A Guide To Rock Climbing Around South Bay

December 1, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

rockclimbing A Guide To Rock Climbing Around South Bay

(credit: Thinkstock)

December is upon us and while Bay Area rock climbers still might be able to climb outdoors, they have to accept that it’s winter. Fortunately for climbers in the South Bay, there are indoor and outdoor options for all ability levels. As with any type of exercise, rock climbers should be in good health, particularly if they want to tackle the more challenging aspects of the sport. If there is any doubt, it’s advised that climbers of all levels seek the advice of a medical professional or take an introductory course before engaging in climbing.

Castle Rock State Park
15000 Skyline Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA 95033
(408) 867-2952

Nestled among the majestic redwood trees of the Santa Cruz Mountains and not far from the City of Los Gatos is Castle Rock State Park. Motorists can take Highway 9 to Highway 35 or via Highway 17 South to Highway 35. Motorists must drive carefully along either route as Highway 35 is a very popular road for cyclists. The various climbs throughout the park are rated V3 but visitors are advised not to climb when the rocks are wet. The Castle Rock Climbing School offers professional instruction for all ranges of ability.

Planet Granite
815 Stewart Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
(408) 991-9090

Arguably the most popular indoor rock climbing facility and certainly the largest in the South Bay is Planet Granite. For first-time visitors, the easiest route is by way of Highway 101 to the Lawrence Expressway. The facility has over 25,000 square feet of climbing, featuring walls up to 60 feet high and over 110 top rope anchors. Planet Granite Sunnyvale also offers yoga and fitness classes.

Related: Best Tracks for Exercise in the Peninsula

Studio Climbing
396 S. 1st St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 998-4000

Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Studio Climbing is a popular indoor climbing destination for people who work in the lively area, in addition to the students, staff and faculty at nearby San Jose State University. First-time visitors to this facility can take Highway 280 towards downtown San Jose. The facility offers 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain and 3,000 square feet of bouldering. There are over 80 top and lead ropes and its lead wall is 40 feet high.

City Beach
4020 Technology Place
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 651-2500

City Beach is a multipurpose 42,000-square-foot facility in Fremont that offers both rock climbing and volleyball. The popular site is on the Auto Mall Parkway between Highways 880 and 680. The rock gym offers 16,000 square feet of climbing, a 50-foot lead cave and belay classes hourly. Please note that the City Beach has two locations in South Bay, but the Santa Clara facility does not have a rock climbing gym.

Pacific Edge Climbing Gym
104 Bronson St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 454-9254

Some say that Santa Cruz is not technically in the South Bay but the Pacific Edge is definitely the most respected in the entire region and one of the best in the world for rock climbing. Most visitors will take Highway 17 South, then Highway 1 South to the Morrissey Blvd exit. Just blocks from Seabright State Beach, Pacific Edge is credited to creating world-class athletes such as Chris Sharma and Tiffany Hensley. In business for over 20 years, Pacific Edge has a main room with over 50 routes in varying degrees of difficulty, a bouldering area and a teaching room, in addition to fitness, cardio, weight training and yoga rooms.

Related: Take a Day Trip to Palo Alto

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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