|The Blob - East Face
This climb deserves some recognition! Brilliant, tricky, and sustained climbing through the crux. Off the ground, 5.10-ish climbing leads to about the 1/3 height of the groove and the crux. Hard liebacking, stemming, jams, use of the main and two subsidiary cracks and rounded sides, sloping texture, knee bars, and other trickery will see you through. Once you reach the small pin scars a body length from the sloping ledge, it eases way off. The squeeze chimney above is trivial, perhaps 5.7.
This line is a bit of a funnel and the upper pin scars collect grit, you may want to brush them out beforehand. The rock overall is very good on this one, but it has yet to see much attention and some ball bearings on texture and disintegrating potato chip edges for feet remain...a few more ascents would clean it up nicely.
Dick Cilley called this his favorite route at Joshua Tree, and I would put this in the top 5 of hard Josh routes I've been on, despite how short it is. Where a lot of harder Josh routes involve crimping on tiny sharp and often sloping holds, reachy moves, or single shutdown moves, this route feels much different with relatively large features where body tension and creativity mean more than being able to lockdown razor blades.
At the far right end of the east face is this overhanging groove/runnel feature with an intermittent crack line running up the middle of it. Above, is a sloping horizontal ledge and the line then continues as a wide crack/squeeze chimney. The base area has several very large nolina plants.
Toprope, although there is just enough gear on this that it could be led safely (no leads to date, and it would be exciting to say the least). A lead would up the difficulty substantially as you would not only have to hang out in ridiculously strenuous positions to place it, but it would also get in the way of some handholds but not to the point of not being able to use them. To set a TR, the easiest option was to angle in from the right by scrambling up blocks then climbing easy 4th class to reach the top of the squeeze chimney. On the climbers' right side of this is a horizontal that will take big gear, 3.5"-5" (I used an old style 3.5, 4, and 4.5 camalot). Take long runners, cord, etc to extend the anchor, you'll want to extend maybe 15' down from the crack. With the malevolent flora at the base, (and if you intend on working sections repeatedly) throwing in a directional is a good idea. A fixed nut near the top seems bomber (hammered in copperhead style) and choices in the 0.5" to 1" range are available (an orange tcu was perfect).
Photo by Blitzo.
|By Bob Gaines|
Nov 1, 2011
Although short, I agree with Will that this is a fantastic and unique problem. I sort of discovered it and started working on it on TR in the mid 80's.
I dubbed it the Persian Room because my wife Yvonne and I enjoyed our stay in one of the "theme rooms" at the Oasis of Eden Motel in Yucca Valley called The Persian Room. Also, the surrounding rocks and luxuriant foliage at the base made the hangout feel like a room with a middle eastern vibe.
I tried and tried, but could never do it without a hang. One day I went over there to try again and watched, to my chagrin, Dick Cilley send it.
I'm glad the name stuck.
From: Morrison, CO
Nov 3, 2011
It looks more like a "whispering eye" to me, but YMMV.
|By Will S|
From: Joshua Tree
Mar 13, 2013
Heard from a friend last night that the fixed stopperhead pulled out on him a week or two ago. No big deal, you can easily put in a directional right below where the stopperhead was (about a foot down, orange TCU).