Sunday, October 21, 2012

Malibu Creek, 09/14/2012

So, up until this last Friday, we had been to Malibu Creek State Park twice, but we really haven't done much climbing there.  The first time we went, we parked outside of the park and tried following the map in the Southern California Sport Climbing book to get there, but we ended up taking the wrong trail (I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for a full on two land road width trail, and instead thought it would just be a climbers trail), and we ended up following this trail down to where it was by a creek, and there were these huge spiders on their webs blocking further progress.  After that we turned around and headed to the beach.

The next time we went to Malibu Creek, I had looked up more about how to get there and realized that we had taken the wrong trail, so we decided to go and try climbing at the Stumbling Blocks area.  We found our way into the park, but the book makes it look like you can get to the Stumbling Blocks area either by doing a 5.0 boulder traverse above the stream (not doable with kids), or you can cross the stream on rocks in the water.  Well, we got to where this stream crossing on rocks supposedly is, and there was nowhere to cross without swimming, so instead we just toproped a climb at Planet of the Apes Wall.  Now why there are only TRs at Planet of the Apes Wall is something that I will never understand, but that is how it is.

So, Friday came around and I decided that we should give Malibu Creek another try.  The guidebook shows that you can get to the Century Lake Dam area without any stream crossings or boulder traverses or anything like that, so we decided to try it out.  We got a later start than I had hoped, but I figured we'd get there at around 11:30, of course that wasn't taking into account the accident that would close three of the lanes on the 101 freeway.  We ended up getting to the park at a little past noon, and it was a crazy hot day.  I thought that since we would be fairly close to the ocean, and up in the mountains that it would be a bit cooler, that was certainly not the case, and it was at least 100 degrees when we got there.

Luckily the guidebook was correct this time, and we were able to get to the Century Dam area without any problems (other than almost dying of heat exhaustion as I pushed the stroller up the hill to get to the dam).  Once we were at the dam we had to ditch the stroller to get to the climbing, but it wasn't too bad.  After checking the different rocks around the dam, I decided that he most kid friendly area would be Little Cheops (plus it was all shady).  We hiked in, let the kids check out the crawdads in the stream, then started climbing.

First up was the easiest of the three routes in this area, a 5.9 called "Scarab".   Scarab follows the right arette        of the rock through great pockets.  I onsighted the route, then Amy also lead the route and got the redpoint.  While I was climbing the route, Amy and the kids noticed that there were a bunch of mice that were running around the area, and the kids had a blast watching all of them throughout the day.

Scarab - 5.9


Amy Leading Scarab


For our next route we just moved over to the middle of the three routes on the wall, a 5.10b called "Tut".  This route was really good, and was mostly vertical with a couple of bulges providing the crux moves.  Again, the rock was very pocketed and made for interesting and fun moves.  I cruised the route and got the onsight, then Amy TR'd it.

Tut - 5.10b





For the final route of the day, we did the final route on the wall, a 5.10b called "Mummy".  This route wasn't nearly as good as the previous two.  It was much dirtier, and the moves didn't flow as well, but at least it was another route to climb.  I also onsighted this route, and Amy also TR'd it.

Mummy - 5.10b



We decided to call it a day since the other walls in the area didn't look nearly as kid friendly, and we wanted to hit the beach since we were so close to it.

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