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Mike's Books 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Mike and John Wolfe, Febuary 1967
Page Views: 7,616
Submitted By: Adam Stackhouse on Jul 12, 2002

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Andy Patterson steps out onto the slabby finishing...

Description 

I always thought this was a fairly enjoyable route. Mike's Books is found on the south side of I-Rock. The first pitch (the first "book") is formed by a big rounded chunk of rock that makes a right-facing corner/ramp. I haven't been over there in recent years, but it seemed pretty popular a while back.

P1: There are two potential starts to the route:

1) Directly below the corner, there is a steep chute that goes at 5.8. I recall there was some protection, but it requires care when exiting the chute to climb up to the main corner.

2) You can go out left of the 5.8 start and climb up onto a sloping ledge. This ledge can then be traversed back right to reach the base of the first "book". Once you reach the right-facing corner, climb up this (pretty moderate) to reach a bolted belay anchor [replaced 1/02 with 1/2" stainless and camouflaged hangers - ed.].

P2: From the bolted anchor, move left into another right-facing corner system (the second "book"). Climb this until it ends, and continue to the top via slab. There is another bolted anchor on top [replaced 1/02 with 1/2" stainless and camouflaged hangers - ed.].

Descent: You can either rap the route in two half-rope rappels (fairly quick and if your packs are at the base...), or you can cross over to the top of the North Overhang route and do a half-rope rap to a large ledge on the north side (where the Upper Right Ski Track starts) and scramble down from there.


Protection 

Standard rack. Nuts and cams to 3" or so. Bolted anchors (1/2").



Photos of Mike's Books Slideshow Add Photo
Intersection Rock - East Face
BETA PHOTO: Intersection Rock - East Face
A short sling makes for an awkward stance
BETA PHOTO: A short sling makes for an awkward stance
Brian decides to Aid climb the direct route of the...
Brian decides to Aid climb the direct route of the...
Atop pitch #2.
Atop pitch #2.
Sheri and Jared at pitch 1 anchors on Mike's Books...
Sheri and Jared at pitch 1 anchors on Mike's Books...
jamming into the variation
jamming into the variation
Aerili on the Direct Start. Photo by Blitzo.
Aerili on the Direct Start. Photo by Blitzo.
Another great photo taken on Sunday Feb 5 2006 at ...
Another great photo taken on Sunday Feb 5 2006 at ...
pulling up the direct start
pulling up the direct start
Sheri leading pitch 1 of Mike's Books after climbi...
Sheri leading pitch 1 of Mike's Books after climbi...
Sheri entering the wide grovel section of pitch 1;...
Sheri entering the wide grovel section of pitch 1;...
between 2 rocks and a hard place
between 2 rocks and a hard place
Intersection Rock. Climber on "Mike's Books&q...
Intersection Rock. Climber on "Mike's Books&q...
Bo smoke'n up the first pitch!
Bo smoke'n up the first pitch!
Jared following Pitch 1 of Mike's books!
Jared following Pitch 1 of Mike's books!
Me leading the second pitch of Mike's Books.
Me leading the second pitch of Mike's Books.
Sadie coming up pitch 1.
Sadie coming up pitch 1.
Julie on the upper section of Mike's Books.
Julie on the upper section of Mike's Books.
Aerili running out the first corner on "Mike'...
Aerili running out the first corner on "Mike'...
Christa Cline leading the fun corner on the first ...
Christa Cline leading the fun corner on the first ...
Ready to get out of the wide section on P2.
Ready to get out of the wide section on P2.
Chris Parks follows on Mike's Books (5.6) at Jtree...
Chris Parks follows on Mike's Books (5.6) at Jtree...
cruising on through
cruising on through

Comments on Mike's Books Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 12, 2014
By Mark J. Nelson
Nov 4, 2002

The second pitch is slightly offwidth; I suggest racking to a #4 Camalot. The 5.6 rating is quite reasonable, but it will sure feel more difficult if you're only carrying up to 3 inch gear...
By Nathan L.
Dec 17, 2002
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Mike's Books is a fun route and was one of my first leads (after the Blob) at J-Tree. I remeber the traverse in from the left as being slightly awkward as you move in to the chimmny/groove. There's also alot of flakes and jugs on the face of the groove which makes it go at a reasonable 5.6. The 2nd pitch is a bit wide but not to difficult. After the crack ends you have a bit of face climbing that's protected by 1 bolt.(At least a few years ago). It's hard to see(the bolt) at the begining of the face and you think, "wow this is going to be a sporty finish" but the bolt is there, hidden in a depression. Have fun!
By The Gray Tradster
Nov 17, 2003
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

