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Wheeler Gorge

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aha! S 
Aquaphobia S 
Bean S 
Blush S 
Cobble Climb S 
Cruiser S 
Danger Boy S 
Economique S 
Exodus S 
Ezra S 
Goulara S 
Gridlock S 
It Is It S 
Little Buckaroo S 
Roadside Distraction S 
Saddle-Up Cupcake S 
Silent Mind S 
South of the Trout Farm S 
Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy) S 
Sunshine Dust Bunnies S 
Unknown, Left of Cobble Climb S 
Velocity Boy S 
Wheel, The T 
Unsorted Routes:

Wheeler Gorge 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 34.5075, -119.2757 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 42,252
Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Feb 13, 2006
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Jesse Groves climbs Little Buckaroo at Wheeler Gor...

Description 

Wheeler Gorge boasts three totally different surfaces: typical central coast sandstone (Exodus & Blush), a metamorphic green schist (Danger Boy & Stu-Boy), and a conglomerate that consists of mostly fist-sized stones and deep pockets (Cobble Climb, Ezra, Goulara, etc.). The three could hardly be more different when it comes to actual climbing. Together they make for a day of incredible diversity.

With a few exceptions, the grades at Wheeler are soft. The site also exhibits quite a few one-move-wonders. Routes are generally VERY well protected. All of this makes Wheeler an excellent place for aspiring leaders to break into the upper grades (10s & 11s).

The following routes correspond with a topo found here.

A. Monstrosity, 5.11+. Eleven bolts, three bolt anchor, 110 feet. Bolted & toproped by Reese Martin, 1995. Additional bolts & RP’ by Steve Edwards & Arvin Gunta, 1996. The first 30 feet of this route collapsed in January of 1997.
B. Project, 5.11+/12b. Three bolt anchor, 110 feet. Right of Monstrosity. FTR: Reese Martin, 1995.
C. Economique, 5.10a - arÍte left of Goulara.
D. Goulara, 5.10c - identified by wooden platform at base.
Aquaphobia--Boulder problems: Traverse above pools: L to R, 5.12; R to L, 5.10a. FA: Edwards, Gould, 1996.
E. It Is It, 5.12a/b
F. Arvin's Rig, 5.10a Four bolts, one cold shut anchor, no hangers. FA: Edwards & Gunta, 1996.
G. Ezra, 5.9+**
Boulder Problems Under Bridge. Pockets, 5.10/11+.

The following routes are located immediately left of the lower tunnel on the soft sandstone:

WHEELER GORGE TOPO <br />Red: Sunshine Dust Bunnies <br />Orange: Gridlock <br />Yellow: Exodus <br />Green: Lil' Buckaroo <br />Blue: Blush <br />Purple: Roadside Distraction <br />
WHEELER GORGE TOPO
Red: Sunshine Dust Bunnies
Orange: Gridlock
Yellow: Exodus
Green: Lil' Buckaroo
Blue: Blush
Purple: Roadside Distraction

  • A-Frame Roof, 5.9. Gould TR. Slab above, 5.10. Project (not pictured).
H. Exodus, 5.11a ***
I. Blush, 5.11a***
J. Slab to single leeper bolt. 5.9 R? FA: Unknown, 1980s?
K. Roadside Distraction, 5.11c

The following routes are clustered together on the conglomerate rock near the lower tunnel above the creekbed:
Gwen Blanchard on <em>Cobble Climb</em>, being belayed by her father. Photo by Ashley Blanchard.
Gwen Blanchard on Cobble Climb, being belayed by her father. Photo by Ashley Blanchard.

L. Slacker Dihedral, 5.8. Solo. FA: Gould, 1995.
M. Silent Mind, 5.11b *
N. Aha!, 5.11a *
O. Cruiser, 5.9
P. Cobble Climb, 5.8

Q. South of the Trout Farm, 5.9
R. Trout Farm, 5.12+. Toprope, 45 feet. Right of South of the Trout Farm. FA: Gould & Agulara, 1996.
Trout Farm boulder traverse, 5.11c. Stay low. High variation: 5.10.

The following routes are located left of the upper tunnel on the black conglomerate:
S. Scorpion Surprise, 5.9. Vertical pod. Single bolt anchor. Project. Gould & Agulara, 1996. Scorpions!!
T. Fearless Hyena, 5.10a. Five bolts. Project. Gould & Agulara, 1996.
U. Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy), 5.11a/b
V. Danger Boy, 5.11a **
W. Velocity Boy, 5.11b **
X. The Chimney, 5.2. Unknown. Variation: 5.10 finish on last three bolts of Velocity Boy.


