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The Fortress

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Catapult T 
Natural Selection T 
New Hampshire, Naturally T 
Old Man Down the Road, The T 
Roark T 
Rope Drag T 
Sublimation T 
Weekend Warrior T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Fortress  


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Location: 34.06345, -116.14818 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,122
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Vernon Stiefel on Mar 7, 2003
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Description 

The Fortress is a stunning spine-like formation that runs east to west in the heart of the northern part of the Wonderland of Rocks. Numerous vertical, slanting, or discontinuous crack systems are found on the north face. Directly north of the Fortress is the Flying Fortress and lying west is the Grey Giant and the Tombstone. These formations feature excellent crack and face climbs.

Legendary climbers including Randy Leavitt, Tony Yaniro, and Mike Lechlinski established a few of the best and longest climbs in the Park on the Fortress and adjacent formations. Natural Selection (5.10d) and Weekend Warrior (5.11a) are two examples of superb crack climbs but the ultra-classic on this wall is the Catapult (5.11b).

Climbers making the relatively long trek to this area should have a comprehensive rack with stoppers and cams to 4". Two ropes to rappel off are also necessary.


Getting There 

The approach to this area begins in the large parking area near Key's Corner where the boyscout trail to Indian Cove exists. Head northeast on the well-marked trail for about a mile. When the trail forks, take the trail that veers northeast. After about one more mile, the trail ends in a wash that branches northeast and south.

The Atom Smasher Boulders and Timbuktu Towers lie to the northeast. Take the wash that veers in a southerly direction (trail markers have been recently established) and follow it as it meanders towards the Grey Giant. Numerous boulders in the wash near the Grey Giant require boulder hopping and tunnelling.

The best approach to The Fortress from the base of the Grey Giant is to remain north of the Grey Giant and head east for a notch between the Grey Giant and Flying Fortress. This entails some time consuming scrambling and boulder hopping. Once the notch is reached, the serene Fortress Valley lies before you.

The Wonderland Guide by Alan Barlett and Randy's guide are invaluable as references for this area.


Climbing Season



Weather station 7.1 miles from here

8 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',6],['5.11',2],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Fortress:
Natural Selection   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in The Fortress

Featured Route For The Fortress
Catapult on the left and Arms Control ascend split...

Catapult 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : The Fortress
This route is one of the best I have climbed at J-Tree. Challenging moves on solid rock for about 140' makes this a five star classic.Begin about 30' left of a vertical crack that does not reach the ground to gain a horizontal discontinuous seam after 10' of easy climbing. Traverse right on thin edges to a point where the seam ends about 10 feet from where the vertical crack begins. A 0 TCU protects committing face moves (5.11) to a huge horn. Turn the corner and ascend the flared, vertical cra...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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