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The Old Woman - East Face
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Spider Line 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Woody Stark & Dick Webster 1967, FFA (TR): John Bachar 1/78, FL: John Yablonski 2/78 (solo)
Page Views: 6,801
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 6, 2002
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John Bachar on Spider Line, early 1980's. Photo by...


As soon as you step off the ground the fun starts on this one. The crux comes in the first 15', reaching to get established in the corner proper after which it's steep, fun jamming/laybacking to the top where a quick step left gains a ledge with bolted anchors.

Yet another classic crack climb of the Hidden Valley Area - 4 stars out of five.


Located on the left side of the Old Woman's East Face and easily identified as a doubly overhanging right-facing corner system.


A selection of wires and cams to 2.5", bolted anchor/rap (3/8" bolts)

Photos of Spider Line Slideshow Add Photo
Spider Line (5.11d), Joshua Tree NP
Spider Line (5.11d), Joshua Tree NP
Joel post crux on Spider Line (5.11d), Joshua Tree NP
Joel post crux on Spider Line (5.11d), Joshua Tree...
Bachar solos
Bachar solos
"Spider Line". 1982. <br />Bill Price leading. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
"Spider Line". 1982.
Bill Price leading.
Photo by ...
Bill Price fired this route in 1982, just a short while after Rick Cashner fell on a failed attempt to free solo it. Cashner's blood was still at the base. <br />Onlookers applauded the ascent. <br />Bill said "it's no big deal, Yabo free soloed the first free ascent!" <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Bill Price fired this route in 1982, just a short ...
Andy Patterson wrestling with the Spider circa March'07.
Andy Patterson wrestling with the Spider circa Mar...
After losing the battle with Spiderline...
After losing the battle with Spiderline...
Spider Line <br />Photo by Aaron Stark
Spider Line
Photo by Aaron Stark
Andy making it look easy (its not).
Andy making it look easy (its not).
Comments on Spider Line Add Comment
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By Jay Knower
From: Plymouth, NH
Jan 29, 2004
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Upon first looking at Spider Line, I was aprehensive about the pro because the crack looked so thin. I decided to get on it to just "have a look". To my surprise, the route protected perfectly with small stoppers down low and medium cams up high. I would call Spider Line a very leadable, well-protected route. The moves are stellar too.

By Randy
Nov 1, 2006
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a

FFA (TR) John Bachar, 1/78; First Lead/Solo, John Yablonski, 2/78. Not sure who actually did the first "gear" lead.

By Brian Treanor
Mar 31, 2008
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Exceptionally hard for the grade. Miles harder than other 11c routes in the Monument/Park.

By Drewsky
Nov 9, 2008

I've always enjoyed this climb (even the first time when it rejected me soundly) but allow me to state the obvious: make sure the gear at the start is placed correctly. I witnessed the aftermath (helicopter rescue) of someone who had pulled a piece down low and decked in '06. Given the traversing nature of the climb, he landed on his head and, helmet notwithstanding (I believe), died of his injuries. The gear is good on this climb, but be aware that you are never far from the ground.

By Ian
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 4, 2009
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

I thought the gear was pretty bomber on this route with a hand-size cam and a good finger piece protecting the cruxy start. It is definitely a safe, technical route that is worth doing.

By C Miller
Jan 17, 2009

Although John Yablonksi is credited with the first lead of this route (by soloing it) the first actual lead placing gear is credited to Rick McGregor, a visiting New Zealander, in the Spring of 1979.

By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Oct 14, 2009
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Hard for the grade and Awkward. Don't think its worth all the hype surrounding it...

By Mike Fogarty
From: La Quinta, CA
Mar 5, 2012

Classic top rope, was a test piece always for the up and comer.