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A New Old Area: Visiting Malibu Creek

The LA climbing crew often makes the trek to Bishop, Joshua Tree or Yosemite. But on a local Saturday with an easy start, Malibu Creek is a gem just outside of town that offers some perfect pocket pulling.

Kris blending in with the local scenery…and sending 5.12.

I recently had a free weekend and was long overdue for a trip to see Kris, Sara, Joi, Asa, Allen and the rest of the LA group. The trip was a perfect chance to experience a new old area.

Cruxing on Urban Struggle (5.12a)

Coincidentally, Sebastion, a good friend from the Bay Area, also made the trip to LA to visit his sister that week and we all met for the Malibu adventure.

Allen enjoying fun Malibu Pockets

Malibu Creek state park spreads over 8,000 acres, but the climbing is largely confined to the inner corridors of a canyon in the Santa Monica mountains. Accessing the climbing requires traversing polished rock over cold water. Climbers don’t usually have trouble. But climbers are not the only people who want to visit the unique backdrops of the pocked volcanic faces. Watching heavy-set guys and feather weight girls with borrowed climbing shoes skid off into the icy water might have been the highlight of the day.

The Malibu Scene

On second thought, the highlight of the day was climbing. The Malibu rock climbed like Shelf Road and made me remember how much I miss technical, vertical pockets and edges. The huecos in the Malibu walls tend to be larger than the mono digit scars in Shelf’s limestone, but much of the movement, routefinding and technique felt like reacquainting with an old friend.

Fighting on Ghetto Blaster

We sampled a bunch of different lines but wanted to make sure to save some strength for the area testpiece, Ghetto Blaster (5.13b).

Sebastion trying his luck on Ghetto Blaster

Sebastian, or Sebs as I’ve come to know him, tried his luck first with an impressive flash attempt after a thorough spray down from Allen. I’m quickly learning to not pay much attention when Sebs makes something look easy. In the end we learned the moves, but Ghetto Blaster is more than a one day project for us weekend warriors.

Allen and Mirie taking in the sun

The LA trip was so much more than climbing. The most important part for me was catching up with Kris and Sara. Looking back, time really does fly. It’s hard to believe we’ve been friends now for a decade. We spent a day urban hiking in downtown LA, visited the art museum, saw some incredible live bluegrass, had some great beers and food and even played a little guitar. It’s safe to say I’ll be making the trip again before too long (if I didn’t wear out my welcome)!

A calm day at Malibu Creek

Since then, Kris, Gabe and I have made a couple trips to the Valley, our usual destination. Check out a video of a couple of our favorite recent boulder problems.


Valley Gems from Adam Scheer on Vimeo.

Sara Konecky - Great post! You are welcome here whenever you want :)March 28, 2014 – 11:25 am

Tyler - That place looks pretty sweet! Is the rock more friable than Shelf with all the large pockets, or do you think that’s from more water to erode the rock?March 28, 2014 – 12:12 pm

Chris - Looks like a fun little day. And thanks for the Yosemite teaser. Can’t wait to see you guys in just under a month!April 2, 2014 – 7:24 am

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