Descanso is a fun area that thrives on intermediate routes, albeit on some run out terrain. Bouldering is king, with over 30 established routes V0 - V4 but there are also good trad lines and airy sport routes. If you're ascending beyond bouldering, make sure your gear placements are solid - anchors and bolts should be considered suspect!
What Makes It Great
Descanso wall is small size, but has a lot of quality granite routes. The sport routes can be some what run out and most are over 100 ft long. Top roping is possible with a 60m rope and long slings, and their is plenty of bouldering. There are both crack and face climbs to be had. Enjoy the fee free climbing at the Descanso Wall! Some of the best routes include:
1) The Governator V02) Dr. Livingstone V13) Nelson V1-V24) Dyno Soar V2+5) We Refuse to Grow old and/or Up 5.7 Sport (Main Wall)6) Space Ramp 5.8 Trad (Main Wall)7) King of Pain 5.9+ Sport (Main Wall)8) Icarus 5.11a Sport (Main Wall)9) Icarus 5.11a Sport (Main Wall)10) Into the Eye of the Son 5.11+ Sport (Main Wall)
Who is Going to Love It
The bouldering is great for intermediate climbers who want to push their limits without wandering into extremely technical routes. the trad and sport routes are better for experienced climbers who are confident placing gear, especially on the less difficult - but sparsely protected - routes.
From I-8 & the 805, drive about 33 miles East on the I-8 (past Alpine) to Exit 40 CA 79-N/Japatule Valley Rd toward Julian. Take Exit 40/Hwy-79 and turn left (North). Drive 0.8 of a mile to Wildwood Glen Lane. Turn Left (West) on Wildwood Glen Ln and park at the Helo pad/turn around/USFS gate.
Don't forget your water and walk past the gate for exactly 700 feet.
You will notice a clearing in the brush on the bank to the North. This is the trailhead. The trail (pretty well developed) leads up past the Firefighter Memorial and to the main wall... 15-20 mins.
(Notice the boulders out to the West. These offer several great problems if you have some extra time to kill. I'll be posting these problems soon.)