The Grotto, 5.8-5.13

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New Mexico, United States, North America
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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The Grotto, 5.8-5.13
Created On: Mar 3, 2007
Last Edited On: Jul 13, 2009


The Grotto is narrow canyon tucked away several hundred feet above the sandy floors of Diablo Canyon. To get to The Grotto, continue past Winter Wall along floor of the canyon. On the right hand side of the was there will be a cluster of Pinon trees with a visibly worn path. Go left here and continue up the talus slope, there are multiple paths up this area so feel free to find your own way. Occasionally there will be cairns marking the trail up to the canyon, but I am yet to be able to find them all the way up.The Grotto has 35+ routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.12d

Route Descriptions

The Grotto
The Grotto
The Grotto
The Grotto
The Grotto
The Grotto

East Wall - as you climb into the Grotto from the floor of Diablo Canyon, this will be the wall on the left. The first four listed routes of the East Wall are actually located on the Upper Tier of the Grotto, they are accessed by climbing the routes below them. The routes are listed from left to right.
Medusa - 5.12c/ Difficult and long. Bolts to anchor.
Rolling Brown Out - 5.11+/ A quality test piece. Gear plus anchor.
Mary Poppins - 5.12c/ This along with Guillotine Crack both start on a ledge about 50' above the below bolted routes. 9 bolts to anchor.
Guillotine Crack - 5.10d/ Hand and fist crack. Gear plus anchor
KSR (Ken's Shitty Route) - 5.10d/ Quality route. 7 bolts to anchor.
Chopping Block - 5.11a/ not often climbed due to the poor quality of rock on top. 8 bolts to anchor.
Evil - 5.10d/ Easier on top. 6 bolts to anchor.
Good - 5.10d/ It is about 25' of scrambling from the anchors of this route to the base of Mary Poppins and Guillotine Crack. 8 bolts to anchor - anchor is shared with Evil.
Bergers Bakeshop - 5.10d/ The grade increases to a 5.11a/b when climbing on the left hand side of this route. 9 bolts to anchor.
Affirmitive Action - 5.10c/ named because it was the first bolted route in The Grotto. Bolts to anchor.
Waiting to Procrastinate - 5.10b/ Popular due to the multiple rests available. Bolts to anchor.
Unnamed - 5.10/ This routes ascends the crack just to the right of Waiting to Procrastinate. Gear plus anchor.
Evil Paradise - 5.10c/ One of the most perfect routes in the Grotto. A great route on superb rock. This starts on a sloping ledge and has 2 bolt cold shut anchor. 10 bolts to anchor.
Hidden Slab - 5.10a/ Start on cold shut anchors from Evil Paradise. Bolts to anchor.
Sunday Bloody Sunday - 5.10c/ A great crack climb. Gear plus anchor.
Lucifer's Hammer Drill - 5.12d/ Very difficult crux. 10 bolts to anchor.
Ojo - 5.12a/ Excellent climb, starting with a wavy face and continue up to a steep face. 11 bolts to anchor.
Prolonged Burn - 5.10b Begin on the last face of the East Wall, just before the wall turns and faces south. Bolts to anchor.
Memory Block - 5.10a Begin on the same face as previous route, but keep to the right. Route curves left at last two-three bolts. Shared anchor.

West Wall - The routes are listed from left to right.
Unnamed - 5.12d/ Quality climbing with a variety of hold sizes. 7 bolts to anchor.
Project - 5.13?/ This is the only route that has been chipped and glued in all of Diablo Canyon, and the most recent talk is to remove it.
Trailer Park Girls - 5.12b/ This is a highly acclaimed route of this area. 6 bolts to anchor.
Where the Wild Things Aren't - Sparse Protection. 5 bolts to anchor.
Pulling a Tooth - 5.11d/ Hard start. 5 bolts to anchor.
Winter Solstice - 5.10a/ #2 Friend replaces the last bolt. 6 bolts to anchor.
Winter Warm Up - 5.8/ Moderate Trad route. Gear plus anchor.
Winter Capacity - 5.11a/ Never really gets sun. Bolts to anchor.
Venarete - 5.12b/ Difficult but with good rests. Bolts to anchor.
Crack Whores - 5.10c/ Decent climbing. Gear plus anchor.
Rickety Rock - 5.11c/ Large loose rock at the top. Climb with care. 5 bolts to anchor.
Class Act - 5.10a/ This is what the 5.10s at Diablo are like. 7 bolts to anchor.
Bong Crack - 5.10c/ Difficult to finish. Gear plus anchor.
Wodgie's Wild Ride - 5.11b/ Crux at the bulge. 10 bolts to anchor.

Detached Pillar
Exit Arrete 5.11a/ Difficult at the top. 5 bolts to anchor

Alcove on mesa's western side
Chains for Brains - 5.12b/ Not using the crack to make the clips ups the grade for this route. Botls to anchor.
Walker-Wehner Direct - 5.8/ Starts in the bottom of the alcove. Gear plus anhor.
Larcombe's Lament - 5.10c/ Decent route. 6 bolts to anchor.
Slap Happy - A reccomended route in Diablo Canyon. 6 bolts to anchor.
No Name Crack - 5.8/ Good crack route, with a little exposure at the deck. Gear plus anchor.


The Grotto
The Grotto

A 200' rope, quickdraws, and a helmet is all that is needeed for sport climbing in The Grotto. The hike up the slopes into The Grotto from the wash of Diablo Canyon doesnt require anything more then sneakers, but I would advise against sandals.