Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 37,647 total · 187/month
Shared By: M. Morley on Jul 3, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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What a fun route! So much fun in fact that there was an entire institute established in Yucca Valley where all they do is sit around all day and talk about how great a route it is (and if you believe that...). But seriously, Mental Physics one of those routes you can climb again and again.

P1: Climb 120' of sweet jamming to 3-bolt anchor (2 of which are good, one is old 1/4" bolt w/SMC hanger - bad!). Either rap from here with 1 60-m rope and a bit of downclimbing, or continue up P2: face climb (5.4?) past one bolt to top.

Edit add: Start of second pitch is probably 5.6 or 5.7-ish for two or three moves. Once you're established, it gets easier, but the bolt is up there a ways (25 to 35 feet?). Be sure you're solid as it would be a really bad idea to fall on your belayer from up there!

You can rap Dazed and Confused in two easy raps w/60m rope.

Curious about the name? It comes from Mentalphysics, which is a spiritual retreat center located on the western edge of Joshua Tree, right off Highway 62.


Standard rack to 3", 60m (or better yet, 70m) rope.
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
A beautiful route in a beautiful setting. Passive pro works very well in this crack. The second pitch is completely different from the first crack pitch but should not be missed especially considering that the summit of Lenticular Dome is a great viewpoint, the walkoff descent is fine. Jan 5, 2003
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
Both this climb and Dazed And Confused can be done in a single pitch with a 60 meter rope. Apr 7, 2003
I hesitate to say this; however, since a few of my climbing friends agree with me, I feel this route, as good as it is, is no more than a solid six. One could screw it up above the crack and make a seven out of it--or more; but it's five six at the most. It's outstanding for someone learning to lead. May 27, 2003
Adam Stackhouse    
Very nice route. Yes, people do it barefoot, but who cares? The wander to the bolt on the second pitch is cool. One can examine DandC while leading this. Highly recommended. Jun 22, 2004
Splendiferous! Another must-do in my book. Worth the hike in, nice sun exposure, overall I was a happy camper. When I think of fun days, I think of that time with Mindy getting lost in San Fran and the day I climbed this route. Jun 22, 2004
Very fun climb that has that "way back there" feel to the location. Besides a couple of hikers, we didn't see anyone in this neck of the woods.

The crack on p1 is very fun and as stated earlier pros up with nuts and hexes very well. The second pitch is a little runout right off the belay, but eases up in difficulty quickly.

Will Oct 4, 2004
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
A very good route that's well worth the hike. It's highly recommended to lead this in a single pitch and then rap Dazed And Confused (5.9) to the left or (if that's occupied) do an easy scramble down slabs to the climber's left. Don't miss the great views of San Gorgonio from the summit! Four stars out of five. Feb 22, 2005
The second pitch seemed to me to be solid 5.7 for the first 10-12 feet past the two-bolt anchors, then it eased off to 5.4 for the next 15 feet to the only (bomber) protection bolt. From there to the top is also no more than 5.4. Dec 2, 2006
Joe M
Beckley, wv
Joe M   Beckley, wv
Such a great route! Definitely a must do. Very well protected. Most of the moves are probably 5.6 (with only a couple 5.7 thrown in), but given how continuous and sustained it is, I think it deserves a solid 5.7. Jan 11, 2009
Chris Winter
Portland, OR
Chris Winter   Portland, OR
Excellent route and highly recommended. Run the two pitches together and belay from the top off 2 #1 cams. Nov 8, 2009
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
Led this route last Sunday, my second or third 5.7 lead at Josh. Very interesting climbing with lots of options. Probably more a reflection of my (in)ability to spot gear placements than anything else, but the "60 favorite" guidebook says it eats gear; It might eat cams, but I found that placing passive pro was harder than some climbs I've done at this rating. Spent too long trying to place a tri-cam only to watch it pop out ten feet below me and ten feet above my last piece. There are tons of places to place gear if you're placing cams, but many of the spots where passive stuff will go is right where you want to put in a foot or toe jam.

Luckily, this is a climb with a lot of options. It's exposed, but the rock is so featured around the crack that it's pretty secure. Lots of fun! The walk in and the scramble to the base are a delight. A beautiful spot. Didn't see a soul from the parking lot to the climb and back on a beautiful day. Dec 20, 2009
ScooterV Valuikas
Chandler, AZ
ScooterV Valuikas   Chandler, AZ
guide book said 20 minute approach and it took me 45 with alittle pushing. Well worth the hike and I thought 5.7 was a fair grade for the park. some of the higher finger jams were fingertip laybacks for me and what a great climb. Dec 29, 2010
Atascadero, CA
FrankPS   Atascadero, CA
I'd agree with Hal regarding the second pitch. Fun, but the first 10 feet off the belay are unprotected 5.7/8 slab. Then it eases up, although still unprotected til the bolt which is another 15 feet up. Feb 11, 2011
Linked both pitches and belayed from the 2 bolt anchor atop D&C with a 60m.

