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Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
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Bee Line 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b PG13

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b PG13 [details]
FA: Steve Tucker & Joe Roland (late 70s)
Page Views: 1,422
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Aug 24, 2008  with updates from randy88fj62

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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Homemade pitons on Bee Line at Sespe Gorge


Old-school adventure climbing at its best--and not your typical outing at Sespe Gorge.

Those who don't mind the extra lichen and who aren't afraid of tricky gear will be richly rewarded by this route. The climbing is a big step up physically and psychologically from Ending Crack.

The route follows a single crack system that climbs nearly straight up the wall past several small trees.

At the top of P1, there are two hangars with rap rings.


On the far right side of the Black Wall is a large, broken pillar that lays against the main face. About ten feet right of this pillar is a thin crack that runs straight upward past several small trees (including a 10-foot tall tree that is almost level with the top of the pillar).

To access the start of the route, first identify the gaping 4th-class gully that marks the end of the wall on the right hand side. From the creek, scramble directly up to the base of the gully. Traverse along a narrow ledge to the left to the base of the crack.

Descend Bee Line by rappelling the route with 2 ropes (2 raps are required from trees). There is a sling wad that incorporates two pitons and several small trees about mid-height on the wall. If the sling isn't your style, there are two hangars with rap rings to make things a bit easier. It is apparently also possible to descend the gaping, 4th-class gully to the right of the route.


tiny to 4" (double TCUs recommended), a few small trees. A dozen, or so, home-made pitons add extra character.

Photos of Bee Line Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Romain nears the top of the second pitch of Bee Li...
Romain nears the top of the second pitch of Bee Li...
Rock Climbing Photo: Old home made Pin on route.
Old home made Pin on route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Old home made Pin on route.
Old home made Pin on route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Old home made Pin on route.
Old home made Pin on route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sorry...not the best picture of the first pitch of...
Sorry...not the best picture of the first pitch of...

Comments on Bee Line Add Comment
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By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 24, 2008

Mannnnn... that thing could use a shave! It would probably see some more love if you gave it more love.. Like a wire brush.

By t-rev
Jun 1, 2009

The first pitch, up to the rap station, is fairly clean and the rock is pretty good. the second pitch needs a good scrub, but the rock is solid. it looks like many parties just climb the first pitch and lower off. The route can also be climbed in one long 65 m pitch.
By Richard Shore
Feb 13, 2011

a fun line, but it is dirty. More of a mental workout than anything. The first 20 feet is like climbing on a vertical jungle. Dont be afraid to use your nut-tool to excavate moss/dirt from the crack to find good pro. The old, manky pitons are welcome up top as no other gear is readily available (micro nuts maybe?). The upper section looked rotten, and gear was scant. We rapped from the tree/pin anchor to the base with a single 70m.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jan 6, 2012

Climbed this route again today and had a great time! No move felt harder than 5.6, but the route is fairly sustained for the grade and many sections feel insecure due to the lichen. Half way up the second pitch we moved 8 feet right and followed a parallel crack up to a large pine tree. This right-hand crack appeared to offer much better gear options.

We did a 150 foot rappel from trees high on the wall and then a second 120 rappel from the mid-station.
By randy88fj62
Mar 22, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Did as an aid climb on 3/20/15. All the home made pins are in good shape and solid. Did as three short pitches using a double rack and 15 slings. Offset nuts helpful.

Pitches 1 and 2 were easy and pitch 3 being the crux as gear was running low.

Two 60m ropes or 1 60m rope and a pull cord make rapping the route a breeze.

Top of pitch 3 is a large tree with sling and rapide. Bring webbing to replace.

Top of what we designated as pitch 2 had 2 solid bolts with rap rings. Just above the rap rings were three home made pins which I assume were the original anchors.

Spoke with a local at the bottom and he said this is one of the only routes with the original gear still in place.

Excellent aid practice route. I'd give it an A1/C2 rating as some spots would be difficult if a pin was missing. I'd bring 1 bat hook and leave your pins/beaks at home.

Matthew Fienup mentions in the post above that he moves to the right to a second crack system during his pitch 2 (my pitch three). Use EXTREME CAUTION as there is a 2'x3' LOOSE BLOCK about 8 feet up this alternate right crack. I recommend staying in the left crack system even though it looks like a vertical graden full of grass and bushes.

If I am ever on that route again I will do my best to have someone watch for people below and trundle that block as it is a safety hazard to the belayer if the leader pulls it off.
By Joe Garibay
From: Ventura, Ca
Dec 10, 2016

Continued past the pine to the ledge via an off width to top out. The off width up top is an amazing way to end this route. Best section of the climb in my opinion. Belayer should be ready to wear handfuls of dirt. Get on this thing! Deserves the traffic. Needs the traffic!

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