I drive past Stoney Point often. It’s a rock climbing paradise, a pilgrimage destination for hikers and those who appreciate a spectacular view, whether local residents or tourists. It was, after all, discovered by climbers in the ‘30s, and served as training grounds for mountain climbing pioneers in the ‘50s. And while I marvel at the huge boulder formation, part of a mountain range, sitting there with the 118 Freeway to the east, Topanga Canyon Boulevard to the west, and the valley floor down below, I never stop to take a closer look.
Or never did stop, I should say. Until I read Michael Connelly’s “The Closers,” a book describing a crime committed in Chatsworth, not far from the Point. A fiction book, of course. Still, the details so crisp — the mountain in the distance, the winding trails of Chatsworth reminiscent of the views near the Point — drove me to wonder, why not take a minute and appreciate the scenery, take pictures? Michael Connelly must have stopped by. And it’s easy to imagine nefarious things happening at night, as they did in the book; easy to see his imagination unleashed with no restrictions, here in the middle of a place both highly circulated and wild.
But the bolder formation and park are mainly known for recreational activities. Folks come here to rock climb, take photographs, hike, or just stare. Appreciate a unique view of the Santa Susana Mountains, and the entire San Fernando Valley — if you make it to the top of the rocks, that is. Not me, not yet. But even from the ground, the surrounding view is something else. Now, it’s on my list of things to do. Rock climbing, anyone? Oh, maybe I’ll hike the trails and take more pictures for some time. Enjoy the view.