This little formation was the object of ridicule and neglect for many years. It’s located right next the road and I used to glimpse at it on my way to Green Dome/Kryptor
. I used to wonder with so many rock formations in Santa Barbara, why would anyone want to climb here? A few years ago a very good friend of mine who had recently gotten into climbing told me that she had gone to this rock but had not climbed anything. Apparently her more experienced friends failed to lead any of the routes to set up a top rope. That’s when I thought this might be an opportunity for me to check out this crag. Much to my surprise, I had a great time climbing most of the routes on “Crag Full of Dynamite” in one morning. My friend had her first experience belaying a lead climb and following three of the climbs.
Thank to Steve Edwards for his vision about this crag. He cleaned and bolted the routes here and because of his efforts, we have another formation to climb on.
Then, there is the road. Oh, yes, the road. You park with a part of your car still hanging out into the road. You belay from a dirt shoulder_not much fun in that. On the positive side, you are treated to the vast and beautiful Santa Barbara back country. Another consolation is that this road is not very busy. On the weekends you get more traffic, but during the week days you may get only three or four cars an hour.
Climbs of Crag Full of Dynamite
Once a dirty and sandy formation, “Crag Full of Dynamite” is now clean and being used on regular bases.
The climbs are bolted and end in good anchors. There is, however, one anchor that ends in a single open cold shut instead of the normal double bolts, or double welded cold shuts. The name of that climb is “My Name Is Nobody, Bub, 5.6.” Unless you feel comfortable with lowering off on a single open cold shut, I recommend staying away from this climb. Climbs on “Crag Full of Dynamite” are short and before you get too tired you are at the anchor and ready to lower off.
Crag Full of Dynamite is north west facing and stays in the shade almost all day. This crag is at the elevation of 3274 feet and I have actually seen it frozen during the winter months. No need to reach for your tools. The ice is never thick enough for your tools, and I frown upon dry tooling here. The rock is sandstone conglomerate and fragile. We need to keep our hand holds. In short, Crag Full of Dynamite is a good place to climb during the warmer seasons.
|A||Once Upon A Climb In The West. 5.9, 4 bolts, chains anchor|
|B||For A Few Crystals More, 5.9, 4 bolts, chains anchor|
|C||The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, 5.9, 7 bolts, two open shuts anchor|
|D||Arch Stanton, 5.6 TR, go right to F's anchor|
|E||Unknown, 5.7, TR, go right to F's anchor|
|F||The Ecstasy of Gold, 5.8, 4 bolts, two open shuts anchor|
|G||My Name's Nobody, Bub, 5.8, 2 bolts, a single open shut anchor, not very safe|
|H||He Who Double Crosses Me and Leaves Me Alone, He Understands Nothing About Tuco... Nothing, 5.8, 4 bolts, chains anchor|
Turkey Vulture seen in the Santa Barbara back country
Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds close and convenient to Crag Full of Dynamite.
However, there is one very large and well developed campground at Cachuma Lake, and a few less developed ones along Paradise Road off Highway 154. There are also a few campgrounds along Highway 101 at El Capitan State Park and Refugio State Park.
El Capitan Beach Camping
Refugio State Beach Camping
How To Get There
From Highway 101 take the Las Positas off ramp. For those coming from the south turn right; for those coming from the north turn left. In either case, drive toward the mountains to the north of Santa Barbara. Continue up Las Positas for .85 miles to State Street, where the name of Las Positas changes to San Roque. Continue driving straight toward the mountains until you come to HWY 192 (Foothill Road) in another .5 mile. Turn right at the intersection and continue up Foothill Road for 1.9 miles to its intersection with Mountain Drive. Turn left onto Mountain Drive and drive for .5 mile to its intersection with Gibraltar Road. Gibralatr Rock is about five miles from this point. You will recognize Gibraltar Rock located to the west of the road when you begin to see a large sandstone formation immediately to your right (east side of the road). This formation is “The Bolt Ladder.” Gibraltar Rock is a little further up the road and to your left.
From Gibraltar Rock drive another two miles to its intersection with East Camino Cielo Road. Turn right here and drive six miles to Crag Full of Dynamite. Make a U-turn and park. A part of your car will be on the paved road.
You can drive a bit up or down the road and find a wider turn out, then walk back to the crag.
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