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Routes in Playhouse Rock

Anthrax T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Baby Ice Dog T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Balancing Act TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Beck's Bear T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Break a Leg T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Curtain Call T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Dress Rehearsal T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Fighting the Slime T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Final Act T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
I'm So Embarrassed For You T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Irritators, The T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Kline's Incline TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Leading Lady T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
OC Gym Trad T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Playwright, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Psycho Groove T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Stucca By A Yucca T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
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Playhouse Rock sits near and to the south of Hemingway Buttress. It faces east and is one of the more popular formations in the park with numerous routes of varying difficulty on the east side. There are at least two sets of rappel anchors on top and down climbing is easy off the southeast end. It's an excellent formation for working with novice climbers: A 5.4, a couple of sixes and numerous sevens; good quality rock; most routes are easily protected and all the routes are one pitch. Further, there are excellent eights and nines. A couple of the nines, I believe, are underrated by a point.

Getting There

Playhouse sits a short distance to the south of Hemingway Buttress. You can now park at the lot used for Hemingway or the pullout a few yards further up the road. The approach is no more than ten minutes.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Playhouse Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Irritators
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Psycho Groove
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Irritators
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Psycho Groove
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
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I agree whole-heartedly with the initial description of Playhouse Rock as a good place for beginners. I had a very enjoyable guided trip to Playhouse Rock as a beginner (thanks Mark Joliff "speedy Mark"), and then a couple of fun, self-guided, trips. Next time to JTree, I'll take photos of various routes and get them into the system. Mar 18, 2003
Karen Bohl
Karen Bohl   Prescott
Is it true there are no climbs harder than 5.9 on Playhouse rock? ..... We think we found one today !!!! Aug 22, 2004
C Miller   CA  
Not true, Hi Desert Playhouse (5.10d) is found on Playhouse Rock. Aug 27, 2004
Rancho Mirage, CA
Duke   Rancho Mirage, CA
It probably took as much time to rap off the former anchors as it takes to do the simple down-climb.

I also noticed that the chopper did a good job of patching. Mar 7, 2005
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
This formation has an easy, fun downclimb, and a pair of quick-links you can rap off of at the top of The Irritators.

Don't rap directly on the bolt hangers at the top of Psycho Groove. We saw no fewer than three groups use these standard bolt hangers as rap rings today. Have to assume they were sport climbers who haven't ever seen an anchor setup not designed for rappelling. Bad form Mar 22, 2010
West Jordan
Rockwood   West Jordan
Playhouse Rock is great! We were headed for Dairy Queen but could see climbers waiting in line for every route we wanted to try so we kept walking to Playhouse. The grading on everything was in such a great range we were able to skip the guide book all together and just pick out cracks and routes of our own and climb anywhere we wanted. We ended up climbing more than any other day that week. Everything felt to be in the 5.7 - 5.9 range but who knows what they were. It didn't hurt that we had the whole thing to ourselves all day. A bunch of 5-fun routes to me was better than sitting on my butt watching others climb. Mar 22, 2010

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