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Routes in The Sentinel - West Face

Butt Buttress, The S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Centipede, The T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Chameleon, The T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Desert Song T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Flared Bear T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Great White Buffalo T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Illusion Dweller T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Not for Loan T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rubberfat Syndrome, The TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Some Like It Hot T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Where Eagles Dare T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Where Janitors Dare T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Worms in Your Brain T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
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Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: Matt Cox, Spencer Lennard and Steve Emerson, 1973
Page Views: 44,169 total · 262/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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Climb the obvious right-slanting crack using jams and lieback moves (it's often easier to keep one foot on the face for balance) until encountering a roof high on the route. A good rest is found here, so plug in some gear and pull the roof (crux) before topping out onto a nice ledge with a bolted anchor/rap. 100' rap from anchors or one can continue above the anchors and descend the slabby south face of the formation. Note: don't try rappelling with anything less than a 60 meter rope as it won't reach.

This excellent climb is a Josh classic and a must do route of the area as it's a long, varied pitch on good rock with a tricky start, a fun middle section and an exciting finish.

  • Some climbers may remember seeing this climb featured on the cover of the 1989 Joshua Tree supplemental guide. Another name for this climb is The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, the name of a 1965 novel by Tom Wolfe.

There's a beer named after this route?

Mountain Sun Pubs & Brewery - "Just like one of the best climbs at Joshua Tree, this IPA, chock full of UK Kent Golding hops, is not only beautiful to look at, but after quaffing a few pints, you’ll have that same satisfaction as if you were pulling that final crux move at the end of the climb. This beer is also dry hopped with whole flower, UK Kent Golding hops."


Located on the far right side of the west face of The Sentinel is this classic right-slanting crack (it's about 50' right from the base of Desert Song which starts behind some yuccas).


Gear to 3", bolted anchor/rap (3/8")


Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
All-in-all a very nice line which eats gear and is no threat to a compitent leader.

Each one of the several cruxes is well protected, mostly by medium-sized stoppers. Each crux has a nice rest afterwards as well, to keep someone pressing the grade from getting too pumped. Jul 15, 2002
advice for anyone who happens to poop there pants on the first 15 feet like myself...after you get to the first good hold teh difficulty significantly eases as your jams and feet become more secure. there are many, many good rests to place gear and the roof "crux" at the end has nice, gym-like holds. for me, the hardest parts were the begining and some insecure jams a litte more than midway up the wall. the flake left of the first jug 15 feet up is really lose and expands. Mar 31, 2003
Great gear all the way up. The first 15' section is technical requiring good body english. I could not just power through it. Though stiff, I would call this first section 5.9. The crack angles right so I was constantly looking for good right footholds and smeared a few times for the lack thereof. Rack: I used a double set of cams from .5" - 3". Tri cams at the belay and a two bolt rap station exists at the ledge. Overall, a stellar must do route that has great pro. If you decide to top rope this route, use a trad anchor over the exit crack rather than the rap bolts. You will have to climb down 5' lower from the ledge to get to a nice horizontal crack where you can build an anchor. That way, when you pull the exit move over the roof, you won't run the risk of a short pendulum to the left where the bolted anchor is. Use good extension to avoid rope wear. Aug 20, 2003
The actual FA: was Cox, Lennard and Steve Emerson (not Gary Ayres). Also Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamlined Baby is the actual name given by the FA team. Tobin Sorenson and Jim Wilson made a second "first ascent" in 1974 (adding a bolt-which has long ago disappeared) and called thier supposed new route Illusion Dweller. Sorenson and Wilson were credited with the FA for a while, and the name stuck even after the FA info was (incorrectly) corrected.

It seems sort of wierd to proposed this, but perhaps I should correct the name in the new guide, giving an "aka Illusion Dweller." Not sure how that would go over with people after nearly 30 years, but as time goes on, it becomes likely this will never be corrected.

Poll anyone????? Oct 29, 2003
Yes, I am all for renaming the route. Hey, how about "Monkey on my Back" instead of "Figures on a Landscape?"....while we are at it!!! Oct 30, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
"Tangerine Dweller"? Oct 30, 2003
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
Keep the name Illusion Dweller as that's how it's been known for so long but mention the original name as well.

