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Toxic Waste Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Chemical Warfare 
Hazardous Waste 
Stimpy on Crack 
Toxic Socks 
Two Stone Wipe 
Wasted Effort 

Toxic Waste Wall 


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Lat, Long: 34.4767, -119.6792 Map Incorrect?
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Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: M.Morley on Feb 3, 2006
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Toxic Waste Wall

Description 

Toxic Waste Wall was developed as a high-quality sport climbing crag almost entirely by the efforts of Pat Briggs & Tony Becchio during 1991/92. Also involved were local guidebook author Steve Edwards, Tim Brown, Dave Griffith and Scott Buchanan.

I think of Upper Gibraltar and Toxic Waste Wall as basically the same crag. I typically start at the left end of TWW and work my way right towards Upper Gib. There aren't too many places within an hour's drive of SB that you can knock out a half dozen or so pretty good routes in a half day. As I have mentioned in several route descriptions, take a light rack to supplement bolt protection, and you should be fine. There may not be a bolt every body length, but I certainly wouldn't call it overly runout, dangerous or scary (if you are looking for that, go lead some of the routes at San Ysidro!).

All routes face due south, making it a great winter destination and fairly miserable during the summer months. Spectacular ocean views. As with most areas around Santa Barbara, watch for poison oak at the base of the routes and on the approach.


Getting There 

From the Sheffield Reservoir at the NE corner of 192 and Mountain Drive, drive north along the winding Gibraltar Road for several miles (~15-20 minutes). Just before reaching the Main Gibraltar Rock, there is a hairpin turn to the left. Park here in the established pullout on the right (east) side of the road. If you pass under an obvious bolted face (the old Bolt Ladder) directly above the road, you've gone just a bit too far.

Note: it is possible to hike all the way from Skofield Park up the Rattlesnake Canyon Trail (~1.5 hrs) should Gibraltar Road be closed due to rockslides/construction or if you're just looking for a little extra exercise. The hike is beautiful and highly recommended.


6 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',3],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Toxic Waste Wall:
Hazardous Waste   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in Toxic Waste Wall

Featured Route For Toxic Waste Wall
Two Stone Wipe on Toxic Waste Wall

Two Stone Wipe 5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c PG13  CA : Central Coast : ... : Toxic Waste Wall
This is the seam/crack between Chemical Warfare and The Crockostimpy. A good warm-up route with easy 5.6/5.7 moves to a diagonal crack/flake you reach by climbing out of a grainy pod at the top (the 5.9- move).Staying on the face left of the pod and directly above the hole (and committing to the thin crimps) raises the grade to 10c.Following the crack the entire way (left side) brings the whole climb down to 5.7 (and that's being generous)....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

News and Events For Toxic Waste Wall
Photos of Toxic Waste Wall Slideshow Add Photo
The key routes at Toxic Waste Wall
BETA PHOTO: The key routes at Toxic Waste Wall
Two Stone Wipe on Toxic Waste Wall
BETA PHOTO: Two Stone Wipe on Toxic Waste Wall
View from the crag. march 2012
View from the crag. march 2012
Comments on Toxic Waste Wall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 30, 2011
By Stephen Pratt
From: Goleta, CA
Jul 10, 2006

It seems like the two right-most routes and also that route on the left with the red webbing needs permenant anchors placed above them. The bolts seem just fine, but the anchors on top are pretty shady or non existant. I know I'd appreciate if someone took the time and effort to do that. If I had the gear I'd do it myself, but I'd need someone to teach me how first... anyone?? :-D

By Stephen Pratt
From: Goleta, CA
Jul 30, 2007

My friend and I were climbing at Toxic Waste over the weekend and we replaced the old red and black webbing above Toxic Socks with a new black piece of webbing. We didn't have any tan sandstone colored webbing to match the rock, but we figured that it was pretty neutral (sandstone rock there has black marks) and having a new anchor was most important.

By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 11, 2008

"High-quality" and "sport climbing" are misleading. At this stage, most of the lead bolts demonstrate significant corrosion. Nearly all of the top-anchors are of poor quality. Even more importantly, there seems to be no relationship between bolt placements and crux moves or bolt placements and good clipping stances.

