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Routes in Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)

Bee Line T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Black Wall Traverse V2 5+
Boss Man, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Chips Block T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Edge of Night T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Ending Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Floyd T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Glory Days S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Half Ascent T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Lost in the Sespe T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Mrs. Murphy's Rusty Old Packard T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Pine to Pine T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Pipe Cleaner T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Roadside Cracks T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tree Root T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wadka T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Wasp/The Sting, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
White Spider, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Don Lauria, Dennis Hennek, Tom Ridenour
Page Views: 11,513 total · 75/month
Shared By: Davi Rivas on Feb 13, 2006
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Description

P1: Follow the striking crack straight up the face to a 2-bolt belay.

P2: Continue up the crack until it peters out, then follow face holds up and right to a shallow face crack to newish 3-bolt anchors.

Walk off to wide gully on the left or rap off anchors via two-rope rappel.

Protection

Carry pro to 3 inches.

Photos

M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
Ending Crack is hands down the best multipitch crack climb on the entire Central Coast. The first pitch is an incredible handcrack that takes gear like nobody's business. The second pitch is a little heads-up. Once the crack ends (yeah, that's why they call it Ending Crack), it's a little tricky to protect. Rap the route w/ 2 ropes. 300'. Feb 13, 2006
Quite frankly, I have no recollection of doing this route. Does anyone know when Dennis and I did it? I guess I could ask Dennis ... he only recently turned 60 and his memory is probably better than mine. Lauria Feb 24, 2006
Chiranjeeb Buragohain  
5.6 PG13
Did this route yesterday. I found both pitches were of equal difficulty (5.6) and in fact, the second pitch felt a little more insecure because it was hard to protect as Mike Morley mentioned before.
On the second pitch small cams (red alien and smaller) might make the
protection better. The first pitch is great though. This route (first pitch) and Tree Root are great places for trad climbers to start. Feb 26, 2006
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.7 PG13
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
  5.7 PG13
The first pitch of Ending Crack absolutely swallows passive gear and cams, making this the single best beginner's lead in Ventura and Santa Barbara. As mentioned, the second pitch is anything but. Mar 16, 2006
Sirius
Oakland, CA
 
Sirius   Oakland, CA
 
Don Lauria's comment above is a classic. He must not have liked it as much as the rest of us! May 3, 2007
Erik Anderson
Ventura, CA
Erik Anderson   Ventura, CA
Thanks for the bolt clean-up! There's no need for any more bolts on Sespe! In fact, I was kind of surprised when the bolted rap stations went in a while back, but I guess they saved the trees. Jul 9, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.7 PG13
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
  5.7 PG13
I find it helpful to carry 2 sets of TCUs for the second pitch. Apr 28, 2008
take the 1st pitch, its the best one Apr 14, 2010
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
  5.7
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
  5.7
The second pitch (~5.7 maybe +) is definitely harder and headier than the first (~5.6). My partner said the second pitch of ending crack felt more like the first pitch on tree route. Beautiful multi-pitch climb, as both pitches are long. Definitely a must do, and a must repeat.

On P2: I thought there was only about a 10-20 ft section where the pro was really not great. Overall the pro was a bit trickier as well, several spots where you just plug n go possibly mental pro. About 25 ft below the end, where the crack ends, I just traversed right about 5 ft and got into the next crack over which still was not easy to protect initially (I think I threaded a sling through a hole in the rock for mental pro) but probably less scary than runout face. I was wearing new shoes which started hurting so bad, that it added to the intensity of the climb making it really mentally challenging to do with what felt like toes clamped in vice grips.

Also, I don't think my 70m would have made the rappel from the first anchor (which as I understand is not really a belay anchor, however, we had the wall to ourselves, so we just belayed from it with no problems). 2 double rope raps to get to the ground from the top. Didn't do the third pitch. Sep 4, 2011
William Domhart
Ventucky, CA
  5.7
William Domhart   Ventucky, CA
  5.7
For the 2nd pitch, we did a variation where I moved to the left aiming towards the big tree on the ledge after the crack ended. Had to run it out because the rock quality was pretty bad, but it was fun and spicy. We only had 1 60-m rope, so we descended down the gulley and rapped 15-20 feet to the platform. Feb 18, 2013
TacoDelRio
All up in yo bidniss.
 
TacoDelRio   All up in yo bidniss.
 
Pitch one was easy and arright. Couple interesting bits.
Pitch two had less protection, and was more challenging.
Big important point to remember (for me) was how my rope got stuck while pulling it after rappelling to P1 anchor. Rope got stuck around the 3" or so diameter tree not far below the P2 anchor. Had to re-lead P2 (fun ;) ) to get it un-stuck. Got down at dark.

