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YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Mike Gould & Tony Agulara, 1995
Page Views: 2,192
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Feb 18, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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The final climactic crux of Goulara, Direct Finish...


Starts at a little wooden ledge above the creek. The route follows a short face and then continues up the right-hand side of a slighty overhanging arete.

The crux is actually clipping the last three bolts while hanging off of the arete (the climbing itself does not feel 5.10c). The bolts were actually placed to protect a climb up the middle of the face (to the right of the arete, 5.11+). Thus, clipping the top three bolts requires a LONG and awkward reach. Blow the clip and you will take a very clean but very LONG fall into space.

Note, a lot of rock still comes off of this route. The belayer should not stand on the wooden ledge. Instead, position him/her on the large sycamore tree which can be slung as a ground anchor. Helmets are a must.

This route is sustained, exposed, and aesthetic...one of the very best in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.


8 bolts to 3 bolt top anchor. Top Anchors consist of two 1/2" Rawls with open shuts (the original hardware) and one Fixe Triplex with a Mussy Hook.

Climbing to the first bolt involves a 5.10a move over an ugly landing. Falling would be disastrous. All but the boldest climbers should bring a stick-clip.

Photos of Goulara Slideshow Add Photo
Andy Patterson negotiates the direct face finish to Goulara.
Andy Patterson negotiates the direct face finish t...
Kathy Boussina is rewarded with an convenient top-rope on Goulara, after having successfully led Economique.
Kathy Boussina is rewarded with an convenient top-...
The wooden platform mentioned in the description.
BETA PHOTO: The wooden platform mentioned in the description.
Mary Patterson strolls up the beautiful arete of Goulara.
Mary Patterson strolls up the beautiful arete of G...
One of my favorite climbs! <br />Harder on the face than the arete, also a little pump at the end. <br />There was no wooden ledge to belay or stand, but plenty of room and a great tree! recommend this climb!
One of my favorite climbs! Harder on the face than...
Isabel on Goulara
Isabel on Goulara

Comments on Goulara Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 17, 2014
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Feb 24, 2006

Accessing this route during the few days after a storm can be very challeging.
By Tuxebo
From: Middletown, RI
Jun 19, 2008

This was a hair-raising and really fun route having not stick clipped the first bolt. I found the platform wasn't very necessary, more of a convenience. I took a look at the 11+ to right but was scared enough on the easier variation.
By andy patterson
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 20, 2008

I did the 5.11+ finish at the end (last three bolts), and found it rather thought provoking, but ultimately safe. Certainly much, much harder than the arete. In fact, I didn't have a guidebook at the time, so I thought the climb was sandbagged 5.10c. Woops. I would like to lead the entire route via the middle line of attack some time. It looks great!
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 22, 2008

Climbing on the face the entire way (which I have only done on top-rope) yields the most sustained route at Wheeler by a mile. It's harder than some 12s that I have done, just for the pump factor.
By kjohnson
Jul 5, 2009

The wooden ledge is gone. I found it very dangerous to clip the first bolt, for climber and belayer, therefore not doing the climb. I hope another lower bolt will be put in.
july 09
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 5, 2009

There is no reason to add a lower first bolt as it is very easy to stick clip the existing first bolt. The first clip was scary even when the wooden ledge was there.
By Richard Shore
Feb 10, 2010

If you don't have a stick-clip, a medium size cam (I think it was a BD #2) can be placed in a shallow crack before getting to the first bolt. I had a foot pop off one of the polished cobbles as I was clipping the first bolt, and was caught by the cam (and belayer!) a few inches off the deck, nearly crushing my partner. Without a cam or stick-clip, this is a gnarly start with groundfall potential from 15+ feet.
By andy patterson
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 16, 2010

As mentioned by Richard, a cam or nut will erase the run-out factor. Perhaps this should be called a "mixed route" if you don't have a stick-clip.
By Joe Stern
Aug 15, 2011

Unless you're particularly keen on awkward bolt-clipping cruxes, the 5.10c version of this route (following the arete left of the bolts) should be forced into obscurity with the newly equipped Economique. Now you can climb the arete and clip bolts on the arete, which seems much more enjoyable. I imagine that Goulara will stand as a classic harder route following the more direct line of the first ascentionists up the face.

It's certainly worth taking along a #2 camalot or stick clip, depending on your preferences. As of 8/14/11, there was a stick clip stashed at the base. No R rating if climbed with supplemental gear...my partner also took the whip before achieving the first bolt.
By Michelle Lynn
From: Moab, UT
Mar 12, 2012

There's a new low bolt on this route at exactly the same height as the pod for the #2 BD cam. My tall partner was able to clip the new bolt from a big ledge eliminating the run out factor. As someone who's taken the fall onto the #2 (and doesn't like carrying around a stick clip), I appreciate the new bolt.