The crag feels like it was developed by 5.12/5.13 climbers for whom the bolted protection was merely incidental. Most routes will be hair-raising for anyone who isn't super solid at the grade.

The top-anchors are inexplicable.

By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Aug 12, 2008

Terrifying is probably a stretch but I'm sure the place is in need of the renevation after all these years. The anchors were always a bit strange, as this was old school first generation sport climbing. Holds also tend to break, so it is possible the the bolts aren't all in the right places anymore as well. This entire area could be retro'd in an afternoon for less than $100 total. Someone should probably take the time to do it. I would if I were still in the area.

By Jon Hanlon
From: SLO
Aug 12, 2008

I have climbed here lots, and never noticed anything much beyond a bunch of good climbs and fun adventures.

Steve Edwards, could you be a little more specific with your comments? You have said some things that I suspect may result in the area getting "fixed", which in the past has entailed moving bolts, cutting vegetation, relocation of anchors, addition of toprope anchors, and generally making the area toprope ready and safe for the children. Specifically, you said the area could be retro'd. Is this what you are advocating? I guess you have some say in it since you were there for lots of it, but at some point routes belong to everyone. I personally would not like to see Toxic Waste Wall emasculated and "improved." Replace bolts? - Yes, slight adjustment of bolt location due to rock breaking? - Usually. Anything beyond this, in my opinion, No. This sh1t is stealing the soul of climbing.

By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 24, 2008

To be clear, Jon, I am not advocating "fixing" anything. I am simply asking for truth in advertising. This is not a modern "sport crag" and should not be referred to as such. True sport crags do not usually have areas where a routine fall will result in a broken ankle

I would prefer if the Area Description used Steve's words:
"old-school, first generation sport crag."

By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 8, 2008

Having run all these routes again yesterday I agree with Jon that, no, nothing should be retro'd. All the bolts are still in good shape (no spinners, no movement). The runouts are part of the "spice" of the wall, which I quite enjoy; if you're concerned, place a piece in between (a #1 or #.75 is all you'll need for any of the routes). However, I disagree about the top anchors which are just a plain pain in the ass; those should be replaced simply to get rid of all the rat's nests webbing, cord & tat that keeps accumulating. It's kind of a stretch to say that by putting in better top anchors this is going to turn into a "kiddie wall."

On a related note, there's been plenty broken off of Toxic Socks to warrant a 9+ (well, if you stay on the face all the way up).

By Richard Shore
Aug 22, 2009

I used to climb here back in my college days at UCSB. Went back up to the Toxic Wall on 8-8-09 and was very disappointed to see that the wall has essentially been destroyed by recent fires. The face of the wall has literally been baked off. The approach is littered with sharp, angular fragments of rock that came off the wall. On closer inspection, large flakes can easily be pulled off the face wih minimal force. Bolts remain, but their security is highly questionable. Maybe it will clean up years from now and someone can redevelop the whole face. Who knows what climbs exist under the trashed face.

EDIT to add: I finally reclimbed hazardous waste and chemical warfare in may 2011 and was surprised to see that these routes have cleaned up well since the fire. Good fun, though the anchors could use some chains.

By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 18, 2009

Hazardous Waste and Chemical Warfare, thankfully, have been spared from the fire and remain almost entirely intact. Toxic Socks has changed a bit, but has cleaned up pretty well (lower down it may feel like a new climb). Two Stone Wipe and Crockostimpy, unfortunately, are fractured beyond belief. I started up TSW the other day and every hold up to the second bolt pulled out or just shattered; Crocko' is even worse. The upper sections still look okay, but a lot of cleaning will be in order.

Also, it's a really loose and potentially ankle-crushing slog getting to Upper Gibraltar now.

On a positive note, there should be several new routes going up with the newly exposed rock once things settle down.

By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 30, 2011

I think most climbers around here would appreciate some chains on the anchors. Plated steel chains should be fine. Fixe anchor rings are the gold standard, but I believe that some hefty (at least 5/16") chains are sufficient for Toxic Waste wall, especially if you aren't top-roping directly off the chains and are using them only to "extend" the anchor or rappel. Some organizations believe in eliminating the use of chains altogether in favor of Fixe anchor rings (or similar products) but—anectdotally—beefy plated steel chains are quite strong. All in all, I suggest checking out the ASCA website.