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Upper Freeway Wall
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Chick Holtkamp & John Lakey, February 1978
Page Views: 3,944
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Nov 8, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (108)
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Scott Nomi makes a long reach on the traverse of C...


Cakewalk climbs an obvious crack on the south side of Freeway Wall, fairly high up the gully before reaching the highpoint of a small pass.

Climb the nice thin hand crack up to where the wall steepens and the crack thins. Traverse left a few feet to a juggy hand crack going over a small overhang. Head up and a bit right on the crack as it goes from hands to fingers to fist.

This is a nice sustained pitch. Pretty easy for 5.9 - this is a good lead for those breaking into 9.


Stoppers, cams to 3 inches.

Photos of Cakewalk Slideshow Add Photo
Nice pic of Cakewalk. This guy was a Vet dermatologist. Can you believe it?
Nice pic of Cakewalk. This guy was a Vet dermatolo...
I found the crux to be up high, not where I am right now.
I found the crux to be up high, not where I am rig...
just after the "crux" traverse move (I agree it's easier than 5.9).  heading up the crack from here felt a little awkward.
just after the "crux" traverse move (I a...
Tony Bubb at the rest stance before the traverse move crux of 'Cakewalk' (5.9), at Freeway Wall. Photo by Chris Parks, 3/04.
Tony Bubb at the rest stance before the traverse m...
"Cake Walk" or is it "Cakewalk". <br />Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "Cake Walk" or is it "Cakewalk"...
Shane on Cake Walk
Shane on Cake Walk
Liz Murray on the upper section
Liz Murray on the upper section
Tony Bubb starts up the 'Cakewalk' (5.9) which is easy to here, before the crux. Photo by Chris Parks, 12/24/2003.
Tony Bubb starts up the 'Cakewalk' (5.9) which is ...
Fred Batliner past the traverse.
Fred Batliner past the traverse.
Jared leading Cakewalk while some trippy clouds blow by on this beautiful December day. 2007
Jared leading Cakewalk while some trippy clouds bl...
"Cakewalk". <br />Photo by Blitzo.
"Cakewalk". Photo by Blitzo.
Very nice climbing on cakewalk.
Very nice climbing on cakewalk.
Cake Walk
Top rope setup
Top rope setup

Comments on Cakewalk Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 17, 2012
By Josh Beck
Dec 3, 2002
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

This is probably the softest 9 I've done at jtree. I'd call it 5.8 or maybe even 5.7 though I don't remember it THAT well. I recall it seeming easier than a lot of 8's that I did at approximately the same time (Continuum, Nurn's Romp, Dappled Mare, Dogleg, etc)...
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 4, 2002
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I wasn't aware that ratings in a guidebook were holy writ. I don't see how height or a broken hold could have anything to do with the rating on this one - I was pretty tempted to just go ahead and give it 5.8 instead of the 5.9 the guidebook does because it really is no harder than 8. One of the nice things about a site like this is that we can bring the ratings to a consensus instead of the huge inconsistencies i found at jtree in just a few weekends there. If this climb was in Colorado or at Vedauwoo, it would be an easy 5.8
By Randy
Jan 28, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Very soft for a 5.9; it will be 5.8 in the new guide. Otherwise an excellent climb and well worth doing.

By Rick Booth
Feb 25, 2003

I'll buy the 5.8 rating. It is an exellent route but soft for 5.9.
By Woody Stark
May 13, 2003

I'm glad the rating for this route will drop to 5.8. As per some comments vis a vis changing ratings, JT is infamous for sandbagging. It does no harm to refine the ratings over time. Most ratings that change will be lowered and a few raised. I've heard on more than one occasion both guides referred to as the book of lies. Both Vogel and Bartlett do their best, and one way to do so is through recommendations from climbers.
By Dynomight510
Aug 21, 2003
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route. Good pro all the way up. Nice traverse move in the middle.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 11, 2004
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Difficulty depends on height. The traverse move is hardest for shorter climbers, at least if my partner is a fair judge of that. This climb would be 3* if it had kept going as for the first 20M, but the top kicks back to low angle and is a little junky (loose blocks and dirt in the crack) and this robs the route of what it could have been by one star. Still very fun though.
By Mike Hack
Nov 8, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I found it similar in many ways to Sail Away: good stances for gear, great nut placements, fun route, similar difficulty. But no queue at the base!
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Nov 22, 2004

5.8, 5.8+, 5.9-, 5.9, 5.whatever.......it is an extreamly enjoyable route that protects very well. She loves those nuts. Easy to find, sun in the winter, surrounded by fantastic views and other great climbs, easy walkoff.what more could you ask? I see it as a must do and one to repeat time and time again. A new favorite of mine........regardless of it's rating.....
By Joe Brophy
From: San Diego
Jan 18, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Like others have said, a very fun route and I could also see how there would be a long line if it was located in Hidden valley campground. Great pro for those leading near their limit.
By Adam Stackhouse
Jan 28, 2006
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Very very nice, fun route. Highly recomended.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 25, 2006
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

I agree with Tony - there's a move on the traverse that is reach-dependent.
By Chris Owen
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Apr 26, 2006

I've seen short people work harder at the traverse (look at my picture of Scott).

I climbed this route in the late afternoon of a perfect day one year, I was in good form (for a change) and had a fantastic time on it, almost an epiphany, for some reason it just stuck in my head.

A lot of the so called classic climbs at JT don't have a view of the desert floor half as good as this. The traverse adds a little spice and character, the rock is perfect, it's steep, the moves are athletic, there are no ledges anywhere, it's sustained at its grade. I think it's a classic - maximum stars.

As far as ratings are concerned the more people who offer an opinion the more accurate the grade - grades are built by consensus. So, I'd say 5.8.
By David Wang
From: San Francisco, CA
Nov 5, 2006
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Awesome route with lots of features on the face and around the crack. The holds at the crux are unbelievably "ergonomic"! Not too bad at all if you are tall enough and likes face holds.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Mar 30, 2007
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

As mentioned, the crux traverse move is totally height/reach dependent. At 6' this will feel like 5.7, at 5'3" it will feel like hard 5.9.
By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Dec 14, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Did this a couple years back and remember it being super classic, one of my favorite moderate routes in the park. The traverse is awesome.
By Eric T.
From: St. Augustine, Florida
Sep 27, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A fun warm up if you are confident at the grade. If you are pushing the grade a great climb that is easy to protect with many bomber nut placements. I'm 5'7 and found the traverse to be a bit exciting, but not bad once you figure out the feet. You can place a super good large nut before you make the traverse, quickdraw and sling it, then another bomber nut on the left crack, quickdraw and sling it. Do this and you will have very little rope drag.

I'd call it 5.8.
By Ross Hokett
From: Fort collins,Colorado
Oct 23, 2012

this route is really great,and gets excellent sun in the morning I welded a stopper on this thing a few years ago looking forward to revisiting it
By Canon
Nov 17, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The long traverse move left onto the huge jug is easy, but I spent a good five minutes at the stance before the traverse trying to figure out a "5.8" way to go straight UP the crack. So, look around. Fun climb, but not a great one. Lots of nuts and .5-1 BD cams.