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Routes in Foothill Crag ("The Foot")

Big Bolts T,TR 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
Blown Out T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Chummin' for Splatter S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Clean Sweep T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Crack, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
From the Ashes S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
I Love L.A. S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Magic Feather S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Moon Doggies T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Ruthless Poodles S,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Sob Story T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Teetering TR 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Description

Foothill Crag is to the north of Ojai, presumably named as it is because it is at the end of Foothill Road (it is also known as "The Foot", 'though there doesn't seem to be any reason for that). The north-facing crag has two separate areas of gritty sandstone with 18 routes, many with some bolts, but none quite "sport bolted." A couple of the routes have sufficient bolts so one may decide to lead without gear. Small to medium cams will help, but the protection is a bit sparse.

However, all of the routes can be top-roped, so excessive valor is not necessarily required. Several of the routes can be top-roped from fixed anchors accessible from the top of the crag, but several others require using trees and bushes as anchor points and extending the anchor point over the lip of the cliff. Forty or fifty feet or so of static line or webbing is necessary.

Getting There

First, note that there are access issues with Foothill Crag. In former days, climbers would park at end of Foothill Road and walk the 3 minutes to the crag. However, the residents objected and parking is not allowed (and apparently, unauthorized vehicles will be cited and towed).

To get to the crag use the accepted and authorized method: From downtown Ojai, heading east on Ojai Avenue (Highway 150) turn left on Signal Street (there is a light - the signal). Signal Street curves right into Grand Avenue, but continue on Signal towards the hills. Turn left at the National Forest sign that points to "Pratt/Foothill Trailhead." Continue past a watertank on the right to a trailhead parking area.

The trail starts on the south side of the parking area, towards the valley. Hike on the trail (eventually passing between houses and backyards) until the trail reaches Foothill Road. Continue on the road uphill until a gate is reached. Continue past the gate on the now dirt road, passing the west end of a hill on your right (the crag is on the north side of the hill. Take the first trail that leads to the right. The north-facing crag is only partially visible from the road. The hike takes about 25-30 minutes. Lat/Long: 34.4705N 119.2512W

12 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Foothill Crag ("The Foot")

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The approach description needs a few more details to make sense: As you hike up from the Pratt Trailhead, the first paved road you will come to is a driveway, so do not try to follow it to the right or left. Rather, continue across this paved road to the second paved road, which will be Foothill Road. Then go up Foothill to the end. Go through the gate and hike about 300-400 feet (around a bend) to a foot trail on the right. Take this foot trail, which has wood water bars. Then after about 300' take a small trail on the right up to the base of the crag. If you are on the first trail (not the dirt road), but come to a sign, then you have gone too far.

I would say that this area is so-so. It is ok if you want to top rope, but there are better areas out there. Jan 12, 2014
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
To access the West (smaller) formation, bushwack back away from the top of the East formation. Turn right and continue bushwacking down and to the right until you reach the top of the West formation. Give yourself ten minutes the first time you try. With practice, this approach takes just seconds.

Be advised that the gully which separates formations is a scary approach. Dirty, exposed class 4 moves lead to the top of the West formation. Better to hike around from the east.

Central coast climbers should be advised that the rock at the Foot is softer than that at many other area crags. Treat all fixed gear with suspicion.

In early 2006, I pulled a 3/8" x 3-1/2" wedge bolt straight out of a hole using only moderate pressure. It is very clear that some of the rock at this site is simply not hard enough to resist the mechanical expansion created beneath the surface by climbing bolts. Feb 18, 2006
Perin Blanchard
Orem, UT
Perin Blanchard   Orem, UT  
This isn't really off Highway 33 (although it isn't that far from 33), but it seemed kind of a waste to add another higher-level area for Ojai since this is the only crag likely to be added from directly around Ojai. Feb 17, 2006

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