Southern California is amazing in so many ways. I believe we have a really great, friendly, diverse, and supportive climbing community. I also love that we are able to climb year round. In the winter Joshua Tree is the hot spot to be, when its cold. Majority of the areas around SoCal is climbable in the spring time, since we only get a few days of rain… the rest are bright sunny warm days. During the summer it does get instantly hot in the Inland/OC/LA areas. Fortunately, to escape the heat we have several areas to climb up in elevation where its much cooler. Such as Holcomb Valley (sport), Idyllwild (trad/sport), also Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. (http://www.pstramway.com/).
The rock up in Tramway is solid speckled granite. Summer passes now cost $70 and is active from May 1st to August 31st (2012). I always say Tramway bouldering is “spoiled climbing”. You basically drive up to the base of the tram station, enjoy a scenic five minute ride up the tram, get off and its climb time! Nonetheless, I really do believe that the $70 in the long run saves you money from driving up the 8516ft elevation gain every time. The summer pass saves you money if you intend to visit tram often in a 4 month window. One tram pass for a single day costs $24.95 (adult). Also, when you get a summer pass you get an epic looking card, ha.
Another reason why I love bouldering at tramway… below is a picture of the temperature in Palm Springs, when I parked my car getting ready to boulder. After riding in the tram, the temperature at the top station was a gorgeous 74F. A -38F degree difference in under 10min?! Yes please.
Once you step off the tram, and pass through the souvenir shop you enter San Jacinto State Park… before anyone enters the park to boulder you have to fill out a Wilderness Permit (if bouldering you have to specify that to the ranger). They are constantly keeping track of the bouldering impact year by year. It is very important to imply the “leave no trace” policy. Bouldering in Tramway is a privilege so please have the utmost respect to the land, rangers, and tramway employees. No shenanigans.
Last year was my first season at Tramway… in just one season Ive met so many great people bouldering up there. Defiantly met people I will have friendships that will last a lifetime. These people love climbing outdoors, and keep me psyched to stay strong. Below is the SoCal climbing community, we all ran into each other bouldering one fine Saturday! The base tramway station parking lot is a long stretch & steeply angled road… another plus with tramway is the trolly that is operating most hours of the day. The nice trolly ride birngs you from the station entrance to the parking lot you parked your car at. Seriously helpful after a long day of bouldering with light hiking.
Enough about how awesome the tramway station is… and more about the epic climbing. The rock up in Tram is spectacular granite. Boulders range from extremely featured, short overhangs, slabs, caves, high steep problems, and a handful of killer highballs.
Just saying… CANT WAIT to get arm/face deep in some delicious tramway granite this Sunday!
Stay Psyched & Climb On