BETA PHOTO: Crag overview
Although it is relatively small, the S-Crack Formation's slightly overhang and constantly shaded dark rock give it a slightly ominous appearance on first glance. This is a great little crag, however -- if not for its relatively remote location out past the Lost Horse Ranger Station, it would probably get a lot more traffic than it does. The solid, well-textured rock is some of the best I've climbed on in Joshua Tree.
The centerpiece of the wall are (surprise, surprise), the Left
, Middle, and Right S-Cracks, which go at 5.8, 5.11, and 5.9, respectively. (To be perfectly fair, the Middle S Crack is the only one that's really shaped like an S, but I'm willing to overlook that if you are ...) A small pinnacle just to the left offers another 5.11 and a couple more climbs in the 5.8/5.9 range.
The S-Cracks are a bit of a hike, and don't get much traffic, making them a great destination for crowded weekends. They face north-northwest, so the climbs are in the shade most of the day. There's an easy walk-off back and west from the top of the main formation.
Park on the Lost Horse Road, at the point where the gate prevents you from driving any further. This parking area is shared with Atlantis, Super Creeps, and a host of other formations, and it usually fills up early. Continue hiking down the road past the gate. After 5-10 minutes, the road turns left and passes the Lost Horse Ranger Station on the right -- keep walking, keeping to the right at a fork. In a couple more minutes, the road will start to loop back around to the right and the S-Crack Formation will appear on your left. A short cross-country walk will get you to the base of the climbs. (If you keep walking down the road for a few more minutes, you'll find a small picnic area and a pit toilet).
Weather station 10.5 miles from here
5 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For S-Crack Formation
Left S-Crack 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c CA
: Joshua Tree National Park
: ... : S-Crack Formation
The Left S-Crack is not S-shaped at all (then again, neither is the Right S-Crack). It sure is a lot of fun, though. Wide crack and stem moves down low get you to a slight rest about two-third of the way up. Then it's a great slightly-overhanging jug-fest to the top. There's no real crux section to this climb, and nothing's too hard, thanks to great hands that appear just as you need them. This is a great route to run laps on.The climb starts a few feet to the left of my yellow and black pa...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Yabo Boulder. Photo by Blitzo.
S-Crack Formation. Photo by Blitzo.
By Adam Stackhouse
Mar 14, 2006
First ascents on the S Cracks were Dave Ohlson and Jon Lonne, in April of 1976.