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Fire Crags

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bent Brain S 
Black Crack S 
Europe Revisited S 
Face the Seam S 
Finger Fit S 
Grib Dat Hole S 
Jensen's Jugs S 
Movin' Out S 
Short Shot S 
Tester S 

Fire Crags Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 34.493, -119.793 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,454
Administrators: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M. Morley on Feb 15, 2006  with updates from kfox Fox


87° | 57°

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The Fire Crags consist of two boulders that were discovered after the Painted Cave fire swept through the area in late June of 1990, uncovering them from the surrounding chaparral. Randy Judycki established it first as a TR area until it cleaned up. He enlisted the help of Santa Barbara local Mike Colee (long "o", long "e") to establish most of the lead routes in 1992. "It was a mess to clean up," Colee remembers.

"I spent much of my time the first two years building the trail and cleaning the routes," recalls Judycki. "Since the rock is soft sandstone and it went through a very hot fire, [it] was cleaned extensively so no large blocks would fall on people".

There are more than a dozen sport routes, the longest (and best) about 50 feet in length. It's easy to knock out all or most of the routes in a half day. Bring about 8 draws and a camera - the view is great!

The route numbers follow.

Upper/Burnt Boulder
16. Europe Revisited (5.6) - 2 bolts to anchor, 20'.
17. Tester (5.9) - 3 bolts to anchor (shared with Europe Revisited), 30'.
18. Short Shot (5.8) - 3 bolts to anchor, 30'.
19. Bent Brain (5.8) - 4 bolts to anchor, 40'.
20. Jensen's Jugs (5.10b) - 4 bolts to anchor, 50'.
21. Movin' Out (5.11b/c) - 5 bolts to anchor, 50', chipped holds.
22. Grib Dat Hole (5.11a) - 6 bolts to anchor, 50', chipped.
23. Finger Fit (5.11b) - 5 bolts.
24. Face the Seam (5.10a) - 3 bolts to anchor, 35'.
25. Black Crack (5.9+) - 4 bolts to anchor, 35'.

Lower/Cave Boulder
26. Quick Crank (5.10+) - Don't bother.
27. Screaming Knee Knee (5.11c) - 3 bolts.
28. Flaccidily Flexing Forearms (5.11d) - 3 bolts.
29. Crack It Up (5.9) - Long boulder problem.

Getting There 

From Santa Barbara, take Hwy 154 (San Marcos Pass) toward Santa Ynez; turn right at Painted Cave Road, and head up the road for about 1/2 mile to a hairpin turn with a pull-out on the left. Park here. Follow established foot trail for 5 minutes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.0 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Fire Crags

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Fire Crags:
Bent Brain   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Jensen's Jugs   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Grib Dat Hole   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, Chipped, 1 pitch, 50'   
Finger Fit   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 40'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Fire Crags

Featured Route For Fire Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Gets tricky for just a second and then totally cru...

Bent Brain 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  California : Central Coast : ... : Fire Crags
A quality warm-up to some of the harder lines at the cliff. Start left of Jensen's Jugs. A thin start leads to easier and enjoyable climbing above....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Fire Crags Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Parking turnout for Fire Crags.
Parking turnout for Fire Crags.
Rock Climbing Photo: The shorter, less difficult left side of the Upper...
BETA PHOTO: The shorter, less difficult left side of the Upper...
Rock Climbing Photo: Green= Jensen's Jugs (5.10b), Blue= Movin' Out (5....
BETA PHOTO: Green= Jensen's Jugs (5.10b), Blue= Movin' Out (5....
Rock Climbing Photo: From the parking area, the Fire Crags (upper= yell...
BETA PHOTO: From the parking area, the Fire Crags (upper= yell...

Comments on Fire Crags Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 10, 2017
By Stephen Pratt
From: Goleta, CA
Jul 16, 2007
Just went climbing here over the weekend (7/15/07) and noticed that someone yanked out the anchor bolts above Europe Revisited. Is someone putting up a new anchor or just going to leave it like that?
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 18, 2007
Fire Crags recently suffered a failure of the first lead bolt on "Black Crack." The bolt was a 3/8" Rawl. The rock at Fire Crags is softer than nearby crags.
By Bruno Hache
From: Longmont, CO
Oct 14, 2008
Hi guys,
I was wondering if you guys should consider Titanium anchors?

