Mountain Project Logo

Routes in The Old Woman - West Face

Band Saw T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Bridwell-Sustad T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Cavity, The T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Dandelion T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dandelion Stem TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dandelion Wine TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dogleg T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Double Cross T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Double Start T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Iron Man's Traverse T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Little Old Lady T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lower Band T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Middle Band T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Northwest Chimney T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Orphan T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Route 499 T,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Sexy Grandma T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sexy Grandpa T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Treinte Anos T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: John Wolfe and Rich Wolfe, December 1965, FFA: Dick Webster, Bill Briggs and Woody Stark, February 1967
Page Views: 12,105 total · 61/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jun 20, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

352 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


A tricky start with fiddly pro is the crux after which fun but sustained crack climbing leads to the top of the rock. To descend head to the east side of the formation and rap off from bolted anchors atop the route Deviate.


The obvious curving crack on the left side of the west face.


Gear to three inches
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The book suggests a rack to 2".

I suggest a rack to 3.5" You can pro it quite well with a double set of Camalots to #3 plus a 3.5. and the standard small tricams + set of nuts.

To avoid the insecure/hard start, step into the climb from a stance off to the right. Jan 6, 2003
I and others are responsible for the rating problem on this route. In the sixties ratings were a good deal more conservative than today. It should be a solid nine and sustained. Apr 9, 2003
I agree with Woody. Dogleg is 5.9. I used to solo it on a regular basis, would never solo it now. Apr 11, 2003
As a solid 5.10 crack climber, I worked pretty hard on this route. My ego liked reading the comments above calling this route a possible 5.9. The start was pretty hard and while there are great stances throughout the climb, it is pretty sustained. With that said, leaving it as 5.8 or 5.8+ is probably appropriate as it isn't nearly as hard as Damper. But, no matter the rating, it is still a very fun climb.

A number 3 camalot is very nice to have as the crack doglegs to the right.

Will Oct 4, 2004
Led it again today. I still think it's a solid nine, as did my partner. Feb 5, 2005
bert Vergara
bert Vergara  
Great Route, Definitely an 5.8 or better. The crack spits you out about 3/4 up the route in one short section. It's commiting, but the moves are there if your head is. Jun 17, 2005
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Bit of a grunt this one. I wouldn't argue with 5.9. Oct 13, 2006
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
An excellent route. I thought the start move seemed very hard, but the rest of the climb was sinker hands for me. I have no idea what the start should be rated, but all but the first five feet felt about 5.8. Mar 27, 2007
Kayte Knower  
Really sustained, engaging jamming. I got punished on the start. I hope I was doing it wrong. Mar 27, 2007
Darren D.
Darren D.  
Apparently you can traverse in right to make the start easier. This is a nice crack and makes a good "approach" for Geronimo on the other side of the formation. Apr 12, 2007
I'd agree with most of the above statements. The route seemed to want to spit me out constantly. I'd suggest a solid 5.8+ rating, and if 5.8 is your limit, start on double cross and then climb this one. Dec 22, 2007
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
The route has been upgraded to 5.9 in the new Vogel JTree West guide. Dec 26, 2007
Jon Hanlon
Jon Hanlon   SLO
Felt 5.9 to me... Dec 31, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
This route takes a nice assortment of gear for the budding leader. Nothing too small or large needed for the climb itself. As you creep up the arch towards the top the rock quality drops a bit but the face moves are pretty good. Consider not burning your large piece as it could be used the the anchor.

Getting on the route could be considered the crux. Protect with 1" cam in small pod and just lob into it.

Minimum 2.5" cams & nuts for the belay. Rap the formation directly behind this route on the North side.

edit: This route still sports a fixed pin mid-way that seems bomber but easily backed up. Oct 5, 2008
Lot's of discussion about the rating of this route! I was fortunate enough to lead both Touch and Go (5.9) and Dogleg (5.8+) on the same day, in that order. For me, Dogleg seemed a half grade easier than TNG, but that could be the mix of techniques on TNG. Could be there were more opportunities to rest on Dogleg. I felt comfortable protecting the first move with a 0.4 BD. but other options exist. Nov 24, 2008
Brian Hench
Costa Mesa, CA
Brian Hench   Costa Mesa, CA
I've shied away from leading this one for a long time because of all sorts of comments like the ones above. When I finally led it, it seemed a lot easier than I expected it to. It has lots of good rests all along it's length. The hardest move for me was not the start but in the vicinity of the piton. I used a combination of foot jamming and stemming that got me to the next jug.

