Cryptic is significantly steeper and a bit more strenuous than the SW Corner, but by going up the right side of Headstone's south face, it stays over the ground and thus lacks SW Corner's incredible exposure.
Nevertheless, it's a fun, well-protected, straight-up line in an amazing location. Not ready to lead it? The bolts up top are perfectly set up to TR this route, if you can manage to beat the crowds (much easier said than done).
By Locker From: Yucca Valley, CA Aug 29, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
Steve, you were right about being able to sling the "Horn". But it was not needed so I didn't. But it would be easy to do, though unnecessary. It's a pretty cool little climb though. And the view is hard to beat. Needless to say, as we did when we did the So.Corner, we of course hiked in. Boy was it a long hike. Wish they would open Ryan so we could just drive on in. But being the "Boyscout" that I am, ...................and upstanding citizen.......................
i know at the top of the route it is pretty easy climbing but, anything can happen, after the last bolt the route gets kind of run out, so to keep from taking a long fall all you have to do is flip your rope behing one of the large flakes/horns at the top, or sling it either way it will keep you much safer. Peace.
By C Miller Administrator Dec 11, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
Great moves and position with an easy approach. Worth repeating at least once every season. Four stars out of five.
I don't know about using the rap anchors up top for TR. They are fairly centered on the formation, if I remember correctly, and a fall could allow a big swing over the south face of the formation. Also, I didn't see any moves over 5.7. Nice route.
Watched my climbing compadre TR this route, its more straight up and down than SW corner, more straight forward. From what I hear the moves ain't bad either.
By 46and2 From: Las Vegas, NV Jun 11, 2006 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
Excellent route that "feels" more safe than SW corner not that that route is bad. All the holds are there and the bolts are well placed. Don't worry about that featureless section up high, move right and its an easy romp to the top!!
By Chris Owen Administrator From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake Oct 22, 2006
It's been along time since I did this one. Repeated it yesterday and had a blast - what a fun route - don't know where the crux was, but didn't do any mantles. Melody Wong followed in Tevas (she doesn't recommend it) toting a huge SLR digital camera with a zoom lens.
An excellent JT classic and a very smooth lead.One to do again and again.Superb location.There's a photo in the old Wolfe/Dominick guidebook of someone climbing Headstone in tennis shoes in the 1950s.The FA of this formation was apparently accomplished by throwing a rope over the top and batmaning up.
Awesome climb, great Cliffhanger photo op 2/3 of the way up. On top are two older bolts with ring hangers and three new metolius bolts with two chains. Bring webbing to extend the anchor for TRing this climb or SW corner.
By Brandon Bateman From: Montrose, CA Jan 21, 2013 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
This is a must-do climb for any level climber in j-tree.