An arching splitter of unusual excellence and a convenient test-piece to prevent slab-induced muscle atrophy. The Hickey-Moser-Vernon guide supplied the name and rating for this route. That out-of-print guide describes Vicious as one of several short top-ropes close to the parking spot. A route this good has surely been led many times.
The crux is the start, liebacking left of the thin crack. After a middle section of splitter hands, a 5.10 traverse to finish.
A shorter, 5.9+, steep hand crack, can be found just west and might be a good warm up.
Aiding up the start a bit, to get in a top-rope piece for working the crux, is easy. To make the second placement free, so close to the ground, is the real-deal trad thing.
No convenient (bolt)anchor. Down-aiding to clean was simple enough.
Located in the Amphitheater
Start at the gate on the road to the top of Dome Rock. When the road switches left, traverse right across the open hillside to the rim of the small cliff. The east facing crack is visible from the top. The easiest way to the base of the route was juggy, but exposed, third classing 100 feet east of the route. Maybe three minutes from the car to the down-climb.
Some small cams for the start and up to a #2 (gold) Camalot for the middle section. Saving a finger sized cam or two for the finish is advisable.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Dec 8, 2008
Approach the Amphitheater by descending the class-2 hillside to the west of the routes. There is a little spelunking beneath and between massive boulders.
By Richard Shore
Jun 11, 2012
Vicious takes great gear; easy to assess from the base. The crux is getting off the deck. A clean and pure line. I used two cordelletes for setting up the anchor, as gear options are set back aways from the edge.