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BETA PHOTO: Right On as seen from the start
P1) Face climb up a smooth apron past one bolt to a ledge with belay bolts. P2) A short pitch with a steep, exposed hand crack takes you to a huge ledge with belay bolts. P3) Chimney up the featured wide crack which narrows and then turns to a crack up a slab which leads to a belay stance at the base of a vertical section. P4) Easier climbing up steep but featured cracks takes you to the top (aim for a notch).
It's very possible and perhaps even recommended to combine pitches when possible on this route. Descend by rappelling off the shorter backside via two sturdy bolts which are located just left as you pass through the notch; a single rope will suffice to descend. This is a splendid adventure for the grade and merits four stars out of five.
Located on the far left side of Saddle Rocks (well left of Walk on the Wild Side) and visible from afar as the right of two long, parallel cracks which define the left side of Saddle Rocks.
Take a good selection of gear to 3" and numerous long slings. All bolts on the route have been replaced and are 3/8" or larger.
Kelly nears the cave at the top of P1
Kelly nears the top of P3
Jordan belaying Russell @ the 2nd belay cave. A Pe...
Rapping off the main block (to the right of the up...
Jeff Dimick climbing the chimney slabs on pitch 2.
Russell Elroy topping out on the final pitch.
Start of the 3rd pitch...getting to the good stuff...
Larry G. midway through P2 (of 3).
Jay climbing up the second pitch (we linked pitch ...
the view from the cave. i love this picture
BETA PHOTO: Right On
Michael McKay climbs the second pitch of Right On,...
Matthew & Michael enjoy the spacious belay ledge a...
BETA PHOTO: Approximate topo of our 4 pitches on Right On. Cut...
BETA PHOTO: 3rd pitch chimney. Too strenuous/awkward to place ...
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 25, 2002
Just did this the other evening by headlamp - super fun! If you feel comfortable running it out and want to go light, you can get by with a few cams up to 3" for pro/belays.
Nov 15, 2002
The longest vertical route.. I think Gaines/Mayville did a Sentinal horizontal route that was a more than 5 pitches long.
|By C Miller|
Dec 1, 2002
The Gaines/Mayville route is called New Latitude (5.12) and is 6 pitches, making it the longest route in terms of pitches...however they are not all full pitches. Without measuring suffice it to say it's the longest traversing route at Josh. Finally a climb for those people who hang out all day at Gunsmoke!
|By Don Thompon|
Jul 22, 2003
Right On is a excelent route! Three Stars rating. I have been climbing in Joshua Tree since 1977. Tri- Cams work great on the second pitch on Right On. I use to climb Right On and switch cracks into Orange Flake ,a crack Left of Right On. Try the Rappell routeat the top of Right On, not the standard one put up by John Wolfe. You must walk down a steep ramp to theRappell bolts; a excellent 150 foot Rappell and closer to you car.I installed rhe bolts their in mid 70s
From: Westminster, CO
Oct 14, 2003
I agree that switching from "Right on" to "Orange flake" adds to this climbs enjoyment. Also, I agree that going light on pro works. Over the shoulder slings helpful. I did not take tri-cams but in hindsight agree that they would work well. Easy to run out, easy to protect.
On the first pitch it might be wise to protect prior to cliping the single bolt on the face. I discovered that even on such an easy climb as this one, over confidence and loss of focus can quickly become a humbling situation (It took some doing to overcome due to ego being overactive). Had I not placed pro in the right hand flake, upon a wee bit of a slip and slide, I today may well be hamburger. Racking on a gear sling as opposed to the harness is a good idea as well. When pressing through the flair on pitch three one can move the gear accordingly.
|By Brian Reynolds|
Mar 24, 2004
I finally hauled my butt over and did this climb last Saturday. I wouldn't call it a mega-classic, but it's a lot of fun -- especially the last pitch, even though it's probably the easiest of them.
