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Unsorted Routes:

Goulara 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Mike Gould & Tony Agulara, 1995
Page Views: 4,449
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Feb 18, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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BETA PHOTO: The wooden platform mentioned in the description.

Description 

Starts at a little wooden ledge above the creek. The route follows a short face and then continues up the right-hand side of a slighty overhanging arete.

The crux is actually clipping the last three bolts while hanging off of the arete (the climbing itself does not feel 5.10c). The bolts were actually placed to protect a climb up the middle of the face (to the right of the arete, 5.11+). Thus, clipping the top three bolts requires a LONG and awkward reach. Blow the clip and you will take a very clean but very LONG fall into space.

Note, a lot of rock still comes off of this route. The belayer should not stand on the wooden ledge. Instead, position him/her on the large sycamore tree which can be slung as a ground anchor. Helmets are a must.

This route is sustained, exposed, and aesthetic...one of the very best in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.


Protection 

8 bolts to 3 bolt top anchor. Top Anchors consist of two 1/2" Rawls with open shuts (the original hardware) and one Fixe Triplex with a Mussy Hook.

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 stick-clip.



Photos of Goulara Slideshow Add Photo
The final climactic crux of Goulara, Direct Finish...
The final climactic crux of Goulara, Direct Finish...
Andy Patterson negotiates the direct face finish t...
Andy Patterson negotiates the direct face finish t...
Isabel on Goulara
Isabel on Goulara
Mary Patterson strolls up the beautiful arete of G...
Mary Patterson strolls up the beautiful arete of G...
One of my favorite climbs! Harder on the face than...
One of my favorite climbs! Harder on the face than...
Kathy Boussina is rewarded with an convenient top-...
Kathy Boussina is rewarded with an convenient top-...

Comments on Goulara Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 14, 2015
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Feb 24, 2006

Accessing this route during the few days after a storm can be very challeging.
By Tuxebo
From: Middletown, RI
Jun 19, 2008

This was a hair-raising and really fun route having not stick clipped the first bolt. I found the platform wasn't very necessary, more of a convenience. I took a look at the 11+ to right but was scared enough on the easier variation.
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 20, 2008

I did the 5.11+ finish at the end (last three bolts), and found it rather thought provoking, but ultimately safe. Certainly much, much harder than the arete. In fact, I didn't have a guidebook at the time, so I thought the climb was sandbagged 5.10c. Woops. I would like to lead the entire route via the middle line of attack some time. It looks great!
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 22, 2008

Climbing on the face the entire way (which I have only done on top-rope) yields the most sustained route at Wheeler by a mile. It's harder than some 12s that I have done, just for the pump factor.
By kjohnson
Jul 5, 2009

The wooden ledge is gone. I found it very dangerous to clip the first bolt, for climber and belayer, therefore not doing the climb. I hope another lower bolt will be put in.
july 09
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 5, 2009

There is no reason to add a lower first bolt as it is very easy to stick clip the existing first bolt. The first clip was scary even when the wooden ledge was there.
By Richard Shore
Feb 10, 2010

If you don't have a stick-clip, a medium size cam (I think it was a BD #2) can be placed in a shallow crack before getting to the first bolt. I had a foot pop off one of the polished cobbles as I was clipping the first bolt, and was caught by the cam (and belayer!) a few inches off the deck, nearly crushing my partner. Without a cam or stick-clip, this is a gnarly start with groundfall potential from 15+ feet.
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 16, 2010

As mentioned by Richard, a cam or nut will erase the run-out factor. Perhaps this should be called a "mixed route" if you don't have a stick-clip.
By Joe Stern
From: Moab, Utah
Aug 15, 2011

Unless you're particularly keen on awkward bolt-clipping cruxes, the 5.10c version of this route (following the arete left of the bolts) should be forced into obscurity with the newly equipped Economique. Now you can climb the arete and clip bolts on the arete, which seems much more enjoyable. I imagine that Goulara will stand as a classic harder route following the more direct line of the first ascentionists up the face.

It's certainly worth taking along a #2 camalot or stick clip, depending on your preferences. As of 8/14/11, there was a stick clip stashed at the base. No R rating if climbed with supplemental gear...my partner also took the whip before achieving the first bolt.
By Michelle Lynn
From: Moab, UT
Mar 12, 2012

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.