"P1" was straightforward, almost entirely nuts. Didn't use anything bigger than a #1 BD C4. For "P2", from the 2 bolt anchor 100' up the character of the climb changes entirely and I had a hard time remembering if the single bolt visible 40' up was on route, as it trends left. Felt a bit runout getting to it.

Phenomenal climbing, exposure, and location. Well worth the trek. Nov 10, 2011
Zachary Wilson
Tucson, AZ
Zachary Wilson   Tucson, AZ
Such a quality route. Amazing crack just swallows gear. Nov 25, 2011
j moore
Santa Maria
j moore   Santa Maria
i thought it was really light for a 5.7. if you can lead 5.8 i dont think there should be any problem with this. i found overhanging bypass to be more difficult. i think i remember crux being about 3/4 way up. maybe a little more. Nov 13, 2012
David S.
San Francisco, CA
David S.   San Francisco, CA
My favorite climb and lead in Joshua Tree. Well worth the hike (the hike in and of itself is fantastic)- seeing San Gorgonio through one of the Wonderland canyons from the top of P1 is something that should profoundly impact your psyche. Amazing gear (cams and nuts alike!); solid, sustained 5.6-7 moves the whole way up. The length and purity are icing on the cake. (I hesitate to shower so much praise to avoid bringing any crowds to this beautiful spot)

Only did the first pitch. With a 70 m rope you can just barely do TR from the belay boulders but can rap out to one of the big dishes to the left of the crack. May 25, 2014
Kai Larson
Sandy, Utah
  5.7 PG13
Kai Larson   Sandy, Utah
  5.7 PG13
The 2nd pitch is slabby and very run out.

From the 2 bolt anchors at the top of the first pitch, it's probably 30+ feet to the first (only?) bolt. If you fall before you clip that bolt, you could take a 60+ foot factor 2 fall onto the belay, bouncing down the slab.

The first pitch is easily protected with a standard rack. I used medium and large cams (up to #3 Camalot) for the most part. If I'd had a #4, I would have placed it too. Nov 3, 2014
Very fun line, can be crowded. If there is no one waiting, this is a very fun line to speed climb...either on TR or leading. 80 seconds was our best for the first pitch! Dec 16, 2014
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
Matt N   Santa Barbara, CA
Worth going back to lead the slab and get to the 'summit'. Doing it in one pitch eliminates the chance of falling on, or factor 2'ing, on your belayer. Dec 22, 2014
First pitch takes great pro and is fantastic, never too difficult and certainly not 7+. Second pitch is typical Josh bullshit with 1 bolt on the entire pitch...totally unnecessary and stupid. Yes, the climbing is easy, but you're looking at a 60 ft FF2 onto the belay if you happen to pop off. In many places the hands are not great so you are looking at pure friction (albeit easy) for most of the pitch until it eases up significantly 15 feet or so after the only bolt.

I guess my head wasn't in it and/or I'm getting soft, but I just don't understand the logic in that style of bolting. Feb 22, 2016
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
Best 5.7 in the park. If this were in camp, no one would line up for Double Cross. Do the whole thing as one pitch and you'll never forget how fun it is! Jun 7, 2016
peter p
peter p  
Really awesome climb in a great setting.

Frequent mountain goat sightings later in the day.

I think going all the way to the top and doing the crazy descent (we do climbers right) is all part of the experience here. Oct 31, 2016
I think Randy vogel, Matt cox, Spencer leonard, Howard king made the 1st in 1975 Feb 9, 2017
Fernando Cal
Fernando Cal   CA, UT
Fun long first pitch with great moves and gear. Stuck nut about 25 feet below anchor. Mar 13, 2017
Wonderful climb! Crack takes great gear but it’s more of a face climb than a crack climb. BEWARE of the BOLTS on Pitch one. The left bolt was flexing and the rock is beginning to erode around it. Worth the hike! Mar 5, 2018
Max Shaffer
Boston, MA
Max Shaffer   Boston, MA
Waited in line for 2 hours to do this route after a 1 hour approach. Not worth it. This is a fine climb, but nothing to write home about. Hemingway Buttress has a few routes that are at least as good, with a much shorter approach. Nov 12, 2018
This climb was first climbed by randy vogal , Matt cox and Dave Evans in the mid 70s after being caught taking the mental physics sign out of the desert off the main hwy near yucca valley Jan 5, 2019