To get down we climbed up and over and down to a ledge and rap station on the east side. A single rope rap took us to the ground. Is that the best way? Seemed easy enough. Mar 30, 2009
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
The climb was fun and sustained, with great pro once you get past the start. After the thin start it was pretty much narrow but bomber hand and foot jams the whole way. The tricky part for me was that the flare outside of the main crack often made it awkward to get my feet all the way in for a good jam. I can understand the debate over the grade, but with the great hand jams and numerous rests, I think I'll say very solid 5.8. We climbed Pope's Crack next which definitley felt more difficult. Feb 22, 2010
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Pink tricam protects the first move perfectly. Sink the pink! Mar 31, 2010
Pete eye
Fort Collins, CO
Pete eye   Fort Collins, CO
bright orange tcu offwidth too. 5.8+ is 5.9, dogleg is killer Apr 7, 2010
I TRed this felt pretty tough to me, as a beginner crack climber. I got fed up with inching up the crack, so I moved out to the face for ~20 feet around 3/4 of the way though the climb, until the crack gets much easier. That was actually really fun, and surprisingly clean. Dec 20, 2010
Chris Keefe  
Does anyone know the type or history of the bolt on the face to the right of the start of Dog Leg's dog leg?

I'm no expert, but It appears to be a buttonhead. If I remember correctly, the hanger looked pretty solid, and the head itself was larger than I'd expected.

I had a few nervy moments inspecting it before leaving a sling and lowering (very gingerly) when dark came on faster than expected.

The bolt held up well to pulling (outward), and side-to-side forces, and safeguarded my descent well enough, but I'd love to learn from this for future reference. Mar 16, 2012
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
Looks like the top bolt for The Cavity .11d. Put up by Gaines and Mayville in 94. Less than 20 years old, two guys who know what they're doing. I hope you didn't lower directly through a sling. Mar 17, 2012
Chris Keefe  
Sure didn't, @caughtinside. Just a little crag booty for the next .11d climber up. May 28, 2012
San Diego CA
ChadC   San Diego CA
5.9 across the board Feb 17, 2013
Phil Esra  
Forget the difficulty, what I'm surprised about is the star rating. This is absolutely a 3-star line. Dec 4, 2013
Sean Maher
Santa Barbara, CA
Sean Maher   Santa Barbara, CA
This was my second lead in JT, and after styling Double Cross I thought I would inch my way up the grades... Dogleg shut down all such ambitions! Dogleg seemed significantly steeper and blanker than Double Cross, with more strenuous jams and thoughtful sequencing. A great climb, and a humbling introduction to the Joshua Tree sandbag. Jun 3, 2016
Costa Mesa, CA
Howard   Costa Mesa, CA
According to Wolfe and Dominick's A Climber's Guide to Joshua Tree National Monument (1976), Dog Leg and Music Box are benchmarks for the Joshua Tree 5.8 standard. Nov 2, 2016
Ronald B
Los Angeles, CA
Ronald B   Los Angeles, CA
Led this one on the same day as Popular Mechanics (5.9) and Overseer (5.9), and this one felt harder. The individual moves felt at least as technical, and certainly I think it would be uncontroversial to say it is much more sustained climbing at grade. I agree with Tony B that you can protect it very thoroughly with a double set of Camalots to #3, although I don't think you'd need any nuts or tricams if you had that many cams.

Definitely a fun climb with a nice variety of moves and I feel like repeating it will improve my technique as someone who is working on getting better at moves around this level. Nov 3, 2016
Sean Cooney
Sean Cooney  
My advice to anyone going to Joshua Tree is "Anything rated under 5.9 is actually 5.9. Once you hit 5.10, the ratings are pretty fair." Dogleg is one of the routes I think of whenever I say this.

A super classic jam crack full of fun. Kudos to Friends of Joshua Tree for putting anchors at the top.

A rack to 3.5" is good, especially with doubles in the 2" and 3" range. If you don't have doubles, you can supplement with a #4 BD Cam, which will go into the crack in several places. Aug 14, 2017
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
Great route, as good as it's more famous neighbor to the right. Steep and sustained crack climbing that eases up into a fun traverse and juggy finish.

For my part, it seems more consistent with other 5.9 routes in the park than other 5.8s. Crack climbing technique is crucial. You can not wing this route using face holds. 3 days ago
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
Followed three years ago and hated it. Lead it yesterday and loved it. 1 day ago

More About Dogleg