There are many routes in Josh with multiple names (some are well known and some are not) - Heart Of Darkness (aka I'm Gassed) Stand And Deliver (aka Spanish Bombs) For Peter (aka Crystal City Underground) Riddles In The Dark (aka OK Crank) Total Generic Package (aka Mr. Swing) Chocolate Chips (aka Omaha Beach) Coarse And Buggy (aka Left Out) Equinox (aka Et Tu) Dehab Clinic (aka Lee's Health Studio) Fatty Winds His Neck Out (aka Locals Only) Mama Woolsey (Effigy) Wonderful World Of Art (aka The Gerbilator) Buttered Croissant (aka Dummy's Triangle and Chongo Bolt Route) Dynamic Panic (aka East Xing Direct) Bolt Heaven (aka Dry Cleaning) Adams Family (aka Get Right Or Get Left) The Mojus (aka Slushie) Pinched Rib (aka Snake Dike and Death Dike)

and even some formations - The Old Woman (aka North Fourth) The Negropolis (aka The Naygropolis)

There's more but you get the idea. Oct 30, 2003
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
I feel the first few moves are by far the hardest on this route. Getting off the ground is not obvious, nor easy. I think these moves are way too bouldery to be called "5.9"; the supposed crux at the roof, although definitely 5.10, is no where near as hard as the start--just exposed. Don't be deterred by those first moves. Nov 12, 2003
Steven Powers
Steven Powers  
Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamlined Baby, all the way, its a great name for a great climb. Nov 15, 2003
This route deserves all five of its stars. The first 15 feet is not all that hard if you're a good crack climber. If you're not a good crack climber it's a nightmare. I've watched a lot of climbers on this route, and no one seems to climb it the same way. The final 10b boulder move at the top regularly spits out leaders, probably because they're pretty tired. Jan 6, 2004
I climbed it today for the first time. There was quite a bit of rubber slime on the first fifteen feet which didn't help. All in all a fine route. I popped a couple of times at the top due to hand and arm fatigue. Small tri-cams in the crux-crack are bombers. Apr 30, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Hey this climb's so well known as "Illusion Dweller" that there's a beer named after it (OK it's just a brew pub in Boulder, but they do have an "Illusion Dweller IPA", but it's stated on the menu that it's named after a climb). Anyway, I say keep this name, it's way easier to say. Do you really want to tell people you did "Kandy Koated blah blah blah Baby" today (see I already forgot it). Illusion Dweller sounds pretty cool. Jun 23, 2004
Adam D
Los Osos, CA
Adam D   Los Osos, CA
I too thought the start was a little stiff. 10a maybe, and you have to climb a bit to get pro. When I grabbed the loose flake left of the crack on the start "ooh...that's hollow!" The fool in the gallery watching me dropped the brilliant comment, "if it blows you can take it home as a souvenir" No if it blows, i'll deck and wing it at you on my way bubs.