Edit: As of mid April 2012, the hanger is gone from this new first bolt. Bring those #2s!
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Mar 29, 2012

This new bolt is tacky. If Gould & Agulara had wanted a lower bolt, they would have added one. As mentioned earlier, anyone who is uncomfortable with the runout to the first bolt (and I am among these individuals) can either carry a cam or use a stick clip.
By NLi10Me
Aug 12, 2012

The wooden ledge claimed to be at the base of this route is no longer there. As a result, the first bolt is approximately 20 feet above the "ledge/tree" where one begins the route. However, a crack at the base of the route takes gear well. Specifically, I used a #1 BD, but could have sunk stoppers of several sizes as well.
By NLi10Me
Aug 12, 2012

More importantly however, the bolt protecting the crux of the face climb (the one just above the small "roof" about 2/3 up the route is spinning in its hole. Furthermore, a very suspicious crack is forming around this bolt and the rock sounds very hollow. It's my opinion that a fall of more than a few feet on this bolt could pull down a section of the roof it is drilled into and be a very serious hazard to the belayer (directly below) and climber alike.
By Andrew McMullen
Oct 9, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Amazing climb. Can do it many different ways. If on the arrete I prefer to lead the nicely bolted Economique on the left side. Not sure how it was originally envisioned but climbing just the face of Goulara is amazingly sustained and thought provoking. Would vote it goes at least at 12a if you avoid the arrete completely. Great climb!
By William Domhart
From: Ventucky, CA
Feb 25, 2013

The line directly under the anchor is burly as hell. Led the Arete route that goes up the left side of the arete (5.9?), led Goulara, and TR'd the line directly underneath. Couldn't pull the moves after the undercling under the last mini roof before the anchors. 5.12+? Great way to get thrashed at the end of the day. Plugged a #2 to pro the start of the climb. Fun climb, bolts and anchors looked good.
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 26, 2013

The "direct" line of travel which everyone seems to be talking about doesn't have a name that I know of. We always thought it should have been bolted as a completely separate line, especially down low, since the moves are distinct and autonomous from the arete. Great, sustained, and technical climbing at 5.12b. William, I think 5.12+ might be a little generous for the upper headwall. The mini-roof you're talking about (the one before the anchors) is actually the 5.11 finish to Goulara. Pumpy? Yes, but once you find the right pockets, things ease up quickly.

Beautiful face, great positioning.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 16, 2014

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 route's alone.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 16, 2014

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.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 16, 2014

I'm going to leave that first comment up because I'm serious about it... however, I don't WANT to have to adopt this alter ego of Chuck Ethics, I don't WANT to have to be the loud guy, but Hey people, where are you're comments? How does everyone feel about this issue that's popping up in our backyards? We're a community, I'm not the guy who should have to enforce anything, we should all chime in and say what we feel. Remember, issues of altering others routes don't just stop at this one route, it can extend all the way across California or the whole country. We as the community are the only ones who can set standards and hold people accountable for doing what they aren't supposed too. Please let your voices be heard, but I'm still removing the bolt.
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 17, 2014

I hope Chuck Ethics sells t-shirts. Incredible name.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Sep 17, 2014

No T-Shirts because he's eveyones potential alter ego. Instead, I'll be selling a Chuck Ethics costume set which will include a press on handlebar mustache, a pair of dark aviator sun glasses and a pre worn in 2nd degree karate black belt or taekwando belt (whichever makes you feel more kick ass).
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 2, 2015

The new lower bolt on Goulara has been removed three times. But that is apparently not enough to deter the thoughtless bolting of existing lines at Wheeler Gorge. Now FOUR BOLTS (correction: FIVE) have been added to the start of Goulara. This is F-ed up. By the time this round is over, there will be 7 chopped bolts at the start of this route. Never mind the sacrilege of adding bolts to someone else's route, this is irresponsible in terms of the impact on the site.

