Login with Facebook
Derrydale Cliff

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Elephant in the Room T,S 
Exilis Dihedral T,S 
Grand Old Pachyderm S 
Mammoth Poaching S 
Mowgli Walk S 

Derrydale Cliff  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,000'
Location: 34.583, -119.2613 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,648
Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Jul 29, 2008
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Saw this beautiful creature while exploring new ro...


Long, sandstone cliff-band that starts immediately above Hwy-33 and runs a few hundred yards north west. The cliff is 60-100 feet tall and consists of areas of bullet-proof sandstone (and other areas of choss).

This beautiful cliff-band looms large over Hwy-33 and absolutely screams to be climbed. Clearly, there has been activity going back at least 20 years.

If you have any information about what routes were established, about who did these first ascents and when, please post this information here.

There is clear evidence of recent and past climbing attempts; although, nothing is currently known about actual routes. PLEASE POST INFORMATION HERE.

Two more hard routes have been added to the left of "Exilis." Both FAs were by Matt Greco. The routes are 5.11 (left-hand route) and 5.12. They are both located in Area A


Local Geology: "Derrydale Phase" of Matilija Sandstone

Getting There 

Roadside Crag is located on the right-hand side of the road, when heading north and approximately 1 mile beyond the obvious turnout for the Fortress. The crag can also be found by driving to the Potrero Creek trailhead and then continuing up the Highway for approximately 1/2 mile. There is a small turnout located immediately below the cliff.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

5 Total Routes

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

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Derrydale Cliff:
Exilis Dihedral   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 75'   
Elephant in the Room   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 130'   
Mammoth Poaching   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 75'   
Browse More Classics in Derrydale Cliff

Featured Route For Derrydale Cliff
Marisa Fienup climbs G.O.P., at Derrydale cliff.  This steep first half of the climb includes fun moves off of abundant, positive edges (and goes at only about 5.7).  The slab above involves devious friction climbing that is a couple of grades harder.

Grand Old Pachyderm 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : Central Coast : ... : Derrydale Cliff
Things are not as they seem...the steepest part of this route is surprisingly easy. The slabby upper reaches are surprisingly hard. All in all a fun addition to Derrydale. The route follows steep face climbing on positive edges past the first two bolts--amazingly, solid edges appear wherever they are needed. Just below the third bolt, the angle drops back. From here, delicate slab climbing leads past two more bolts. There is a clear crux encounter just above the fourth bolt. If you escape...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Derrydale Cliff Slideshow Add Photo
Matthew Fienup climbing at Derrydale Cliff, October 17, 2008.
Matthew Fienup climbing at Derrydale Cliff, Octobe...
My wife nearly put her hand down on this little creature as we were scrambling up the hill to the base of Exilis Dihedral.  At just 5-inches long and thinner than a pencil, this must be a very new arrival to the area.
My wife nearly put her hand down on this little cr...
Area "B" <br />This part of the cliff is home to a line that is approximately 100 feet tall.  The line climbs a steep face past one 80s-era bolt and a series of pockets to a horizontal break.  From the break, there is a heavily-featured face that climbs up and eventually left below a small arch.
This part of the cliff is home to a line ...
Route topo for Elephant in the Room (yellow) and Mowgli Walk (red), at Derrydale Cliff.
BETA PHOTO: Route topo for Elephant in the Room (yellow) and M...
Area "A" <br />This part of the cliff is approximately 50 feet tall and contains very hard sandstone within an obvious black streak.  The top of the cliff is equipped with what appear to be shiny, new Fixe Supershuts.
This part of the cliff is approximately 5...
Photo of Roadside Crag, on Hwy-33 above Ojai.  The photo depicts areas where bolts are located.  Area "A" is home to a top anchor consisting of what appear to be shiny new Fixe Supershuts.  Area "B" is home to what appears to be an 80s-era lead bolt with SMC hanger.
BETA PHOTO: Photo of Roadside Crag, on Hwy-33 above Ojai. The...
Derrydale Cliff: <br />Red - Exilis Dihedral (5.9) <br />Orange - Mammoth Poaching (5.10c) <br />Yellow - Grand Old Pachyderm (5.9)
BETA PHOTO: Derrydale Cliff:
Red - Exilis Dihedral (5.9)
Belaying from a narrow ledge, the "Elephant Walk", that runs atop all existing routes at Derrydale Cliff. This grassy ledge is a comfortable place from which the leader can belay the second, and it has an outstanding view of Sespe Creek.  <br />Photo by Matthew Fienup, February 2009.
Belaying from a narrow ledge, the "Elephant Walk",...
Derry Dale Bridge, not far from Derrydale Cliff.
Derry Dale Bridge, not far from Derrydale Cliff.

Comments on Derrydale Cliff Add Comment
Show which comments
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Jul 30, 2008
Stuart Ruckman bolted a line, or two, but never climbed them. These are a way up from the road. They are rumored to be hard, and Stuart could climb a little bit.

Next to the road there is a bolt or two. I could never find out any info on this and never felt it was worth too much attention. Pretty, yes, but also pretty thin on suspect rock. But if I had lived a little closer it would have been worth a bit more effort...
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 31, 2011
Matt Greco equipped and led both of the routes that Stuart Ruckman explored on the left side side of the wall. Matt reports that the one line went at 5.11 while the other is 5.12.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Feb 22, 2012
Those don't sound like Stuart's routes, since he said hard and could climb 5.12 in his sleep or, as one person put it, "you could lock him in a closet for six months and he'd still onsight 12c". But I don't know how invested he was either. He didn't sound very psyched. Did Matt say if these were good? Might be worth doing sometime.

Also, Matt, have you found any info about the steep bolted line opposite side and just before the Black Wall? Probably 10+/11-. Very chossy but super fun. My guess is that it's a Mike Gould route but I don't remember why. Maybe it has my hangers on it.