Look at the following link for good reasons to do so:

Those Titanium Rock Climbing anchors can be found at Ushba Mountaineering.
Titanium is uniquely inert to chemicals like salt corrosion.

I was told they became affordable due to the cheaper Titanium found in Eastern Europe.
Those anchors will become the standard for Rock Climbing Anchors in Marine Environment.

They were designed to withstand the corrosion issue that is unique to those environment.
Cayman Island, Thailand, Calanques (France) anchors are being replaced with those anchors due to Chloride Salt Corrosion Cracking (read the article in the link).

Also, the Glue-In (which you are using with the Batinox) is well documented to be the best option in soft rocks:
They also describe the best configuration of the eye-bolt to use.

Good luck and keep up the good work!

Colorado Climber
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 13, 2009
Thanks for the info.

I believe that the problem at Fire Crags is not salt corrosion. It's super soft rock. I recently removed the second bolt on Black's Crack in order to inspect it, and it demonstrated little corrosion. Even so, the first bolt on this route pulled out in a lead fall.

As such, I'm not sure that Titanium bolts would change the situation. Your idea about using glue-ins is one that I can get behind, though. Having placed them at other crags, my only thought is that it is extremely difficult and time consuming compared to dropping a few sleeve bolts in the wall. I would be very, very grateful if someone were willing to undertake all of this extra work.
By Jan Roestel
May 14, 2009
A headsup, I am planning on replacing some anchors and bolts at the Firecrags sometime this summer. I plan using Fixe glueins (with links)and Hlti HIT-RE 500 Epoxy Adhesive.

Jensons' Jugs:
Anchor and top two bolts

Grib dat Hole:
Anchor and lower two bolts

Bent Brain - maybe, anchors are loose
Haven't examined Black Crack yet

Comments and suggestions?
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
May 14, 2009
Jan, I suggest getting in touch with Randy Judycki first, as I know he was also planning on replacing them. Give me a holler and I can put you in touch.
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
Feb 1, 2010
Any updates on the status of anchor quality/safety at this crag? Did replacements ever go in?
By Jan Roestel
Nov 18, 2010
Anchors have not been replaced yet.
I was in communication with Randy back and forth and he planned to do it in October but I got distracted with another new crag so I really haven't followed up with him.
By Matt N
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 24, 2010
A couple of weeks ago we setup a TR on Jensons Jugs off of the older bolts up top b/c the missing rock around the hooks didn't sit well with us. To be overkillingly redundant we also backed it up to the SS rap anchors set way up top. Flake at the top of the crux felt hollow too - I'd hate to pull that off and ruin the route!
By 5150dhbiker
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 26, 2014
Visited here today after climbing at The Playground to check it out. Looks like most routes have been freshly bolted with solid anchors on most routes.
By Chris Morissette
From: Santa Barbara
Mar 14, 2014
I was up at Fire Crag yesterday and saw two baby rattlesnakes on the trail between the lower and the upper crag. There must be a den near there. They were extremely camouflaged so be careful.
By Stefan E
From: West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 5, 2017
Anyone know what the route is between Finger Fit and Face the Seam?
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Jul 7, 2017
Stefan, I think the route in question is an old Chris leube (sp?) route. It goes at 5.12ish. Probably towards the harder end of that scale. The opening move is quite desperate, and after that the moves stay fairly sustained, but not as bad as the start. There is a decent amount of old glue (if memory serves) on the route, and per the rock-quality of Fire Crags, holds may have changed. Expect to be confounded and frustrated by this route. I've climbed with Chris a little bit in the past, and I've rarely met a more enthused, positive guy. Perhaps it was his tendency towards optimism that motivated him to put up this route...

Chris was also EXTREMELY strong on awkward crimpy climbing. Bear that in mind when attempting this route.
By Stefan E
From: West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 10, 2017
Thanks for the info Andy. The opening moves did look very tough.

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