Please do not add bolts to existing routes at Wheeler Gorge (or anywhere else). I don't care how talented a route setter you are.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Apr 2, 2015

Did they add all 4 bolts before the original first bolt or is it a completely new line?
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 2, 2015

I'm guessing they bolted (or intended to bolt) the direct line up the face, the one that goes at somewhere around 5.12. Matt, is this what you're referring to? Is it possible they misread the line and encroached on Goulara? I'm having trouble recalling exactly how far right or left the route starts. Either way, Goulara shouldn't have been touched, but it seems the 5.12 (currently unnamed) could have bolts of its own, since in my memory it was substantially to the right of Goulara. Am I way off base?
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Apr 2, 2015

Kinda the same thing I was wondering. If this is the case..wasn't Economique technically encroaching on Goulara in the same way?
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 2, 2015

John and Andy, thanks for weighing in. When I bolted Economique, I used the first three bolts of Goulara to access the face around the corner. In my estimation, I did not alter Goulara in any way. The first new bolt is on the face around the corner to the left--the bolts actually protect the face left of the arete and are not on the arete. Does that seem like an encroachment on Goulara? Let me know if you think I'm being hypocritical. (I'd hate to be opposite Chuck Ethics.)

The bolts in question are to the right of the traditional start of Goulara and represent a more direct line. Is it okay to put bolts less than a body length to the right of Goulara's start? I am not prone to making slippery-slope arguments (except in politics) but there is a lot of "activity" at Wheeler Gorge these days. Where do we draw a line? If this is acceptable, what isn't? We can talk about the shoddy hardware after we have settled this first issue.

As a historical note, the bolts placed by Gould and Agulara do protect the 5.12 face route. It is an adaptation to their route to climb the arete and stretch way right to clip their bolts. The last two bolts are so far to the right of the arete that clipping them is the crux of the arete route. To be clear, the 5.12 face is the original route bearing the name Goulara.

Here's a photo with the Economique and Goulara bolt locations (the top 2 Goulara bolts are about 5 feet right of the arete--they look closer because of the perspective):

Economique & Goulara bolts
Economique & Goulara bolts
By Sean Crozier
Apr 2, 2015

Matthew if you havnt already, just go take a look at what i did and climb the route. If you don't like it you can call me personally and we'll figure something out. If you decide to go and chop the bolts thats okay with me. But all in all its a pretty fuckin fun lead with nice clipping stances. Id be happy if it stuck around.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 2, 2015

Sean, thanks for entering the conversation. "Pretty fuckin fun lead" is exactly what the individual who added the bolt to Goulara was thinking. Where do we draw a line?

John, I find your reaction to this truly surprising given your Chuck Ethics reaction to the Goulara bolt. Please tell me again why that bolt was offensive.
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 2, 2015

So the 5.12 face was the original route bearing the name Goulara?

That's actually very interesting—-I didn't know that. I was truly under the impression the arete was the original line. I do recall the last two bolts being relatively far RIGHT of the arete, which is why I always led out on to the face for that section. At the very least, I'm learning some good history from this discussion.
By Jon Hartmann
From: Ojai, CA
Apr 2, 2015

The way I see it Matthew, is that there is no difference from Sean having an alternate start to Goulara as there is you have an alternate finish to Goulara. I wasn't aware that having direct starts to existing climbs was against climbing ethics. That is quite a big difference from adding a bolt to an existing route which I was not okay with. This could be considered a completely different route considering it has an alternate start, different moves and an entirely different grade. It shares bolts with Goulara, yes, but so does your route and so do many routes with alternate starts. What is your issue with it exactly? That it makes the wall too cluttered? That might be true but I don't see any actual climbing ethic rules being broken with that situation. This comes down to a personal opinion of what one would want the wall to look like.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 3, 2015

John, I think you are bringing shame to the handlebar mustache and the aviator glasses. In some ways these new bolts are ethically worse than a single lower bolt (added by a naive amateur who is new to the area and doesn't understand the local history, ethos and ethics).

Gould and Agulara opened one of the most striking formations in the Ojai area. They put up a stout 5.11+/5.12 route (Reese Martin called it 5.12b) on the face that now houses Sean's "completely different route." The bottom three of the new bolts are a squeeze job at best. The top two bolts completely impinge on the original bolt line. No one can claim ignorance of the original location of Gould & Agulara's route because it is stated in the fourth sentence of the route description above (and has been posted for nearly 9 years). Also note Joe Stern's comment in 2011.

Unlike the first bolt that has been added and removed three times, these five bolts fundamentally alter the character of the entire formation. And they alter the character of the crux of Gould and Agulara's route.