There are two-bolt anchors at both the first and second belays (both unnecessary, but mighty convenient nonetheless), for those who want to climb this in four pitches. This is a climb that screams for linking pitches, though. The second "pitch" can't be more than 40-50 feet long. With a 60m rope, you can easily link pitch 2 with either pitch 1 or pitch 3. We linked 2 and 3, but if I did it again I'd probably try to link 1 and 2, since the belay ledge on the top of pitch 2 is much roomier and more comfortable than the cave at the top of the first pitch.
|By Infernal Doom Fanatic|
Oct 1, 2004
Great climb, this is about as close as it gets to a Tahquitz experience at J-Tree. I've done it twice and have always left feeling very satisfied. All three pitches hold their own in variety and asthetics. Pitch 2 is one hell of a weird experience, never comfortable (think offwidth chimney) but fun none the less.I need to lose weight so I can get my butt back on this climb.
|By Bill Lawry|
From: New Mexico
Apr 16, 2006
Did this last week. On the first pitch and below the bolt, we put pro in up and to the right as someone mentioned before. Also, am curious if anyone has ever finish the chimney with a body bridge as we did instead of face climbing the crack to the left. Either way, I agree this is a must-do climb!
|By Mark L|
Apr 30, 2007
I linked P1 and 2 together with a 60m - had about 10' left I think.
P1 can definitely feel spicy if your head isnt into it yet. There are 2 cracks on the right on the first easy (5.1/5.3 maybe) 30' of the face to put in semi crappy tiny nuts. They might or might not hold a fall and if you fall theres no way getting around bumping into stuff on the way down, so its really all about getting to the bolt. The 10' getting from the crack to the bolt on P1 is more like 5.5 but pretty polished. The next 15' or so up to a crack is polished and made me think a bit - first tried going right of the bolt but got shut down on the traverse to the crack and downclimbed to go left of the bolt which worked a lot better. The rock there is pretty polished from so many climbers and few big foot and handholds so I would probably rate that 15' from bolt to crack more like 5.6 - similar to the move on double dip getting into the bowl 1/2 way up. P1 and 2 are very protectable after that.
P3 (chimney) was nice - beginning could be akward if you dont have much experience with it. Knee bar with the left leg or straighten the right when you want a rest. Pro kinda runs out 60 feet up but the angle lessens a lot (maybe 65 degrees) and you wouldnt go anywhere but get stuck in the chimney if you slid. You can sling a flake or two on the way up. Hand size pieces work well the first 50 feet. Near the top of the chimney there is an arete to the left of the chimney you can face climb for 15' as the chimney deepens. On the right side of the arete is a gulley past some boulders you are aiming for. There is a flake on the right side of the arete you can undercling to get there.
P4 is nice cruiser 5.0/5.3 knob climbing for the most part. Lots of chicken heads to sling off or tuck the rope behind. As you get about 120' up, you need to go leftish about 15' instead of heading up the blanker face. When you get over a little you'll see the notch with a boulder stuck near the top of it. Drop over and behind it, belay. Then you downclimb (3rd/4th class) 15 feet and anchors are just to the north (climbers left) 15 feet.
|By Mike Jay|
Jun 19, 2007
Did this climb yesterday. what a fun climb! we are from colorado so we were kind of clueless about the thing, and not having too much off-width chimney experience, thought we were off route on p2 lol. but it was fun, and it is a must do! awesome exposure on the last pitch!
|By Eric O'Rafferty|
From: Altadena, CA
Apr 17, 2008
I agree with Locker regarding the first pitch. It can be a head/ego game especially when you're thinking 5.5. I think I may have protected it as he suggested as well.
|By DJ Reyes|
From: Northern Nevada
Feb 7, 2009
This is one of my favorite routes at JT. It's long and the first pitch offers a little spice. Get on it and get it's good tidings.
|By Colin Parker|
From: Idyllwild, CA
Nov 17, 2009
rating: 5.6 PG13
Climbed this thing yesterday. Was hoping to get some longer multi-pitch experience to prepare for Tahquitz. This fit the bill perfectly. I would say that Mark's comments are dead-on. The only thing I would add is that his description of the fourth pitch seems to avoid the exposed slab finish, which nobody should miss. After leaving the crack system and moving left on the 4th pitch: instead of heading for and belaying in the notch with the bolder, you should continue up the face past horizontals to the very top slab, where chicken heads and lumpy rock make for easy and fun 5.1-5.3 climbing to the finish. you can put a few pieces in behind some of the horizontals but the last 30 feet or so is largely unprotected. There are rappel anchors on the left of this top ledge.
