Elevation: 167 ft
GPS: 35.273, -120.668 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,200,761 total · 17,241/month
Shared By: Mike Morley on Feb 13, 2006 · Updates
Admins: andy patterson, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen

Description

Located between major urban centers Los Angeles to the south and the San Francisco Bay to the north, the quaint Central Coast of California spans a 300-mile stretch from the southern Santa Monica Mountains to the northern Monterey Peninsula. While known primarily for surfing, celebrities, exorbitant real estate prices, and wine-tasting (the movie "Sideways" was filmed locally), there is actually surprisingly good climbing to be found. The majority of rock around Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Ojai is medium-grade sandstone (i.e., a little friable), but there's also blue schist (Green Dome), andesite (SLO), and conglomerate (Silly Rock, Wheeler Gorge) out there. The climbing is by no means world class, but what it lacks in quality it makes up for in aesthetics. As a friend of mine would say, "maybe not 4-star climbing, but makes for a 4-star day!"

Areas like the Sespe Gorge (Black Wall) had established routes as early as the late 50s and 60s. Over the years, many well-known climbers have graced these small cliffsides, including the likes of Yvon Chouinard (Yosemite legend and founder/owner of Patagonia), Jonny Woodward (Black Diamond), Jim Donini and even Henry Barber!

Around Santa Barbara and Ventura, pioneers of the '80s and '90s included Kevin Brown, Kevin Steele, Steve Tucker, Menzo Baird, Bob Banks (author of "Ocean's Eleven") and Steve Edwards (guidebook author of "Rock Climbing Santa Barbara & Ventura"), who established many of the newer sport routes around Santa Barbara and Hwy 166/Silly Rock.

In San Luis Obispo county, pioneers include Rusty Garing, Dwight Kroll, Pete Gulyash, brothers Tim and Tobin Sorenson, Ed Sampson, Ken Klis, Tom Slater (guidebook author of "California Central Coast Climbs"), and Brandon Thau. Slater, Thau, and Klis are responsible for developing such crags as Cerro Romauldo, Cabrillo Peak and Big Rocks.

Former Access Fund director Reese Martin lived in the area for a time. Sadly, he was killed in a paragliding accident in July 2004 at the age of 49 (More...).

Guidebooks


Getting There

Hwy 101 is the major artery between Ventura and San Luis Obispo (and beyond). 99% of the routes described here lie either off the 101, 154 (San Marcos Pass), 33 (Ojai), or 166 (east of Santa Maria). Refer to specific area for details and directions.

This map will help get you oriented.

2,052 Total Climbs

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Location: Central Coast Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Central Coast

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0+ 4+
 100
Lizards' Mouth Traverse
Boulder
V3 6A
 124
Charlotte's Web
Boulder
V4 6B
 86
Yeti
Boulder
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 139
Costanoan
Sport 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 132
Ending Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 106
Rat Race
Trad, TR
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 102
P-Crack
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 76
Permanent Income Hypothesis
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 82
Economique
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
 115
Subterranean Tango
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 114
Camel
Sport, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 78
Only Way To Fly
Sport, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 84
Cantaloupe Death
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 145
P.O.D.
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 91
The Verdict (direct)
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lizards' Mouth Traverse Santa Barbara > … > Lizard's Mouth > Mouth
 100
V0+ 4+ Boulder
Charlotte's Web Santa Barbara > … > Brickyard > Charlotte's Web Area
 124
V3 6A Boulder
Yeti Santa Barbara > … > Brickyard > Yeti Boulder
 86
V4 6B Boulder
Costanoan Pinnacles NP > W Side > Citadel
 139
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Sport 4 pitches
Ending Crack Hwy 33/Ojai > Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
 132
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Rat Race Pinnacles NP > E Side > Tourist Trap
 106
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
P-Crack San Luis Obispo > Bishop Peak > P-Wall
 102
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
Permanent Income Hypothesis Hwy 33/Ojai > Fortress > Right Side Gully
 76
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Economique Hwy 33/Ojai > Wheeler Gorge
 82
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Subterranean Tango Pinnacles NP > … > Monolith > E Face
 115
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Sport
Camel San Luis Obispo > Bishop Peak > Cracked Wall
 114
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, TR
Only Way To Fly San Luis Obispo > Bishop Peak > Cracked Wall
 78
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, TR
Cantaloupe Death Pinnacles NP > … > Monolith > E Face
 84
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
P.O.D. Pinnacles NP > … > Monolith > E Face
 145
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Verdict (direct) Pinnacles NP > E Side > Discovery Wall
 91
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Central Coast »

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