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A buddy and me went to the Tree for a three day weekend of solid climbing. We started over in Indian Cove, climbed Moosedog. Then began driving around, it was freezing cold and windy, down jackets were a must as well as sunny climbs. We would drive until we saw something we liked then run over and climb it. Basically looking for vertical miles not really hunting out the 4 stars. 3 times we showed up at walls that were either too short or to boring looking to take gear out for, my first solos were on these cracks. At this point in my climbing career I had yet to lead anything and was climbing probably 5.8 solidly. Soloing a couple of 5.7 cracks really gets your head on when you have never been unprotected before. I blame my lazy partner for this situation.
We continued on our quest for the unknown by hiking out in Hidden canyon to Fisticuffs, we were bent on shamelessly TRing it but my buddy set up the TR over the wrong crack. While he set up a TR I sat huddled freezing to death, still in my down jacket. Finally he thought it best to lower me instead of rap down because of rope drag problems, so I lowered. Halfway dwon something up top shifted (I don't want to know what did) and I swung wildly into the wall next to me. Poof up goes a cloud of feathers as down jacket meets abrasive JTree granite. I get to the ground, take my jacket off and turn it inside out to try and retain as much poofiness as possible, and shove it in my pack. Now I look up at the crack. "Hmmm" I says to myself, "This is ugly". Ugly it was, I walk out around the corner and there is the beautiful Fisticuffs. I yell up that we are on the wrong climb, partner yells down "can you climb it?" I say sure why not and take off. It was ugly stemming on ball bearing rock, fists plus in the back. grunting and complaining and thinking of all the horrible things I was going to do to my partner when I got up tis thing. Got up it, tried to convince partner to climb it, he took one look at my scraped elbows and forearms and said he wanted nothing to do with it. He then being too tired and cold, decided that he was over it. So we hiked back out, on the way touching Thinwall (not really on the way). Went back and climbed Sticher Quits and Double Dip. Sticher Quits by buddy liked the runout so much that he skipped the anchors and kept going,this led to a fun bit of simul climbing up to the first bolt since no amount of shouting could slow him down.

Day Three we went after our trophy, Isles Corridor. More specifically Bird of Fire. We shamelessly TRed yet another classic, my buddy set up anchor and threw the rope off without a second thought. Then he had me rap down, about halfway the rope was jammed in Dolphin, no amount of pulling could get it out. So I worked my way over, jammed a knee in and proceeded to fight with the rop for a solid 10 minutes before it popped free. I then did a two hang summit of the Bird and my buddy followed with a perfect TR ascent. We were going to throw a rope off of Dolphin, despite my pleas to let me lead it, but then decided to climb all of the splitters in the Corridor. Looking back it is probably a good thing I did not lead it, I have limit off width skills, my main asset being fat legs that I can usually get jammed in. And we only had one #4 and one #3.

All in all I think we got around 20 routes in 3 days, 3-4 free solos, hiked all the way around Hidden Valley, ate two boxes of Oreos and survived. It was awesome.

Sorry slow day at work so I thought I would write up this trip. It was one of my most memorable despite the fact that we only ticked two classics and climbed a lot of bad routes. This is why I love JTree.

Aug 1, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: trix
Cool story Jhazard! here is one of mine. Will Jimenez and I were drunk and high when all of a sudde up walks Matus Sobelic to our campfire. He asked if we had ever been over to "business trip" close to "the eye" we said no so he said he'd show it to us. We walk over there and Matus mentions that it is a great solo and night adventure. So we solo the route then downclimb it. Looking for more we decide to solo "the eye." At the top of "the eye" we leave the cave and go over to a fairly big ledge where we proceed to spark a bowl. A few minutes pass and then we all look at each other as the rock begins to vibrate (nearest analogy I have is like a tuning fork) it started off light and grew stronger then died down again the whole thing lasted about 30 seconds. After it was over we asked each other if we felt that not believing we had just been in an earthquake. then we downclimbed 'the eye' and went back to the fire, once there nobody else had felt anything. The next day the rangers confirmed that there had been a 5.5 earthquake the night before. This happened on 12-5-08. Just one of many Jtree stories I have. Peace trix
Joined Jul 23, 2012
10 points
Aug 2, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: J Tree after blizzard
Yes, J-Tree is the best!!!

On a Sunday in November, 2004, I was driving south from Barstow when it started snowing. By the time I hit Johnson Valley it was near whiteout conditions. The snow just kept coming. When I made it to Hwy 62 it was piled up and barely passable through Yucca Valley in my 2WD Ford Ranger. I slowly made it to the Park Blvd entrance and was turned around by a park ranger. I thought of the NPS website which states, "the park is always open".

After waiting it out for the night in town, I drove down to the 29 Palms entrance, was happy to see it unmanned, and creeped along to Hidden Valley Campground. Then my truck got stuck in the snow as I tried to pull into a campsite on the east loop. That's right, I got stuck in the snow in Hidden Valley Campground. Fortunately, my new neighbors had a shovel, and they turned out to be great climbing partners for the next week.

I have had many magical experiences at J-Tree, but this one stands out. After the storm ended there was no less than two feet of snow on the ground and long icicles hanging off the rocks. The rock was good to climb after one day, but the snow stuck around for a solid week. It was a winter wonderland in the desert.
Rock Climbing Photo: J Tree after blizzard
J Tree after blizzard
From Brighton, Co
Joined Sep 24, 2010
60 points
I want to visit JTree with snow down, it looks beautiful in white!
I think I will pass on a blizzard though, that might put a damper on my climbing. Also I don't do tents, two pieces of Tyvek is as classy as I get, this makes windy days more fun.
Aug 2, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: mountainlion
As previous poster stated the rock is awesome after a snowstorm Jhazard. I rolled in after the 14 inch snow (2008) and literally laughed as I pulled into Hidden Valley. The firepits were full of snow and going to and from the climbs was a little different but not to bad. The biggest problem was belaying at the top with a snowdrift next to you. We did "doublecross" and several other routes that were south and west facing. Had a great time the only other campers were climbers and it was a real family atmosphere. Eric Coffman
Joined Jun 22, 2009
817 points

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