Elevation: 1,842 ft
GPS: 34.508, -119.276 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 65,431 total · 418/month
Shared By: Matthew Fienup on Feb 13, 2006
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

Wheeler Gorge boasts three totally different surfaces: typical central coast sandstone (Exodus & Blush), a metamorphic green schist (Danger Boy & Stu-Boy), and a conglomerate that consists of mostly fist-sized stones and deep pockets (Cobble Climb, Ezra, Goulara, etc.). The three could hardly be more different when it comes to actual climbing. Together they make for a day of incredible diversity.

With a few exceptions, the grades at Wheeler are soft. The site also exhibits quite a few one-move-wonders. Routes are generally VERY well protected. All of this makes Wheeler an excellent place for aspiring leaders to break into the upper grades (10s & 11s).

A. Monstrosity, 5.11+. Eleven bolts, three bolt anchor, 110 feet. Bolted & toproped by Reese Martin, 1995. Additional bolts & RPÕ by Steve Edwards & Arvin Gunta, 1996. The first 30 feet of this route collapsed in January of 1997.
B. Project, 5.11+/12b. Three bolt anchor, 110 feet. Right of Monstrosity. FTR: Reese Martin, 1995.
C. Economique, 5.10a - arête left of Goulara.
D. Goulara, 5.10c - identified by wooden platform at base.
Aquaphobia--Boulder problems: Traverse above pools: L to R, 5.12; R to L, 5.10a. FA: Edwards, Gould, 1996.
E. It Is It, 5.12a/b
F. Arvin's Rig, 5.10a Four bolts, one cold shut anchor, no hangers. FA: Edwards & Gunta, 1996.
G. Ezra, 5.9+**
Boulder Problems Under Bridge. Pockets, 5.10/11+.

The following routes are located immediately left of the lower tunnel on the soft sandstone:
WHEELER GORGE TOPO Red: Sunshine Dust Bunnies Orange: Gridlock Yellow: Exodus Green: Lil' Buckaroo Blue: Blush Purple: Roadside Distraction
H. Exodus, 5.11a ***
I. Blush, 5.11a***
J. Slab to single leeper bolt. 5.9 R? FA: Unknown, 1980s?
K. Roadside Distraction, 5.11c

The following routes are clustered together on the conglomerate rock near the lower tunnel above the creekbed:
Gwen Blanchard on Cobble Climb, being belayed by her father. Photo by Ashley Blanchard.
L. Slacker Dihedral, 5.8. Solo. FA: Gould, 1995.
M. Silent Mind, 5.11b *
N. Aha!, 5.11a *
O. Cruiser, 5.9
P. Cobble Climb, 5.8

Q. South of the Trout Farm, 5.9
R. Trout Farm, 5.12+. Toprope, 45 feet. Right of South of the Trout Farm. FA: Gould & Agulara, 1996.
Trout Farm boulder traverse, 5.11c. Stay low. High variation: 5.10.

The following routes are located left of the upper tunnel on the black conglomerate:
S. Scorpion Surprise, 5.9. Vertical pod. Single bolt anchor. Project. Gould & Agulara, 1996. Scorpions!!
T. Fearless Hyena, 5.10a. Five bolts. Project. Gould & Agulara, 1996.
U. Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy), 5.11a/b
V. Danger Boy, 5.11a **
W. Velocity Boy, 5.11b **
X. The Chimney, 5.2. Unknown. Variation: 5.10 finish on last three bolts of Velocity Boy.

Weather/Climbing Season

Wheeler is the closest thing to a year-round crag near Ojai. Spring and Fall are best. Deep shade and cool breezes make even the hottest summer days tolerable--I've even climbed when the temperature in town was 107 degrees. Winter days require warm clothes as the gorge gets very little sun. Rising water-levels will restrict access to some routes.

Getting There

From the intersection of Hwy 33 & Hwy 150, in the town of Ojai, drive North on Hwy 33 for 7 miles. 150 yards after passing through the third tunnel (the second of two in quick succession), look for the pull-out on the left. Park and walk back through the first tunnel to access most routes. A climbers trail drops down on the right between the two tunnels.

