A collection of photography, climbing/surfing trip reports, local art and music review, local news commentary/reporting and other writing by Davi Rivas of Ventura,California.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cerro Noroestre and the Carrizo Plain

I spent a weekend hunting for climbable rock on one of my local peaks, Cerro Noroestre aka Mt Abel.

Originally named Mt Abel for county supervisor Stanley Abel, it was later changed to Cerro Noroeste (northwest mountain) due to Mr. Stanley's affiliation with the local Ku Klux Klan chapter in the city of Taft. So yeah, fuck that guy.


Some of the oldest rock in California can be found here. Ive been getting after it at this location for a few years, so Ive got a few things worked out like, where the goods are.


The granitic gnesis (metamorphic) rock found on top of Cerro Notoeste, Sawmill Mtn and Mt Pinos comes in varying quality. For the most part, once you've broken off the outer exfoliation, the stone beneath is not bad. The orange and yellow/green lichen gives these boulders a unique look.

After a day and a half on Abel, I drove down the hill to the town of Maricopa, and jumped off to the Carrizo Plain.

The Carrizo Plain is a unique bit of terrain, not quite in the coastal range and not really part of the Central Valley. It sits adjacent to the San Andres fault and was once part of a large inland sea. We can see evidence of this in the calcium deposits at Soda Lake.

The Carrizo Plain has considerable geologic and archeological significance. The San Andres Falut runs the length of the Plain and can be accessed at Wallace Creek.

Carrizo, at one time, must have been a nice place to live with plenty of water, edible flora and abundant game. We can see evidence of people past in the numerous rock art locations throughout the Plain.

I'm gonna stay out the native rock art sandbox and hold back my own photos of Carrizo's pictographs. My good friend and alpine climbing partner, David Stillman has walked further than most and has written extensively about Carrizo. You can see Dave's blog here.........

There are a couple of camping options here as well. There are two campgrounds, Selby and KCl, both were full when I visited, and there are some 'dispersed' camping around the Plain.  

High clearence, 4WD vehicles are not necessary to visit/enjoy this place. Though it dosnt hurt.