When I would casually tell new climbers (unfamiliar with Malibu) that we would soon be climbing “Point Dume,” their eyes would widen with mild terror. I forget that this spot, pronounced “DOOM” might have another, more menacing meaning to it.
In my mind, it has a meaning all its own. Point Dume is a special place to me. Of all the places throughout the world that I’ve climbed, it’s my very favorite route. Why? For starters, it’s incredibly beautiful. The arete, a relatively easy route, hangs over the ocean. Above you, seagulls and hawks swoop. Below you, the waves break on the rocks and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins, seals, or even whales. Yet, above it’s beauty, I know the place intimately well. I’ve taught hundreds of new climbers here and I suspect the number of times I’ve climbed it may be edging close to triple digits.