Introduction

Rock climbers in the San Francisco Bay Region have to drive a long way to reach any major climbing area. To climb in the evenings and go for day trips the local alternative is short toproping, bouldering and buildering. This guide is a catalogue of the best locations for these activities in the Bay Area. Its purpose is to direct you to the available climbing spots. Some areas where access is not permitted are also included. Public knowledge that these areas exist might help prompt public acquisition of these areas.

There was a great effort made during the compilation of this edition to rate routes accurately and include every worthwhile climbing area. Some places that I know have seen a large amount of climbing are not included due to the rotten nature of the rock at those places.

New to the third edition are maps to areas instead of verbal descriptions. The format of the presentation follows a circular geographical pattern. It starts south of Carmel, moves up through the San Francisco peninsula to Mt. St. Helena and finally back down through Berkeley and Mt. Diablo to Sunol Regional Park.

The increasing pressure on all the local areas from the growing climber population has caused problems at most areas due to heavy concentrated use. This is happening regardless of the existence of a guide book. Some people have complained that telling people where to climb is only going to start problems with the authorities and "access must be carefully guarded". The problem is that if you don't have a large number of people that are actively concerned with the status of an area, then when public agencies consider banning climbing, a small minority's concerns will not be listened to.

If the number of people that care about climbng at an area is large, then their opinions and desires become important for planning the use of these areas. The act of one hundred people showing up at a planning commission meeting has a lot of power and influence. The only way to do that is to have a large and informed group of climbers caring about an area. It is important that climbers are informed about other local areas, even if they don't climb at those other areas because park and city managements from these areas talk. Policy decisions concerning Castle Rock will have influence over areas like that near Stinson Beach or Indian Rock. The recent explosion of activity will have park administrators calling other local park officials asking them, "how do you handle these crazy rock climbers." We as a group would like their answer to be that; "climbers are a significant and legitimate user group and are very responsible and concerned with the environment."

You as a climber must do two things: 1.) become involved and informed, and 2.) practice low impact climbing. In terms of getting involved you can join the Sierra Club Local Rock Climbing Chapters, or the American Alpine Club (Addresses are in the appendix).

To practice low impact climbing there are a few issues that are important in this region:

Climbing is a legitimate activity that is compatible with the natural environment. It is important that climbers get involved in local land use decisions.