Description

Stumbling Blocks offers some of the most accessible sport climbs at Malibu Creek State Park. This area hosts the first routes after completing the traverse around the ever popular Rock Pool. While the routes at Stumbling Blocks are not long, the most popular routes feature short, powerful cruxes on steep pocked rock. This area is extremely popular, especially on weekends, and much of this popularity is due to the shade provided by the large oak trees surrounding the many faces of the Stumbling Blocks.

Getting There

Find the large swimming pool, usually by following the noise of all the day trippers, by leaving the road near the 2 portaloos just after the visitors center. The easy traverse is on the far side around to the left. There is currently a plank across the gap making this easy. Just after the traverse look up and the wall facing you (facing the pool) is the Guerrilla Drilla wall. Routes on this wall start on the ledge 10' above, where the obvious big oak tree is sprouting at 90deg angle. Also starting on this ledge is Monkey Mayhem on the opposite side. This is the left side of the gully leading up to Mt Gorgeous. Chimps Ahoy starts at ground level below the oak tree, taking the overhang left of Monkey Mayhem. From the ledge, going around the corner to the left takes you to the shady jungle area of Mr Big, or traversing right leads to Chopping Block and The Prow.

21 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Stumbling Blocks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 101
Monkey Mayhem
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 22
Classic Face
TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 162
Chopping Block
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 73
Prow
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 120
Moonshiner
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 27
Unknown
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 182
Guerilla Drilla
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 72
Chimps Ahoy
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 137
The Third Degree
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 99
X Files
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 139
Mr. Big
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 62
Cockblock
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 26
Blockbuster
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 66
Letterbox
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 50
Nipple Denial Syndrome
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Monkey Mayhem
 101
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Classic Face
 22
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
Chopping Block
 162
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Prow
 73
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Moonshiner
 120
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Unknown
 27
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Guerilla Drilla
 182
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Chimps Ahoy
 72
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
The Third Degree
 137
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
X Files
 99
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Mr. Big
 139
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Cockblock
 62
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Blockbuster
 26
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Letterbox
 66
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Nipple Denial Syndrome
 50
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Stumbling Blocks »

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72HW Holly
Minneapolis, MN
72HW Holly   Minneapolis, MN
Regarding the traverse around the rock pool to gain access to the Stumbling Blocks area, there used to be a really nice little nubbin for your feet on the step across move towards the end of the traverse...

It's gone.

Makes the step across a bit more interesting, especially when the water is particularly dank (which is nearly always) so, word to the wise I guess. Don't think this single move warrants a grade change for the traverse, but it does indeed spice things up a little. Oct 8, 2008
LADave  
Hikers, river swimmers, and other folks pass through the traverse every day. Its one-way only, and it only takes one ameteurish person to clog the route. With crowds, you can end up waiting half an hour to cross on a sunny weekend. A great alternative, depending on your gear situation, is to come prepared to swim around. Jul 19, 2009
Ryan Kelly
work.
Ryan Kelly   work.
Swim? With climbing gear? In that water? Brilliant.

It's possible to go around high on the right of the pond as well, though I've rarely had serious delays on the normal traverse. And this isn't the '5.5 traverse', that's the one by Ghetto Wall, this is more like 4th class. Dec 3, 2009
Slater  
NEW ROUTES near Guerrilla Drilla-
Just left of The Third Degree (shares start?) is a 5.10+/.11a looking route to new anchors. Anyone have any info? Name?

ALSO - With Guerrilla Drilla at you back, by the tree there is a 5.6 4 bolt route on the right of this rock, and down below (steep start) there is a 9 bolt 5.9+ route that goes up to the roof by the tree and then up the arete (just left of the new 5.6). Can anyone pass on some info? Names? Confirm ratings?