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Wheeler Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 37
Ripple Rider
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 85
Cobble Climb
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 78
Cruiser
Sport
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 79
Ezra
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 42
Stolen From Mike
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 65
South of the Trout Farm
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 47
Economique
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 27
Riparian Daydream
Sport 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 13
Sick Boy
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 18
Goulara
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 17
Exodus
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 25
Blush
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 35
Danger Boy
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 42
Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy)
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 26
Silent Mind
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Ripple Rider
 37
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Cobble Climb
 85
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Cruiser
 78
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Ezra
 79
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Stolen From Mike
 42
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
South of the Trout Farm
 65
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Economique
 47
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Riparian Daydream
 27
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 3 pitches
Sick Boy
 13
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Goulara
 18
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Exodus
 17
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Blush
 25
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Danger Boy
 35
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy)
 42
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Silent Mind
 26
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Wheeler Gorge »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Erik Anderson
Ventura, CA
Erik Anderson   Ventura, CA
About a month or two ago, as Matthew noted previously, there was only one shut left at the top of South of Trout Farm. Yesterday, when a friend and I stopped off there for a warm-up, we noted that someone had pounded the remaining shut closed and that bolt was very loose in the hole. I headed back up there early this morning hoping to over drill the existing holes and use the original anchor placements. This turned out not to be possible, as who ever had gone up and pounded the shut closed, had also snapped the bolt off in the hole (that's why it was so loose), making it impossible to cleanly remove the old bolt.

What is wrong with people...In the past, I didn't think climbers were so F'N stupid...don't pound on fixed pro with a hammer or anything else!!! In fact one should not mess with fixed pro at all unless one knows what they're doing!!!!

Anyway, moving on from my short rant, I re-equipped South of Trout Farm with 1/2 x 3-1/2 Rawls and Wire Gate Supershuts. It would still be nice to back fill the old holes with some epoxy, if anyone has the motivation. If not I’ll try and remember to stop and take care of it next time I’m out that way.

Back to my rant...a note to anyone out there who this may pertain to...please do not pound these new Supershuts closed (or any other shuts for that matter), they are perfectly safe as they are! Also, do not steal these Supershuts because you think you may want them for your shit project somewhere else.
Get a job and buy your own.

Thanks,

Erik Anderson Apr 29, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
Erik,
Thanks for the hard work (AND the rant). If I can ever get a day free, I hope to swap-out the other older-shuts with new super-shuts.

Thanks again. May 4, 2007
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
While not a destination area in and of itself, Wheeler Gorge is a pretty fun crag to spend a half-day if you happen to be in the greater Ventura area. Bring a dozen draws and watch out for poison oak. May 25, 2008
Brian S
Truckee, CA
Brian S   Truckee, CA
I am thinking about bolting new lines at Wheeler Gorge.

Any feedback? May 28, 2008
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
I am stoked that you are undertaking this! (I already can't wait to climb the recently finished "IED").

If you haven't already, please get to know the existing pattern of fixed gear at Wheeler (3/8 Rawls on lead, 1/2" anchor bolts). Also, check out the existing 3/8" bolts on the sandstone routes (like Blush & Exodus)--many of them wiggle in their holes indicating that 1/2" diameter Rawls might be better for this surface. And please place quality hardware on rappel anchors (Fixe rappel hangers, Supershuts, Mussy Hooks, etc.). On one recent addition to Wheeler, the top anchor consists of a single Supershut on one bolt and a bolt hanger with a rapid link on the other (not only does this look amateur-ish, I've seen single rapid links cam down on the rope making it irretrievable).

Thanks for your investment of time and energy (and money)! Jul 2, 2008
Sean Milburn
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sean Milburn   South Lake Tahoe, CA
Good climbs but I will agree the grades are quite soft. Defiantly not a bad place to bring some one new to leading sport. Feb 6, 2017
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
TradGirl.com was a reputable site created and administered by a local climber. It was home to excellent local content, including original content from the late Reese Martin. I understand that the original site went inactive at some point. I had not realized that it had been co-opted by less reputable folks. Apr 12, 2017
Has anyone climbed here since the flooding? What's the condition of the crag? Apr 5, 2018
Climbed here just yesterday, May 27 2018. The crag is in fine condition. I can't believe this place doesn't get busier, we only saw two other groups the entire day. May 28, 2018