Sport Climbing Weekend

Sport climbing has rapidly become one of the most popular aspects of climbing and many people are making the transition from gym style climbing to the outdoors. The Owens Valley has a wealth of different locations and rock types to choose from with climbs at all levels of difficulty making it an ideal place to take a climbing vacation.


The large number of sport climbing crags in the area make it possible to climb in a different location and on a different rock type each day. However, we will endeavor to be flexible and take into account the weather conditions, other climbers and your personal desires in choosing the day’s itinerary.

The best places will be:

The Owens Gorge. With over 600 routes this area has a tremendous concentration of climbs on andesite and welded tuff rock types. Routes here start in at 5.6 and in contrast to many other sport areas the greatest concentration of climbs is at the 5.10 level. The Gorge is at low elevation and can be a hot place during summer.

Rock Creek. At 8,000 feet in the Sierra the Rock Creek area offers wonderful granite bolted routes. The climbing is varied requiring a repertoire of skills and techniques. Surrounded by aspen groves this is a beautiful locale during the month of fall.Routes here start at 5.9 and go upwards.

Clark Canyon. Situated in the Jeffrey Pine forest east of Mammoth this offers steep, short climbs on pocketed tuff and some cracks. It is a lot cooler than the low elevation crags in mid-summer. There is range of climbs from 5.6 upwards.



Our guides are American Mountain Guides Association trained so you can expect the highest level of climbing and safety knowledge combined with solid instructional skills and professionalism.

Equipment Required

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for warm or cold, wet or dry weather, a sack lunch, sunscreen, sun hat, 2 quarts water, snacks, camera and film, and a daypack to carry it all.


We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

Return to SMC Rock Climbing School


During the two days the topics covered will include:

  • Stretching for climbing
  • Footwork
  • Route reading
  • Mental and physical training for sport climbing
  • Equipment selection
  • Anchor construction and its safe usage
  • And of course as much climbing as you are able to handle

Meeting Place and Time

Course location will depend upon weather and conditions at the time.
For Mammoth based climbing we meet at the Mammoth Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes at 8:00 am. From Highway 395 take the Mammoth Lakes exit and follow the signs into town. The Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center is a few miles from the highway on your right (along with the US Forest Service). The address is 2510 Main St, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. If you get to the first traffic light you have gone too far.
For Bishop based climbing we will meet the first day at 8:00 am at the world headquarters of Sierra Mountain Center, 200 South Main Street, in Bishop. We are on the east side of Highway 395 in the second block south of the south most traffic light (intersection of Line Street and Main Street/Highway 395. Or is you prefer just across the Mountain Rambler Brewery.
We will meet for an orientation talk and equipment check, then proceed to our location for the day.

Program Prerequisites:

Rock I or equivalent

Program Inclusions:

Price includes guiding, permits and all group climbing gear. You need personal climbing gear and lunch. Local accommodation is not included in the program.

Please Read before you go

We feel the following information is essential... (links open as PDF in new window)

  1. Details, itinerary, and equipment list for your trip
  2. SMC Cancellation Policy
  3. Suggestions on preparation - get the most out of your trip!
  4. Tips on physical training for your trip
  5. LNT - Let's work together to protect our precious mountain environment.

Rental Equipment:

Need to rent equipment for your trip? We can help.