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New Jack: confused about Cosgrove Memorial Buttress routes

Original Post
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 621

Has anyone climbed the routes Bombs Away, Kestral Dihedral and Dita's Playhouse?

We were at NJC yesterday and became totally confused.
We started at the Cliffs of Insanity, doing the 3 easy routes there.
Working climber's left, we followed the description to scramble up the boulder to the Hidden Grotto, doing the two routes there.
Going back to the cliff base, we walked again climber's left past the DX with its chain draws.
Continuing left around the corner, the next route which came to the ground, and we thought must be Puts the Lotion in its skin, but it had open shuts on top which did not fit the description in the book so we
decided to scramble up the gulley to see if that was the gulley scramble for bombs away etc.

Above the open shuts, we found two short pieces of chain anchor, not ring anchors. To the left was a bolted route with a steep/overhanging start, and to the right and up was a bolted route which passed above a large alcove. But this area looked nothing like the photo in the guide or on the page. The alcove area looked correct but there was a gully between the left route and the anchors and the right route, and when I followed that gully up and over it came to the Hidden Grotto. There is no comparable gulley in the photo between Bombs away and Kestral Dihedral.
I started up the right most route and went up three traversing bolts (easy but exposed) but due to uncertainty of what we were on and the fact that above me was an arete, not a dihedral, I decided to downclimb and back clean back to the anchors.
We returned to the ground, and continued left around the base of the rock and came to another highly featured route. This looked like it went to a small ledge with bolts overhead so I thought perhaps this was the 10.b, Lotion on Skin. I started up this route, but it was only about 5.6-5.7? with about 6 bolts to a anchor. There were no other routes anywhere near us.

Any idea where we got confused? Is the beta photo for Bomb's etc just wrong?

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 621

I think I just figure out that the last route we did was RyBolski, 5.8, on the Getway.

Brandt Allen · · Joshua Tree, Cal · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 215

A while back I had much the same confusing experience as you. On Cos. Mem. Butt. 40 feet or so up off ground, we tried the left bolted route with the steep start, which we figured was Dita's Play House, and couldn't get past the second bolt (even though we can usually manage 5.9+). We looked left but didn't see anything where Kestrel Dihedral should have been; we probably should have gone farther left.

To access these routes we had climbed what we believed was It Puts the Lotion on it's Skin, But it was far easier than 5.10b, more like 5.7 or 5.8 depending on exactly what start one uses.

If you did Rybolski (a very good route I thought was 5.7) at the Getaway I think you would have had to go for 10 minutes or so around left.

Hopefully drjman will be able to help clear this up.

It might be helpful to move this to the Cos. Mem. Butt. page in the New Jack section.

drjman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 2,441


The route with the open shuts is Bomb's away. Behind it is that gully you describe. On the wall across the gully and behind Bomb's away is where Dita's Playhouse and Kestrel Dihedral are located. To start all of these, you either need to scramble up to the alcove/gully or climb It Puts The Lotion On Its Skin, which is around to the left of the start of the scramble.

The way the rock blends together in the picture in the book definitely hides the gully that exists up there.

Those short pieces of chain anchors at the top of the scramble are for rapping down from that upper area.

If you were to continue left around the base past the point you scrambled up, you would find It Puts The Lotion On Its Skin. That route faces West and is about 5.7 or so. It is incorrect in the book.

RyBolski is on The Getaway and located in the East canyon, far from where you were.

I hope that helps clear it up. It's difficult area to describe.

drjman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 2,441

I added a photo with more detail and desctriptions on the SC Memorial Buttress page.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 621

Thanks, that photo does clear up what we were on. The original photo makes them look like they are all on the same formation, when in fact they are separated by the gulley.

It might help to correct the rating for Lotion/Skin on the MP page?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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