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Tree Root

5.5, Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.7 from 82 votes
FA: Herbert Rickert et al. '59
California > Central Coast > Hwy 33/Ojai > Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)

Description

This route starts two cracks to the right of Ending Crack, sort of underneath a large tree growing at the base of the wall. Climb the splitter to a small tree growing out of the crack and two bolt belay. P2 follows the crack up to left, joining the final segment of Ending Crack and Wadka.

Protection

Pro tho 3in. 2 2-rope rappels. Save the trees, use the anchors.

Note: The 2 anchor bolts were replaced 9/99 by Reese Martin.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

With beautiful Fall colors and perfect Fall temps, Bryson (age 6) enjoys Tree Route at Sespe Gorge.
[Hide Photo] With beautiful Fall colors and perfect Fall temps, Bryson (age 6) enjoys Tree Route at Sespe Gorge.
Tree Root (right) & Ending Crack (left).
[Hide Photo] Tree Root (right) & Ending Crack (left).
Brice following up Tree Root!
[Hide Photo] Brice following up Tree Root!
Leading P1 of tree Root, super fun climbing!!
[Hide Photo] Leading P1 of tree Root, super fun climbing!!
Big crowd at Sespe Gorge today.
[Hide Photo] Big crowd at Sespe Gorge today.
Makin our way up!
[Hide Photo] Makin our way up!
Us on the black wall
[Hide Photo] Us on the black wall
Patty Fienup midway through the 2nd pitch of Tree Route (with the ubiquitous double-trailer gravel truck moving in the background).
[Hide Photo] Patty Fienup midway through the 2nd pitch of Tree Route (with the ubiquitous double-trailer gravel truck moving in the background).
David Abzug high on the first pitch of Tree Route.
[Hide Photo] David Abzug high on the first pitch of Tree Route.
Jon Kemmerer at the P1 belay of Tree Root - May 2002.
[Hide Photo] Jon Kemmerer at the P1 belay of Tree Root - May 2002.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] The second rappel can be done with a single 60m rope. Aim a little left (looking into the rock) of the start. Feb 26, 2006
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.6
[Hide Comment] Beginners will find the first pitch quite challenging to adequately protect. The upper pitch swallows gear easily. Mar 16, 2006
[Hide Comment] climbed this in september. one thing to note is that gnats comeout when the wall goes into shade Jan 8, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.6
[Hide Comment] My 60m rope will not get me within 15 feet of the ground when rapping the first pitch. The only way for me to do it with one rope was to rap onto a ledge high in the gully to the climber's-right of the route and then make a class-3 downclimb. UPDATE: the first pitch is 35m long--when rapping the first pitch with a 70m rope, the two ends hang inches above the ground.

Also, at last check, the 2nd pitch is over 150 feet long. The entire route is more like 300 feet long. UPDATE: the "second pitch" is closer to 170 or 180 feet long. Yesterday, I watched a trio try to climb from the first tree all the way to the rappel anchor with a 50 meter rope...they came up a full 30 feet short. Jun 11, 2007
[Hide Comment] There is now a #1 Camalot stuck in the middle of the second pitch. Also, I've had ropes get stuck on the second pitch a couple of times.. Has anyone rapped off the top of Tree Route to the bolts at the top of the first pitch of Ending Crack? That seems like a more direct route down...

Also, with regard to length, be sure to bring enough gear. i've seen beginning leaders place too much pro early on and run short near the top. .. the first pitch takes mostly small stuff, larger pieces needed on second pitch. All in all, this is a great place to bring people for their first multipitch climb imho.I agree with Matt's rating, there are a couple of 5.6 moves at the start, then it's mostly a cruise.. Jun 6, 2009
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
  5.6
[Hide Comment] I finally climbed the third pitch...a worthwhile adventure climb.

From the bolted anchor atop P2, step right and follow a crack up to a giant oak tree. Climb through the tree and out onto the face to the right. Continue moving up and then right into the next major crack system. Follow this up to a another large oak tree with rappel slings. This tree marks the end of the 5th-class climbing. From here, a gully leads up toward the top of the wall.

