05 Sep

Castle Rock Cleanup

Which crag makes an ordinary climber feel like a rockstar with dozens of hikers ooh-ing and aah-ing? Castle Rock! The place to boost your climbing and outdoor ego by impressing hikers is also home to tons of trash unfortunately left by outdoor novices.

Join us Friday, Oct 11th at 3pm to help clean up this iconic location. Bear Climbing Co will provide the supplies and some epic prizes (including a new climbing rope!) – you just need to bring your hands and feet*.

*if you’re an offwidth specialist, your skills will be especially appreciated to clean out Starbucks cups and stuff from the deep crevices in the rock!

28 Oct

Castle Rock Clean-up, Episode 2

I have to say, this was the most fun cleaning up trash I’ve ever had. Shimmying through all the crevices to reach little ‘Easter Eggs’ of bottles, cans, and other debris was more or less like a game. It was also mostly successful. There were some areas beyond the reach of our trash grabbing tool, but I kind of look forward to returning and finding out a new way to gnab it.

Some highlights:

  • Sunglass lenses
  • Camera lens covers
  • iPhone case
  • A phone battery
  • Old, cool looking soda cans.


  • Broken Glass – This stuff is a pain in the arse to clean up. Plastic is probably worse for the environment, but at least it doesn’t fracture as much and is easier to remove!

Here’s some before and after pics:

Castle Rock Crevice Trash

Castle Rock Crevice - Cleaned

Trash filled crevice in Castle Rock Castle Rock Crevice, Cleaner


Next summer I think I’ll dive in there and go for all the small things. Until then, I’m crossing my fingers for the first dusting of snow this Saturday! Woo!

Lastly, I wanted to thank my friend from Myanmar, Mun, for coming along and being a good sport as I made him rappel off the rock for his first time.

Mun Pan Aung Dumphua


21 Oct

Castle Rock Clean-up, Episode 1

Last week my father and I woke up before the sun to hike and pick up trash around Castle Rock. If haven’t climbed there, you oughta check it out! It’s one of the most popular hikes in Big Bear and for a reason – the view from the top is absolutely spectacular.

view from castle rock

Being such a popular trail, don’t be surprised if a bunch of folks stare at you and your climbing gear as if you’re a superhero. For a number of people, it’s the first time they’ve ever seen a real-life rock climber! This morning, however, we had trash bags and trash picker tools.

Venti sized litterbug, please!

Venti sized litterbug, please!

The goal was to clean the trail all the way to the top, but we barely made it halfway because of all the debris. Out of the two trash bags we filled, some highlights include:

  • Baby Diaper (soiled, of course)
  • Starbucks Cups
  • A protractor for geometry?!?
  • Towels
  • Windshield wiper blade
All this from only the first half of the trail!

All this from only the first half of the trail!




This week, we hope to clean up the second half. If you like off-width chimney climbing, let me know! It will be a fun challenge trying to clear out all the trash-filled crevices at the top of Castle Rock!

Anybody like shimmying into these?!

Anyone like shimmying into these?!

Even though it’s always a bummer to see so much trash on a trail like this, I try to remember that for a number of people, this hike may be one of their first few times out in nature. Hopefully it made an impression, grew their appreciation for nature a little more, and next time they’ll take their Venti Frappuccino to the trash can.