Today Corey (my cousin) and I decided to do a Sunday day trip to Black. I was especially stoked to head up to Black because I have never climbed there. Most of my minimal climbing experience has been in Pine Mountain just outside of Ojai. I bought the new guide book for Black months ago, but an ankle injury has kept my outside bouldering to a minimum for almost two months. I frequent the San Jacinto mountain range quite a bit with Ruby (love ya). Mostly we have hiked around the Idyllwild area *Check out our hiking section* The day started off with Corey and I leaving Orange County about 6:00 AM. We approached the Roadside Corral boulders around 8:00 AM.
The grades at Black are notoriously stiff. “Leave your egos at home” is a quote from the Mountain Project page, and that is good advice. My hands had never been introduced to granite prior to Black, and I was immediately humbled by its crystal-like texture. Sandstone, in my opinion, is more forgiving. Regardless, I got on climbs that I felt were within my ability to send. This trip was more exploratory than anything else, and we decided to stay mostly in the Roadside Corral . Corey and I climbed some slab to warm up and then we got on Gym Problem. I enjoyed working the moves on Gym Problem. I feel like it was a good introduction to Black for me. It was an easy problem, but it has good character because of its height and flowing moves.
After Gym Problem we gave a few goes on the Stanage Boulder while it was still somewhat cool out. Corey got Stanage Problem with the stand start which had a nice mantle. The sun started to come out and the heat made it difficult to stick to slopers. After Stanage Problem Corey put in some burns on The Scoops.
We then decided to try out OK Problem around the corner. After a handful of attempts my hands were wearing down. I felt like I had virgin climbing hands again. The granite on OK Problem was slicing my fingers and my finger pads had enough for the day. After OK Problem we ended up walking through the Central Corral to see what it had to offer. After taking the Central Corral tour we went down the hill to Idyllwild to have a brew.
We stoppped in at the ol’ Idyllawhile restaurant in the middle of town. Idlyllawhile is a mellow wine and beer spot with what seems to be a decent menu. To be truthful I have never ordered from it, but it looks good. I’m usually there for the craft brew. The restaurant is classy, and the owners are nice people. Ruby and I met them randomly one night on the patio during our last outing in Idyllwild. The lady behind the bar was from Orange County, and she was excited to hear that we were climbing Black Mountain. After the well deserved beer(s) we decided to leave the sky island and head back to the concrete jungle. Something inside me tells me I should never be leaving the San Jacinto Mountains. They call me back and I feel a strange longing to stay there. Leaving is never inviting especially knowing that the 60 freeway lies ahead…
Black truly shut me down. It was a humbling experience to compare Black to Pine Mountain. They are completely different arenas. I will be back to Black very soon. Hopefully we will do some night climbing with spot lights that Corey and Kayla (Corey’s girlfriend) have recently acquired. Night climbing seems fitting this time of year. It’s scorching up there in the summer. Thanks Corey for introducing me to Black, Pine, and everywhere else in regards to climbing!
Go follow and throw some likes to Corey and Kayla on Facebook and Instagram: @betabandits