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Sport Climbing in New Jack City - Vertical Nomads

Sport Climbing in New Jack City

Sport Climbing in New Jack City

Barstow, California
(February, 2017)


“Good climbers, climb ice when they can and rock when they can’t”
~ Anonymous

In February 2017, Gergo and I decided to treat our better halves (Kandice and Haley) with a romantic Valentines day trip!  On further discussion over beer, we both agreed that nothing can be more romantic that ice climbing in Lee Vining! We booked hotel rooms, sharpened ice tools, crampons and got very excited to spend three days in the Eastern Sierras enjoying mountain vistas, climbing ice and hanging out at the hot springs. This is when we found out that a severe winter storm was going to hit the Eastern Sierras. It was predicted to bring 4-6 feet of snow over the course of the weekend. This amount of snow would not only make traveling in and out of the mountains a nightmare it would also make Lee Vining Canyon very susceptible to an avalanche. 

In this way, we canceled our trip and spend the next few hours checking out the weather forecast for every climbing area in the South West. Southern Sierras, Joshua Tree, Red Rock Canyon, Zion every single place was forecasted to receive quite a bit of rain or snow! Therefore, we decided to go to the only place that was supposed to be sunny that weekend, New Jack City.

Since New Jack City is pretty close to San Diego, Gergo and Kandice decided to drive down to San Diego and spend a few days here with us before going climbing.


Gergo, Kandice, Haley and I in Old Otown, San Diego


Teddy wanted to go climbing as well!


Lee Vinning Canyon (in summer)
During a heavy snow year, the area marked in red forms a snow bowl.
This bowl is right above the ice climbing areas of Lee Vining Canyon and can lead to a large avalanche anytime


Gergo working on some balance, La Jolla Cove


Enjoying being out in La Jolla


 San Diego, as usual, had the perfect weather during Gergo and Kandis’ visit. We started the day by visiting Torrey Pines and La Jolla Cove. We then stopped by a few local breweries for beer tasting and ended the day in Old Town with some Baja cuisine Mexican food!  We then went home watched some TV, rested and packed for climbing at New Jack City the next day.



The dark rock of New Jack City



Teddy, the best crag dog ever!


New Jack City, also known as Sawtooth Canyon, is a sport climbing destination near Barstow. With more than 450 sport climbs ranging from 5.6 – 5.13 scattered across the high desert, New Jack City offers something for climbers of all abilities. The rock is an unusual form of metamorphic rock of volcanic origin, offering often tricky and thought-provoking sequences and moves on huecos, pockets, edges, jugs, underclings, and crimps. The climbing is typically steep and diverse, requiring both strength and technique.


Gergo on the sharp end!


Kandis climbing on up!


Kandis after making it to the top!


Teddy, guarding all our climbing gear


Treat time!


Finally getting my gear sorted out!


Haley, getting some climbing in as Teddy watches hidden behind the bushes

Spot the belayer you can trust with your life and the one you absolutely should not!!!!
Yes, never trust the guy belaying you with a growler of beer clipped to their harness!


Teddy watches on


Gergo and I


Gergo and I had our differences on what is a safe Yosemite finish on your Figure of Eight follow through knot!
Which one would you trust?


Teddy and I after a good day of sport climbing!






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