Climbing Mountains

The San Gabriel Mountains afford numerous mountain peaks and canyons to go rock climbing in, and while the Crystal Lake Recreation Area basin has some very good hiking trails around the rim, the best actual mountain climbing is to be found outside of the campgrounds.

The San Gabriels are the steepest average gradient mountains in the American Southwest, at times climbing to heights in excess of 10,000 feet in very short order, much of it extremly friable and lose metamorphic granite mixed in with sandstone shale and the occasional volcanic lava rock (you can find sea shells on mountain tops which were once ancient sea beds.)

The fractured geology of the region is so unstable that major highways and roads have had to be abandoned due to the expensive and constant repairs and rebuilding that must take place as roadways endlessly spall off and slide in to the canyons below.

Approximately 25 miles long situated in an unusual East/West layout, the San Gabriels are still being created through volcanic uplift (growing approximately 2 inches a year) with a major San Andreas Fault contact point visible my looking generally North from the USFS Visitor Center in the Crystal Lake Campgrounds.

Climbing the San Gabriel Mountains is hazardous but can be done safely with caution and experience.

Climbing Mountains

Mountain climbing isn't something that should be done without first acquiring years of experience rock climbing. On the Internet there are extensive web pages dedicated to the Basics Of Rock Climbing, and there are numerous how-to books available anywhere which cover the basics of safety, tools, equipment, methods, and procedures.

Though rock climbing can be hazardous, when you start mountain climbing you enter in to a different and more hazardous arena where altitude and fewer opportunities for rescue add more danger to the sport. Mountain climbing is much like rock climbing taken to the next level.

Here are a set of videos taken by experienced climbers, some of which use safety equipment to climb though usually the climbers in these videos are experienced enough that using protective climbing equipment (ropes, pitons, chocks, friends et al.) aren't used. As interesting climbing videos are posted by climbing expert Frozen Carnitas, they will be added to the top of the list of climbing (and related) videos featured here.

Have fun and please climb safely!

Looking Back -- Ryan Dacey

Regional Climbing Vidoes! We Got Them!

Professional climbers with lots of experience are shown in these videos.

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map

This web site is not operated or maintained by the US Forest Service, and the USFS does not have any responsibility for the contents of any page provided on the http://CrystalLake.Name/ web site. Also this web site is not connected in any way with any of the volunteer organizations that are mentioned in various web pages, including the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) or the Angeles Volunteers Association (AVA.) This web site is privately owned and operated. Please note that information on this web page may be inaccurate.

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