On Sunday, December 30, 2012, the Senate met for a rare Sunday session during which they passed a bipartisan bill creating a new 25,000 acre park. Pinnacles National Monument will be joining Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Zion, and over 50 other destinations as a national park. In 1908 at the urging of environmentalist John Muir, President Theodore Roosevelt established 2,500 acres 80 miles southeast of San Francisco in the Gabilan Mountains as a National Monument. Since Pinnacles’ inception, the area has served as hub for rock climbing.
Straddling the San Andreas fault, Pinnacles offers a variety of climbing routes from easy sport routes to mult-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge. With hundreds of climbs, a dry climate, and 30 miles of hiking Pinnacles makes an ideal place to climb and hike in the fall, winter and spring. Summer months can be excessively hot.
The cobbled, lava climbing provides a rich and traditional climbing experience. Jim Bridwell, Barry Bates, and Steve Roper all aided in the area's development. The ground-up style of climbing pushed the difficulties of free climbing across California. Santa Cruz and South Bay climbers David Rubine, Tom Davis, and Jim Thornburg established a number of difficult routes. Later, climbers such as Chris Sharma cut their teeth on hard routes like Ubermensch 5.13c and Ranger Bolts 5.13a.
Beyond being a great place for climbing, Pinnacles provides a home for 32 free-flying condors, which are monitored by park biologists to ensure they choose safe roosting sites.
The Pinnacles National Park Act awaits signature by President Obama. The designation will retain the size and management of the area but park officials expect an increase in visitation.Have you climbed at Pinnacles? What do you think?
Tags: Pinnacles National Monument, Pinnacles National Park
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