Mount Diablo is home to curvy roads, short approaches and good climbing. The most well-known crag on Mt. Diablo goes by the name “Boy Scout Rock”. It lies in Rock City and the approach to the crag from the parking lot is meer five minutes. Boy Scout Rock does not offer world class climbing by any means, but it will keep you busy for the day. It has climbs rating from 5.8-5.12. In my opinion, the lower face of boy Scout Rock offers the best climbing with Amazing Face (5.9) and Bolt Route (5.11c). The rock is sandstone and slabby so you’ll often find your self contemplating whether or not the tiny flake your foot is on will break sending you cheese grading down the wall.
I woke up early after working 24 hours in the past 48 hours to practice aid climbing on Bolt Route. In my opinion it is a great route to practice and perfect your aid climbing techniques. (I am planning to climb my first big wall in April, The South Face on Washington Column)With the route being 70’ and 14 bolts, there is about 5 feet between each bolt. (The start is definitely the crux with a gnarly mono and the first bolt being 8 feet high.) I had no real plan on actually free climbing anything today but my buddy Danny did. We rolled up to the crag and soon after another party joined us. They had a cool session on Amazing Face (5.9) directly left of us. With my approach shoes on and my 5’7 height, I was quickly shut down by the height of the the first bolt. Fortunately for me, there was a log a few feet away I was able to prop up and cheat clip the first bolt.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a gnarly mono pocket on the start of Bolt Route. Danny spent about 10 minutes cranking away at it while his feet slipped from under neath him. Between small crimps and bad feet Danny retired and let me have a go on it. I wasn’t planning on climbing anything today but I was still eager to give it a shot. Ive been half ass projecting this route so I knew the sequence up to the second bolt. I started on the two crimps right next to each other, and for me i have to very statically reach up with my left and tweak my middle finger in the mono. Once my middle finger is secure, I crank up onto it and get my right hand in the pocket directly under the first bolt. I found that pinching the crimps on the climb are easier than hanging onto them. I then get my right foot up high and and smear my left. I move my left hand onto a crimp and bounce it up to a side pull up high. I had trouble getting past the first bolt today just due to not being psyched about it. After a few attempts Danny gladly hopped back on it. He worked it a few more tries and due to time we had to head out.
Danny wanted to try the bolt ladders to retrieve our top rope anchors so he messed around on it. He got up to the second bolt and just couldn’t figure out how to aid climb it. He decided to just free climb it past the second bolt. He had trouble from the start of the climb but he cruised through the climb after the second bolt. My theory is that it is such an attempted climb, the start gets smoothed out making it harder, but the climb after the second remains relatively untouched making for some really good climbing. Danny worked his way up the climb on top rope falling here and there but in the end he had a good send. He cleaned the anchor and rapped down and we headed back down the mountain.
Overall, it was a nice change of pace from my regular climbing schedule. Last weekend I was out at Table Mountain absolutely crushing sport routes in hot weather and being dehydrated to a casual week at work. It was nice just having a relaxed day of easy approach and fun rope climbing. Its a nice reminder that you don’t have to go out every weekend and send 5.11, you can just hangout with one of your buddies and mess around on top rope and aid climbing.