Mount Russell Massif
Sunday Matinee Wall is a formation in the The Alabama Hills
on the outskirts of Mount Whitney
in the Sierra Nevada Range
It is with a certain amount of hesitation and embarrassment that I write about this formation since I have criticized the over bolting that has occurred. On my last two trips to the Cattle Pocket area I noticed a number of people climbing and enjoying this formation. The climbers I met were friendly and offered me a ride on their ropes which I gladly accepted. Therefore, my thinking is, if this rock is going to be popular with climbers, then may be, it deserves to have a page on Summitpost.
Sunday Matinee Wall is a short, but long formation located across the wash from the all time favorite Cattle Pocket
area and to the west of The Corridors, East End
. Unusual to the Alabama Hills, this rock offers a number of cracks separated by well-featured faces. The rock is steep and the faces are all bolted with their own anchors. If you are in the mood for short, but vertical rock, Sunday Matinee Wall is the place to go.
When you get to the base of Sunday Matinee Wall, the first thing you will notice is the number of routes packed closely together. But, don't despair. Enjoy a few routes and move onto better and longer routes across the wash on Cattle Pocket. There are some twenty routes on this rock with varying degrees of difficulty. You have the two easiest routes on either end of the formation. There are also more challenging routes in the low to mid 5.10s on the wall as well as a number of cracks. If you tape your hands for Joshua Tree, make sure to double up on the tape for here. The cracks here are very rough , and without tape, they will will put you out of commission very quickly. All of the cracks use the face route anchors to lower off.
Sunday Matinee Wall is northwest facing and stays in the shade for a good part of a day time hours. During the hottest hours of the day you can take refuge inside the nearby corridors. The base of the formation is narrow, but it's very friendly and flat. Most face routes have only four bolts.
List of select routes
select routes of Sunday Matinee Wall
|1||Ranger of The North, 5.6, bolts, anchor|
|2||Sand Trap, 5.9, bolts, anchor|
|3||Taming Power of The Small, 10a, bolts, anchor|
|4||Spitting The Breeze 10b, bolts, anchor|
|5||Hands Across The Border, 10a, bolts, anchor|
|6||Man In The Saddle, 5.8 Crack, standard Rack, pro to 2 inches, anchor|
|7||Running On The Sun, 10a, bolts, anchor|
|8||Thunder In The Sun, 5.9, bolts, anchor|
|9||Sunset Trail, 5.5, bolts, anchor|
Cattle Pocket on the left and The Corridors, East End on the right
How to Get to Sunday Matinee Wall
From the town of Lone Pine, California, on Highway 395 take Whitney Portal Road at the only traffic light in town. Drive 2.7 miles west on this road to intersect Move Road
. Turn right onto the Movie Road. This road is paved for a short distance then it turns into a dirt road. The first dirt road to intersect the Movie Road heads for Shark's Fin
. Miss this one and drive about half a mile to the next dirt road from the left. Turn into this one and pass by Paul's Paradise
. Shortly further up the road you will see the Blackhawk Pinnacle
and the beginning of Cattle Pocket. Before reaching the Blackhawk Pinnacle look for a dirt road to your right. Take this road that should head north for a short distance then west, left again. Note; taking this side road avoids having to cross the wash that is deeper a bit further. Stay on this road all the way to the East End of The Corridors
. Park in this very large flat area. Walk west from the left side of the rocks in front of you and pass in front of all of the corridors. Sunday Matinee Wall is just past the last corridor.
Although many parties camp within the parking areas of the Alabama Hills, this practice is highly discouraged. The area suffers from mismanaged campsites and blackened caves. There are two campgrounds very close to the Alabama Hills. Lone Pine Campground
is further up the road on Whitney Portal Road
, and Tuttle Creek Campground
is within a few miles up Horseshoe Meadow Road.
If you don't mind driving another fifty miles, there are many campgrounds along Bishop Creek just to the west of Bishop. There are also many places in The Buttermilks area that are close to a creek that are suitable for camping. Please do not camp in The Buttermilks bouldering area. That area is very crowded and is suffering from the impact unregulated camping has caused.
The following links should help finding a good campsite
Horton Creek Campground
Rock Creek Canyon
Inyo National Forest
Bishop Creek and vicinity camping