Login with Facebook
Tumbling Rainbow Formation
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Army Armstrong T 
Days of Thunder T 
Don't Look A Gift Frog In The Mouth T 
Fisticuffs T 
Rainy Day, Dream Away T 
Run For Your Life T 
Runaway S 
Tales of Brave Ulysses T 
Tic Tic Boom S 
Tonic Boom S 
Tumbling Rainbow T 
Two Stage T 


YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 30'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: John Long & Rick Accomazzo, March 1973
Page Views: 6,452
Submitted By: david goldstein on Apr 16, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (86)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Tim pulls into the solid fists on Fisticuffs.


Nice fist jamming in a clean splitter. Would rate more stars if longer. Sunny.

Located about 50' below and 100' to the right of the start of Run For Your Life.

Starts as hands the quickly moves to cups, fists and even OW for the last few feet. The difficulties last for about 30', then hang a left and scramble up about 20' to the top of the pillar and find an anchor. Make sure the rope runs through the crack to provide directional protection for the 2nd.

Descent: scramble off to the north.


We did it with one blue Camalot and one #4 Friend but it would be preferable to have a 2nd #4 or a 3.5 Camalot.

Photos of Fisticuffs Slideshow Add Photo
Matt Snider on Fisticuffs. Sure, it's hand sized n...
Matt Snider on Fisticuffs. Sure, it's hand sized n...
Fisticuffs John "Yabo" Yablonsky  Photo ...
Fisticuffs John "Yabo" Yablonsky Photo ...
BETA PHOTO: Fisticuffs
Fisticuffs.  Photo by Cody Lane.
Fisticuffs. Photo by Cody Lane.
Matt Snider heroically tops out Fisticuffs.
Matt Snider heroically tops out Fisticuffs.
Konstantin Stoletov on "Fisticuffs"
Konstantin Stoletov on "Fisticuffs"
Big hands!  Eric on lead.
Big hands! Eric on lead.
BETA PHOTO: Fisticuffs

Comments on Fisticuffs Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 25, 2013
By namascar
Nov 8, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Great route, one of the purest cracks in Josh. One has to pay attention with the #4 Camalots. It is easy to place them, walk them and it may lead to multi hour recovery operations. I saw a #4 jammed once and tried to remove it, without luck. Then this weekend, it happened to us. This time, we put more time and effort till we got the dawn piece out. Don't let this embarrassing situation happened to you.
By Murf
Nov 8, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is a fun line, and it is pretty "pure", but its so short that to call it the "anything"-est route at Josh is giving it a bit too much credit.
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 22, 2005

No, I agree. This is one of the most "splitter" cracks the park has to offer; you can talk to someone on the other side of the formation through the crack. It may be short but that doesn't change the fact that this crack is different from most of the cracks in Josh. I invite anyone who disagrees to just slot a jam at the the base of the route and feel the difference.
By bw1
Apr 5, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

this is worth the hike if you are in the area. though short, a nice clean crack that required all kinds of crack techniques.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Great hands and fists. Nice route on nice rock. Short, but worth putting on the 'to do' list.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 16, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Don't know about the "hang a left and scramble to top of pillar to find a belay" bit. I belayed where the crack goes horizontal..the walk off is just a few feet right of this and the climbing above (to the top of the pillar) is trivial and short 5-easy slab. Belay where the crack goes horiz takes from 3.5 to 4 camalot. Did this with one 3 camalot, ended up pushing it a ways, ideally take two of 'em. Good rack would be doubles in 3, 3.5, 4 camalot (this would include the belay pieces).
By Tavis Ricksecker
From: Bishop, ca
Jun 29, 2007

It might be short, but it's stout! And beautiful.
By JoshuaTreeRunner
From: Los Angeles
May 28, 2008

Everyone says its short and it is... but worth going back to climb and working it. It would be 4 stars if it were twice as long.
By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Nov 30, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Did it with a #2 off the ground, 1 #3 and 2 #4's. Short but sweet, crux is at the top where crack is widest and steepest.
By A. Wolaver
From: Golden, CO
Nov 26, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Really a great splitter. I wouldn't really consider it an offwidth. Also, come on folks, lets not get to comfortable on the cush J-Tree approaches. The approach is probably less than a half mile with about 30 feet of elevation gain.
By Richard Shore
Dec 6, 2010

a fun and physical 40 feet. Even with my big paws I wasn't getting the tightest fist jams at the top, more like elbow-locks. 2 #4 camalots highly recommended. Easy belay anchor can be made by slinging a huge chickenhead on the low angle slab
By Catherine Conner
From: Phoenix, AZ
Feb 23, 2011

I'm gonna rock "fisticuffs" in April, YAYA!
Feb 19, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Nice crack. My hands are large enough where this didn't feel like an offwidth. An unusual perfect crack for J tree.
By Adam Stackhouse
Feb 25, 2013
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b


Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!