Nov 3, 2004
locker buddy: how can you rate the route if you didn't do the crux... hummmmm???!!! Nov 6, 2004
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
Gnat, it is 5.10b. I say that confidently. It is a long story. But I had the move the first try............then something beyond my control occured.........then I got injured and had to be lowered. The whole thing was really something. I would like to say that if any of you reading this was the party opposite us on Run for your life, thanks for the encouraging words and I hope you found it at least pretty entertaining.........and to bump the story up a notch.............all of what took place lasted well over four hours and more like really was a mess and was really way to put it in words other than...........I'm glad it is over now to go back and do it clean.........................oh and it's nice to be alive.................... Nov 6, 2004
Mike Hack  
Did anyone else think this roof ("crux" at 10a/b) was much easier than the roof on RollerBall, whose 10b crux is supposed to be the lower technical section? Nov 8, 2004
Great route, very popular. We found some trash at the bottom of the route... Nov 8, 2004
I agree that Rollerball is much harder than Illusion Dweller. I also think that Rollerball is harder than Clean and Jerk, but YMMV... Nov 8, 2004
Bo Johnston  
I was stressing about the crux as I jammed the long way up to the 10b finish and was relieved to find that the hardest work was everything before it. Feb 5, 2005
Great pitch almost as good as the Split Pillar at Squamish. Finger sized gear at the finish. I tried to clean it on rappel and with some contortions got all but a 20 year old blue Metolius tricam. Hope someone who reads about it here gets it :) Apr 5, 2005
the first 15 feet was the mental crux for me. a very nice right angling line in a beautiful area warrants a definite three star classic. Apr 5, 2005
A little mind game here, something I've wondered about with other routes as well; If the crux overhang were the first move, when one was fresh, instead of the last, would this route be easier? Apr 6, 2005
Adam Catalano
Albany, New York
Adam Catalano   Albany, New York
The roof crux wasn't bad at all. Definitely would be a lower grade if it was at the start of the climb. However, because of all the climbing before, it did warrent a hang for a second. Commit to lay it back and power through it. I think I found myself leaning left up the majority of the climb even though the crack leans right. Awkward huh.
Don't try to lower off the bolts and have a second clean. You'll be about 10 feet off the ground if you're using a 60 meter. Feb 20, 2006
Mike   Phoenix
This is one of my favorite J-Tree climbs. I have it pretty much wired by now, but the crux for me was always in the lower middle section. I never thought the start was that tough, and the "crux" finish is only the crux because of fatigue. Sep 18, 2006
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Led the route for the first time today. Haven't been on it in at least 5 years. I remembered the leaning crack being difficult so I was all psyched up for that. Figured the upper section would be easy as it's a lieback. Turns out after I completely sewed up the lower section (16 pieces was the final count) I must have run out of steam and ended up hanging at the top. I suck and nerves got the better of me. I'll be back and post my progress. Less gear & no hangs.

~Susan Feb 24, 2007
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
If you are tall, the roof will feel easy compared to the rest of the route. It felt like Gunks 5.8+.

One of the best 5.10 cracks that I have done. Mar 24, 2007
Brad G  
The first part felt really hard and sandbagged the middle was kind of boring but the roof was classic. Sep 24, 2007
armand rollice
rancho cucamonga
armand rollice   rancho cucamonga
What can I say very very classic route. The gear is good the whole way. The crux at the top was commiting, but your well protected with gear below. It was my goal to lead this for a long time. When i finally did. I had a blast! I sent it clean styled the moves all the way to the top. When it was all over and rapped to the ground. I saw this beautiful woman standing there watching me. Well four months later we returned to the base of Illusion Dweller. I asked her to marry me. Eight months later we got married under the oak tree at Live oak picnic area October 7th 2006 Feb 27, 2008
laguna beach, ca
Shipp   laguna beach, ca
Did this climb 20 or so years ago and then again a couple of months ago. It seemed easier back then (getting old sucks). Bottom is 5.10a and the top exit move is 5.10b gym style. You can sew-up the climb the whole way. one of the top 3 best moderate cracks in the park. Jan 28, 2009
AWinters   NH  
superb! felt like a model 10b to me. surely not a 10a. this would get 10b/c at a lot of other crags. pump factor, balancy and awkward in spots, crux finish. full-value fun climbing... Jan 29, 2009
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
I have a hard time grading this route. It is definitely sustained climbing, but at 6'4" the crux at the top felt soft for .10b and although the crux off the ground was still a bit tricky, I still don't feel like it was .10b.

Either way, this is a classic Jtree route and one not to be missed.

Place good gear at the start, when my buddy attempted to lead this a few years ago, he slipped off the starting crux and his gear pulled, sending him directly onto the Yucca below. Apr 8, 2009
Pat C
Pat C   Honolulu
This route is .10a, and awesome. Just gotta be in the zone for it. The first time I lead it I had to set an anchor twice! I was so scared and hyped up that I made it a three pitch climb! Today I went back (after being punished by fisticuffs) and was feeling great, it was fast and engaging and amazing! Definitely a super climb, but again I can't say that I found anything harder than .10a on it. May 22, 2009
Ian G.
Ian G.   PDX, OR
The top crux protects perfectly and isn't that hard depending on how much rodent/bird poop is in the dish you're going for. Unfortunately, there was a lot of poop there when I did it...and subsequently fell. Aug 27, 2009
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
I am fascinated at all the diverse comments and varying opinions about "where the crux is"!