Edit: As of mid April 2012, the hanger is gone from this new first bolt. Bring those #2s!
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Mar 29, 2012

This new bolt is tacky. If Gould & Agulara had wanted a lower bolt, they would have added one. As mentioned earlier, anyone who is uncomfortable with the runout to the first bolt (and I am among these individuals) can either carry a cam or use a stick clip.
By NLi10Me
Aug 12, 2012

The wooden ledge claimed to be at the base of this route is no longer there. As a result, the first bolt is approximately 20 feet above the "ledge/tree" where one begins the route. However, a crack at the base of the route takes gear well. Specifically, I used a #1 BD, but could have sunk stoppers of several sizes as well.
By NLi10Me
Aug 12, 2012

More importantly however, the bolt protecting the crux of the face climb (the one just above the small "roof" about 2/3 up the route is spinning in its hole. Furthermore, a very suspicious crack is forming around this bolt and the rock sounds very hollow. It's my opinion that a fall of more than a few feet on this bolt could pull down a section of the roof it is drilled into and be a very serious hazard to the belayer (directly below) and climber alike.
By Andrew McMullen
Oct 9, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Amazing climb. Can do it many different ways. If on the arrete I prefer to lead the nicely bolted Economique on the left side. Not sure how it was originally envisioned but climbing just the face of Goulara is amazingly sustained and thought provoking. Would vote it goes at least at 12a if you avoid the arrete completely. Great climb!
By William Domhart
From: Ventucky, CA
Feb 25, 2013

The line directly under the anchor is burly as hell. Led the Arete route that goes up the left side of the arete (5.9?), led Goulara, and TR'd the line directly underneath. Couldn't pull the moves after the undercling under the last mini roof before the anchors. 5.12+? Great way to get thrashed at the end of the day. Plugged a #2 to pro the start of the climb. Fun climb, bolts and anchors looked good.
By andy patterson
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 26, 2013

The "direct" line of travel which everyone seems to be talking about doesn't have a name that I know of. We always thought it should have been bolted as a completely separate line, especially down low, since the moves are distinct and autonomous from the arete. Great, sustained, and technical climbing at 5.12b. William, I think 5.12+ might be a little generous for the upper headwall. The mini-roof you're talking about (the one before the anchors) is actually the 5.11 finish to Goulara. Pumpy? Yes, but once you find the right pockets, things ease up quickly.

Beautiful face, great positioning.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 16, 2014

The bolt is back.

I have long regarded this area as one of the true gems of the Central Coast, so I greatly appreciate the recent focus and attention that Wheeler Gorge is getting from route developers. Alex B.'s development of the second tier, above Danger Boy, is absolutely thrilling.

But it bugs the hell out of me that someone (I know its not you, Alex) is altering existing routes. On what planet is this acceptable? There are gray areas in the bolting realm, but is adding a bolt to someone else's route really in this gray area? Goulara is not some old-school route, where we can debate whether or not the aging bolt that protects the runout crux should be replaced. The route is perfectly safe, as others have indicated.

Please leave existing route's alone.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 16, 2014

Okay, I'm tired of the bolt crap. Since the people who keep putting the bolt back in are doing it secretly and have never had the insight to tell the climbing community who they are and why they think they have the right to alter someone else's route, it has led to this. I'm from here on out putting MYSELF, Chuck Ethics as the guy who WILL remove that bolt EVERY TIME it goes back in. If you want your hangers back, shoot me an email but it will be removed again and again. If one person starts altering routes because it makes them feel safer, it's just one big slippery slope to the whole climbing scene getting grid bolted in the name of safety. I've never been a mean guy but this climbing stuff means more to me than anything.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 16, 2014

I'm going to leave that first comment up because I'm serious about it... however, I don't WANT to have to adopt this alter ego of Chuck Ethics, I don't WANT to have to be the loud guy, but Hey people, where are you're comments? How does everyone feel about this issue that's popping up in our backyards? We're a community, I'm not the guy who should have to enforce anything, we should all chime in and say what we feel. Remember, issues of altering others routes don't just stop at this one route, it can extend all the way across California or the whole country. We as the community are the only ones who can set standards and hold people accountable for doing what they aren't supposed too. Please let your voices be heard, but I'm still removing the bolt.
By andy patterson
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 17, 2014

I hope Chuck Ethics sells t-shirts. Incredible name.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 17, 2014

No T-Shirts because he's eveyones potential alter ego. Instead, I'll be selling a Chuck Ethics costume set which will include a press on handlebar mustache, a pair of dark aviator sun glasses and a pre worn in 2nd degree karate black belt or taekwando belt (whichever makes you feel more kick ass).