Orangahang is the name of a route on San Ysidro Rock
in the San Ysidro Canyon
in the Santa Ynez Mountains
, an area in the Los Padres National Forest
of Southern California.
San Ysidro Rock is pretty much cut in half by a prominent gully. The left side has yielded several classic routes such as Applied Magnetics
and Face Lift
. The activity on the right formation, however, has produced many more super classics one-pitch routes such as Great Race
, Peels of Laughter
, Many Happy Returns
and Orangahang, the subject of this page. This route, like so many other routes on San Ysidro Rock, were the result of the late local climber, Rick Mosher's efforts during the 1970s. Another local climber, Steve Tucker, replaced all of the rusty old 1/4 bolts with new ones on this, as well as other, routes on San Ysidro Rock during the 1990s.
Orangahang is located immediately to the right of Many Happy Returns yet completely different in character and feel from its neighbor. Originally rated 5.8, and now only a 5.7, Orangahang starts on a low angle groove. Some thirty feet above the base, the groove turns into and overhanging slot protected by one bolt. This is the crux of the climb and quite doable if approached correctly. Some climbers claim that this section is really 5.9, but I would still stay with the 5.7 rating. After this crux section the slot turns into a small crack at much lower angle past another bolt to the top of the buttress and the anchor. Although many people climb the route with only the two bolts, it's best to carry a small rack to supplement the existing protection.
The best way to descend is to rappel from the anchor bolts as the erosion has turned the gully into NOT the best option.
Carry a 60 meter rope and a standard rack of nuts and cams to 2 inches.
From Highway 101 take the San Ysidro Exit and head toward the mountains. Drive to Montecito Village where San Ysidro Road intersects East Valley Road. Turn right on East Valley Road and cross a small bridge to Park Lane. Turn left on Park Lane and veer left onto Mountain Drive. A short drive up Mountain Drive will bring you to the trailhead sign. Park off the pavement, please. We’d like to keep the access open and free.
Head up the well marked San Ysidro to Camino Cielo trailhead passed private properties and public and fire roads. There are two locked gates for fire trucks. Go around these two gates. In about fifteen minutes you will see the main rock formation on your left. About 200 hundred feet before reaching the rock, drop down a short distance and cross the creek on rocks. A short hike up the canyon will bring you to the first climb, Vanishing Flakes. Walk past the prominent gully and the slab that is the start of Many Happy Returns. Orangahang is the groove to the right of the ledges on the right side of the slab with a bolt in its middle.
Lookout for poison oak when crossing the creek. I have seen poison oak even closer to the rock.
For what poison oak looks like see the next chapter.
poison oak, note the three petal grouping
I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, however, a tip from a friend has saved my life many time for the past fifteen years. The tip is that if you rub alcohol where you think you may have come in contact with poison oak the oils will break down before they have time to penetrate the skin. I carry a small bottle of rubbing alcohol with me for that exact purpose. I am extremely allergic to Poison Oak, and I have not had any allergic reactions since I started this practice.
For more discussion on the treatment for poison oak exposure and sensitivity see the following link: