty well worn and PSOM (the large slabby area to the North) is in plain view. Approach to the base of Unknown A should take less than 10 minutes, even with heavier packs and sucking wind.
When to Climb
PSOM can be climbed year-around, but best conditions are usually found in spring and fall.
Winter is a great option in a dry year and on a clear and (relatively) warm day (upper 50s/lower 60s in Bishop). Wind, time to warm up, early shade, and short days are the other main considerations.
Summer can also be a good time and usually if Bishop is in the low to mid-90s or lower, Pine Creek can be a viable option, especially if the climb is shaded. Thunderstorms (frequently unseen until the last moment) are a primary concern.