Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Gary Ayres and Steve Skinner, November 1974
Page Views: 3,581 total · 18/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jul 11, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Climb up the inviting crack/flake to a point about halfway up the face where it ends, load up some gear, and then run-it-out all the way to bolted anchors. Make sure you're solid at the grade because falling is probably best avoided on the upepr section of this route. Two stars out of five.


About 15' right of Zardoz at an obvious flake.


Gear to 2.5 inches, 2 bolt anchor/rap (shared with Zardoz)
Steve Powell
Steve Powell  
Led this route yesterday, 4/27/03. One of my favorite Josh routes. Falling is not an option, and you need to be a good face climber. The crack is a lot of fun also and takes good gear. Good, solid rock, clean finger crack to lieback. Face offers good friction. Found the rating to be correct

If you have any doubts about your ability on runout face climbs, one should not lead this route. Some friends of mine feel that there needs to be a bolt between the crack and the anchors. Apr 28, 2003
Some friends of mine think the crack should be filled with concrete so as not to ruin a great runout face climb. Apr 28, 2003
I think the crag should be dynamited so the crack runs all the way to the top. Finger size preferred. Apr 29, 2003
So instead of retrobolting face climbs, we could begin to retro crack them. This could be the movement of the future! Apr 29, 2003
Nice crack. Fun face climbing and falling is not an option. Not for the beginning 5.7 leader. An added bolt would increase traffic on this route and perhaps shorten lines at others. An added crack would shorten lines since most people I know don't know crack.

The start was a bit hard for 5.7. Aug 21, 2003
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
the "Runout" is no big deal. The route is ok May 12, 2004
Totally fun route. Nice finger jams and laybacking.Killer pro placements. The runout face is a blast(nice and scoopy), scary but not impossible. Great way to toprope The Classic Diamond Dogs and the runout Zardoz. Oct 1, 2004
I forgot, a bolt on the face would definately ruin this climb! Oct 1, 2004
Kenton Card
Washington DC
Kenton Card   Washington DC
After only about 3 previous trad leads a friend of mine named Jeff decided to try this "cool" line as we walked over to TR Janes Addiction. He thought this "cool" line would have a bolt up high and even though i disagreed he decided to find out. 30 ft past the crack he started to believe me that there was no bolt. The funny thing was that as he was up high, begining to freak out before reaching the anchors, he had heard me say to another novice friend of mine how if he ate shit here he would hit the deck for sure. Apr 25, 2005
I dont normally post stuff, but this was a great route. getting pushed around by strong winds halfway between the anchor and the 3 aliens(red,yellow,green) that I stuffed in the crack made the route exciting. Falling is not an option on this climb. I remember manteling knob was a little unnerving (chris parks) I think the FT's ( read this as F' ing Tourists were wondering why I was sticking all the " gear " I had in the crack below the anchors. If they were around earlier I was coaching my belayer on running like hell if I blew out of the thing! Jan 2, 2006
Pat W  
Regardless, this route is 5.7X. The initial section is nice secure fingers, but above, falling is not an option. The upper slab is fun and committing, but not for novice moderate leaders. A fall up high = dirt nap. Jan 27, 2007
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
Only TR'd it but checked the placements on the way up. Can't wait to lead it 'cause I'll never lead Zardoz again! (yecchh) Apr 8, 2007
Gary Schenk
  5.7 R
Gary Schenk  
  5.7 R
This climb deserves every star it gets. I led it first thing Saturday morning, March 1. The finger crack was fun, but I was seriously contemplating helicopter rescue about half way up the face.

I spent the rest of the day in an adrenaline haze. It was such a fun route, there was no point in doing anything else that day! We did use the anchors to top rope Zardoz and Diamond Dogs.

This is a great climb and an exciting lead. Mar 3, 2008
Rodger Raubach
  5.7 R
Rodger Raubach  
  5.7 R
This climb lends new meaning to the old saying :"the leader must not fall." Other than that, it isn't bad for a leader solid at the grade. I found the initial crack to be very nice, but I'm seriously more of a face climber and enjoyed the runout. The crack eats pro. Adding a bolt would ruin the excitement of this climb! Feb 19, 2011
Adam Stackhouse

  5.7 X
Adam Stackhouse    
  5.7 X
Not really sure how this climb can't be considered as an X. I suppose one could survive the fall but the mess of all the internal bleeding would be leave one pretty frail. Nov 1, 2012
Dave Chapman
So Calif
Dave Chapman   So Calif
I could swear BITD (mid 90's?) it did have a bolt about about halfway up the face?? Seemed like the runout wasnt too bad after this point as the steepness really eased up. Jan 23, 2013
Gotta agree with Dave on this one: There was a single bolt between the crack and the anchors. I took many climbing classes here during the winters of '89-'91, and we'd run clients up this route all day. I'd thread the rope through a biner on that lone bolt to keep the rope in line with the base, and I have it drawn on the photo of the route in my purple 1986 Vogel guide book. I know a bolt was there, for SURE.