Weather/Climbing Season 

Wheeler is the closest thing to a year-round crag near Ojai. Spring and Fall are best. Deep shade and cool breezes make even the hottest summer days tolerable--I've even climbed when the temperature in town was 107 degrees. Winter days require warm clothes as the gorge gets very little sun. Rising water-levels will restrict access to some routes.


Getting There 

From the intersection of Hwy 33 & Hwy 150, in the town of Ojai, drive North on Hwy 33 for 7 miles. 150 yards after passing through the third tunnel (the second of two in quick succession), look for the pull-out on the left. Park and walk back through the first tunnel to access most routes. A climbers trail drops down on the right between the two tunnels.


Climbing Season


23 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',5],['5.10',4],['5.11',11],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Wheeler Gorge:
Saddle-Up Cupcake   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Cruiser   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
South of the Trout Farm   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Gridlock   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
Economique   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Goulara   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Aha!   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
Little Buckaroo   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Blush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Exodus   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Danger Boy   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Stuart's Rig (aka Stu Boy)   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Silent Mind   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
It Is It   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Browse More Classics in Wheeler Gorge

Featured Route For Wheeler Gorge
Rob Chaney climbs Economique, at Wheeler Gorge.

Economique 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CA : Central Coast : ... : Wheeler Gorge
This route follows the arete and face around the corner to the left of Goulara. Sustained and interesting climbing with great exposure! One 5.10a move followed by mostly-5.8 climbing.Clip the first three bolts of Goulara, turn the corner and follow bolts to the top.The crux of the route is right off the ground and unprotected--bring a stick-clip.Consider leading the first six bolts of Economique, extending the seventh with a long runner, and finishing on the anchors of Goulara--this is a great...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Wheeler Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Liza Butler, of Sausalito, California, un-shoes at the top of the climbers trail after another spectacular visit to Wheeler Gorge. <br /><a href='http://www.EarthworksImagery.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.EarthworksImagery.com</a>
Liza Butler, of Sausalito, California, un-shoes at...
Mark & Linda Patterson, of Ventura, have a crux encounter at Wheeler Gorge. <br /><a href='http://www.EarthworksImagery.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.EarthworksImagery.com</a>
Mark & Linda Patterson, of Ventura, have a crux en...
Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii) Wheeler Gorge
Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii) Wheeler ...
Wheeler Gorge topo 2 <br /> <br />Red: Cobble Climb (5.8) <br />Orange: Cruiser (5.9) <br />Yellow: Aha! (5.11a) <br />Green: Silent Mind (5.11b) <br />Blue: Bean (5.11c) <br />
BETA PHOTO: Wheeler Gorge topo 2

Red: Cobble Climb (5.8)
Oran...
It is a magical place loved it!
It is a magical place loved it!
Hanging out in wheeler gorge, he fell just after this picture was taken
Hanging out in wheeler gorge, he fell just after t...
Wheeler Gorge topo 3 <br /> <br />Red: Stuart's Rig (5.11a) <br />Orange: Variation (5.9+) <br />Yellow: Danger Boy (5.11a) <br />Green: Velocity Boy (5.11c)
BETA PHOTO: Wheeler Gorge topo 3

Red: Stuart's Rig (5.11a)
Or...
Katie climbs Danger Boy (5.11a), at Wheeler Gorge.
Katie climbs Danger Boy (5.11a), at Wheeler Gorge.
Economique (5.10a),at Wheeler Gorge
Economique (5.10a),at Wheeler Gorge
Wheeler Gorge topo 1  <br /> <br />Yellow: Exodus (5.11a/b) <br />Orange: Little Buckaroo (5.11a) <br />Red: Blush (5.10d) <br />
BETA PHOTO: Wheeler Gorge topo 1

