The Matilija Wall is the single largest sandstone cliff in the Central Coast, measuring nearly 350' high and 1,000' long, yet harbors only about a dozen recorded climbing routes. Pioneered by the likes of Yvon Chouinard and Tex Bossier in the 1970's, this area also saw a resurgence of activity in the early 1990's by some hardy Ojai locals. This crag has been completely neglected for at least a decade now, and I would guess that it sees 0-1 visits even on a high-traffic year. I would even venture to say that the main attraction, the Chouinard-Bossier route, has probably seen only 10 complete ascents since 1970.
For years I had driven past this legendary place on my way to some of the more popular climbing areas along Hwy 33, and wondered what this remote "big-wall" had to offer.
The horrific uphill scramble took us ONLY 4 hours, with a majority of that time spent crawling on hands and knees beneath the low-hanging canopy of the chaparral. We approached from the vicinity of the reservoir, wasting over an hour of time trying to find our way around the lake before retreating back to the car. After choosing a different path, which included an 80' rappel off the dam, we were able to cross the river and begin ascending the steep hillside above. Veritable jungles of poison oak guarded the approach and the entire base of the cliff. If you are still intrigued at this point, contact me privately through MP for detailed approach beta. There is a much easier way to get there; unfortunately the property owners have closed public access.
If the approach to Cathedral Peak in SB is difficult for you, don't even think about this one.
Steve Edwards wrote in his guide that it may be "more time and skin efficient to drive to the Sierra" than to climb here. The late Reese Martin called it "a must-do for the aspiring hardman." I couldn't agree with both statements more.
The Chouinard-Bossier is a classic line that follows beautiful natural features up the left side of the Matilija Wall. Unfortunately, on closer inspection it becomes obvious that the route is replete with loose rock, carpets of lichen and moss up to 1" thick, and poison oak growing out of the cracks. The route is more like modern-day 5.10 than 5.9, and has a particularly dangerous section on the second pitch. Either this route was in a much different condition during the FA, or these two dudes w...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
Sean, you're talking to a guy who has dug miles of trails... and this is a GREAT idea. We just have to figure out how to do it legally and not piss off the wrong parties. Do you have a proper idea of where to start cutting? Hit me up at 805-729-8146 or email at email@example.com
Digging and cutting trails is the only thing I love more than climbing. That, and my wife.