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Everything you'll want to know (almost)

With 40+ years of climbing history and over 1,700 problems, we can't tell you everything about Black Mountain here, but we can convey some of the basics. 

What's up with Black Mountain? 


Black Mountain has been a destination for climbers in SoCal for decades, from the early forays of John Long and John Sherman in the 70s to the introduction of modern bouldering with Sharma's visit in 1999. It's out of the heat, near Los Angeles, has free camping, and the boulders go on for miles. You'll probably like it. 

Where is Black Mountain? 


Black Mountain is in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, not to far from the looming walls of Tahquitz. It takes about two hours to get there from Los Angeles and a little longer from San Diego. 

What is the best time to climb? 


You can climb at Black for most of the year, although it gets hotter than you want in the Summer and (usually) has more snow than you want in the winter. The best season is certainly Fall and Spring, like most everywhere else in the world. 

What's the bouldering like? 


The rock is all granite. Imagine the boulders of Yosemite meet the texture of the Buttermilks. The patina isn't a pronounced as at the Buttermilks, but the best lines are every bit as stunning as those found in the Valley. 

When and where can I get the guidebook? 

You can order it on this website right now! Between shipping and handling, give it about two weeks to arrive. You can also buy it at Mesa Rim Climbing Center in San Diego. Although we don't have immediate plans to expand the number of physical stores, we'll let you know if the situation changes. 

Who's writing the guidebook?  

Your lovely authors are Ian McIntosh and Alan Moore. Ian is the owner of Mesa Rim climbing gym in San Diego, and one of the country's leading route setters. Alan grew up on the rocks, from youth comps to hard trad, in the US and abroad. Both love Black Mountain and want to share it with the world. 

I've hear the guide has no grades. Is this true?   

We're doing a few things differently in this guide. For example, if you look at the sample topo, you'll notice that there aren't any grades in Black Mountain Bouldering. Yes, that's right, we've written a climbing guide with no grades. We feel that the V-scale doesn't accurately capture the subjective experience of difficulty, especially on the granite of Black Mountain, where a few inches of reach can mean the difference between v5 and v10. Read more about it, and tell us what you think, in the blog

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