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By Ethan L
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 28, 2013
Alyssa and I at Table Rock in Linville Gorge

I'm relocating to Santa Barbara this September, and I'm looking for some advice on places to climb around the city. I prefer to plug gear and clip bolts, not to much into Bouldering although by the looks of it I might have to start.. I'm also interested in what the climbing seasons are for Tahquitz and Suicide, and also the Needles. I'm also on the job hunt, and any information for places to apply to would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Jul 28, 2013
Mt. Agassiz

Near SB:
Gibraltar
San Ysidro

Short Drive (15-45 minutes):
Wheeler Gorge
Sespe Gorge

Longer Drive (1.5 hours):
Bishop Peak (SLO)
Owl Tor

The Needles usually open up late spring, get hot mid-summer, and are a blast in the fall, usually before October.

Similarly, the season at Tahquitz typically runs from mid to late spring through mid to late fall.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Jul 29, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Year round....

Don't forget... ECHO and Malibux Creek and world famous/class STONEY POINT .... follow in the footsteps of the greats.

welcome to California


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jul 29, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Sorry SoCal locals...I lived in Camarillo for 7 years and found the local climbing uninspiring. Gibralter and San Ysidro were not worth the drive for me, but might be if you are actually in SB. Wheeler was ok, and Sespe had a couple ok lines, but again not worth the drive. I thought Bishop peak downright sucked...although in fairness I only gave it a couple tries. Echo and Malibu, not bad for urban-ish sport climbing with some choss mixed in. I think you'll be happier if you learn to embrace bouldering, as the local SB bouldering is better than the route climbing IMO.

And learn to love the drive to get to better places: Tahquitz/Suicide, Needles/Domelands, Yosemite, JT, Sierra eastside etc...all awesome but not exactly a quick drive from SB.


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By Colin Brochard
From San Francisco
Jul 29, 2013

2nd csproul. Boulders in the mountains are great for a quick hit. There are a couple of fun clip ups on sandstone just outside of town as well. I think the goods climbingwise in the area are Malibu & Echo & Pine Mountain (bouldering). All in all there's enough fun stuff to keep you busy while you plan trips to the Sierra.


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By Mike Stearns
Jul 29, 2013
top of grand

Welcome!

Rope climbing is ranges from adequate to disappointing with some inspiring lines sprinkled here and there. There is small, but active community as well.

Bouldering is definitely the ticket to happiness in SB. Summers can be a bit hot, but the winters are fantastic.

See you around.


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By Ethan L
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 30, 2013
Alyssa and I at Table Rock in Linville Gorge

Thanks guys I really appreciate the information. I guess it's time I pick up a pad....


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 30, 2013
OTL

Screw the pad - get a surfboard for local action and a gas-sipping car for rock climbing (4 hrs to Josh & Tahquitz, 4-7 for the Eastside, 5 to The Needles, 6 to Red Rock or the Valley, etc ...)


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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Jul 30, 2013
Ouray Ice Park <br />Pick o' the Vic?

Yosemite.

I agree - if you look at the routes on Bishop, they are 25' high or something... There are interesting boulders around though. I actually had quite a bit of fun simply traversing on the granite wall of the mission in SLO - which is almost a block long.

Anyways, one of my roommates was fairly obsessed and spent every weekend on the road to places far away. Lookup Pinnacles - it's pretty far north, but I think there's stuff there too.

Enjoy the central coast, I loved it and miss it! But it's not a climber's home at all.

Brian (was living in San Luis Obispo)


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jul 30, 2013

Hiro wrote:
Yosemite. I agree - if you look at the routes on Bishop, they are 25' high or something... There are interesting boulders around though. I actually had quite a bit of fun simply traversing on the granite wall of the mission in SLO - which is almost a block long. Anyways, one of my roommates was fairly obsessed and spent every weekend on the road to places far away. Lookup Pinnacles - it's pretty far north, but I think there's stuff there too. Enjoy the central coast, I loved it and miss it! But it's not a climber's home at all. Brian (was living in San Luis Obispo)


The routes are 25' or "something"? Sounds like you've never climbed at Bishop Peak. The routes are in the 60 to 120 feet range. Although Bishop Peak is not a destination climbing area, we're fortunate to have that local crag.


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By Mike Stearns
Jul 30, 2013
top of grand

Yeah surfing is fun, but it isn't climbing. Driving 4-12 hours to climb every weekend is quick way to get burned out (for me).

If climbing is your main thing, finding stuff locally is the only way to stay engaged (IMO).

4 hour to JT is pretty optimistic unless you leave at 10 PM or 4 AM in my experience.


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By vincent L.
From Redwood City
Jul 30, 2013
First day of school

IMO , anyone who dogs Bishop Peak in SLO has never really explored it , or is super high maintenance in their rock climbing requirements.

Bishop peak is as good as any roped climbing venue in Santa Barbara , and it is a treasure for the climbing scene in SLO .

And if all you could find were 25' foot routes , you need to bring a tape measure to the crag with you because your ability to measure distance is lacking .

Wagon Caves crag up by Hunter/Liggett Army base is one of the most scenic crags in CA , very remote , very uncrowded , not a ton of routes but there is a Tyrolean to set up if you want .

Check out 'Mavericks' , a gnarly , overhung route there ...

www.mountainproject.com/v/mavericks/105737193


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jul 30, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

PS..why is this in the Northern CA section?


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jul 30, 2013

skip those crags and take up watching college girls wearing bikinis riding beach cruisers. you'll do well.


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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Jul 30, 2013
Ouray Ice Park <br />Pick o' the Vic?

I admit not having climbed in SLO (Bishops). Although I use this website called Mountain Project and sometimes look at the "Classics" list. Where I see all the routes are 40-60'. Not as horribly short as I distilled into my mind...


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By Ethan L
From Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 1, 2013
Alyssa and I at Table Rock in Linville Gorge

Thank you for all the great information guys! I'm a little bummed that all the good climbing destinations are a bit of a drive.

I posted in Northern CA since it's really the Central Coast, but there isn't a forum area for that. Not to mention most people I've talked with consider it more Northern CA.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Aug 1, 2013

Ethan L wrote:
Not to mention most people I've talked with consider it more Northern CA.

Certainly not folks from California. Your observation is my one problem with Santa Barbara: great town; not close to anything (but the coast). Having said that, it is an absolutely beautiful town that still has a nice, bucolic feel. It's got a vibe of what I think LA must have been like before WWII. If I could find a job to support myself and family there, I could totally see living there.


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By C Runyan
From Pennsylvania
Aug 1, 2013

Just moved after four fantastic years in Santa Barbara. Definitely get a crash pad.

The Santa Barbara local trad/sport climbs will only keep you entertained for a short while, but the bouldering is fairly extensive if you don't feel like spending every weekend on trips to Yosemite and JTree. (Definitely check out Echo Cliffs down near Malibu.)

Bouldering:
Painted Cave is 10 minutes; the Brickyard and Lizard's Mouth are about 20 minutes away; and East Beach is 5 minutes away (yes, don't forget to take up beach volleyball).

Have a blast. What a great spot.


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