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Routes in S-Crack Formation

Furthest Right S Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Jingus Con T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Left S-Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Middle S Crack T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Right S Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Description

Although it is relatively small, the S-Crack Formation's slightly overhang and constantly shaded dark rock give it a slightly ominous appearance on first glance. This is a great little crag, however -- if not for its relatively remote location out past the Lost Horse Ranger Station, it would probably get a lot more traffic than it does. The solid, well-textured rock is some of the best I've climbed on in Joshua Tree.

The centerpiece of the wall are (surprise, surprise), the Left, Middle, and Right S-Cracks, which go at 5.8, 5.11, and 5.9, respectively. (To be perfectly fair, the Middle S Crack is the only one that's really shaped like an S, but I'm willing to overlook that if you are ...) A small pinnacle just to the left offers another 5.11 and a couple more climbs in the 5.8/5.9 range.

The S-Cracks are a bit of a hike, and don't get much traffic, making them a great destination for crowded weekends. They face north-northwest, so the climbs are in the shade most of the day. There's an easy walk-off back and west from the top of the main formation.

Getting There

Park on the Lost Horse Road, at the point where the gate prevents you from driving any further. This parking area is shared with Atlantis, Super Creeps, and a host of other formations, and it usually fills up early. Continue hiking down the road past the gate. After 5-10 minutes, the road turns left and passes the Lost Horse Ranger Station on the right -- keep walking, keeping to the right at a fork. In a couple more minutes, the road will start to loop back around to the right and the S-Crack Formation will appear on your left. A short cross-country walk will get you to the base of the climbs. (If you keep walking down the road for a few more minutes, you'll find a small picnic area and a pit toilet).

5 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at S-Crack Formation

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Middle S Crack
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Middle S Crack 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R Trad
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Photos

mhagny  
This formation is approx 250 yards South of the weather station by the ranger station. If you're following along on the road that wraps around behind the ranger station, and you get to the picnic area and toilet, you've gone too far. Feb 22, 2017
First ascents on the S Cracks were Dave Ohlson and Jon Lonne, in April of 1976. Mar 14, 2006

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