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Routes in Wheeler Gorge

Aha! S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Aquaphobia S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Bean S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bitch Free Zone S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Blush S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Boom Boy S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Cobble Climb S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cruiser S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crystal Pools S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Danger Boy S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Economique S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Exodus S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Ezra S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Goulara S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Gridlock S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Irie Girl S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
It Is It S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Little Buckaroo S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Lost Trout S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Low Grade Beaver Tranquilizer S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b V1-2 5
Ojai Urinal S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a V3 6A
Riparian Daydream S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ripple Rider S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Roadside Distraction S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Saddle-Up Cupcake S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Sick Boy S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Silent Mind S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
South of the Trout Farm S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Stolen From Mike S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy) S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Sunshine Dust Bunnies S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Velocity Boy S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Water Boy S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Wheel, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
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Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: TR: Gould / Lead: Matthew & Marisa Fienup (2005)
Page Views: 7,159 total · 46/month
Shared By: Matthew Fienup on Feb 18, 2006
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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This route follows the arete and face around the corner to the left of Goulara. Sustained and interesting climbing with great exposure! One 5.10a move followed by mostly-5.8 climbing.

Clip the first three bolts of Goulara, turn the corner and follow bolts to the top.

The crux of the route is right off the ground and unprotected--bring a stick-clip.

Consider leading the first six bolts of Economique, extending the seventh with a long runner, and finishing on the anchors of Goulara--this is a great way to TR Economique's classic nextdoor neighbor.


7 bolts to fixed anchor (the top anchor consists of a 1/2" rawl and a 3/8" wedge bolt equipped with mussy hooks).

Climbing to the first bolt involves a 5.10a move over an ugly landing. Falling would be disastrous. All but the boldest climbers should bring a 1-2" cam or a stick-clip.
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
An abandoned Mike Gould project called "Unnamed Arete", originally rated 5.9. Jan 24, 2009
ryan mattock
calabasas Ca
ryan mattock   calabasas Ca
best damn 10a in Ventura! bring a yellow alien as your first piece. the only Granite in Ventura! Apr 29, 2010
Joe Stern
Moab, Utah
Joe Stern   Moab, Utah
Thanks for properly equipping the arete, Matthew! Classic climbing and much more conveniently bolted than the 5.10c version of Goulara.

A #2 camalot (or other) adequately protects the start. Alternatively, a stick clip was stashed at the base as of 8-14-11 (or BYOSC). Although there are a few granitic cobbles en route, this climb of course ascends a section of conglomerate.

+1 for best 10a in Ventura, although it felt more like 10b to me (despite the original rating of 5.9).

Aug 15, 2011
Michelle Lynn
Moab, UT
Michelle Lynn   Moab, UT
There's a new low bolt on this route at exactly the same height as the pod for the #2 BD cam. My tall partner was able to clip the new bolt from a big ledge eliminating the run out factor. As someone who's taken the fall onto the #2 (and doesn't like carrying around a stick clip), I appreciate the new bolt Mar 12, 2012
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The new bolt is in bad taste. Climbers who were sketched out by the runout to the first bolt had at least two options for making this safe. Mar 29, 2012
Justin Kenderes
Glendale, CA
  5.10a R
Justin Kenderes   Glendale, CA
  5.10a R
Awesome, long route!!! My favorite at Wheeler!

First bolt is ridiculously high though. I've never placed gear but fortunately a friend who was with us had some so I placed a #1 C4 and three stoppers before the first bolt (too many I know) in the hope that if I fell at least one peace would hold. I would suggest that this route be re-categorized as trad (or at least be given an R rating since a fall at the first bolt would likely result in serious injury) if it can't be adequately protected with a sport rack. I recognize I'm a sport climber with limited experience but if I had only a sport rack with me, I would not consider this route to be climbable. That said, it's a great route which I highly recommend, just bring a #1 and some nuts. Aug 12, 2012
Justin Kenderes
Glendale, CA
  5.10a R
Justin Kenderes   Glendale, CA
  5.10a R
Right, maybe I wasn't being clear. My point was that if you're placing cams then it's not really a sport climb and if sport climbers show up with just a sport rack then the route is probably too dangerous for a 5.10a leader. This is unfortunate because they would be missing out on a great climb! For me, a #1 C4 and a couple nuts provided great protection. Dec 5, 2012
Alex Bury
Ojai, CA
Alex Bury   Ojai, CA
The bolt is back.......
Much respect to Joe W today for his lead of this one. Plugged a cam, ignored the bolt, and cruised the crux. Oct 5, 2013
Corey C.
Brea, CA
Corey C.   Brea, CA
bolt was not there as of today Nov 9, 2013
Alexander Schottky 1
Oxnard, California
Alexander Schottky 1   Oxnard, California
Great 5.10a in beautiful rock! I had a hard time being out of shape but still made it happen - a fun climb with lots of great runouts! You will love it
That first bolt is there as far as I can tell and it protects the beginning really well Sep 14, 2014
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The bolt is back.

