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Capitalism & Freedom

5.10a/b, Sport, 155 ft (47 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.8 from 35 votes
FA: Romain Wacziarg & Matthew Fienup, February 2007
California > Central Coast > Hwy 33/Ojai > Fortress > Right Side Gully
Warning Access Issue: Hwy 33 Road Closure DetailsDrop down

Description

Two sustained and varied pitches up the large formation on the left side of the gully, opposite "Permanent Income Hypothesis."

Pitch 1, "Capitalism" (5.10a/b, 80 feet, 5 bolts)
Steep, edgy face climbing. The crux is reaching and passing the second bolt. Belay at a ledge from bolts.

Pitch 2, "Freedom" (5.9, 85 feet, 8 bolts)
Face climbing, chimneying, and liebacking make for an extremely varied pitch. The faint of heart will want additional pro through the crux sequence above the fifth bolt (the crack takes a #1 TCU up to 1.5"). A thought-provoking, slabby finish takes you to an airy and exposed summit. Belay from bolts.

Location

The route starts just a few feet left of "Permanent Income Hypothesis." Approach as for that route.

Two single rope rappels with a 60m rope will get you back to the start of the route. Descend from here by making one more rappel from the top of P1 of "Free to Choose."

Protection

1/2" Rawl-style expansion bolts. An optional cam or two (tiny to 1.5")--the 2nd pitch crux is not optimally protected because the rock near the crux is not solid enough to yield a reliable bolt.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Alex topping out on Capitalism And Freedom.
[Hide Photo] Alex topping out on Capitalism And Freedom.
Marisa Fienup approaches the summit atop "Capitalism & Freedom"
[Hide Photo] Marisa Fienup approaches the summit atop "Capitalism & Freedom"
Joel Alexander Barnett on the second pitch of Capitalism And Freedom.
[Hide Photo] Joel Alexander Barnett on the second pitch of Capitalism And Freedom.
jamie concentrating on the balancey first pitch
[Hide Photo] jamie concentrating on the balancey first pitch
hanging out at the first belay. Gabi, Jamie, and Andrea
[Hide Photo] hanging out at the first belay. Gabi, Jamie, and Andrea
Carolyn Libuser enters the crux sequence on the first pitch of Capitalism & Freedom.
[Hide Photo] Carolyn Libuser enters the crux sequence on the first pitch of Capitalism & Freedom.
Kelly Ringwald + unknown partner enjoying the view after an early ascent of Capitalism & Freedom in April'07.
[Hide Photo] Kelly Ringwald + unknown partner enjoying the view after an early ascent of Capitalism & Freedom in April'07.
Capitalism and Freedom, 2nd pitch at the chimney / lieback section.
[Hide Photo] Capitalism and Freedom, 2nd pitch at the chimney / lieback section.
Another view of "Capitalism & Freedom,"  made from 2 photos stitched together (hence the white area).
[Hide Photo] Another view of "Capitalism & Freedom," made from 2 photos stitched together (hence the white area).
Romain Wacziarg nears the top of "Capitalism & Freedom" during the route's first ascent.
[Hide Photo] Romain Wacziarg nears the top of "Capitalism & Freedom" during the route's first ascent.
Romain Wacziarg seconds the first pitch of "Capitalism & Freedom" during the route's first ascent.
[Hide Photo] Romain Wacziarg seconds the first pitch of "Capitalism & Freedom" during the route's first ascent.
Capitalism & Freedom topo
[Hide Photo] Capitalism & Freedom topo

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Matthew Fienup
Santa Rosa Valley, CA
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] This formation gets my vote as the coolest summit that has been climbed thus far--GREAT position and great view of the other routes. Feb 12, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Santa Rosa Valley, CA
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] "Capitalism" consists of the softest rock of any of the routes put up so far. Expect this pitch to change as it cleans up. The current difficulty rating is dependent upon a few small holds that may or may not last. Feb 22, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Santa Rosa Valley, CA
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] The sequence that I use passing the second bolt is still intact and should last. Pull on positive, opposing side-pulls, hike your feet up, and reach for a good edge near the third bolt (5.10a).

This pitch is better than I remembered! Mar 2, 2007
[Hide Comment] Excellent climb matt. Particularly enjoyed the chance to sink a jam or two (and even a pointless cam) on the second pitch. I thought 10.a was pretty fair for the first pitch, don't remember any tricky moves, and 10.b is about where I start to notice.

Watch your step at the base of this one, nearly stepped on a baby rattler all coiled up and invisible on the way out.

Climbed it again and I agree, it's got the best summit and climbing of all the Fortress routes. PIH is a close second just for the exposure on the arete though. Great stuff. Apr 11, 2007
Eileen
Ventura, CA
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] I thought the first pitch could deserve a 10a/b rating. I thought so the first time I went up but now that I've done it twice I'm even more leaning towards a 10a/b rating.

Definitely a lovely view! Apr 20, 2007
Romain Wacziarg
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] I led this for the second time yesterday and agree with those who lean towards a 10b rating for P1. Some stuff may have broken off, too, between bolts 2 and 3. Apr 28, 2007
Romain Wacziarg
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] It is possible to link the two pitches as one with a 60 meter rope. This makes for a great, continuous climb with little or no rope drag. Highly recommended. Apr 2, 2009
Rob Chaney
5.10b
[Hide Comment] Climbed this route 4/14/2008, on the first pitch there are several clean spots threw the crux sequence looks like flakes have broken off. I have climbed this before and it seem s harder now. there seems to be no good feet wile pulling the crux move. Definitely 10b.

Also we rapped off the back side to the base of Seven Steps to Heaven and got a nice bonus climb. Then rapped back down into the right side gully from the top of Seven Steps.

Climbed this one again on 4/18/2009 and after looking at the broken off flakes they look pretty aged and not recently broken off. the crux sequence is as Matthew decribes in his comment on 3/2/2007 but still I give it a 10b ratting. Apr 15, 2009
Maidy Vasquez
Bishop, CA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] Super fun climb. We actually just climbed it as one long pitch. The rock quality actually seemed pretty good. A few though-provoking moves both at the bottom and in the top dihedral.

We actually did a single rappel with a 70 meter from Natural Rate's anchor after topping out. We just lowered the follower(me)the 10 feet to the tree, then the leader did a mini rappel while I threaded the anchor to save time. There was a little spare rope on the ground, so I'm *guessing* it probably would have been OK from the tip-top anchor as well (with zero rope to spare) but we weren't 100% sure so we used the lower anchor. Jun 24, 2013
Monika Hartmann
Ojai CA
[Hide Comment] Had a great first time on this route! Big fan of edgy, crimpy problems (no joke, the crux is a gasper!) and also got some good practice with slab and a little overhanging chimney action. I got happy feels the whole way up. We did it in a single pitch with a 70m. Jun 14, 2016
Nick Todd
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] Climbed with just sport gear,and loved it! Yes, there is a part that could use gear, however, we both felt it was well protected in our 'crux' just below the gear-able crack.

I feel the fortress holds the ability to surprise a climber - I needed to think outside-of-the-box to finagle my body up into the middle section of the second pitch.

Overall, possible with sport gear if you comfortable with your lie backing skills. The bolt is there, to the left, trust me. Oct 16, 2017
Bill Howard
Ventura, Ca
[Hide Comment] youtu.be/xIVH8qUkelA

In one pitch. No gear needed, draws only more than adequate. Jul 1, 2022