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Routes in Chimney Rock - East Face

Blind Ambition T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Flue, Right, The T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Flue, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Raven's Reach T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: John Wolfe and Dick James, February 1969
Page Views: 4,000 total · 21/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jul 5, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The route beings with vertical face past several horizontals (gear to 1.5") to a step left into a long right-slanting hand crack. Midway up the crack step right a bit and employ a combination of crack and face climbing which leads one to a large ledge with bolted anchors.

This is an often overlooked route that is on par with some of the more popular Hidden Valley classics that often have a line of people on them. If you haven't done this climb check it out - you may be pleasantly surprised.


Located on the East Face of Chimney Rock and identifiable as a right-slanting crack leading to a large ledge just right of the namesake "chimney" which splits the rock.


Gear to 3". Belay/rap anchor (3/8') on ledge.
Joe Hunt
Costa Mesa, CA
  5.8- PG13
Joe Hunt   Costa Mesa, CA
  5.8- PG13
"way to grainy to be considered a classic IMO"

I thought that the first time up it, too. But, after four laps on it I'm calling it pretty classic. :) Automatic toprope for Blind Ambition, too! Apr 15, 2015
Brian Martin
Bend, OR
Brian Martin   Bend, OR
The pro at the beginning is a little tricky, but it's bomber. I thought the crux came closer to the top as the crack became very shallow and flared. Fun route right outside the tent. Dec 22, 2013
Brian Chastain
Brian Chastain  
I saw two different groups after I lead it go up and back down. They would probably call it something harder, but if you sit around and look for gear that isn't there in the beginning, you'll get pumped and think the same thing. Just climb up to the crack and then place gear. The climbing is easy. If you are at your grade, climb something you can get adequate gear in closer to the ground.

Andy's comment above is misleading. You climb about 18 feet until you hit the main crack and it diagonals right. It is certainly no 40 feet as the whole climb is like 60 feet. No left traverse is in this thing. There is a .75 C4 placement, but if you do place it will be very poor as they are too wide for this pod. A tricam would be better (larger than the blue tricam). I don't own any or use them, but I suggested it and that was the largest size the group after us had and it was not big enough.

Really fun climb though. Perfect to get you warmed up for Blind Ambition. Feb 4, 2013
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
I did white lightening "5.7", double cross "5.7+ - 5.8", and hands off "5.8" and I thought this was the easiest one of the bunch with white lightening being the hardest. Mar 17, 2012
Simon H
Oakland, CA
Simon H   Oakland, CA
There is definitely a trick to this route - a much harder and scarier onsight than it is a repeat lead. Mar 14, 2012
Sherman oaks, ca
BrendanC   Sherman oaks, ca
Start is bouldery/pumpy to protect but the pro is good. Took the left of the two cracks towards the top as it felt like the most natural line. Didn't seem too dirty to me. Fun route. Bolted anchor. Difficulty felt consistent with Continuum / Dinky Doinks. i.e -- 5.8's that are one more hard move away from 5.9. May 14, 2011
Johnny Ice
Tucson, AZ
Johnny Ice   Tucson, AZ
So fun!! Seemed a lot easier than I thought it'd be, double cross seemed more difficult to me. It was cool. Mar 30, 2011
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Technically interesting, spicy at the start, exposed at the top with some very good moves. I think it's one of the better 5.8's I've done at JTree. Feb 12, 2010
Chris M
Seattle, WA
Chris M   Seattle, WA
Did this route per a friend's reccomendation. Found myself wondering if I had even gotten on the right route... way to grainy to be considered a classic IMO. Plenty of other routes in the park at the grade that are much more fun/aesthetic/worthwhile. Oct 26, 2009
Brian Hench
Costa Mesa, CA
5.9+ PG13
Brian Hench   Costa Mesa, CA
5.9+ PG13
A classic Joshua Tree Sandbag. 5.8 the same way Leaping Leaner is 5.6. Mar 4, 2009
Darren D.
Darren D.  
If this is a classic J-Tree climb for the grade, there must not be a lot of good 5.8's in the park. I might do it again because the rap was so convenient. Apr 12, 2007
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.8+ R
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.8+ R
As Vogel says in his latest guide, this climb is classic Josh 5.8 for the grade. Don't jump on this unless you are solid on 5.8, as the protection in the first 40 feet - while available - is not straightforward and sections ultimately have ground fall potential.

I found a 0.75 Camalot useful in the first pod, and then got opposed RPs about 20 feet later (protecting the leftward traverse).

An OK climb IMO, but no where close to a favorite 5.8 in the park for me. Apr 7, 2007
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
Fun route. I don't think it's any better than the classics mentioned in the intro, but it's worth all the stars in the guide. Would recommend carrying your tiny cams for this one. There are a few thin horizontal slots down low before you get into the main crack system that would eat cams smaller than finger size. I didn't take anything smaller than a green alien and was kind of wishing I had....there's pro without the small stuff, it's just a little funky.

Take a look at the bolted face route "Blind Ambition" to the right on your way's another good one while you're there. Jan 25, 2007
oxnard, ca
wes   oxnard, ca
I think this climb is a must do. Save your big gear for the top part like #3 or 3.5 one of the best 5.8 i have lead. Sep 20, 2006
I found the start difficult to protect but the situation improves further up. Dec 5, 2004

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