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Routes in Sidewinder Rock - West Face

Diamondback T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Invisible Touch T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Jumping Jack Crack T 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
King Pin T 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Kingsnake T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Sidewinder T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Skinny Dip T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Venucian Fece T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: Kevin Worral & Eric Schoen, June 1974
Page Views: 8,789 total, 47/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jul 14, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Description

Begin in the center of the formation at a left-facing flake and climb up this to a bolt. Thin face past the bolt (crux) leads into a left-arching crack system and then a vertical crack which ends at the obvious dike. Mantle up, clip a bolt and then make a long, thought-provoking traverse up and left until able to reach the top.

To descend downclimb/leap across a gap to reach a pinnacle with rap anchors located to the climber's left.

This is another semi-classic route to do and one that won't soon be forgotten. Not as scary as it looks, it's still fairly sporty and thus not recommended unless solid at the grade.

Location

Approach from Hidden Valley Campground by skirting along the south end of The Blob and then following a trail along the west face (passing Hobbit Roof) to the mouth of Steve Canyon. As an alternative park on the Quail Springs Road (the main road) and follow a trail leading east towards The Blob and Steve Canyon.

Sidewinder climbs face and cracks up to an obvious left-slanting dike system on the large west-facing formation at the mouth of Steve Canyon.

Protection

2 bolts (3/8"), gear to 3"
Ryan Strickland
Idyllwild, CA
  5.10b/c PG13
Ryan Strickland   Idyllwild, CA
  5.10b/c PG13
I managed to take the fall midway through the traverse...wasn't too bad. I ended up back even with the roof. It was a clean fall, no problems. I even climbed everything up to there on-sight. I really just wasn't concentrating enough on my foot placement during the traverse and lost balance. Climbed back up and finished the route. Dec 7, 2015
dnaiscool  
 
CLASSIC JT...What is so cool about the traverse is that when the feet get thin, the hands get better, and when the hands get thin, the feet are OK...that's what makes the traverse 5.9. But that move at the first bolt is PDH IMO...harder than the moves on "Sundance" at Suicide or "Shit for Brains" at Tahquitz, which are .10b...and the holds continue to erode, so this part of the route looks nothing like it did back when it was put up. Apr 18, 2015
Russ Walling
www.FishProducts.com
  5.9
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
  5.9
The chopped bolt and subsequent hole was patched years ago. How is that fix holding up??? Jan 21, 2014
Aaron O
Seattle, WA
Aaron O   Seattle, WA
Did this route a couple of years ago with a buddy and fell at the first bolt on follow. I did the rest of the route clean and it replayed in my head for a solid year. After coming back the year after, I sent it clean and fought with every last bit to get the slab move past the first bolt. It was really windy that day, probably blowing at 30 MPH or a little more, but I didn't really think about how that would affect the traverse. It was pretty spooky, every time there was a gust I had to lay flat on the wall, and then scurry along as far as I could when it wasn't blowing. Probably my favorite route in JTree. Jan 21, 2014
AST
AST  
Great route. Thin slab crux down low going past first bolt.

Proper use of runners will keep the rope running a straight diagonal line and the leader won't have to contend with drag making them feel like they are being pulled back to the right.

Although both leader and follower have to contend with a possible pendulum fall, IMO the follower has an easier time of it since the traverse gets harder as you go. IOW, you are much less likely to come off at the start of the traverse as you are towards the end.

Resist the temptation to put the whole of your feet on the dike. Keep only your toes on as close to the edge as possible, so as to keep your upper body from wanting to tip backwards. Trust in your feet and don't over commit your left hand with long reaches past where your feet are.