|By Justin Tomlinson|
From: Monrovia, CA
May 25, 2010
rating: 5.7 PG13
I'm starting to wonder if we went off track on this route. It seems that after the chiminey some people go right into the boulder jumble and then into a gulley? We climbed out of the chimney, went left up the crack in the slab to a vertical wall, then left across the top of the slab to a wide crack, and a short couple moves up the crack to a large, comfortable belay station. From here, a crack leads straight up, with a few exposed moves then runs to the top. I thought this top pitch was a little tougher than the route description made it sound. From the top, we downclimbed a wide chiminey 20 feet to a huge ledge and used the chains on left, leaving us in good position for the 3rd class decent to the start of the route.
Does anyone else climb this direction? Or do people climb right out of the chiminey? Going left seemed right to me at the time, but I wasn't leading. If this is the Right On route, MP should add a couple lines on P3, to go left from the top of the slab crack to a wide crack, up a couple moves to the large belay station.
What do you all think?
From: Rancho Mirage, CA
May 26, 2010
You climbed the route.
|By Justin Tomlinson|
From: Monrovia, CA
Jun 6, 2010
rating: 5.7 PG13
I think when we went left at the top of the chiminey, we picked up the second half of orange flake. There were no chicken heads on our fourth pitch and it was def. not 5.0-5.3, as a climber previously noted. Anyhow, this makes an exciting option.
From: Palm Desert, CA
Jul 3, 2010
rating: 5.7+ PG13
IMHO, this route is for competent 5.8-5.9 leaders, not beginners as one might assume with the low grade and stars. P1 is bold, certainly far above a mere 5.5 rating. Protection is slim and moves are good ones. A leader must bring his/her "A" game as sections present significant falls - glad I didn't draw the short straw! P2 is fantastic, good fun. Make sure you volunteer to lead that one. P3 on the other hand is a grovel. OW technique should be solid as I felt that this pitch offered moves well above the 5.5 grade. Included on this pitch was some significant run-out and some loose rock. P4 - This is where things get interesting. We must have followed the same route as Justin (see note below). Fun, but solid moves right from the start and a section that thinned out. No chicken heads around these parts. Fun pitch. The rap was a bit interesting. Chains proved to be a sweet reward. Just be mindful to not rap down the slabby stuff on your left, but instead rap straight out towards a gully offering a smooth walk down (relative to Josh).
Justin, I have to disagree with Duke's assessment. I believe you climbed the top pitch of Orange Flake - as we did today - JULY 3rd (this weather is nuts!). After examining the pics attached to this route and reading Mark L's suggestion of going right out of the chimney, I think we both did a much more difficult variation (left of the chimney) - 5.7 at the very least.
|By Tyler Wick|
From: Campbell, CA
Feb 28, 2011
rating: 5.7 PG13
I'll second Dave's comment on leading this route - be at least a 5.8 leader before jumping on this thing.
P1 - moderate slab moves with very little protection.. don't blow it.
P2 - fun
P3 - the chimney gets pretty run out at the top, but its easier ground.
P4 - the only pitch true to this climb's rating imo. Did a variation with a fun hand crack climber's right of the 'notch'. A nice ledge traverses from the top of the crack left to the notch, but you'll get considerable rope drag.
|By Ron Thompson|
From: Idlewild, CA
May 29, 2011
I started climbing on Saddle Rock during the Fall of 1977. When I did my first climb on Saddle Rock. I climb "Right On" In 1977 there was not ONE bolt on Right On except at the top for the rap off. After climbing Saddle Rock over 30 times in twenty years of climbing I still cannot see why so many climbers are having problems with this route. After climbing the first pitch you are in a small cave . If you wish to avoid the first OW crack on pitch two traverse left and climb the easy crack on "Orange Flake" to the next belay ledge. The next OW crack can be climbed real easy, place you butt on the left side and your legs against the opposite side of the rock and climb about ten feet past a half moon shape crack than turn and stand on the left side of the wall and than you can climb the wall real easy staying close on the left side but not down "deep" in the large crack. Continue to the the next great ledge staying close to the crack as you reach the next belay ledge. The last pitch is fun and will take you to the top for a excellent view of J Tree.