I have long regarded this area as one of the true gems of the Central Coast, so I greatly appreciate the recent focus and attention that Wheeler Gorge is getting from route developers. Alex B.'s development of the second tier, above Danger Boy, is absolutely thrilling.

But it bugs the hell out of me that someone (I know its not you, Alex) is altering existing routes. On what planet is this acceptable? There are gray areas in the bolting realm, but is adding a bolt to someone else's route really in this gray area? Goulara is not some old-school route, where we can debate whether or not the aging bolt that protects the runout crux should be replaced. The route is perfectly safe, as others have indicated.

Please leave existing routes alone. Sep 16, 2014
Jon Hartmann
Ojai, CA
Jon Hartmann   Ojai, CA
Okay, I'm tired of the bolt crap. Since the people who keep putting the bolt back in are doing it secretly and have never had the insight to tell the climbing community who they are and why they think they have the right to alter someone else's route, it has led to this. I'm from here on out putting MYSELF, Chuck Ethics as the guy who WILL remove that bolt EVERY TIME it goes back in. If you want your hangers back, shoot me an email but it will be removed again and again. If one person starts altering routes because it makes them feel safer, it's just one big slippery slope to the whole climbing scene getting grid bolted in the name of safety. I've never been a mean guy but this climbing stuff means more to me than anything. Sep 16, 2014
Corey C.
Brea, CA
Corey C.   Brea, CA
Jooooooonnnnn Hartmannnnnn!!! Bolt should not be there if it wasn't originally there. period. Keep up the good work Jon! Nov 10, 2014
Jon Hartmann
Ojai, CA
Jon Hartmann   Ojai, CA
What bolt? :) But don't thank Jon, thank Chuck. He's in all of us. Let him out occasionally to take care of business. Nov 10, 2014
Brian morin
Simi Valley, CA
Brian morin   Simi Valley, CA
Thank goodness there was a stick previous climbers had left at the base so I could rig a stick clip to first bolt. The beginning of this route is begging to do serious harm to an over zealous climber who thinks they can reach the first bolt. Is this is human experiment in trying to maim climbers leading near their limit?

I couldn't agree more with Guy's comments on the Goulara route since these both share the same start

This is not to diss route developers at Wheeler as they have done a great job developing the crag, and we are all grateful, but someone is going to slip on this one and go tumbling into the gorge Jul 9, 2015
Great route! But, because of the style old school respect is in session. 1st make sure you put a runner around the tree just off the dirt. This will keep you out of the creek. Then either man up and go through the crux, or slam a cam in. Your choice. Once your through with this trad stuff, continue on to clip bolts to the top. Aug 3, 2015
Zen Green
Newbury Park, CA
Zen Green   Newbury Park, CA
definitely protect the start with some gear or risk a terrible fall. after you clip the first bolt and pull onto the arete, super easy and best exposure for the area. Rock quality is a little questionable but a classic wheeler route. Apr 30, 2016
Chad Parker
Ventura, California
Chad Parker   Ventura, California
Under route detailes where it says PROTECTION a #1 or 2 Camelot should be listed in my opinion. Just like all the other info this is relevant so people don't get hurt. That's another reason I think Mountain Project should have kept the option of listing a route as Trad/Sport mixed. They do exist and are fun.

This is one of the best climbs at wheeler and it would be a shame to show up without a cam and not be able to lead this thing clean or at all. Sep 22, 2016
It sort of blows my mind how much controversy and energy has gone into this one small section of rock.

As someone who's bolted fresh lines, retro bolted lines in need of repair, climbed on the central coast for two decades, and almost lost a leg in a climbing accident, here's my two cents:

I get the attachment (much of which is earned) to routes that we bolt. It takes a lot of time, vision, and energy to sink bolts, clean rock and FA routes (especially on the less than perfect rock of the central coast) and those who do so deserve a certain level or respect.

However, hard work and vision does not always lead to superior results. Its debatable as to who should have the final say on what "good work" is, but I certainly do not understand the reasoning behind bolting an otherwise completely safe sport route in such a way that leaves the climber completely unprotected by bolts such that they could potentially die from a ground fall before the first bolt. That's just stupid and lazy in my opinion. I totally understand that mixed routes are a thing, but in this case, choosing to force a cam placement to provide any sort of protection from a a very dangerous fall on a route that is clearly meant to be a moderate sport climb makes absolutely no sense.

Whatever the case, in the end, it seems like the best course of action is to encourage the use of a stick clip on such a route. May 12, 2017
I'm just curious: how were the bolts placed? (ie, lead, rappel, hooks, etc.) Thanks! May 14, 2017
The route starts on some cobblestone-ish leading up to hugging the left side of the arete. Quite a bit of fun! The setter's ego seems to be higher than the first bolt though. Let someone place a lower bolt dude... Oct 1, 2017
I am a rock Oct 4, 2017

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