The first 15-20 feet were not that cruxy to me; I had solid hand and foot jams the whole way. I felt much more desperate on the upper third as you're getting close to the roof--there was a wide but shallow section here that left me doing gripping hand stacks while making more of those weird-balance angling moves.

Ultimately, the roof did prove to be the crux for me I guess; I blew my onsight here. :( Fatigue was definitely a factor! Fantastic route however!! Nov 19, 2009
Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
Brian Prince   morro bay, ca
Armando! You doggedy dog man nicely done! Congrats Feb 5, 2011
Just did this again for the first time in about 25 years. Was as good as I remembered it to be.

Crux is definitely at the top, not that hard, but a bit bouldery and the place where you need to be to figure out the moves is not exactly a rest. I think the 10b rating is spot on. Reach factors into the difficulty as well. Apr 11, 2011
I felt the hardest part was placing good gear at the start to keep from decking. Finding stances to pro from in the first 20 feet was strenuous. Other than that, it's a great route although it feels like a gimme 10b. May 6, 2011
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
^^^Well, it sorta is a gimme 10b, Benjamin, the new Vogel guide calls it 10a/b. I guess that's a fair summation, although I am not completely at home with slash grades myself. I've definitely done 10a's in Josh I thought were as hard as Illusion Dweller (Taxman, for one) or maybe harder. Jan 17, 2012
Only pushes 10b because of the length, 10a overall with the main crux at the bottom. I didn't find the top too hard at all. A brown tri-cam fits perfectly in the slot under the roof. Jan 20, 2012
Pitty   Marbach
loved to see my friend following the whole crack without jamming, think this must be a 12b or more like this :-) Nov 28, 2012
Kevin Dahlstrom
Fort Worth, TX
Kevin Dahlstrom   Fort Worth, TX
First Ascent by an NFL lineman:… Dec 11, 2012
Scott Scharfenberg
Santa Barbara, CA
Scott Scharfenberg   Santa Barbara, CA
This was my first 5.10 trad lead and I somehow managed an onsight! Awesome climb.

I'm 6'2" with fairly large hands. The first 15-20 feet were the most technical for me, as it was a bit thin for my hands. After that, I felt it was a sheer test of endurance. Fortunately I found good stances every few moves and was able to really sew up the route. This crack really does eat up pro.

There is an amazing stance to shake out on before busting the final moves up to the roof pull. I must've sat there for 3-5 minutes. Plenty of good pro at that stance too, especially if you reach up high. Knowing that there were jugs somewhere over the roof and being tall made it significantly less of a challenge--other than being weak from exhaustion I had no problem pulling the roof.

Definitely a memorable climb. I'd love to come back when I'm stronger and do the route with proper style instead of just grunting and thrashing my way up. Dec 2, 2013
Klaas   Goleta
A fantastic line! Well sustained but good restspots! Led it without falling until the roof. There after the third try I finally made it. Watch for a very small knob for your left foot. Protects perfectly with doubles C4 from .4-3 and TCU 1 and 2 and a set of nuts.
You also can clean the route while rapelling if you do not have a follower. Use a 70m rope and prussik backup and let your belayer have you on belay on one strand so that you cant swing off to the right. Apr 21, 2015
Amazing route! Please be careful pulling on the flake at the beginning of this route. Just climbed it this past week and its very loose. If it pops off that will be bad for the belayer. Feb 17, 2016
Bradley Gorsline
Pasadena, CA
Bradley Gorsline   Pasadena, CA
Great route, sustained hard moves with good rests and great pro the whole way. I did a very inelegant beached whale move to surmount the roof, definitely not the way to go. Our 60m rope just barely made it to the ground (actually a small tree off right) with rope stretch. Apr 24, 2016
King Tut
Citrus Heights
King Tut   Citrus Heights
Sorry, this is a good climb but in Yosemite it is "that grainy thing with a grovel finish that no one does" and in the Needles its a "complete pile, not worth it" lol. Very pretty location ie desert Arroyo and garden etc, but not some mega route.

