Monday, February 20, 2012

A Weekend in Malibu Creek

I spent both days of this beautiful weekend in Malibu Creek State Park, an area for which I hold a lot of nostalgia, having climbed there very frequently with my late friend, Michael Reardon, throughout high school. The park is most well known for its steep, pocketed sport climbing; the water-smoothed Ghetto Wall, home to Shawn Diamond's 5.14 Lateralus and the classic 5.13 Ghetto Blaster, has the highest concentration of quality routes, and this is where I took the strong, young comp climbers Natalie and Pablo on Saturday. Natalie was able to Manage a redpoint of the wall's testpiece 5.12 Urban Struggle on her first try of the day and then she and Pablo each had an impressive beta burn on Ghetto Blaster.

On our way in, we had stopped to look at the steep black roof of Chubbs (v11), hiding in the cave under the Stumbling Blocks crag, and I was getting psyched to try my hand on the powerful, tension-dependent problem.

Luckily for me, Matt Moreno was psyched to go out to the Creek on Sunday to pull on some steep pockets, so we gathered enough foam to make the problem's sketchy landing safe enough, and headed back out for my second day in the park in a row.

We started by warming up at the base of the Planet of the Apes wall and did the boulder problems on the little bloc below it.

Matt Moreno pulling pockets on the "Kuan Chin Roof" (v6)

After a leisurely warm up, we headed back to the rock pool traverse, which we had to make twice to shuttle our multiple pads across, and down into the cave under the Stumbling Blocks. Although they appear powerful and intimidating, I was able to piece together the moves of Chubbs fairly quickly, linking through the roof to the lip on my best attempt. It seems like it could go on my next day out there, so I'm pretty darn psyched about that!

Myself on the 2nd move of "Chubbs"  photos by Matt Moreno
Once you match in that hueco, you get a brief shake out and then it gets real.
The small pocket ...
and the less-than-ideal pinch.
From that left hand pinch there is one more big move to a good right hand pocket, which I stuck from the sit once, but somehow managed to fall out of. Then there are just a couple more tensiony stabs on decent pockets before the inviting topout jugs. Next time!!

Matt working "Chubbs" 

Though it appears small, that pocket feels even worse than it looks!
On our hike out, a little comedy relief was supplied by a large group of tourists that had gotten in over their heads on the rock pool traverse. At least two of them fell into the water, but luckily nobody drowned, so the traffic jam that delayed our exit by close to an hour was well worth it from a spectator's point of view

Looking up canyon from the rock pool traverse. The steep roof of "Chubbs" sits under and adjacent to that huecoed slab on the left.

Traffic jam!

All told, it was a great weekend of climbing on rock other than granite for once, and I'm super pumped to get back and send the roof!  Stay psyched and I hope to see you all out on the rocks!


  1. Nice! There's tons of other quality lines in the Santa Monicas too that I think you'd be psyched on. I somehow spaced on you being close by. Shoot me an email at if you want and we'll get together one of these weekends.


    1. Hells yeah dude! I'm in LA!