To provide an analog, a fuckin fun lead would be a direct alternate start to the route Sword in the Stone, in Rattlesnake Canyon. (If anyone reading this has not yet climbed it, drop everything and go. It's one of the best in S.B.) In fact, I top-rope this variation every time that I climb Sword in the Stone. I could easily add three bolts and join Sword in the Stone halfway up, but it would completely diminish the character and the aesthetics of the existing line. It would be a scandal. Similarly, over the years, I have repeatedly top-roped the line that Sean has now bolted. Adding bolts to the line is a scandal.

In regard to Economique, that route was listed in the guidebook as an open project which was abandoned by Gould. There was a printed invitation to develop it.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 3, 2015

This is unambiguous about both the original location of Goulara and about the open project now known as Economique:

Edwards Guidebook
Edwards Guidebook
By andy patterson
Administrator
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 4, 2015

To aid in this discussion, can someone (Matthew? Jon? Sean?) provide a photograph with some nifty photoshop indications of where the new and old bolts are? This could prove to be an instructive debate—especially if there are salient visual aids. I'm only generally aware of where the new bolt line runs. I'd love to see the whole shebang from a good perspective. I think everyone would.

Thanks in advance! I don't have the wherewithal to get down there any time soon.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 4, 2015

Photo taken Friday, April 3.
Goulara topo
Goulara topo


EDIT: In case anyone worries, the original file is over 9,000 pixels tall and the bolt locations are clearly visible. Drop me a message if you'd like to see the image without the Photoshopped bolt marks.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 5, 2015

The first three bolts are definitely independent of the climbing on the route called Goulara. They are a "direct start" to Goulara and should have necessitated permission from the first ascentionists.

Bolts 4 and 5 of the newly added bolts are a clear case of "Should I clip with my right hand or should I clip with my left?" As this photo shows, the new bolts infringe on Goulara in a glaring way. This part of the face can easily be led on Goulara's existing bolts:


Red - Goulara Purple - new bolts  (bolts 2-5 visib...
Red - Goulara
Purple - new bolts
(bolts 2-5 visible)


In fact, this is so much the case that on the very first lead of the new bolts, the climber decided to skip his own fifth bolt and clip Goulara's instead. He could have made the same choice on the fourth bolt but decided not to (he is almost standing on Goulara's bolt):


Red - Goulara Purple - new bolts (all 5 are visibl...
Red - Goulara
Purple - new bolts (all 5 are visible)


If you view the second image full size, you can see the the rope is clipped to Goulara's bolt instead of the brand new fifth bolt. Both photos were taken during the "first ascent."

EDIT: I have been corrected. The rope is clipped to Goulara's bolt because the 5th bolt was deemed unnecessary (and had not been placed) at the time of the first lead. The location of the fifth bolt is accurate but it was not in place during the first lead.
By Sean Crozier
Apr 5, 2015

So about those photos... First off one is me and the other my friend. I'm not a good enough climber to change my pants and take off my shirt mid climb. Second of all, but more importantly, I only put in 4 bolts. The picture of me climbing it shows I clipped that bolt on Goulara because the other bolt wasn't there. At no point was there any question of should I clip this or that. Also as a side note; I read shotty equipment somewhere up there in the line of comments. It's my understanding that the shear strength of a 3/8" bolt is around 4000lbs. I know 5 piece rawl bolts are much stronge but 3/8 will get the job done.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 5, 2015

Thanks for clarifying about the history of the fifth bolt. I stand by my earlier statement that the fifth (as well as the fourth) is unnecessary and an infringement of Goulara.

Sean, thanks for weighing in again. I realize that there are two climbers pictured. Both photos were taken during the first lead effort. 3/8" will get the job done if the rock is sufficiently hard. Duane Raleigh did some good work on this. That issue seems entirely secondary to the ethical questions.
By Sean Crozier
Apr 5, 2015

Fourth bolt should stay.
By Sam Cody
Apr 5, 2015

Hi I'm Sam. Sean used my drill and my hardware. I was there when he bolted it. and I climbed the first ascent of this route.

The fourth bolt is necessary. But, Matthew, if you feel up for it, have a go at it sans 4th and 5th bolt. I'm quite certain you'll change your mind about that. Have you even climbed it yet? Also there is no difference between your route as an extension and Sean's route as a direct start/different line. If you feel the need to chop these bolts, then you should chop your bolts on Economique as well. Also, it doesn't matter if the bolts are 4 feet away, you can't clip the original bolts unless you did some traversing movement, which is not part of this climb. As well as the first photo is me climbing this route before the 5th bolt was placed, hence why I'm much more left than originally intended. Also, if you want to climb it in the original FA style, skip this bolt, and the next bolt, and clip the last bolt before the anchors.... That's the original style in which it was climbed.

