“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…
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.