It’s been raining like mad the past couple weeks, so forget about climbing around Santa Barbara. Unless you like climbing gyms. I do. Phil and I went to Vertical Heaven last Saturday. There’s plenty inherently wrong with gyms. The worst thing is the crowds – and by ‘crowds’ I mean the legions of rippers – and by ‘rippers’ I mean the hippies, stoners, equipment collectors, dropouts from other sports, girl scouts, “artists”, etc. that post up at climbing gyms the world over. Something about this sport is really attractive to the rippers. They do not climb hard and they are stupid. And I’ve learned this: they do not wake up early. So, Phil and I got to Vertical Heaven in Ventura as they opened at 10:30 AM. It was great. We did a bunch of routes in and around their cave then bouldered. This gym is laid out well and the setters have done a great job, making this one of the best gyms I’ve been to. I had forgotten how gymnastic routes are in a gym (obvious, maybe). There was a lot of jumping and swinging around and that’s what’s fun to me.