|By Josh Cameron|
Jul 17, 2011
Lots of different types of climbing. The chimney is way fun but much too short. It's over so fast. I agree with Tyler, don't blow the moves above the bolt on the 1st pitch. Like Ron says, I shouldn't have problems with it, but I always do. Lends a serious air to the route, at least for me.
|By Bryan Davenport|
Jul 23, 2011
Bolts are solid but starting to get aged; '90 I think. Would definitely combine pitch 1 & 2 of 4. Easily done. Been looking forward to this climb for a while, and it did not disappoint.
|By susan peplow|
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 16, 2011
It's questionable if I've done this route before. If so, it had to be 15+ years ago. I was looking forward to no crowds and a quick dash up this classic 3 1/2 star route. We ran into some friends at the base and probably didn't rope up until at least 4:30pm. So for time and ease I didn't even attempt the lead. Thank GOD as not only did I find the 1st pitch challenging but 2 & 3 as well. Don't get me wrong, great climbing, fun and varied but the 1st pitch is kinda run and the chimney albeit terrific kinda awkward. I'm not certain that I wouldn't have lost my wig on the sharp end. I'll say this, if you're a budding .5 leader..... heads up!
It's a great route but IMO harder than .5! YMMV
Side note, we did it in good time. Russ left the rack of 4 pieces on the ground so it was done with only the bolts, 1 slung horn and a fixed nut at the 2nd pitch. "RIGHT ON"!!!!
From: Long Beach, CA
Dec 31, 2011
First pitch isn't too bad. There are multiple options: 1) straight up from the bolt up steeper slab with some good edges and crimps. 2) From bolt go left, up, then right diagonal up; this is less steep, but risks a larger whipper/pendulum. 3) Up and right past the bolt through a couple of cracks and some smaller slab moves. Option 2 seemed most appropriate, and most parties I saw vied for this option. Once in the left leaning crack, fairly straight forward. good hand jams and minor OW technique (elbows and stacked hands, but low angle once in the crack); takes camalot #'s 1-3.
Second pitch (if passing the first bolted anchors since it is easily combined with the first pitch with a 60 m rope): very run out once in the flaring chimney, but very low angle. I found this to be very doable and not heady, even without placing any gear. Make sure you have basic chimney technique down. Stay in the chimney until the end of it and the gully appears. I set up a belay here, but it is best to climb up a little higher to better prep for the final pitch.
Third pitch: Up the gully, and either up the hand crack bulge (fun if you love jamming) or traverse left, away from the bulge. Then up the notch, and continue past the large horn, climbing up onto the right hand side. This takes you to the top of the formation. There is about 15-20 feet of slab, but it's very positive. A 2-bolt anchor is at the top.
Descent: Rap about 30-40 feet to the next large ledge, where you'll find another rap anchor. Rap a second time; this rap, with a 60 m rope will take you to within 5 feet of the base, but the final 5 feet are very easy to downclimb (4th class).
Scramble down the side toward the trees near the start of the climb.
All in all a fun day, but not to be taken lightly if you're thinking 5.5 will be a gimme. Most pitches are easily and confidently (if not necessarily) run out with many jugs, but require some route finding. Feels more like an alpine climb than a normal multipitch route.
|By Matt N|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 16, 2012
rating: 5.7 PG13
5.5 my ass.
Pitch one was heady (found a bail biner on the bolt! - hanger spins too) and I definitely made some 5.6+ moves above that bolt a ways (might not have traversed left enough before going up). Pitch two was a bit grunty, but not hard. Pitch 3 I chimney'd the whole way; hard to get established, then just don't fall. Pitch 4 was easy, fun, and a relaxing finish. GREAT VIEWS, great route.
|By Ty Morrison-Heath|
From: Bozeman, MT
Mar 24, 2012
rating: 5.7 R
Bring no bigger than #3 and don't forget some small TCU's for the first pitch which is slightly R rated. Rope drag on the last pitch is an issue. A full body workout for sure. Next time I'd link 1 and 2. Pretty burly first pitch: Make sure your head is on straight.
|By Climb To Safety|
Mar 27, 2012
rating: 5.7 PG13
this looks like an awesome route. this past friday on march 23 i went to climb "right on", but i didn't have an awesome time, haha.
