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Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
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Tree Root 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Herbert Rickert et al. '59
Season: year round
Page Views: 5,613
Submitted By: Davi Rivas on Feb 15, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (63)
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With beautiful Fall colors and perfect Fall temps,...


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.


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 of Tree Root Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tree Root (right) & Ending Crack (left).
BETA PHOTO: Tree Root (right) & Ending Crack (left).
Rock Climbing Photo: Big crowd at Sespe Gorge today.
Big crowd at Sespe Gorge today.
Rock Climbing Photo: Makin our way up!
Makin our way up!
Rock Climbing Photo: Us on the black wall
Us on the black wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Patty Fienup midway through the 2nd pitch of Tree ...
Patty Fienup midway through the 2nd pitch of Tree ...
Rock Climbing Photo: David Abzug high on the first pitch of Tree Route.
David Abzug high on the first pitch of Tree Route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon Kemmerer at the P1 belay of Tree Root - May 20...
Jon Kemmerer at the P1 belay of Tree Root - May 20...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 23, 2016
By Chiranjeeb Buragohain
Feb 26, 2006

The second rappel can be done with a single 60m rope. Aim a little left (looking into the rock) of the start.
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Mar 16, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Beginners will find the first pitch quite challenging to adequately protect. The upper pitch swallows gear easily.
By Steve Powell
Jan 8, 2007

climbed this in september. one thing to note is that gnats comeout when the wall goes into shade
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jun 11, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

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.
By Bill Becher
Jun 6, 2009

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..
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 4, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

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).
By Joe Stern
From: Moab, Utah
Sep 5, 2009

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.
By James Ging
From: Thousand Oaks, CA
Jan 4, 2010

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.
By Jiana ten Brinke
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 31, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

  • *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.
By Tristan Burnham
From: La Crescenta, CA
Feb 27, 2013

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.
By Matt N
From: Santa Barbara, CA
May 20, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

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.
By Nick Mudd
Jun 23, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

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.
By Chad Parker
From: Ventura, California
Jul 23, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

5.6 260 feet. 2 ropes to get down safely.
By Chris Joy
Feb 29, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

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.
By Alex Bury
From: Ojai, CA
Jul 23, 2016

Recovered a stuck cam today 7.23, send me a message to get it back (name the brand/size).

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