Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Don O'Kelley and Dave Davis, September 1971; FFA: John Long and others, December 1973
Page Views: 3,297 total · 19/month
Shared By: C Miller on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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On the south side of The Old Woman and 15' right of Orphan is this nice climb with a minimal approach and a variety of moves.

Start up a nice handcrack that arches up and right (crux) to meet a thin crack on a lower-angled ramp. Continue up the ramp with minimal protection as the crack peters out, until the top where a welcome bolt protects the last smeary moves to the top. You'll end up on the same ledge to belay as Toe Jam and it's neighboring routes; afterwards, move over 15' and rap off from bolted anchors atop Bearded Cabbage, circling back around the formation to reach your pack.

This route gets few stars in the guidebooks, but the climbing is good and there tends to be little traffic compared to some of the other nearby routes. Every bit as good as Orphan and not as thrutchy - have a go at it. One star out of five.


Gear to 3", bolt (3/8")
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
A good route with reasoanble pro. Better than others that got good reviews on this rock. How did someone give Orphan more stars in the book, even subjectively?

THis really is a 2-star route. A variety of nice technical moves here and there and overall good stone.

This route felt soft for J-tree 5.10a. It seems more like 5.9. Jan 6, 2003
For what it's worth, I think that Orphan is a better route on better rock with better gear, but it's just my opinion and hey, there's other things that everyone has one of too :) Jan 7, 2003
I agree this route had some poor rock on the traverse, but the jams that appear in the vertical crack feel great. If you're good on Josh friction, the top slab is straightforward, but I'm afraid I inadvertently sandbagged someone on it, as the crux is definitely down lower. Great climb! Jan 7, 2003
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
Compared to a 1000 other routes at Josh, this one isn't bad. It's one of those classic "lets just hang around here" kinda routes, along with Bearded Cabbage, the Spiderline, Chalk up Another and other decent HVC routes.Accepts decent gear and provides a few variables in movement. Myself and J Gipson Jun 4, 2004
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
"Brass Balls" and I did this one recently and I agree totally that it is one with some really fun moves. THe move from the arching crack to the vertical crack is a kick. Once you get in the vertical, it is straight forward crack to pretty easy friction. Too few moves to be awarded two stars by me. But close... Dec 10, 2004
I did this route recently and after doing it the standard way (via the arching crack) decided to TR the direct start up the face below the vertical crack. This involves some nice stemming up to a pinch followed by a traverse left of about 5 ft to the base of the vertical crack. There's no pro for the face moves so it's probably a TR only. Has anyone else done this? Jan 21, 2005
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
"A good route with reasoanble pro. Better than others that got good reviews on this rock. How did someone give Orphan more stars in the book, even subjectively?" - Tony B.

Because Orphan is better? Orphan has some good moves, a bit of variety, and decent rock... Dandelion just feels like an almost contrived traverse and isn't that memorable. Easy 10a lead, I guess, not something I plan on doing again. Dec 5, 2011
You can hardly compare Orphan and Dandelion. Totally different types of climbing. One finishing on thin crack and slab, the other offwidth and chimney. I think the move getting all limbs into the vertical crack can go 10a and if you stay right of the bolt and straight up, the slab bit can go 10a too. The problem is you are only talking about one move for the crack portion and two or so on the slab bit. Pretty contrived on the slab because you can bail out left for slab-easy low grade terrain. Definitely not the best in camp. Apr 1, 2013
Who remembers the Conga Line first free ascent? Must have been ten of us playing follow the leader behind John Long. Feb 10, 2018