first climb of the day. i should have read mountain project before heading out there, i figured 5.5, no problem. first pitch is spicy, i would give it a 5.6 possibly even a 5.7 pg13 depending which way you go up the slab. i climbed up to the bolt, which wasn't too bad at all. after the bolt is where it gets steep. i saw that i could have traversed left or right at the bolt towards a crack, but opted for going straight up. i wish i would have traversed left, then gone up diagonally to the crack at pitch 2. going above the bolt is very steep, though there are decent holds. unfortunately i fell from one of these holds between the bolt and the crack. i had a nasty fall and fractured my left ankle, sprained my right ankle. i had to be lowered down and left a red sling and some wire gate carabiners at the bolt for the next party to snag. what an ugly start to what should have been a great weekend.
the scramble/walk back to the car was horrible, so definitely don't get hurt on this climb, haha.
i am currently sitting here with a boot on my left foot, and an ankle brace on my right foot. make sure you have a clear head before getting on this one. i don't have a lot of slab experience, i guess i need to get some.
|By Ron Thompson|
From: Idlewild, CA
Apr 7, 2012
My twin brother Don Thompson has climb Right On over 30 times in his lifetime. Starting in 1977 the whole route never had one bolt on any of the pitches till the early 80's. For adventure, climb the first pitch ,and clip into the first bolt. Than go right to a small ledge 15 feet higher , from the ledge climb a splinter crack 15 feet to a bolt from another route. Small TCU's and tiny copperheads give you great protection. Once at the bolt traverser left with tension from your belayer to the solution posket five feet below the cave and easy climbing ! Than at the cave on pitch one traverse left again into Orange Flake which is pitch one on Orange Flake and climb the large chimney to the next belay ledge, continue up too the third pitch. A great adventure, and you will avoid the lack of pro climbing above the first bolt on the first pitch if you go right from the first bolt to a small ledge and climb up the splinter crack above to another bolt which is on another route. Traverse with tension straight across to the cave you will be five feet below the cave which will become easy climbing. You must bring your belayer up to the tiny ledge on pitch one because, from the 2 bolt to the ground it is about 150 feet one whole pitch. Slings work well at the tiny belay ledge, Enjoy the view from the top of Right On.
Oct 24, 2012
Nice route. First pitch is 5.5 if done right. At the first bolt go left about 20 to 30 feet and then up a diagonal ramp heading back to the main crack. The opening moves on the third pitch would be the physical crux and they are not 5.5 or 5.6, but you are standing on very big ledge and your going to have to work to get off the ledge. Great climb for beginners to follow or lead if they have the head for long runouts. Its popular!
Jan 2, 2013
Started too far right on P1 and stayed in the OW crack/chimney under the huge right-facing flake. Felt quite a bit harder than 5.5 that way, and I was wishing I had a half-dozen #3s and #4s on me. Anyone else gone up P1 this way?
|By Zoey Guo|
From: Evanston, IL
Jan 8, 2013
Here's a photo for the far right OW crack.
| || |far right crack
Submitted By: Zoey Guo on Jan 8, 2013
|By Ron Thompson|
From: Idlewild, CA
Feb 10, 2013
Yes, I use to climb Right On that way also to get to the first belay ledge with my twin brother Don and It was much harder than 5.5 . I started climbing Right On in the 70's when every pitch did not have any bolts. My friends and I climb back than with chocks wearing EB's shoes and using goldline rope.I neveer climb Right On using TCU in hindsight I wish I did because of the long runouts. However, in the 70's TCU were not out than .
|By Ron Thompson|
From: Idlewild, CA
Feb 10, 2013
Climbing in the 70's on Right On I never seen one bolt on any of the pitches. Than in the early 80's bolts were added inside the cave on pitch one. Climbing in the late 80's every pitch except pitch 3 had bolts. Our team never had TCU's we just used chocks and climb the long runouts without protection. You must climb safe on this climb the same with the first pitch on Orange Flake. Because, many accidents have happen on pitch one on Orange Flake in getting to the first belay ledge the same with Right On in getting to the first belay ledge inside the small cave. My last time up Right On was back in April 1992 making this my 30th time up Saddle Rock.Climb safe on this one it can fool you being just a 5.5.