Heart of Darkness

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
5.11a (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

6996 Hits
72.08% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Heart of Darkness
Created On: Oct 19, 2007
Last Edited On: Oct 19, 2007


"Heart of Darkness" and a smaller sister climb Apocalypse Now sit the west side of the Oyster Bar. It sits in a small corridor which is well worth the hike and since its very dark, recommended for when you are trying to escape the heat. "Heart of Darkness" is the crack in the middle of the corridor, and while rated 5.11c in Randy Vogels book, it really weighs in at 5.10d/5.11a. If you are looking for a break from the gritty cracks found in the park, this is a beautiful smooth splitter. If you are in the area you might as well do to wide crack "Apocalypse Now" found to the climbers right of HOD. "Apocalypse Now" is given a 5.10b in the Vogel book but in actuality is closer to 5.8/5.9 but wide.

Getting There

From the Intersection Rock area/ Hidden Valley, drive out to Sheep Pass Road parking at a small pullout on the right side of the road (before you get to the Hall of Horrors). Heading southeast from the pullout you will see the Oyster Bar area about 1/2 mile from the pullout maked by a distinct well worn path. When you get to the Oyster Bar, skirt around to the right passing Target Rock and the front side of Conrad Rock. On the southwest side of Conrad Rock you will find a distinct corridor where the rock appears cleaved in two. Enter into the corridor. The first splitter crack will be Heart of Darkness and the second Apocalypse Now.

Route Description

Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness starts at fingers and goes up onto a pedestal. From the pedestal the route goes over a very small overhang (ok, an overlap) to an absolutely splitter crack leading to bolts and a lower off on the left side of the wall). On the upper crack you will be able to see right through the wall into sunshine for a surreal experience. Take gear from a blue microcamalot (0.3) to red camalot (1.0) mostly 0.5 and 0.75 camalots. Its a short route so not much gear is needed but it really is good fun.
Apocalypse NowApocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now starts with a hand crack and widens to an armbar quickly ending too soon with a sling anchor on the right side to lower off. Cams from a Blue Camalot to a 4 camalot suggested.