Written by Arielle Eckerman | Photographed by Jesse Weiner and Daniel Fletcher

Get a Grip

“Tension!” a climber who is twenty feet up a sheer cliffside on the face of Point Dume calls down to the belayer standing in the sands below.

“Tension on!” the belayer calls back.The climber lets go of the rock wall, sits back in his harness, and takes a well-deserved breather. His feet balance on the tiniest outcropping of rock, and the only thing keeping him suspended there is the rope held by his climbing partner on the ground. Yet he isn’t afraid, he has complete trust in his partner. A welcome ocean breeze cools him down, and he takes a moment to admire the expansive ocean to his right and the tiny beach goers in the distance. He takes one more breath, grabs back onto the wall, and continues climbing.

Despite being known for its beaches and celebrities, Malibu has climbing walls that have been frequented for decades.

However, Hollywood cinema did kick off one particular well known climbing spot. In 1968 the famous sci-fi adventure movie “Planet of the Apes” was filmed in Malibu Creek State Park. During the filming they fixed an anchor into a sixty foot wall as rigging for a scene of the movie. Climbers discovered the anchor, and so began one of the first official climbing routes in the park.