The original rating in the Wolfe book was 5.5. The bolt for the finish didn't appear untill the late 70's or early 80's. The last nut also had an unnerving habit of falling out. There were no bolted belays obviously. Last time I did it thought, (Boy, we used to do this with only hexes?)
By Brian Reynolds
Dec 17, 2003
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fun route. Carry the biggest pieces you've got, if you want an excuse to place them. You won't need them, but you'll be able to find somewhere to put them if you want to. I'm certainly not encouraging bolting anchors all over the park, but the fact that both of them are bolted on this climb sure makes it a quick one!
By Drederek
Apr 1, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I thought the var start looked harder than the dihedral 3 feet to left of it. It seemed about 5.7 to me tho I'm sure anyone much shorter than 6 feet may disagree.
By Jimmie
Sep 27, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this on 9/26/04 and the anchors for the first pitch seem to be missing. At least I couldn't find them and I remember them being fairly obvious the last time I did it (several years ago). Not a major malfunction as there is a great horizontal crack to build an anchor, but it means that you'll have to scramble across to the top of Upper Ski Track Right for the rap to the big ledge. You ca no longer do descent in two raps as indicated (at least not without leaving gear).
By Trevor Roberson
From: Oxnard, California
Jan 2, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed MB on 10-31-04 and the anchors are still there. On the first pitch they are 4' to the right as you exit the crack onto the ledge. The second pitch is a chain with rap rings just above the old bolt protecting the face. First pitch (indirect from the left) is definitely 5.6 but the second was a little wide (#4 helpful) and awkward (and that sharp fin below you YIKES!) Pitch 2 maybe 5.6+ to 5.7ish but not 5.8. All in all a fun climb.
By Bo Johnston
Mar 24, 2005

After the diheadral on the second pitch and before the face with a bolt finish, I walked to the right and climbed the right facing hand crack to the top and then back to the anchors to belay my second. It is not listed in the book but it felt like 5.8+ (I was wearing my tennies though). Does anyone know if it is the finish to anything??
By Kellen Holt
Dec 31, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I found the top of the first pitch akward off-width, but looking back, you could chimney or face climb. If you are not tuned to Jtree runouts, bring a #4 or so piece to protect the wider parts. I ended up thrutching and groveling 15 feet out from a #3 camalot. Don't jump on this route without atleast giving it a once over. Anchor bolts were good as of 12/28/05.
By 46and2
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 11, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

We put a grade of 5.8 on this climb only if doing the direct start to pitch 1. You can get a good cam in to protect the direct start but its still a pretty tough move. Be careful on the beginning of pitch 2 (PG-13, bring a large cam!)as the wide section is pretty committing for a 5.6! The anchors are great as of April 06'.
By Bill Rusk
From: Duluth, MN
Feb 17, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I didn't really enjoy this route. I thought it was a little stiff for 5.6. You could definantly use a #4 for the second pitch. There are much better climbs of that rating in the area.
By DaveGustafson
From: Palm Desert, CA
Apr 5, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

What in the world was with the last part of pitch one?!? My awful-width technique leaves a lot to be desired to begin with, I'm just glad my climbing partner didn't bring the camera! We did the direct 5.8 start and it was feeling a little more like 5.8+ to us. I'd definitely suggest a #4 and an ample supply of 2s and 3s for good measure. A great view and wonderful rap station! Overall, I'd give it an "okay".
By TomCaldwell
From: Clemson, S.C.
Jun 2, 2009

A #4 is a must! Bring two if you want or walk the single to the top.
By attila
Jan 31, 2010

Over two stars for this climb? You gotta be kidding. Some routes feel like they're meant to be climbed, but not this one. I found it awkward and not enjoyable. If you decide to do it, note that the bolted anchor for pitch one is easily missed (it's hiding off to the right) and have the taller climber in your party do the second pitch.
By Bryan Davenport
From: 29palms
Feb 1, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The pro on the first portion is a bit sketchy. There are some fun placements on the rest of the first pitch. I used mostly hexes and then a 2 and three camalot. I concur about the anchor. It is still in great shape w/ rappel rings
By Bryan Davenport
From: 29palms
Feb 20, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

