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Routes in Bolt Ladder Area

Bolt Ladder TR 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c A1
California Flake T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Finger Cracks T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Elevation: 2,599 ft
GPS: 34.477, -119.68 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Matthew Fienup on Nov 17, 2007
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

This popular formation is immediately adjacent to Gibraltar Road just downhill from the Main Gibraltar formation. The lower part of the cliff is actually a road-cut left behind in the building of Gibraltar Road while the top of the cliff is native rock.

The centerpiece of this wall is the namesake bolt ladder which runs approximately up the middle of the wall. It was established by then Sierra Club trip leader Tim McMahon in 1969. Today, the bolt ladder can be climbed free or by direct aid, although the aging lead bolts do not inspire confidence--most of these bolts are old-school Star Dryvin nail & sleeve bolts.

In addition to the Bolt Ladder itself, this cliff is home to a few other fun climbs. Most notable are California Flake, a moderate crack and face climb up the plumb-line of the wall, and the 5.10 Finger Cracks on the far right-hand side.

Access to the top of the cliff can be achieved using the class-3 slabs and bush-covered ledges uphill and around the corner from the wall. Bring long slings to top-rope routes. An anchor can be made using a large manzanita and 1/2"-3/4" pro. There are also 2 half-inch expansion bolts located off to one side. Descend by rappelling from slings around the manzanita or reverse the approach.

Getting There

From the parking pull-outs next to the main Gibraltar formation, walk down the road for about 100 yards. The cliff will appear on your left after the road makes a sharp left-hand bend.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Bolt Ladder Area

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Tom Shank
Santa Barbara, CA
Tom Shank   Santa Barbara, CA
Is it possible to actually go up the left face directly, without following the ledge just slightly more left and up it to the nice finger crack line? There have been some fairly new bolts placed at the beginning, but the last 7 bolts are rusty monsters, they scared my trust away. Apr 3, 2013
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
There are two significant changes to this area in recent days. First, a large block fell out of the wall on California Flake rendering the start of that route more difficult. A recent repaving also widened Gibraltar Road and made the dirt shoulder beneath the Bolt Ladder much smaller. Busy days when there is a lot of automobile traffic now feel much more exposed for the belayer. Apr 18, 2009

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