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Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
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Roadside Cracks 

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

Type: Trad, 30'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 557
Submitted By: andy patterson on Nov 12, 2009
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Roadside Cracks

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This small crag has a 5.11 face climb on the far (climber's) left, which I believe was first bagged by Kevin Brown. Currently, I don't think there is an anchor on top, so you have to scramble (not recommended) or rappel from a tree. The face of the crag that overlooks the road touts several auspicious cracks, the leftmost being the hardest and most aesthetic. The aforementioned crack climb is actually quite fierce, and can be likened to bouldering with a rack and rope. Still, the climbing is sustained, steep, and varied—all in a mere 25-30 feet.


Right across the road from the Black Wall.


The fissures accept a wide range of gear, and since they are not very long, you can make a fairly accurate appraisal of the cracks from the ground. Fingers to wide hands should protect everything.

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By Richard Shore
Jun 6, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

fun but short lines. The right line is a good warmup lead (5.8/9), the left line is the hard (5.10+) and awesome one. A 4" piece is good to have along. The middle crack is a decent TR, but placing gear behind the loose blocks and flakes is not advised.

By tony bird
Jan 15, 2012

haha--i remember a group of us whacking at this thing quite awhile ago--spent the better part of two hours trying to get that first move. then mike hearn (anyone remember him?) backed off to the other side of hwy. 33 and got a full-speed running start to a flying leap and nailed it.

By andy patterson
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 15, 2012

Awesome story. That's pretty good beta, actually. Who says you can't get a running start?

By Aaron InternetHardman Stireman
From: San Luis Obispo, California
Jan 1, 2013

Fun cracks. Did the middle one today but the rock was still wet from the recent snow. Pretty sketchy when wet, both big blocks in the crack were moving fully and ready to come out if pulled on at all outward rendering gear useless and a belayer possibly smashed. They are seriously loose - better as a TR. Be Careful.