A few days after returning to Hollywood and winding from Lightning in a Bottle, Danielle, my good buddy Chris, a couple of friends and I, decided to go sport climbing at, Malibu Creek State Park. Chris and I had tried to go there in the past, but we had his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Chief with us and the park is not dog friendly off the pavement, so we were unable to. Chris and I climbed together in Austin for several years, but we had not climbed together in a long time, so we were stoked to get on some ropes together. Immediately, entering Malibu Creek I was reminded of the Austin Greenbelt back home in Texas. The rock is not the same type. The Greenbelt is a limestone and Malibu Creek is a sedimentary rock caused by volcanic activity. Though, some of the rock’s crack systems, pocket formations, and the sporty climbing style had similarities to me. Also, the way the walls are situated and the oaks trees shade the canyon, people swimming and relaxing next to the creek reminded me of the Greenbelt. Almost felt like home.
Malibu Creek had a lot of water in the hole near the climbing area, so we climbed up a small cliff and lowered our packs across the creek on a quick tyrolean with ropes; to keep the gear from getting wet. The tyrolean was simply, a zip-line where we controlled the speed of the packs with another rope. I rappelled down, and Danielle helped me receive the gear as Chris lowered it to us. Maybe the tyrolean was a little unnecessary, but we had never been there and the route to boulder over the water looked a little hard for my friends who were beginner climbers with packs on, and I did not want them to take an unintentional dip. Also, I like to set up ropes systems for just about any reason, and it was a good way to start the day. After Chris rappelled off the cliff, we found a nice pocketed slab 5.7, starting off a deck raised from the creek bed and ending on top of a nice ledge with a good view into the canyon.
I went through my usual, but short beginner top-rope climbing spill that I developed as climbing guide in Texas. I went through the figure-8 knot, belaying, and commands. I still love to teach and guide beginner rock climbers, especially good friends. I got on Chris’ belay and had a nice lead, set up a top-rope, and everyone took a lap. I hadn’t been at a nice crag site with a group of friends all summer, so I was enjoyed the day and soaking up the sun. My friends enjoyed their first climbs, and everyone climbed really well. We hungout, cracked jokes, everyone did another lap then we decided to call it a day. Malibu Canyon State Park is a beautiful and small escape from the surrounding urban landscape. We all had a great day climbing and I recommend Malibu Creek for anyone in the LA area for an easy fun day at the crag.