Pine Mountain: California Bouldering

“Pine Mountain is so [f*ing] cool that Yvon Chouinard climbed here. You get it?”
~Bob Banks, Guidebook author of Ocean’s 11: Bouldering Around Santa Barbara.

If you don’t know who Mr. Chouinard is, then check your climbing gear labels. It’s almost guaranteed you own a piece produced by either Black Diamond or Patagonia.  Both were founded by Chouinard. It’s marginally excusable if your only claim to climbing is bouldering. But if you rope up get to know this outdoor pioneer, or risk the chance of being shamed by an ‘elder’ or educated youngin’ for your lack of respectful knowledge of the sport/lifestyle. Remember (or heard of, did I just date myself?) when Michael Jordan played baseball (opinions of his success or failure set aside)? Yeah, it’s like that. And Patagonia sells underwear too!

So since Yvon Chouinard has climbed on the Pine Mountain boulders, that should be fact enough convincing you to check out this cool clump of superior rocks. If you need further convincing view and read on my friend…

Passing through Ojai, enjoying the sweet air.
The earlier and lower part of Pine Mountain Road.


“Dad, I think it’s backwards…”


“Getting cozy here…”


(“They brought my bed… this is serious!”)


“Alright, this view isn’t so bad, and the flowers, and the trees, and the bir… BIRDS!!!”


Modal Logic, reaching through for the crimp.
Stonewear Designs- Dryflex Double Cross top and Vibe Shorts.


Modal Logic, the happy side pull.


Excuse me Mr. Boulder, I think I’ll grow right here.


Louie on Pretzel Logic, V8. Slopey crimp layback start.


Big left hand bump move to a shallow dish.


Punch right to the intermediate hold, two small pebbles he called “the peanuts”.


Aptly named Pine Mountain for all the pine trees.
Watch out for the slippery needles and pitch.
Many beautiful flowers popping up this time of year.


Louie on Sock Hop, V6. Sharp right crimp to punch for the sloped dish.


More shallow dishes, for the right and left hands.


Sharp starting hold and side pull crimp, very shallow sloper dishes, and an aggressively tiny finish left Louie’s fingers a little tender.
Luna getting her zoomies out. A favorite activity.
Dissing Euros boulder in the Happy Hunting Grounds (left boulder).
This area is between road camp Site 2, and the Lower Ridge.
Several beautiful climbs to come back and try.


Warming up on my Voodoo climbing/yoga pad.
Stonewear Designs- Rockin’ Pant and Shimmy Tee.


The classic Hueco Problem, for it’s wide deep pockets.


The huecos are great later for feet as you punch through the crimpy section.
Finishing Hueco Problem over the bulge into sloper territory.
(Hueco Problem, V3)


A few friends of Luna’s, but they did not want to play today.


Lost Sock, V4. An awkward start with a lay back.
Wiggle your feet up high on the left wall, reach higher for the left shallow crimp.


Match the crimp, move your feet higher, and pull through to the flake.
Careful with this delicate piece, it’s been known to break.


The flake gets better higher up, a quick chance to shake out.


The face has a few edges and smears for your feet. Reach high for a small knob.
From here to the top it’s a blank slab for your hands, but there are many feet options.
Just keep stepping up and press out over the very high top.


Inversion Addict.


Caught in a short bit of construction traffic.
Thank goodness we had guac to get us (and others) through.
The Beta:

North about 30 minutes from Ventura sits the city of Ojai, California, which is nestled below the Los Padres National Forest. Follow highway 33 north of Ojai for 31 miles, then turn right onto Pine Mountain Road. The first boulders in the Ocean’s 11 guidebook (which is where I found and followed this information) are near the first campsite at 4.8 miles. Reyes Peak, where we bouldered, is about another mile past that. There are a few campsites here. It was Monday, so I expected to have the place to our selves. A very large group of kids were already there, and we respectfully didn’t hear or see them much. There are plenty of pebbles to wrestle here, but expect for the true camping sites to fill up easily on weekends, and for much bigger crowds.

The wind can kick up something’ fierce, so be prepared for that. If you are lucky you can snag a non-reservable spot in one of the 3 last sites on the road, which are closest to the best bouldering. There is one pit toilet here, so please use it for your business. The boulders are down the hill from these sites on the ridge. Elevation is real, so slow your roll accordingly. If you want more info on the camping, weather, guide books, maps, and additional beta visit Mountain Project.

Stay Adventurous,
Valarie Tes

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