ALSO on right side of Mt. Gorgeous gully, below Toddler Terrace there are two new long slab routes (both around 5.7+) with 7bolts and 6 bolts (l to r). Info please... Thanks! Apr 11, 2010
Michael Bartosek
Los Angeles
Michael Bartosek   Los Angeles
The route left of third degree has been in for a while now (at least two or three years from what I recall). I'd rate that route at 5.10d a bit height dependent -make sure to not pull on those blocks marked with the X around the 4th bolt. Other than that, I think it is a quality climb with fun moves for the grade (of course, Mr. Big is a 5.10d also and is much harder than this route). Aug 12, 2010
Visited the area for the first time yesterday, using the MP iphone app, and it was still very hard to determine which route was which. Even other climbers who claimed to climb there often weren't really sure what they were climbing.

Given the way people reference Guerilla Drilla and Chopping Block, some better descriptions of these route locations and some quality beta photos would be high-value, if any locals could provide for the community. Thanks! Dec 30, 2011
Tyler Smith
Buena Park
Tyler Smith   Buena Park
I don't have any pics but I have climbed there a lot. What kind of beta are you looking for? This may help a bit, Moonshiner is the route that starts by main tree after the short traverse. Just to the left of that is Guerilla Drilla, to the right around the corner of Moonshiner is Chopping Block 5.8. If you go off these routes and and the directions on this site you should be good. If you have any other questions just ask or pm me. Jan 3, 2012
Joi-Bobby Laos
Los Angeles, CA
Joi-Bobby Laos   Los Angeles, CA
Anyone know the ratings on the boulder problems in the cave area of the stumbling blocks? these are the problems located at creek level under the boulder used when scrambling over to get to the actual routes in the Stumbling Blocks. I heard a couple were v7 and the harder one was something like an 11? Jan 10, 2012
Daniel Wade
Oakland, CA.
Daniel Wade   Oakland, CA.
Anyone know the names/ratings of the two climbs on the left wall in the shade hiking uphill from Monkey Mayhem? The first one had 3 bolts - start was pumpy but very mellow up higher. The second one to the right had 4 or 5 bolts and ended at the same anchor - more difficult moves down low but also mellowed out up higher. Thanks! Sep 4, 2012
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Daniel....the 1st route is "K-2" (5.9) 4 bolts, while the 2nd route (uphill) is "Born on the 4th of July" (5.8) 5 bolts. Both routes share an anchor. Both have descriptions posted at the Mt. Gorgeous area. May 16, 2013
Chris Joe
Arcadia, CA
Chris Joe   Arcadia, CA
Louie Anderson book rates the traverse to Stumbling Blocks from Rock Pool a 5.0. The second traverse is a 5.5 and it takes you through The Ghetto and The Wave. The second traverse to these two walls is unnecessary if you are lazy :). I was able to roll up my pants and wade through it with my pack on. Everything on the first traverse was easy walking except for the small cave section. Caught me completely off guard while I was thinking easy 5 all the way. Jun 20, 2015
Thought I'd add a slightly clearer description as I went to Stumbing blocks yesterday and spent ages finding my bearings.

First, find the large swimming pool, usually by following the noise of all the day trippers, leaving the road near the 2 portaloos. The easy traverse is on the far side around to the left. There is currently a plank across the gap making this easy. Just after the traverse look up and the wall facing you (facing the pool) is the Guerrila Drilla wall. Routes on this wall start on the ledge 10' above, where the obvious big oak tree is sprouting at 90deg angle. Also starting on this ledge is Monkey Mayhem on the opposite side. This is the left side of the gulley leading up to Mt Gorgeous. Chimps ahoy starts at ground level below the oak tree, taking the overhang left of Monkey Mayhem. From the ledge, going around the corner to the left takes you to the shady jungle area of Mr Big, or traversing right leads to Chopping Block and The Prow.; essentially the right arĂȘte of the Guerilla wall.

Scrambling on, down to stream level, the Ghetto is on the left, past the shallow pool. Either splash through the pool or take the 5.2 traverse on the opposite (right) side. Jul 5, 2017