Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: Mark Powell, 1972
Page Views: 5,222 total · 26/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jun 20, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Well protected climbing at an accessible grade with a location front and center in Hidden Valley Campground means this is one popular route.

Edge and smear your way up the somewhat slippery face and don't forget gear for the belay. An easy downclimb exists to the left down a chimney.


Just left of Mama Woolsey on a smooth apron of rock.


6 bolts (3/8"), pro to 2.5" for anchors


M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Bring a small selection of gear for the anchor. The walk-off to the west involves some exposed downclimbing that beginners will not enjoy. Perhaps better to lower them from atop the route instead. Dec 7, 2002
Jamie Silliman
Folsom, CA
Jamie Silliman   Folsom, CA
The climb's a classic. Crux is at the top, I thought. Beautiful position. Getting off is another story. Downclimbing to the West looked too heinous (chimneying) to me. I headed to the entire opposite end of the rock and there's a horn there to rap on on the right side, off the East side as you're facing the back of the rock. Two raps with a single rope. It was an okay rappel. Not too hard a pull. We left a sling and a rap ring on the lower ledge. Some Josh rats hollered up that I could traverse a ledge system on the East side where I rapped, but it looked way exposed, though may be possible. Apr 14, 2003
We scrambled over the top and descended via "The Bong" descent route, which involves some tricky downclimbing. Dec 5, 2004
The Gray Tradster  
Can still do it so it's not C or better. It is more difficult than it used to be though, polished. Dec 22, 2004
Trevor Roberson
Joshua Tree, California
Trevor Roberson   Joshua Tree, California
Climbed this last weekend. Great route and good bolt placements except for the 5th bolt. You may be standing on that big ol' knob but if your 5'7" or under could be an interesting clip. I'm almost 5'8" and I had to do a half move using that left hand crimp and stand on my tip toes just to barely clip the darn thing! And with your last bolt a good 6 ft under you..... Yee ha! Whoever bolted that one had to be 6 foot! For me the crux was the orange rib at the 3rd bolt going to the 4th. Took me 2 tries to fire it. Next time I think a could cruise the whole thing whithout hangdogging! There was a lot of slings rapped around the chock stone near mama woolsey that we rapped off of. Be carefull, the angle wants to pitch you into the chimmney on the right or just descend over by the bong down all the chicken heads (a little exposed but pretty easy). You can see the descent from the function boulder (big square boulder with an old bolt ladder near campsite 26?) Mar 27, 2005
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
Due to the fact that this thing is polished I am going with 5.10c...I did it last week and it certainly has some really cool moves. Especially up a ways going over the bulge...........and the down climb is not that bad via the chimney to the west I think..............the one aimed away from the campground..........there are fixed slings around a boulder currently... but kind of crunchy and I did not use them.......... Jun 19, 2005
Woody Stark
Woody Stark  
This route continues to evolve. It's greasier that the last time I climbed it about three years ago. I'll call it a 10C now. Nov 22, 2005
tony grice  
A classic intro to the grade. Hang doggers delight. The walk off will get ya before the route will. Feb 13, 2006
This route has gotten harder over the years. Sep 23, 2006
Kellen Holt
Kellen Holt  
Thought the crux of this route was between bolts 1 and 2. After that the angle eases a very tad, and then once you hit the big basketball sized knob (great rest), the features and movements are a little more defined. Putting a bolt anchor at the top will always be a heated debate, but always bring a few hand sized cams to build a natural one in the perfect crack at the top. Easiest retreat is going back towards the bong and doing the walkoff back there. Nov 3, 2006
As for the anchor, you should be fine with just a standard set of nuts, no need to bring anything more if you're confident in setting passive pro. Nov 6, 2006
Well, someone decided to add a "permanent" anchor that I've never seen before. It consists of a long piece of steel cable wrapped around a boulder where people frequently rap from slings atop Papa Woolsey. About 20 feet of cable are slung around a boulder and secured with multiple screwdriver-tightened crimps. Two aluminum rap rings provide a place to put your rope. It's a decent idea, I guess, but there was far more cable up there than would be necessary and it really looks bad. On top of that, the crappy aluminum rap rings were used and the security of the cable connectors is hard to evaluate.

