Temple of Kali, 10a

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

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Temple of Kali, 10a
Created On: May 20, 2010
Last Edited On: May 20, 2010


Temple of Kali

Temple of Kali is a rock formation in the Gunga Din area of the The Alabama Hills in the outskirts of Lone Pine Peak in the Sierra Nevada Range, California.

The Gunga Din area was named after a 1938 production of a movie, Gunga Din, starring Carry Grant and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The area is rather flat and surrounded by rock formations of various sizes and shapes such as Rocky Top and Peter Gabriel Cliff. Looking like a real temple, Temple of Kali sits high up on a hill watching over the Gunga Din area.

Temple of Kali is a single piece of granite rock with a flat north facing side visible from the vicinity of Gunga Din. There are three bolted face routes with their own separate anchors on this rock. The quality of the rock on the left side is not very good, at least to start, but the quality takes a major improvement in the middle and the right side of this formation. The route running straight up the middle of the face is Kali Sacrifice, rated 10a. To the right of Kali Sacrifice, there are two more bolted routes, Kew, rated 10a, and Wildest Dreams, also 10a. Temple of Kali is steep, nearly vertical, and it sports nice sharp angular holds making climbing on it very enjoyable.

A personal note: I found Kali Sacrifice a lot harder than its 10a rating. This may have been due to my state of mind at the time, or I may have missed a critical handhold. The crux, at least for me, is between the 3rd and 4th bolts. In either case, I walked away with my head down and humbled.

Routes of Temple of Kali
1Kali Sacrifice, 10a, bolts, anchor
2Kew, 10a, bolts, anchor
3Wildest Dreams, 10a, bolts, anchor

Sun sets on the Alabama HillsSun setting on the Alabama Hills
Flowers on the baseFlowers on the base
Seen from Gunga DinTemple of Kali seen from Gunga Din

How to get to Temple of Kali

From the town of Lone Pine on HWY 395 drive about three miles on Whitney Portal Road to intersect Horseshoe Meadow Road. Turn left onto Horseshoe Meadow Road and drive about a mile to just before the last grouping of rocks where you will see a wide turnout into a wide and flat area. Turn left here and stop to read the history of the movie Gunga Din on a plaque. Drive down the bumpy dirt road for a few hundred feet to a much wider flat area surrounded by rock formations. This is the Gunga Din area. You can park here or drive a little further down the same dirt road to another small flat area where you can turn around and park. Looking in the direction of the west and up the hill you cannot miss this beautiful light colored formation.


Lone Pine PeakLone Pine Peak
Gunga Din seen from...Gunga Din
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

Essential Gear

one 60 meter rope, 8 quick Draws

External Links

The Alabama Hills

Sierra Nevada Range

Horton Creek Campground

Rock Creek Canyon

Inyo National Forest

Bishop Creek and vicinity camping

Temple of Kali, 10a

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