BETA PHOTO: Green dome from the approach trail doesn't look li...
Green Dome aka Kryptor is a nice chunk of schist out on Camino Cielo. The rock is dense, but highly fractured, and you're likely to pull off a few souvenirs if you climb there. With that said, Green Dome has a great collection of medium to hard sport routes and is rarely crowded (probably due to the length of the drive). The wall doesn't get much sun, so its prime for spring and fall, and warm winter days.
Good bolts/anchors and most of the routes are PG.
Drive up Gibraltar road past Gibraltar rock, and take a right at Camino Cielo. After the pavement ends, go another mile and you should see a small outcrop down below the road about 800 yards away. The sign saying "trail" means you've driven too far.
The approach is about 10 minutes and could use some clearing back.
Short jug haul to a difficult roof. Crux comes with a few difficult moves at the roof. Ok route, does not feel like 11a and I wonder if there were more holds on this wall at one time (a few of the holds have been glued on and it makes me wonder as to the deterioration of this route)...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
The texture and friction of the rock at the Green Dome is very different then the sandstone in the surrounding area. It takes a little getting used to.
Many of routes start off strong but as you approach the top of the crag the rock becomes more fragmented. The resulting climbs tend to be loose and relatively uninteresting near the top, hence the tendency to be PG between the last bolt and the anchors.
While there are some decidedly un-memorable routes here in the easier grades, once you enter the 5.12 realm, the climbing improves dramatically. Monsters in the Maze (5.12b) is truly one of the best lines I've ever been on in Santa Barbara. While I haven't climbed on the other 12's and 13's yet (emphasis on YET), they look spectacularly technical and fun.
I agree with Andy. The "easier" climbing on the east side of the dome tends to be crumbly. I believe Steve Edwards once made "screamer of the month" taking a long whipper off a breaking hold. The harder climbing on the west side is very athletic and amazingly good. The rock is very clean and features small, sharp crimpers.
"Monsters in the Maze" is perhaps the easiest of the 5.12s there. Although it's rated 5.12b, it's really 5.12c (specially since holds have come off over time). The 12c grade has been confirmed by visiting climbers. Of course when you're as strong as Andy, 12c or 12b all feels like 5.11
For the record my 'screamer of the month' here came when I was dropped from the anchors to the ground. I rarely broke holds here. Of course I glued a lot of them but, hey, like Ruckman said about the blankness of Private Little War when I was bolting it, "hit it long enough with a hammer and you'll have a chimney."
Monsters is the same route. At least it was a few years ago when I did it last. Yes, it's hard but Kryptor hard, which really just takes getting used to (no matter where you've climbed for some reason). It's a lot easier than everything else, especially since the crux hold broke on Quartz Crystal.