Also, the route should be renamed to what the true FA party desires. There is no poll to take other than their desires. Sep 13, 2016
Redondo Beach, CA
pkeds   Redondo Beach, CA
@kingtut...let me just take a giant dump all over this route and josh...Yosemite is better...rabble rabble rabble Nov 22, 2016
King Tut
Citrus Heights
King Tut   Citrus Heights
@pkeds: Sorry dude. Try to get to other areas. FWIW I think Josh is stunningly beautiful and awesome. There are true classics there, but this is not a true classic, imo. Merely a good route and watch out for that loose flake... No frickin' way this is 4 stars just like Thin Ice or the first pitch of Outer Limits. Those are like 10 stars in comparison. Dec 1, 2016
Redondo Beach, CA
pkeds   Redondo Beach, CA
@King Tut

I have and get out to other areas all the time. Trust me, if the weather is nice and i can swing the time, id choose sierras (Needles, Yosemite, etc) any day of the week over Josh. I dont think anyone here would say this is better or as good as thin ice. For josh though, i personally think this route is a classic. its long, sustained, cool position, fun crux right at the top, and the rock is good for the area. if everything was rated as a 2 stars to bomb in josh because it isnt as good as yosemite, how would you differentiate climbs? its relative to the area. a 4 star in one area isnt the same as a 4 star in another. it seemed like you just took an arbitrary dump on this area classic to prove your point josh isnt as good as yosemite. well done. Dec 5, 2016
King Tut
Citrus Heights
King Tut   Citrus Heights
@pkeds. The Star System has no "relative to the area" caveat/feature though I grant you, people that haven't gotten around tend to use it that way. Honestly, JT is *more fun* than much of Yosemite for fun "lite" cragging on small features that also are set in an awesome desert landscape. But this route is not even close to Figures on a Landscape or Run for Your Life etc. that would be 4 stars anywhere. THAT is my point. 2.5 stars. Good, but not Great and certainly not an enduring Classic as compared to even other Josh routes other than the setting. Dec 14, 2016
I remember this route, it was great fun climbing it with my buds Feb 9, 2017
Derek Field
Derek Field   California
Mega-classic! Cruxes at bottom and top; enduro-5.9 between. Hungry bugger ate just about every last piece of gear I had, and I believe I took doubles. All I had left at the roof was a .5 camalot and a purple TCU. Fortunately, this happens to be the ideal combo to protect those moves. Go figure! Feb 27, 2017
Comparing one place to another seems, illogical. They are different places. It more logical to compare climb to climb in the same area. Mar 16, 2017
King Tut
Citrus Heights
King Tut   Citrus Heights
@Marcus it is not illogical to compare one place to another when the same rating system for quality is used. Apr 4, 2017
Sean Cooney  
An ultra-classic without any qualification. It has quality pro, stellar moves moves from start to finish, and three distinct cruxes (for me at least, it was the bottom, a section above the second rest where the crack flared then went wide without good feet, and the top).

As far as star grades go, I advocate for a hybrid universal-relative grading system. What I mean by that is that it's certainly fine to compare climbs between areas, but take the time to get used to an area and its style before you go crapping all over a climb (I too once hated on JTree for this reason, but then I got enough routes under my belt and it all clicked). I enjoyed this route as much, if not more, than routes like Serenity Crack.

I strongly suspect that those who have crapped on this and other JTree classics came to JTree, climbed a couple of routes on their check-the-box visit and got frustrated by how technical and strenuous the crack climbing is.
Aug 14, 2017
Daniel Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Evans   Phoenix, AZ
If the crux of Bird of Fire is 10a, then the top out on this is 10b. This felt equally as hard as Taxman, which I would argue is a sandbag at 10a. Slash grades are dumb. I worked harder on this then Sidewinder or Poodles are people too. Like Rubicon, which is 10c due to the sustained nature of 10a moves, this route deserves a 10b rating for the same reason. It is also certainly a classic for the park. Not overrated in my opinion. Jan 7, 2018
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
Redemption climb. I tried onsighting a year ago, and let the flailing climber before me get into my head. I actually never fell on the route, though taking my way 2/3 up before dark-bailing was a worser fate. But now, everyone knows that I'm the guy who sent Illusion Dweller. Feb 2, 2018
Matt Hagny
Matt Hagny  
I will confirm that you need a 70m rope to rap this. Oct 26, 2018
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
I will confirm that I've rapped this route on a 60m. Oct 28, 2018

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