Question 1: Can I bring my dog?
Answer: Possibly. Before making the decision to bring your dog, I think you have to answer a couple of questions. Is your dog generally friendly with other people and dogs? Are you prepared to pick up your dog poop? Will your dog be a distraction? Is your dog well trained and down for the approach?
This issue is becoming a huge debate in the climbing community, but for the most part, if your dog is under control at all times, not putting other climbers at risk (ie: deciding to post up in the landing zone), and you're prepared to pack out some poop... then most folks won't be bothered. BUT, if you're crossing some nasty tallus that could be dangerous, your dog is a nuisance barker or not good with being leashed up, it may be better for everyone to leave the pup at home.
Question 2: What should I bring (for bouldering)?
Answer: It's always good to go with a plan, so head out with the app Mountain Project or a Guidebook. You'll also want to bring the typical climbing gear: a crash pad (or 2 or 3!), chalk, a brush, etc. If you're planning on a full day out, plenty of water (at least 2L), high nutrient snacks, and sun protection! As always, the weather out here can get a little crazy, so it's a good idea to pack a layer or two as well. If you're pushing your day into dusk, don't forget a headlamp!
Question 3: There's an anchor at the top, am I good to top rope off of it?
Answer: This is a highly debated question. But a good rule of thumb is if you are planning on having more than one climber TR after it's led, then you should set up your own anchor. While it's convenient to run the rope through the mussys, the gear is placed and (*sometimes) maintained as a courtesy. Reducing wear on the fixed pieces increases the longevity of the hardwear - which is guaranteed to be replaced.
Question 4: How do I know where to go?!
Answer: There are a lot of awesome resources for finding rock. One, start with your local gym staff! When they're not at the desk, they are getting out there and sending it. You can also deep dive into Mountain Project, guidebooks (we have those to rent for free to members!) or start cruising Google Earth to find big rocks if you're looking for something untouched. I always like to explore new places with a friend who is familiar with the area for the best success in getting on climbs that are in my ability.
As always, it's good to brush up on all the Leave No Trace principles when it comes to getting outside. Have a plan for your poop, don't camp on top of crags, practice fire safety and follow all flame restrictions, stick to designated trails and don't crush the brush!
Here's a great read by the LNT crew in regards to climbing outdoors.