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Wild Wind 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: John Lakey, Chick Holtkamp and Randy Russell, February 1978
Page Views: 2,795
Submitted By: M.Morley on May 10, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (115)
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BETA PHOTO: Hidden Tower, Joshua Tree NP.


This is the crack just left of Sail Away. As compared to Sail Away, it is a bit more difficult technically and a fair degree more difficult to protect, especially the traversing section close to the top. One may escape the 5.9 crux traverse by continuing straight up, but then you'd be missing out on the best part of the route. Belay and rap as for Sail Away.


Standard rack to 2" with TCUs to protect thin traversing section towards the top.

Photos of Wild Wind Slideshow Add Photo
Mike Morley negotiates the 5.9 crux traverse of Wild Wind.  Photo: Irvin Fernandez
Mike Morley negotiates the 5.9 crux traverse of Wi...
loved this route
loved this route
Myong working her way up Wild Wind.
Myong working her way up Wild Wind.
A fun warmup that has some interesting moves.  We lucked out and had the rock to ourselves!
A fun warmup that has some interesting moves. We ...
me headed up!
me headed up!
Dave up to the horizontal and then off into the thin crack...
Dave up to the horizontal and then off into the th...
Tom Donnelly leading Wild Wind.
Tom Donnelly leading Wild Wind.
Getting established on Wild Wind
Getting established on Wild Wind
Heidi heading up Wild Wind
BETA PHOTO: Heidi heading up Wild Wind

Comments on Wild Wind Add Comment
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By Flying T
Dec 9, 2002

I agree that the traverse right and up is a must do. It's a scary runout with a good swing if you fall. I was scared seconding and I'm really looking forward to leading it (does that make me a masochist?). I'd say the traverse makes it a level harder than Sail Away.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 11, 2002

I agree with Flying T. There is a BIG swing potential if you fall and your gear should fail on the traverse out right. This can be managed somewhat by placing gear high in the vertical crack (use a long sling to reduce rope drag) BEFORE heading right. A purple or blue TCU protect the traverse reasonably well.
By vincent L.
From: Redwood City
Mar 18, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

a red alien protects the traverse quite well.
By Woody Stark
Mar 19, 2005

This is a superior route vis a vis Sail Away. It's been awhile; I did them both one after the other and was much more impressed with Wild Wind. Further, Sail Away, I feel, is over-rated by a point.
By Drederek
Apr 5, 2006
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Very enjoyable with a wider range of skills needed than for Sail Away. I opted for the blue TCU on the traverse.
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Jun 6, 2006

A fun route which should be done along with Sail Away while you are there. I found the move off the blocks onto the wall quite intimidating as I couldn't reach and get gear before the move upwards. Turns out it's not hard and quite secure once committing. The traverse out right does protect ok but the moves are a little thin and reachy.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 16, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Did this today. The traverse is easily the crux, and doesn't take great gear, but you can get a mediocre tiny cam (blue alien) halfway across...and fill up your best hold in the process. Contra to the comment above, I didn't see anywhere you for a red alien on the traverse. Even though the first third of the route is 4th class, the rest is fun climbing and well worth doing. Summit has one of the best views of routes in JT...looking right at the steep side of Sports Challenge and back over to the HVCG & Steve's Canyon formations.
Jun 7, 2007

Vogel's guides show lines going both straight up - finishing on the slab to the anchor - and out right.

It seems to me that the straight-up line is probably the 'real' line, both because it's, well, a straight-up line and because it's protectable. The right-leaning traverse is nice to TR, but ... I wouldn't want to take that fall on lead, and I'm doubting it was the FA line. Anyone know?

I'd heard that WW is "scary" but I found it to be well-protected (though not obvious). It's a bit steep stepping up from the bowl, and possibly a bit height-dependent. You'll want a careful belay to protect your ankles there.
By Darren D.
Oct 20, 2007

As has been mentioned, Small TCU's/aliens will protect the crux traverse. However, they sort of get in the way of the small crimpers.
By KraigP
Nov 18, 2008

Good little climb. Fun top out. When in doubt run it out. No problem. Lead it no prob. Def. worth the climb. A must do if you are out there on sail away