It was very windy today, made the lead a little more of a head game. Used larger hexes, sizes 1-3 Camalots and a couple nuts. I'm thinking the alternate start is more like a 5.9 (through the first crack). The second pitch seems 5.8ish. There are good placements without a #4
By Craig Randleman
From: Phoenix, AZ
Feb 28, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

I thought this was quite hard, actually. The start of pitch 2 was datardly - wide, deep crack with kinda hard-to-spot feet. Then again, that's why I climb JT - too be scared shitless on easy moderates! Haha!
By kennoyce
From: Layton, UT
Feb 14, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Wow, interesting comments, I thought that this was an enjoyable easy climb. The first pitch variation (the natural line) has one move that felt like 5.8, then it was easy for the rest of the pitch. I thought the second pitch felt like 5.5 or 5.6 max, nowhere near 5.7 or 5.8 as some people are suggesting. I thought the bolt on the face was completely unnecessary for the super easy slab that it's protecting. I did place both a #4 and a #5 C4 on the second pitch.
By yosenhuttle
Mar 15, 2011

Groveled through the 1st pitch... Not a terribly aesthetic route given the other climbs in the area. I doubt I'll ever do this one again
By Patrick Kaufer
From: Laguna Hills, CA
May 12, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good climb. Can get a bit tricky at the top of P1 but was very enjoyable.
By John Long
Aug 6, 2011

From the start of the 2nd pitch, you can either go up the crack, or do a harder step up move on the face and carry on up the steep slab and cut into the crack higher up. Another variation, put up around 1975, starts further around on the steep face to the left. There's a big dyno off the ledge to a rounded hold, a difficult step up and some dicy moves to easier ground - a short sequence to the easier (5.8) face above (it cuts over into Mike's Books) but there's no pro, we always bouldered this off the ledge, and it was the first 5.12 at Josh. Hanging that first hold after the big dyno was so hard the route had to be in the shade to stick it.

I went back to this sometime in the early 90s long after I was a super active climber and couldn't touch this thing.
By Patrick Sanan
From: Lugano, Switzerland
Dec 9, 2011

Loved this climb. The little traverse at the start demands attention, but after that it's great fun with all kinds of chimney moves and a little easy slab section at the end. Our guidebook said many people skip the second pitch, which is a shame, as it's as much fun if not more than the first, and the ledge you belay from is practically a helipad. As many have noted, big cams are nice to have ( I recall being glad to have a #4 camalot at one point on the first pitch, and the second pitch has many wide placement opportunities).
By jake marlow
From: laramie
Jan 13, 2012

Some climbs are fun because they are hard and others are just fun; this one is the latter.

Do the harder start it is way worth it.
By david doucette
Dec 7, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed this yesterday. the 5.6 traverse start shown in the old vogel book is tricky and we didn't do it. the step across is completely unprotected. we opted for the chute just to the left of the 5.8 start.

pitch 2, be sure to bring a number 4 and a 5 if you have them. the biggest piece i had was a number 3 and i kept moving it up 2 or 3 times as i climbed. would have been more helpful to have those bigger pieces. slab part at top has a bolt, not too tricky just stay steady on your feet.

solid 5.6.

great climb!
By Brian Chastain
Dec 9, 2013

despite being easy I always enjoy climbing this
By Dave Holliday
Mar 17, 2014

Because I forgot to note where the second pitch goes, I ended up doing an interesting variation to that pitch. At the top of the first pitch, go to the right to a low-angle flare/grovel (just right of the bolted face) with a hand crack in the back; continue up this until you see a short fist/off-width crack on your left. Climb that to a shelf then climb a short flared hand/fist crack to another good shelf where the proper second pitch tops out. This is probably in the 5.8 range; good gear the whole way with a #4 Camalot being useful.
By Alexm53
Nov 12, 2014

Take care when stepping through the easy but unprotected start of the first pitch. We approached the climb and a fellow had decked it and broke an ankle...Thank God for the guardian angel that was soloing Ill leave him unnamed but good job (A) He broke what could've been a bad head blow.