The Fortress Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: The Fortress
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
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.
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.
Weather station 7.1 miles from here
11 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Fortress
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Fortress
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Fortress:
Catapult 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
R Trad, 1 pitch, 110'
Featured Route For The Fortress
Arms Control 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a CA
: Joshua Tree National Park
: ... : The Fortress
A two pitch crack route.P1> Climb an adventurous chimney, (avoid a sprawling Datura bush in the back) to a bolted anchor on the right. 5.8 ~ 60 feetP2> Traverse left and climb a strenuous finger to thin hand size crack. Above follow a nice hand size crack / lieback. Move left to the bolted anchor on Catapult. 5.11d ~70 feet...[more] Browse More Classics in CA