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JTree in Feb 2018

Original Post
Joe Ray · · Harmony · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

looking for information on where to go in JTree.  Beings that I've never been there and a guide book only tells you so much I figured I would ask.   I can lead around 5.7 trad and around 5.10 sport.  My partner is a little newer.  I need to find a good area to go that will fit both our abilities. Thanks for any info you can send my way!

Ann · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Hello Joe. My friend and I climbed JT last year. Awesome place! We stayed at Hidden Valley Campground (first-come, first-served) and just hiked to various climbing areas. Lots of trad/sport routes. Intersection Rock was my favorite, while my friend preferred Loose Lady and Coarse and Buggy. There's no water at JT so bring lots!! 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

The two main Joshua Tree guidebooks will tell you more than any response on MP. Get either the Vogel or Miramontes guidebooks for a wealth of information. The local climbing store, Nomad Ventures, will have them.

Ann · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

FrankPS  is definitely right. We had Vogel's (my partner's preference) and Bob Gaines' (I likey!:) guidebooks. Have Fun!!

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40

There are many great options at every skill level. A few general things to keep in mind:

As you have probably read already, J-Tree routes can feel hard for the grade. In addition, the "sport" routes there are generally run out between bolts. Start on something easy and work your way up.

There are not many bolted anchors, so it's very important to be proficient at setting anchors with gear.

February nights there are long and chilly. If you camp, bring a lot of firewood.

Happiegrrrl · · Gunks · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 60

A few years ago I published a mini-guide for travelers to JT, more geared on the logistics of the place rather than climbs to do(since the available guidebooks are very comprehensive). It was quite well received, and even survived to transition from being a "lens" on the now defunct Squidoo website to HubPages. They thought it was good enough that it gets a feature in their "Wander Wisdom" section.  I've run into dozens of climbers who have come or been to Joshua Tree that told me they used my guide to get their initial beta. Maybe you'll also find it helpful.  Here's the link:

JT can be intimidating to people on their first visit, and one can end up spending a LOT of time wandering around not quite sure where they are, or making their way to a specific area only to find a group camped out with a TR set up and an unwelcoming demeanor. The gear placements can sometimes be a little freaky, so it's a good idea to get used to the place on routes well within your ability. Especially if you are camped in Hidden Valley, or make your way around the campground around beer-thirty with some cold ones to share, you may be able to hook up with a few people who know their way around and can give you a little on the spot guidance/show you around. Even heading to an area like Hemingway(which would probably be a good fit for your level) and doing routes nearby the ones they are on can help make the first day go easier).

But, more than anything, Joshua Tree IS a very special place not only for the climbing but for the austere desert beauty and other-wordly rock formations. It's my crag away from crag, and I head that way each winter. I have been pining for it for the last few months already, even though I won't get out there until December.

Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,265

"There's no water at JT so bring lots"

There is a water dispensary at the Ranger booth (in between the bathrooms) 

Unless you enjoy crowds, avoid the areas around the campground. You may even find yourself waiting in line (In season). There are some 7000+ recorded routes. You will have ZERO problems finding tons of stuff for you and everyone else to enjoy.

If you don't want to go the guidebook route, this website (Mt Proj) has plenty. Also has that nifty feature that allows you to look up ratings and if it is a sport or "trad" route.

Have a BLAST!

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85

A VERY IMPORTANT excerpt from Happiegrrrl's article, all of which you should read.

It is tradition in Jtree that if someone has placed an article prominently within the campsite, it means "Occupied." This practice harkens back to the days when people came for the winter, without cars or much else. They might have a sleeping bag and pad stowed in a rock crevice.

So, if you see a fuel canister or similar thing set lonely dead center on the picnic table, think real hard before making yourself cozy, thinking "Wow! I can't believe this great site is the only one open!

First time at Jtree is a learning experience. Come with an open mind and you will be rewarded on many fronts.

Sean Kelley · · Westlake, California · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
caesar.salad wrote:

A VERY IMPORTANT excerpt from Happiegrrrl's article, all of which you should read.

First time at Jtree is a learning experience. Come with an open mind and you will be rewarded on many fronts.

Facts. Don't chase grades.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 160

Just go to hidden valley and ask people. That's all you need to do.

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85

Also, the coyote's name is Patches. Haze don't praise.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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