Just did it for the second time (as follower) nearly 20 years after my first time (lead). Just as fun and thought provoking as I remember. Gets good sun towards 11am/noon onward. Nov 30, 2013
Tradiban
  5.10b PG13
Tradiban  
  5.10b PG13
Less than par rock on the first part keeps this from being classic, watch out for the sucker jug above the crack, it will make a widow out of some pretty lady someday. Nov 26, 2013
Chad Namolik
Three Rivers, CA
 
Chad Namolik   Three Rivers, CA
 
this is a good route. 3 stars. very exciting traverse at 2nd bolt is 5.8+PG. face move at 1st bolt felt 10- and im tall. crack midway through 5.8/9. gear = small/med nuts and cams for crack and belay. a few shoulder slings and longer Qdraws. Feb 2, 2013
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
  5.10b PG13
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
  5.10b PG13
A fun and engaging climb throughout. The bolt hole on the upper traverse has since been filled in by caughtinside, although I was too busy trying not to be scared to notice the workmanship. Really though, the traverse is fairly trivial as far as the moves go. They may feel like 5.9 moves waaay off the bolt but I'd say 5.7, max, essentially something only a poncey lil brit would puss off leading ;). Perhaps bringing a #4 instead of burying #2 would have been appreciated by my follower in the lower crack traverse, however. Feb 15, 2010
peachy spohn  
 
Great climb on great rock (except the start is a little crumbly). I think the grade is good, but the traverse is pretty spooky...definitely heady and a PG13/R I think. Four stars! Mar 26, 2009
Shipp
laguna beach, ca
  5.10b R
Shipp   laguna beach, ca
  5.10b R
This climb is all about the traverse. W/ the exception of the face move past the first bolt, everything up to the 2nd bolt is pretty straight forward 5.6 to 5.8.

The traverse is 5.7 to 5.9. The 5.9 move is near the end (about 15' out from the bolt). A fall here would mean a huge pendulum for the leader. Feb 28, 2009
armand rollice
rancho cucamonga
 
armand rollice   rancho cucamonga
 
Fell at the first bolt. Then pulled the move. Getting up onto the rail from the crack was tricky. Then the traverse had me going. It took me three tries to finally commit to walk across. My heart was pounding, I was sweaty but kept my cool as best as I could. When it was all over, I heard an applause from the audience below TR Candelabra. What a memorable day that was for me. Not in a hurry to do it again. Well maybe. Feb 27, 2008
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.10b PG13
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
  5.10b PG13
I think this is a classic, it has a compelling line, and the final mental crux traverse still lingers, after 20 years.

Remember to belay the follower so that they don't swing the other direction. See Woody's entry (Nov 1 2003). Jan 20, 2007
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.10b R
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.10b R
Oh my, I had never heard of someone ACTUALLY falling on the traverse. That would be a fricken' scary fall! Jan 11, 2007
Murf  
Susan - old partner of mine took the fall on the traverse just before the flake. Swung over to about his first piece under the roof, quite a flight. He got back on and sent! Jan 11, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
 
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
 
Great route, I'd recommend protecting the opening move in the flake if there is any chance you'll come out of there as it's a bit awkward. Or not, as the first bolt is not that far up.

Will S. may be right about the crux at the bottom, technical crux, it is a bit flaky getting past that first bolt and heading up toward the large crack. For me, it was the psychological crux walking the ramp up high. Just when I thought it was easy, I looked back at the bolt and well, felt pretty uneasy.

Rumor has it no body's ever fallen from up there. I do believe I said I could be the first - but didn't.

FANTASTICLY FUN ROUTE!

