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This route has some fun and challenging jamming on the second pitch. The first pitch climbs a 5.8 lieback on the left side of a tower with a wide crack in the back. Take the biggest cams you own or a single #4 Camalot and run it out. Alternatively, climb the right side of the tower, through vegetation in the bottom half and a wide crack in the back for the upper half (this option is much easier and less runout, but dirty and unaesthetic climbing). For many years a large tree served as the belay and start for the second pitch. That tree is dead and gone, good luck rigging a belay here, best just to link the two pitches into one. (UPDATE: A gear belay is now available at the base of the formerly dirty corner and the scary section described below has been extensively cleaned, takes pro, and is much more enjoyable after the cleaning.)
The section between the top of the tower and the roof WAS dirty, loose, scary climbing through the remnants of the old tree in a wide crack where the trunk used to grow, complete with teeter totter 500lb spikes of loose rock, crumbling roots, dirt, and rotten bark. In the past the tree provided clean access to the roof. Grovel up this 10' section to the roof and plug in a 3.5"-4" piece. The roof quickly tapers to perfect hands. Pull around the roof (crux) on good hands turning into fingers and off fingers with good stemming rests. Easy crack in a dihedral leads to a final 5.9 crux up high pulling through a section of vertical 3" crack. After the second crux, move slightly left out of the dihedral onto easy face climbing to avoid loose blocks and dirt in the corner. Belay at two solid/modern bolts. Walk off left or rap.
The route is located approximately 150' left and uphill from Positively 4th Street at a point where a small ledge juts out to the right from the base. The first pitch appears as a small 30' tower with a clean wide crack on the left side. The second pitch is visible above as a wide crack under a roof, thinning and turning the roof on the left and becoming a lower angle left facing corner system. Walk off climbers left on 3rd/4th class ledges.
Doubles to 2", singles to 4", plus optional big gear for P1.
Aug 3, 2007
Good description. The belay is non-existent. My girlfriend belayed in the squeeze chimmney with the only gear: her. I would have downclimbed, but it was dangerously loose, so instead I continued up on the hold-less dirt filled groove with deathfall potential. Finally a piece went in--# 4 Camalot,3.5 Camalot/4.0 Friend. Then the climb is ok.
I would not recommend this to anyone, unless they have a bolt kit to make this slightly safe.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 1, 2007
UPDATE: A couple of days ago I rapped in and did some mainenance on this route. After cutting off and replacing the wad of tat on the anchor, I cleaned the sketchy corner. What was once a holdless, no-pro corner of dirt and rotting tree remnants is now finger to fist cracks. A belay can be arranged atop the pillar by walking right to the freshly cleaned corner (0.5"-4"), or the route goes easily in one pitch.
Feb 1, 2010
This extraordinary crack is a good hidden gem. Do it in one pitch with long slings and force a little runout on the section before the roof. Also, it can be done in the morning on hot summer days and in the afternoon on sunny winter days.