Led on a 9.8mm 60m, trailing a skinny 70m for a double rope rapp.

Single rack with small nuts. I slungdeded a tiny hole on P2 where there wasn't much else. Takes a bit to push the thin sling through the hole, but it works. Dunno how strong.

If you're the friendly guy with the Honda CR-V who talked to us at the base, I'm sorry I wasn't very talkative, as I was in a big hurry to get packed and outta there. :) Feb 14, 2016
Zen Green
Newbury Park, CA
 
Zen Green   Newbury Park, CA
 
first trad lead and it will never be forgotten Apr 30, 2016
Sean
Oak Park, CA
Sean   Oak Park, CA
P1 to the shared bolted rap anchor seems approx 130 ft, gauging by the middle mark of a 70 Jul 15, 2016
Derek Field
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.7
Derek Field   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.7
First pitch is seriously as good as any classic moderate at Red Rock!! Dec 14, 2016
A Johnson
Atascadero
  5.7
A Johnson   Atascadero
  5.7
Got on this this yesterday. First time here and I can't wait t go back. The first pitch is so fun. Perfect hands for much of it. The second pitch would rate a tad harder in my book but mainly because its not quite as straightforward. The eponymous crack does in fact end but there is another easily protectable crack a couple moves right so there's no reason for the pg-13 rating unless that's too off the route. If you go right after the ending, have an extra sling for a hole that is at least mental pro. Anyhow, this is a must climb. This crack will take ANY gear you throw at it.
Also for those short on time, the first pitch can be top-roped with a 70 meter rope if you're willing to down climb 4 feet.
All in all, DO THIS ROUTE!!! Feb 5, 2017
Ernest W
Camarillo, CA
Ernest W   Camarillo, CA
One of the best moderate crack climbs I've been on in a long time! P1 eats gear, perfect for a new leader. P2 definitely more challenging with a few sections of tricker gear. Had the wall to ourselves mid-week. Rock-hopping across the creek after all the heavy rains may have been the crux! A must-do if you're on the Central California coast. Feb 16, 2017
Chad Parker
Ventura, California
 
Chad Parker   Ventura, California
 
P1 - 5.6
P2 - 5.7 May 16, 2017
Brian morin
Simi Valley, CA
 
Brian morin   Simi Valley, CA
 
Bigger gear on P1 up to #3 for a fun pitch full of great jams. Uninspiring P2 that takes thinner gear with few good jams. I would guess 130' first pitch and a bit longer P2

Here's a GoPro video of both pitches minus the traverse to the 2nd crack system near the top

youtube.com/watch?v=q1aWJlW… Jun 11, 2017
Michael Weaver
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Michael Weaver   Santa Barbara, CA
 
Get there early, the wall is in full sun by 8-9 in the morning (summer time) and heats up quick!

Also, the info is incorrect, there are three bolts at the first anchor, not two. All looked newish and solid. Jul 23, 2017
alex carey
Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 PG13
alex carey   Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 PG13
We used two ropes to rap from P2 and then used 1 70M to rap from the anchor at P1. No one else on the wall so it wasn't a big deal. A single 60M likely wouldn't be enough from P1 Anchor but 70 was more than enough. Oct 2, 2017
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.7 PG13
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
  5.7 PG13
Hi Alex. Thanks for posting.

You must have a long 70m rope. Having climbed this wall many dozens of times and using at least a dozen different ropes, I haven't yet found a 70 that would get me down. I can rap Tree Root with a 70 but not Ending Crack. My caution to everyone visiting this wall for the first time, is make sure to have a second rope on hand until you are sure your single will get you down--rope lengths sometimes vary by 15 feet or more. Oct 2, 2017
alex carey
Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 PG13
alex carey   Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 PG13
one would hope 70m would always equal 70m, but thats probably not the case when it comes to ropes. Or maybe im just fat.

But seriously, both of my ends were down before I started rapping but ill take the comment down if you think its harmful?? Nov 2, 2017
What a great climb. Just make sure as you rap from the top you look over your *left* shoulder. I always look over my right shoulder, and I rapped about 15 feet past the middle belay station. Jan 5, 2018
Mike Womack
Los Angeles, CA
 
Mike Womack   Los Angeles, CA
 
My 70m ended up hanging with both ends about 5' off from the ground while setup on rap from the pitch 1 anchors. With rope stretch, it can easily make the bottom. If you are unsure, please don't trust my comment and bring a 2nd rope. Awesome route!! Apr 23, 2018
Kevin Fox  
 
Best route for the grade on the Central Coast May 13, 2018

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