~Susan Jan 11, 2007
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
 
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
 
Some friends sandbagged me onto this line telling me it was only 5.9. Pretty hard and exciting for that grade! Excellent and engaging pitch. Jan 10, 2007
Will S
Joshua Tree
  5.10c PG13
Will S   Joshua Tree
  5.10c PG13
The low crux is definitely height-dependent. Many former footholds have departed the face. At 5'8", I felt the low crux was .10c if not harder....if you're 6' or have a big ape index, it'll feel much easier...you will want a shoe that edges reasonably well...this isn't the place for your blown out "all day shoe". The ramp walk is a little nervy, but by choosing your foot placements carefully, is casual. Nov 27, 2006
Joe Brophy
San Diego
  5.10b
Joe Brophy   San Diego
  5.10b
The move past the first bolt is the hardest for sure. But I would say still 10b. My wife is 5'3" so she for sure used different holds than I did at 5'9" but didn't say it was that hard for her as a vertically challenged person! Feb 7, 2005
Woody Stark
  5.10c
Woody Stark  
  5.10c
I better measure myself; I must be shrinking. Nov 19, 2004
Randy
  5.10b
Randy  
  5.10b
We did this couple weeks ago, I think it is definitely a height thing. 10b (one move at that) seemed about right to me. But for shorter people it may very well be 10c. Nov 19, 2004
Woody Stark
  5.10c
Woody Stark  
  5.10c
I led it again yesterday; and I would have to agree with Karen: it's gotten more difficult; I'd give it 10c. Nov 19, 2004
Karen Bohl
Prescott
5.10b
Karen Bohl   Prescott
5.10b
I feel the move over and above the first bolt should be rated a 10c instead of 10b. A hold or two must have broken off making it more difficult. Any opinions on this crux? Nov 18, 2004
Woody Stark
  5.10c
Woody Stark  
  5.10c
It took me a long time to convince my usual partners that I could give them an adequate belay for the traverse. I set it up so I could walk across the top as they moved, always keeping the belay to them vertical. Actually, I wasn't sure I could do it until I was on top. But what the hell, it worked; and I finally got it climbed. It's an excellent route that's rated correctly; though, I feel the traverse is eight not nine. Nov 1, 2003
Randy
  5.10b
Randy  
  5.10b
To my knowledge (which is far from complete), the 1st bolt on the upper traverse has never been removed (except to replace it). But then again, someone removed the bolts on Stand and Deliver (who knows why) and apparently Swept Away got chopped once (maybe some sort of comment on foreign film route names?). Sep 3, 2003
im sorry i made a mistake, i mixed up some info sorry........ Sep 2, 2003
So the two bolts (one at the bottom, one at the start of the traverse) were from the FA, but there used to be another retro-bolt on the traverse, too? It was also mentioned to me that at some time in the past, the bolt at the start of the traverse had been chopped. Any story there? Sep 2, 2003
Randy
  5.10b
Randy  
  5.10b
I wouldn't consider your source very "reliable" as the 2nd bolt on the traverse (long ago removed, but the hole is still there) was added LONG after the FA. The hole should be completely filled and camoflauged.

The crux past the 1st bolt has gotten much harder over the years as many small flakes/edges have broken off. For shorter climbers, this move can be quite challenging. Sep 2, 2003
i heard from a reliable source that the second bolt on the traverse isnt a retro bolt, and it was placed by the first acsentionists...... anyone else hear this? Sep 1, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10b
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10b
If you fell from the low crux just above the first bolt, you'd be fine. The rock there is a little poor but luckily, it's well protected. I sent a small foothold off, and there were other places where the rock had obviously been recently broken (still dropping crystals when blown on). The under-the-roof traverse is not necessarily runout. With a few cams and tricams you can sew it up. Take long slings to avoid drag.

As for the top 5.9+/10- area. You pass the bolt and perhaps some 10 or 15' feet later are on a snakey move with poor feet or poor hands. I traversed the dike as a foot traverse. With powerhouse forearms and dime edging shoes, this might be more secure as a hand-traverse. A few times I bent the left knee deeply and used my left hand to mantle sideways on the moves. If you don't normally use chalk, consider doing this route in cool weather.

At this snakey section, there is a hole in the wall, I presume where someone placed and someone else chopped a retro-bolt. SHAME! SHAME SHAME. If you use this AID hold as a crutch on lead- either that or keep in kind your ascent was 5.10b/A0, not a free ascent. Someone should properly patch the hole with epoxy and flakes of local granite.

A fall from the slithering section would be long and frightening, but not likely really hurt you. None-the-less, if your second is not super solid, consider it an act of kindness to come back to the south a little from the end point to belay so as not to be at such a distance for them if they swing.

Earned the 3-star rating. Would be 4-star if not for the drilled hold and also the loose rock down low.

Can somebody patch the ugly drilled hole at the high crux? So you eliminated the retro-bolt, now there's a retro-hold! Jan 6, 2003
pretty spooky Jul 15, 2002