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Central Gully

Select Route:
Blue In Green S 
Footprints S 
Helicopter Effect T 
Magali's Arete S 
Objectivist Tendencies T 
Rational Expectations S 
Seven Steps to Heaven S 
Snickerdoodle S 
Spontaneous Order S 
Straight, No Chaser T 
Tee it Up, Cupcake S 

Central Gully  

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Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Jan 22, 2008
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Standing atop the third pitch of Spontaneous Order...


The Central Gully of the Fortress has a very different character than the Right-side Gully. Whereas the Right-side is massive and towering (with 3 huge peaks looming overhead) as well as steep and loose, the Central Gully is low-angle and comfortable. The Central Gully is actually quite pretty. The routes in the Central Gully are also more moderate in nature.

Getting There 

The best way to access the Central Gully is to climb Footprints and then walk uphill to the base of Snickerdoodle or Blue In Green.

To move from the top of Snickerdoodle over to the base of Rational Expectations & Magali's Arete, one must rappel about 30 feet, step across a chimney and then scramble for a few feet. It is actually easier to rappel to the base of Snickerdoodle and then climb Blue In Green to reach the start of Rational Expectations & Magali's Arete.

For a detailed photo of the Central Gully that includes climbing and rappel routes, click here

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

11 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Central Gully:
Magali's Arete   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 75'   
Rational Expectations   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 60'   
Snickerdoodle   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Seven Steps to Heaven   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 50'   
Spontaneous Order   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Sport, 4 pitches, 350'   
Straight, No Chaser   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 100'   
Browse More Classics in Central Gully

Featured Route For Central Gully
Matthew Fienup climbs Helicopter Effect at the Fortress, during the route's first ascent.

Helicopter Effect 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CA : Central Coast : ... : Central Gully
The original route up the summit block atop Rational Expectations & Magali's Arete. From the top of the those routes, traverse right around the corner to the north. Follow a finger and hand crack in a shallow dihedral. Where the vertical crack meets a horizontal hand crack, follow the hand crack left past a few solid jams. Turn the corner to the left and follow the arete (past one bolt) to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Central Gully Slideshow Add Photo
Central gully routes
BETA PHOTO: Central gully routes
Jesse Groves sits atop the spectacular summit of Seven Steps to Heaven (also Spontaneous Order), in the Central Gully of the Fortress.
Jesse Groves sits atop the spectacular summit of S...
Central Gully, right side.
BETA PHOTO: Central Gully, right side.
Jesse Groves rappels west, into the Right-Side Gully, from the summit of Seven Steps to Heaven.  This photo is taken from the base of Adaptive Expectations.
Jesse Groves rappels west, into the Right-Side Gul...
Central Gully climbing and rappel routes.
BETA PHOTO: Central Gully climbing and rappel routes.
Patty Fienup relaxes on "Lunch Ledge," midway up the Central Gully of the Fortress, with Pine Mountain in the background.
Patty Fienup relaxes on "Lunch Ledge," m...
The following photo depicts a highly-recommended circuit that allows you to climb four pitches up the Central Gully and drop into the Right-Side Gully to climb the routes there. <br /> <br />UPDATE: Check out "Spontaneous Order" (5.10a), an even better option for climbing to the top!!
BETA PHOTO: The following photo depicts a highly-recommended c...

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By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 1, 2008
On April 1, Jesse Groves and I climbed an awesome circuit that began in the Central Gully and finished in the Right-Side Gully. We started on Footprints, at the base of the Central Gully, and climbed 4 pitches to the top of Seven Steps (with one rappel/scramble to link Snickerdoodle to Rational Expectations). From the summit of Seven Steps, we rappelled West into the Right-Side Gully by descending to the base of Adaptive Expectations.

This circuit was an awesome tour of the Fortress and is highly recommended to anyone. For a photo/topo, click here

UPDATE: My recommendation has been superseded by the completion of Spontaneous Order which was made possible by Romain's excellent route "Blue In Green."