Welcome to John's Rockclimbing Page
Who am I?
I started climbing in 1990 after taking a class with Cal Adventures (UC
Berkeley) and then hooking up with a good friend, Marty Garrison. Marty
took me climbing in Yosemite every weekend for quite a long time. He
led everything (being a competent 5.11+ leader on valley crack) and I
I've done almost all my climbing in Yosemite valley. But I've done some
climbing in the Pinnacles, Lover's Leap, Phantom Spires, Donner Summit,
Joshua Tree, Cosumnes River Gorge, Southern Yosemite, and Tuolumne Meadows.
My favorites climbs by area:
- Yosemite: too many to list; here's a partial list of short moderates...
Snatch Power (10c), Sherrie's Crack (10c),
Highway Star (10a), Reeds Direct (5.9), The Iota (5.4), La Cosita
Right (5.9), Moby Center (10a), Sacherer Cracker (10a), Nutcracker
(5.8), Munginella (5.6), Sunnyside Bench Jamcrack (5.7), Lazy Bum (10d),
Terrace (5.8), Serenity Crack (10d), Son's of Yesterday (10a),
Peruvian Flake (10a), Arrowhead Arete (5.8), Snake Dike (5.7),
Grack Center (5.6), East Butt Middle (5.9 A1), Braille Book (5.8).
- Pinnacles: Photographer's Delight (5.4), Ordeal (5.8), Portent (5.6),
Swallow's Crack (5.5?), Wet Kiss (5.9), Monolith Reg Rte (5.8).
- Lover's Leap: The Line (5.9), Traveller Butt (5.9), Haystack (5.8),
The Farce (5.4), The Groove (5.8), Surrealistic Pillar (5.7),
Bear's Reach (5.7), East Crack (5.8), Fantasia (5.9),
Hospital Corner (10a), Corrugation Corner (5.7), you know,
the usual stuff...
- Josh: Headstone (5.6,5.8), Lazy Day (5.7), Exorcist (10a), Aiguille
de Joshua Tree (5.6 X), boulders: Chuckawalla (10+), Turnbuckle (11-),
Stem Gem (11+ I wish!!)
- Phantom Spires: Over Easy (5.7), Middle Reg Rte (5.8).
- Sugarloaf: Pony Express (5.9), Fingerlocks (10b), The Fracture (10d)
- Donner: Rated X (5.9), Black September (5.9+), Goldilocks (11a), Greener
Pastures (5.9), One Hand Clapping (5.8, 1st p)
- Cosumnes: Unconquerable (5.9), Dinkum (5.9)
- Echo Summit: Metal Blade (12a)
- Southern Yosemite: Miranda (5.8)
- Clark Canyon: Pick Pocket (10c), Stegosaurus (5.9), Wholly Cow (5.9)
- Tuolumne: Cathedral Peak SE Butt (5.6), Fairview Reg Rte (5.9), West
Crack on Daff (5.9), South Crack on Stately Pleasure (5.8),
Great White Book (5.6), Hobbit Book (5.7)
- Big Chief: Time's Up (10a), Festus (10a), Mohawk (10b),
May Cause Drowsiness (10d),
War Path (5.9), Force Feed (11a), Sweatin' Bullets (11a),
Drill Drop (11b)
- Owen's River Gorge: Abitarot (5.9), Heart of the Sun (5.9), Tsing Tao (10a)
- Red Rocks: Cat in the Hat (5.6), Rebel without a Pause (11a), Slave
to the Grind (11b), Yak Crack (11d), Rainbow Buttress (5.8)
- Fastest Long Route: Royal Arches in 39:15 (simul-climbed with Andrew McMullin, Aug 2001).
- Hardest Lead: 12a (Sport), 10b (Trad)
- Hardest On-Sight: 11b (Clark's, Potato Patch)
- Hardest Long Route: Serenity-Sons-Ahwahnee Butt 5.10d, (5 of 11 pitches
are 5.10). Bill Wright led all the pitches.