If there is no bolt there, then IT NEEDS TO BE REPLACED, So the next time you do this route keep a sharp eye out for either a hole or a busted off rusty stud about 20 feet above the end of the crack, right about where you'd start heading left to join the upper half of Zardoz.

No need to keep this terrific route without the fixed protection I KNOW it once had. Apr 12, 2015
Brandt Allen
Joshua Tree, Cal
Brandt Allen   Joshua Tree, Cal
There was never a bolt on this route. My '79 Wolfe guide and '92 Vogel guide specifically mention the unprotected face above the crack. There is a 5.4ish move a ways above the top of the crack, but there are plenty of worse runouts to be found on other routes here in JT. Apr 14, 2015
I led this route back in the 70's and guided many, many clients up it, and though it is not specifically mentioned, there was a bolt above that crack. It was there when I led it a long time ago, and it was there in the early 90's. I penned the beta for it into the photo of the route in my '86 Vogel Guide (the purple one), and even with that bolt you will STILL have to run it out another 40 feet or so to the anchors, and THAT is the run-out described in the '79, '86 and '92 guides.

About 15-20 feet above the "ghost" bolt the angle really drops off, and the difficulties ease to less than 5.0; so that bolt was driven to get the leader past the last of the "steep" slab above the crack.

I think it would be prudent for someone who cares to head back to this route and hunt around for the hole/busted stud...it is there...guaranteed!

In any case, there WAS a bolt, I clipped it, I used it as a directional for top ropes, and I think it should be replaced, which would return the route to its original condition. Why should only the super hard routes have descent protection? Why keep a really good moderate route in an artificially unsafe condition? Like I say, this route will still have a big run-out, even with a bolt in there, but the fall will be 20-40 feet rather than 80 feet... to a dirt nap.

Restore the route...replace the bolt. Apr 14, 2015
alex carey
Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 R
alex carey   Los Angeles, CA
  5.7 R
I brought cams thinking I'd be able to plug some from the route detail, but I ended up only using nuts for the entire route. It gets a 5.7 due to the crack but after that it dwindles quickly to a 5.4 slab and keeps getting easier. If you are at all used to Josh friction itll be no thing. Feb 6, 2017
Fernando Cal
Fernando Cal   CA, UT
Good crack, awesome typical josh slab. Even better leading during windy conditions! Make sure your belayer is not wearing sandals and is in flat ground in case you start to slide off so they can run (and hope your last pieces hold). Only had one .4 cam at the top of the crack, protects well. I didnt find traces of a bolt nor a need for a bolt, unless you're trying to push that grade. Oct 30, 2017
Bill Atkinson
Cambridge, MA
Bill Atkinson   Cambridge, MA
Bobo to the Rescue: wp.me/p6Isot-7q Apr 14, 2018
Cody Kaemmerlen
Encinitas, CA
  5.7 X
Cody Kaemmerlen   Encinitas, CA
  5.7 X
Loved this route. While I wouldn't recommend it as a first trad route, that's what I used it as, and it was amazing. The climb itself was not terribly difficult, but the mental control and exertion was (for me). I can't recall the last time I was at once so excited, thoughtful and scared. Basically, I'll always be stoked on this route!

I'd suggest upgrading from R to X, predicated upon the following as my understanding of R vs X:

If "R" is placed after the grade of a climb, it means that there exists the possibility of a longer fall, say 20 feet, onto good protection or perhaps a shorter fall onto more dubious protection that could pull. There is a fair chance of being hurt.
--In short, you're gonna have a bad day.

If "X" is placed after the grade of a climb it implies a very serious lead. A chance of an extremely long fall, a chance of ripping several pieces of protection out, a good chance of being very hurt, etc.
--In short, you're gonna have a bad month, year, or maybe game over. Apr 30, 2018