Yellow: Exodus (5.11a/b)
Or...
Aquatic Two-striped Garter Snake (Thamnophis hammondii),  Wheeler Gorge.
Aquatic Two-striped Garter Snake (Thamnophis hammo...
WHEELER GORGE TOPO <br />Red: Sunshine Dust Bunnies <br />Orange: Gridlock <br />Yellow: Exodus <br />Green: Lil' Buckaroo <br />Blue: Blush <br />Purple: Roadside Distraction <br />
BETA PHOTO: WHEELER GORGE TOPO
Red: Sunshine Dust Bunnies
Oran...
Another top view topo. Borrowed from RC.com, but no source credited, so thanks whomever made it.
BETA PHOTO: Another top view topo. Borrowed from RC.com, but n...
2009 Wheeler Gorge topo
BETA PHOTO: 2009 Wheeler Gorge topo
Not just anther day of sport climbing: after being rained off of the Black Wall, further up the highway, David utilizes a fixed rope at Wheeler Gorge to practice his ascender technique.
Not just anther day of sport climbing: after being...
Same this incredible creature in the parking turn-out just uphill from the tunnels, at Wheeler Gorge.
Same this incredible creature in the parking turn-...
Eugenia & Elizabeth relax between routes at Wheeler Gorge.
Eugenia & Elizabeth relax between routes at Wheele...
The second bolt appears to be the crux - Sunshine for Dust Bunnies
BETA PHOTO: The second bolt appears to be the crux - Sunshine ...
Marina McKay soaking up the beauty in Wheeler Gorge.
Marina McKay soaking up the beauty in Wheeler Gorg...
Approaching Wheeler Gorge from the parking pullout north of the tunnels on Hwy-33.
Approaching Wheeler Gorge from the parking pullout...
Comments on Wheeler Gorge Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 8, 2014
By Erik Anderson
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 29, 2007

About a month or two ago, as Matthew noted previously, there was only one shut left at the top of South of Trout Farm. Yesterday, when a friend and I stopped off there for a warm-up, we noted that someone had pounded the remaining shut closed and that bolt was very loose in the hole. I headed back up there early this morning hoping to over drill the existing holes and use the original anchor placements. This turned out not to be possible, as who ever had gone up and pounded the shut closed, had also snapped the bolt off in the hole (that's why it was so loose), making it impossible to cleanly remove the old bolt.

What is wrong with people...In the past, I didn't think climbers were so F'N stupid...don't pound on fixed pro with a hammer or anything else!!! In fact one should not mess with fixed pro at all unless one knows what they're doing!!!!

Anyway, moving on from my short rant, I re-equipped South of Trout Farm with 1/2 x 3-1/2 Rawls and Wire Gate Supershuts. It would still be nice to back fill the old holes with some epoxy, if anyone has the motivation. If not Iíll try and remember to stop and take care of it next time Iím out that way.

Back to my rant...a note to anyone out there who this may pertain to...please do not pound these new Supershuts closed (or any other shuts for that matter), they are perfectly safe as they are! Also, do not steal these Supershuts because you think you may want them for your shit project somewhere else.
Get a job and buy your own.

Thanks,

Erik Anderson

By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
May 4, 2007

Erik,
Thanks for the hard work (AND the rant). If I can ever get a day free, I hope to swap-out the other older-shuts with new super-shuts.

Thanks again.

By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
May 25, 2008

While not a destination area in and of itself, Wheeler Gorge is a pretty fun crag to spend a half-day if you happen to be in the greater Ventura area. Bring a dozen draws and watch out for poison oak.

By Brian S
May 28, 2008

I am thinking about bolting new lines at Wheeler Gorge.

Any feedback?

By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 2, 2008

I am stoked that you are undertaking this! (I already can't wait to climb the recently finished "IED").

If you haven't already, please get to know the existing pattern of fixed gear at Wheeler (3/8 Rawls on lead, 1/2" anchor bolts). Also, check out the existing 3/8" bolts on the sandstone routes (like Blush & Exodus)--many of them wiggle in their holes indicating that 1/2" diameter Rawls might be better for this surface. And please place quality hardware on rappel anchors (Fixe rappel hangers, Supershuts, Mussy Hooks, etc.). On one recent addition to Wheeler, the top anchor consists of a single Supershut on one bolt and a bolt hanger with a rapid link on the other (not only does this look amateur-ish, I've seen single rapid links cam down on the rope making it irretrievable).

Thanks for your investment of time and energy (and money)!

By Ojai local
Jul 17, 2009

I lost some gold quicks this last weekend and one of the days I was at wheeler. Please email me at wittwerb@gmail.com if you've seen them.

More importantly, I need to thank those responsible for replacing hardware at wheeler. This is my home crag where I learned how to sport climb that I love to return to. Your efforts aren't going unappreciated. Hope to see you out there.

By Bailey Miller
Mar 8, 2014

This week I climbed the 5 bolt climb to the left of cobble/cruiser. It was very fun with a small roof at the beginning, but I could not find any info for it. Anyone have a name or grade? Felt .10b-ish to me, but the roof can be pulled a few different ways. Very fun area, it was my first time in Wheeler or on cobblestone for that matter.