El Camino Real

Page Type
Route
Location:
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
5.10a (YDS)
Number of Pitches:
3

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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73.06% Score
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Page By:
El Camino Real
Created On: Aug 14, 2010
Last Edited On: Aug 14, 2010

Overview

Though only rated 2-stars in the Vogel/Gaines guide, this route is a personal favorite (I'd give it at least 3-stars) that has it all: a fun, thin and smeary boulderish start (that may seem runout to some); blocky arete-like section; a 5.9 friction traverse; a shady belay spot; and finishes with a classic lieback that's strictly a "plug-by-Braille" affair.

Getting to the Route

From the bend in the road below Humber Park (if you've reached the park, you've gone too far), take the Ernie Maxwell trail on the right side of the road (as you're driving up). You will cross the creek almost right away. Follow this trail for approximately 200 yards until you reach the climber's trail marker (an old carabiner nailed to the top of a post---though, due to dirtbag tendencies, the 'biner may be missing).

This starts the steep-ish and rough trail climbs almost directly to the base of the rock. Where the trail meets the rock (Lunch Rock) it splits left and right---you want to go right and continue up, past the ever-classic Fingertrip keeping a lookout for a pine tree that's missing its top (about 60' up the trail, give or take). Aim for the tree directly up a few 3rd class boulders to the obvious slab start (there should be chalk marks). If you reach the start for Traitor Horn, you've gone about 40' too far.

Route Description

P1 - As noted, a thin and crimpy slab problem just left of the "almost" crack gets you off the ground. Don't bother trying to get any small wires in higher up---best to just run for the block and the big undercling. (Though again, it will be best for your second---and for you belaying him/her up---to traverse left and a bit higher before putting in your first piece due to drag.) Follow the line up to the "pinnacle" and set your belay.

P2 - Gain the slab and start the 5.9 friction traverse. Follow the bolt line up to Jungle Ledge (one of the nicest and coolest belay spots around).

P3 - The money pitch. This is where you get to test your ability to place 'by feel.' The left-facing dihedral starts steep-ish and slowly relents in a malicious way---by curving to the left. Liebacking is your only option (well, aiding would work too, but...ahem...I digress) and unfortunately, just about every left foot placement is slicker than a wet bar of soap, meaning there's no real way to lean forward to look at the crack without pitching---gotta feel it then grab the right piece. Oh, yeah, and it's best to stay relaxed...

A two-bolt anchor lies atop the dihedral and this is where most people rap off from (80 foot rap back to the Jungle), however there is a fourth pitch if you'd like to finish on top.

P4 - Climb 5.8 cracks up and left then traverse to link up to Jensen's Jaunt.

Essential Gear

A single 60m and a standard rack with a few thin pieces (if you don't run out the parts of the first pitch) up to 2.5" though you may want a couple extra yellow, orange and red TCUs for pitch 3.