Matthew, you take all of this stuff extremely personal and it's affect on the climbing community is extremely detrimental. Mostly, you have no basis for an argument, and it seems to me that with the previous "bolting war" going on, this just helped light some fire in your ass about this or that. In reality, all we wanted to do was add a new route to Wheeler Gorge. If we knew it would have been blown so far out of proportion maybe we wouldn't have done anything at all. Which asks the question, should anyone bolt anything ever? Probably not, because why add more routes to areas? For people to have fun and have more options of things to climb? Apparently the answer is no because entitled people like Matthew here will have something negative to say about everything.

For the record, Sean's route is a great addition, the original route is great, and so is Economique. All three are awesome lines. But Matthew, you do not own this public climbing crag. You are not the mayor. Nobody voted for you to police this place on what people can or can not bolt, and where to draw the ethical line. There were no climbing ethics breached with this new addition. It's a very fun and safe route.

For those that haven't climbed it, please do. It's super fun. Happy Easter, Hail Satan!
By Cassidy Depew
Apr 5, 2015

Matthew your breaking guidelines 1-3, but mostly guideline #1 for new comment posting. You should probably go makes some friends and go climb some rocks, because your argument has no real backing. You straight up did the same thing Sean did.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 5, 2015

Cassidy, welcome to Mountain Project!
By Sean Crozier
Apr 5, 2015

How was that disrespectful?
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 6, 2015

This conversation has been moved to climbing forum. To read more, please visit:
mountainproject.com/v/goulara-...
By Guy Keesee
From: Moorpark, CA
Apr 6, 2015

Ill toss in my .02, Im not a local, but I live in Ventura county. I climb at Wheeler about 5-6 times per year......

The whole Ecominique, Goulda arete is a messed up piece of rock. First off is the way up- off the deck first bolt.... WTF? Is that little bit of death climbing supposed to prove something? On a 10A?

The Next time im there... I bring the gear, plug it in and climb, the route is pretty nice... but with the disintegration of the lower features (pulled cobbles)I'll never recommend that climb as long as the beginning is as unprotected as it is. ITS NOT GOOD SPORTCLIMBING, PERIOD.

Now I find out (after reading this bunch of comments) that the bolts are all there to do variations .... for different starts, finnishes, sub-cruxes, crux avoiders, well thats just plain funny or sad depending on ones mood.

If there are really 3 different climbs now, would you boys please color code or number the proper bolts and list the correct sequence, OK? I don't wish to get em wrong.

And while your at it, how about a separate anchor for each climb. Most of the newer climbers I run into don't like it if you clip into the same anchor as they are using as a TR for some 12 .... that they have no hope of climbing by the way.

Call me, I give you some top anchors if you can't afford it.


And VF was just fine with the pin for pro, I hope the bolt has been pulled.

By Alex Bury
From: Ojai, CA
Apr 6, 2015

I'm an Ojai local as well as a route developer here at Wheeler. Sean's my homie and Jon is a good friend of mine. Sam I just met but he seems like a nice dude. I'm not going to get drawn into any debate regarding the route, but there are a couple things I want to say.

You guys picked the worst rock in the whole friggin county to mess around with. A lot of work (by Matthew and also Jon) went into making sure people are careful and considerate, especially in that exact location. In light of that, showing up and bolting the thing without bouncing the issue off other locals was not respectful. That's the way I see it at least.

Secondly, those of you dissing Matthew are out of line. His contributions to local climbing are top shelf.
In regards to the new route name; it's funny. But the route could also be called 'Half-Cocked with a Bosch'. Has a good ring to it.

Anyway, there's no bad blood as far as I'm concerned. This whole mess will work itself out one way or another. Life will continue, the sun will rise, and the road to Pine will open.

See you on the steep,
AB
By Salamanizer
Administrator
From: Vacaville Ca.
Apr 14, 2015

All these variations show a complete lack of vision by all parties involved.
I know everyone wants to leave their mark behind, but it doesn't take too long before everything just reeks like piss. Na' mean?
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