It is recommended to make two short rappels from the big oak trees to get back to the top of P2.

The only unpleasant aspect of this pitch was the extraordinary number of ants at the final belay ledge (I was still finding them in my gear three days later). Jul 4, 2009
Joe Stern
Moab, Utah
[Hide Comment] Anchor/rappel clarification. Just climbed the first pitch yesterday, which is approx. 110 feet long, up to the first big (first period?) tree. Immediately to the right of the tree there are 2 bolts, equipped to rappel. We rapped from these bolts all the way to the ground with a single 70m rope. Ours must have been a bit longer than Matthew's, as we had several feet piled on the ground on both ends. A fun pitch with emphasis on finger to tight hands gear. Sep 5, 2009
James Ging
Thousand Oaks, CA
 
[Hide Comment] I've managed to rap the first pitch with a single 60m the last 3 times I was there, from the 2 bolt anchor right of the first tree. I end up a few feet off the ground, but if I go just right of the start of the crack the ground near the tree meets me just fine. Second pitch seems to be roughly 170ft, and it does seem like rapping to Ending Crack would work, but that anchor has been occupied every time I've been up there so far, so haven't managed to try it out. That will require a 2 rope rap for both rappels, however. Jan 4, 2010
Jiana ten Brinke
Santa Barbara, CA
  5.6
[Hide Comment]
  • *Note to novice trad leaders** Just lead this climb for the first time and I agree with Mathew F.'s statement above that the beginning of P1 is harder than 5.5 and gear placements are less straightforward. I'm about 5'2" so if you're taller you may be able to reach the placements from better feet holds, but I would rate the first part of Pitch1 of the climb more like 5.7 due to the thin face features. Just something to keep in mind if you are expecting 5.5 the whole way. Otherwise, it's a great route and the tree at the first anchor provides nice shade on a sunny day.
Aug 31, 2011
Tristan Burnham
La Crescenta, CA
[Hide Comment] A 60M rope worked perfect to rap down from the bolts next to the tree on the first pitch. I only did 100ft of the second pitch and then rapped down off a big tree. Feb 27, 2013
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
  5.6
[Hide Comment] Was able to rap to the ground from P1 on a friends 60m - so it all depends on how long your 60m is!

Also, for a first lead, P1 of Ending Crack is much, much better and I'd say a grade easier than P1 of Tree Root. May 20, 2013
Nick Mudd
  5.7
[Hide Comment] Not sure why this is listed as 5.5 and 200 feet. It's more like 5.7 and closer to 300 feet. Make sure to take up a second rope or you'll have trouble getting down. Jun 23, 2014
Chad Parker
Ventura, California
  5.6
[Hide Comment] 5.6 260 feet. 2 ropes to get down safely. Jul 23, 2015
Chris Joy
  5.6
[Hide Comment] Came out to Sespe to climb Ender Crack, but there were 2 groups on it. So, my partner and I climbed this lovely route. The first 35' on pitch one definitely felt like a 5.6-5.7. I started from the ground and followed the crack, and the first place for pro was 15'+ up. Some awkward moves, but very sustainable. Pitch 2 was REALLY fun. I ended up placing 4 cams, due to it being so juggy, and it felt very safe. FYI, you cannot rappel from belay 2 to 1 with an 80m rope.....Don't ask me how I know this. Good thing we brought a 60m just in case ;)

I was able to use my brand new BD X4s (1-4) on pitch one. I love these new cams. I used a BD C4 1 & 3, and a BD X4 3 & 4 on pitch 2. Feb 29, 2016
Alex Bury
Ojai, CA
 
[Hide Comment] Recovered a stuck cam today 7.23, send me a message to get it back (name the brand/size). Jul 23, 2016
[Hide Comment] My first multipitch trad lead. It shan't be forgotten. Word to the wise: When you rap form the top, look over your *left* shoulder. I always look over my right, and I rapped about 15 past the middle belay station. Jan 5, 2018