- Hardest Solo: The Line 5.9 (Crux is near the ground)
- Longest Solo: Cathedral Peak (5.7, 7 pitches, 26:17)
- Best High-Pitch Days:
- 31 pitches: Surrealistic (5.7), Corrugation (5.7), East Wall (5.6),
East Crack (5.8), The Line (5.9), Bear's Reach (5.7),
Haystack (5.8), Pop Bottle (5.7), Deception (5.6), The Groove (5.8)
[Lover's Leap with Andrew McMullin]
- 29 pitches: Bishop's Terrace (5.8), Munginella (5.7),
Commitment (5.9), Peruvian Flake (10a), Sunnyside Jamcrack (5.9),
Lena's Lieback (5.9), Royal Arches (5.7 A0) [Yosemite with Rick Ziegler]
- 24 pitches: Half Dome (5.9 A1) in 5:50 with Hans Florine
- 22 pitches: Matthes Crest (5.6), then Cathedral Peak twice (5.7)
[Tuolumne with Rick Ziggler]
- 20 pitches: East Butt of El Cap (10b), Snake Dike (5.7)
[Yosemite with Bill Wright]
- 15 pitches: Serenity-Sons (10d), Snake Dike (5.7)
[Yosemite with Andrew McMullin]
- Best Climbing Partner: Peter Croft (paid as a guide, 1990). We did
Sweet Jesus (10c) in Tuolumne; I'd been climbing 1 month. I got
hauled up the 10c section, but freed everything 5.9 and down.
Now, over 10 years later, I expect I'd do about the same.
Here are a few pix to check out...
- Here's a silly picture of me posing on the Half Dome
- Have you ever wandered around the top of Half Dome?
is a good place to stop!
- Here is a picture of me following the first pitch of the North Face of
East Quarter Dome.
(My partner was Chuck Carlson.)
leading the first pitch of
in the Fall of '98.
- Have you seen this outrageous shot of
doing a horizontal press while soloing hard at the Needles? (Taken from
a "No Fear" ad.)
- My first Sierra summit:
Mt. Ritter just southeast of Yosemite; taken on
the last day of an Alpenskills class from ASI around 1990.
- Here is a picture of the
North Dome Gully with the descent route marked
in red. This view is from the top of Washington Column.
My Other Climbing Pages
I try and keep track of some
Yosemite Climbing Records.
A better and more up-to-date source is
Hans Florine's Speedclimbing Site.
I made a list of Famous Valley Climbers to
briefly catalog the exploits of the post-Golden-age personalities.
I once served as a "recreation expert" for an on-line and CD-Rom based
magazine for U.S. and Canadian students, answering their
questions about rockclimbing
for about 5 weeks.
Some beta on popular moderates at
My lifetime climbing goal:
A list of valley climbs that I've done.
Links to Nice Pages
homepage. This is the most comprehensive source on the web for big-wall
photos, beta, and other stuff. A huge amount of Yosemite info.
- Read about Erik Weihenmayer's ascent of the
(he's a blind rock climber).
- If you're looking for the nearest rock, try Tim Tuola's
Sierra Mountain Guides
page has lots of info about classic climbs in the Tahoe area.
- The Climbing Archive
is a good source of info, beta, trip reports, etc.
California Climber's Network has
some good stuff (although it looks like this site is no longer maintained).
Tahoe Bouldering Guide is a great source of info for bouldering
Friends with Web Pages
Several of the people whom I know or climbed with have web pages...
- Karl Baba has a
nice page about his guiding service and his climbing experiences. I've
never met this guy, but I think I'd enjoy meeting him... sounds like a
- Nate Beckwith is another
very accomplished (and young!) climber; he and I climbed Serenity and
Sons in the valley in 1998.
- Evan Bigall has a very
nice web page. (I haven't even
met him, let alone climbed with him, but we've corresponded a bit via email!)
- Clint Cummins
is probably one of the more accomplished climbers I've had the privilege to
rope up with (actually, we've never actually climbed together).
- John Dalbey is a
solid climber, an outward bound instructor, and loves the outdoors more than
anyone I've known. We've climbed in Tuolumne, Yosemite, and Southern Yosemite
- Bill Wright
and I have climbed quite a bit together. A
prolific climber despite being a full time worker and father!
John Black's WWW Page /
John R. Black /