Bouldering in Columbia, California

Photos by Dean Fleming - After the unearthing of a massive gold deposit in the spring of 1850, the small town of Columbia, California, became one of the largest mining camps in The Mother Lode. Today, an enormous labyrinth of narrow limestone corridors and jumbled blocks sits exposed by Columbia’s extensive hydraulic gold-mining campaign. Although the boulders and cliff-bands are endowed with harrowing landings, mossy topouts, mountain lions and poison oak, this area’s unique features have attracted climbers for nearly 40 years. Columbia is relatively unknown to the American climbing community, yet a small group of local boulderers is continuing a long-standing tradition of highball bouldering and high adventure in Columbia’s overgrown passageways. See more about bouldering in Columbia in Mileage in Climbing No. 290.