I kind of like this cable-sling idea for "permanent" rap slings as opposed to nylon slings if it were done right. But in this case it has been done poorly and looks bad. I didn't trust the mess and just did the walk-off.

Traversing past the chimney to the slab may be easier for some than downclimbing the wide crack. I honestly don't think either one is really very hard. Sep 10, 2007
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
Don't expect the new anchor to be there for long... Sep 10, 2007
I don't! Thanks to whomever cleans the mess up.

If you go to do it, bring a mid-sized flat & phillips head screwdriver and/or cable cutters. The cable is approximately 1/4" diameter (not that large) and should be easy to cut. Sep 10, 2007
Charles I.
Boulder, CO
Charles I.   Boulder, CO
The cables are not there anymore. Further, the chimney decent off the back next to Buisonier (climbers left) was not that bad at all, plenty of holds in there. Took about 2 minutes to get back to my shoes. Route was challenging at the bottom and pretty slick. Nov 5, 2007
Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly   work.
Yeah it's gone, got rid of it a couple weeks ago. Two Crescent wrenches took care of it just fine. Wish I took a picture to show what it looked like while strung up; it doesn't look near as bad in the picture:

Any news on when the escalator is getting installed? Nov 14, 2007
Drew Peterson
Drew Peterson  
I'm going to be the guy to introduce a "d" at the end of 5.10. It's thin. It's slick. It's a lot of fun. But yea... 5.10c/d. Jan 17, 2009
laguna beach, ca
Shipp   laguna beach, ca
This climb is such a classic slab route. The edges haven't changed in 30 years. Depending on the time of year and the traffic, the rating will vary from a hard 10a to 10c (depends on the grease). I did it the othe day and it was a hard 10a. Well protected. Mar 5, 2009
Gotta agree with atthecrux. The crux was no problem, but clipping that bolt off the horn was a bitch. I'm 5'7 and some change with a + ape index and also had to to the move off the horn before (barely) being able to clip the bolt.

Great climb though. Mar 27, 2009
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
Greasy and thin at crux between bolt 1 & 2. A hard move on a quality campground route. Nov 30, 2009
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Very fun route, and very well bolted. The closeness of the bolts should give you courage to go for it. The two cruxes for me were passing the second bolt, and leaving the large rest stance at the 2nd to last bolt. Dec 3, 2009
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
If this is 10C, what do we do with C.S. Special - also a 10B - which is easily a letter grade harder? Did I send a 10D slab? The simple answer is to just consider 10 slab hard. Jan 11, 2011
Jim Dover
Idyllwild, CA
Jim Dover   Idyllwild, CA
I found the crux to be at the start--possibly due to too many people shedding too much rubber trying to get up the thing on toprope just before us. Up high it didn't seem near as difficult. Nice climb. Mar 28, 2012
Flagstaff, AZ
DesertRat   Flagstaff, AZ
I agree that the crux is between bolts 3 & 4, or at least it was for me. It is also cruxy between 2 & 3 and a little heady above the last bolt as you make the last few moves to easier terrain.

I used a #1, #2 & #3 for an anchor at the top. Sep 3, 2014
I didn't find this polished or 10c. 10b at the worst or work on your slab skills. Feb 11, 2016
Carla Rosa
San Jose, CA
Carla Rosa   San Jose, CA
Felt like a solid 10b. After the last bolt you still gotta keep your head on because there aren't many features at the top and it's a ways to the anchor.

The crux for me was between the 2/3 bolt, super slippery. then at the big jug/knob it was really heady to reach that bolt... overall I really enjoyed this climb! The downclimb felt sketchier to me. Feb 13, 2017