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Routes in Hidden Tower

Not Forgotten T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Sail Away T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Snail Away T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Split T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Splotch T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wild Wind T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: Chick Holtkamp, Randy Russell and John Lakey, February 1978
Page Views: 32,906 total, 174/month
Shared By: M. Morley on Jun 21, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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826 Opinions

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Description

Climb perfect hand and finger crack that virtually eats gear. 10' from the summit, move 6' left across face to flake and continue to top. Multi-bolt anchor. Single rope rappel to ground.

Protection

Standard rack to 2". If you want to go old school, just take hexes! Three bolt anchor/rap

Photos

Cole Darby
Los Angeles
 
Cole Darby   Los Angeles
 
it's as good as everyone says it is!
we only had to wait for one party and it was totally worth it Dec 4, 2017
kili
29 palms, ca
 
kili   29 palms, ca
 
Not worth putting up with the crowds. Jul 17, 2017
Brian morin
Simi Valley, CA
 
Brian morin   Simi Valley, CA
 
Beta spray on gear: Placed nothing bigger than a single #1. Rest was singles or doubles from .3 -.75. Could have placed a third .5 but was out and found a smaller constriction for a .3. Although some say they have a placed #3 and #2, I didn't see it. What I placed in order: .75, .5, .4, .5, #1, .3


youtube.com/watch?v=xXY2RyQ… May 8, 2017
Zachary Winters
Mazama, Washington
Zachary Winters   Mazama, Washington
Did a nuts-only climb for the heck of it. Very comfy with a single set of BD stoppers. Having the bigger sizes is nice. Also found a nice little blue DMM offset after leaving the crack before the anchor. Apr 11, 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
rafael
Berkeley, CA
  5.7
rafael   Berkeley, CA
  5.7
seemed no harder than double cross, but perhaps more sustained? Mar 9, 2017
King Tut
Citrus Heights
 
King Tut   Citrus Heights
 
Really? A 50' climb that has 30' of good climbing is 4 stars to some people? This is the sort of climb that hardly ever gets climbed in a real climbing area. I mean, have fun if this is what is available, but 4 stars...um, no. Nov 9, 2016
A coffin sized triangular block of rock fell off the base of the climb since the last time I was there. It doesn't get in the way of the climb unless your trying to start on the more direct dihedral to the right as that is now blocked. Definitely a reminder that rocks do come down from time to time. Apr 30, 2016
Alissa Doherty
Boston, MA
Alissa Doherty   Boston, MA
I climbed both this and Wild Wind back-to-back. I found them to be nice routes but was dismayed when I looked at beta afterwards and saw that both lines traverse out of their respective cracks and into different ones near the top. I simply followed the cracks to top out on both which felt like the natural thing to do!

Not sure whether my variations were more or less fun/challenging but figured I'd suggest that prospective climbers look at the topo line carefully before heading up. Apr 1, 2015
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
  5.8
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
  5.8
started the route straight from the ground to the undercling few feet above my head, not like what the beta photo suggested from the right side of the rocks below Nov 6, 2014
plantmandan
Brighton, CO
  5.8
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
  5.8
I will never get tired of this route. The moves are awesome from bottom to top, and the view from the top is hard to beat, even by Joshua Tree standards. A must do! Oct 18, 2014
TLob
  5.8-
TLob  
  5.8-
One of the greatest single pitches I've ever done, anywhere! Incredible jams, ample pro, amazing top out. A must do and one of the only climbs I'd recommend waiting in line for. Feb 28, 2014
Canon
  5.8-
Canon  
  5.8-
Mostly nuts and a couple tri-cams. Great climb, crowded. Nov 10, 2011
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
 
Matt N   Santa Barbara, CA
 
Awesome line and lead! Glad to have found it with no climbers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Lighten your rack beta: I didn't place anything over a .75 camalot and I'm not a bold leader. Take up to a #1 and carry extra nuts if you want to sew it up. Nov 4, 2011
Vitaliy
  5.8
Vitaliy  
  5.8
Fully committing to reach each stance was the key for me to make it a solid lead. On my first lead here I tried to place pro midway through a move and it was a nightmare. Bottom line: find the stances and it's enjoyable, blow/not reach them and it's a scary lead. Oct 4, 2011
J.B.
 
J.B.  
 
Pretty cruiser for 5.8 but way fun! If you're lucky like me the wind will pick up near the top and you'll get that "exposed" feeling! Mar 16, 2011
Chris D
the couch
 
Chris D   the couch
 
If, like me, 5.8 is the limit of what you lead, and you've led Mental Physics a couple of times, and come to this route thinking that at 5.8- it can't be much harder than Mental Physics at 5.7+, you're in for a surprise. This was one of the most exciting climbs I've ever done. What a treat!

The polished hand crack is just beautiful. Totally forgiving for people (like me) who are still working on mastering placing nuts. Every move at 5.8 can be well-protected.

If you have big hands (as I do) you won't get more than one or two good hand jams. There is a really neat spot just below a hard move mid-way where you can hook your fingertips solidly on a vertical ledge within the crack.

Absolutely beautiful. Glad I led it, and with a couple of great guys. Mar 22, 2010
Adam Stackhouse    
  5.8
Tyler,
This is as good or better than Astroman.... Feb 11, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
 
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
 
How is this route on the "classics" short list for all of California??? I mean, it's good, but not one of the best 20 routes in the state. Feb 11, 2010
C Miller
CA
  5.8
C Miller   CA  
  5.8
Sail Away on Youtube - youtube.com/watch?v=n4ryeFZ… Jun 8, 2009
Dan Costello
  5.7+
Dan Costello  
  5.7+
This route is a straight-up blast and it is tailor-made for passive protection. "The Gray Tradster" is right -- leave your cams on the deck and bring a double set of nuts instead.

I found it to be perhaps easier, but certainly no harder, than either Double Cross or White Lightning. Apr 19, 2009
Great route to do on all passive gear!

Leave the cams on the deck.

One larger than #12 stopper may be a good idea. Something in the 1-1/2 1-1/4 range. Mar 29, 2009
DaveGustafson
Palm Desert, CA
  5.8
DaveGustafson   Palm Desert, CA
  5.8
Great route! Have been putting this route off for some time and glad we were able to tick this today. Enjoyed the whole experience that this route offered, cool moves, nice protection AND especially enjoyed the easy escape with the rap anchors :) Mar 29, 2009
Dave Daly
Kernville, CA
  5.8
Dave Daly   Kernville, CA
  5.8
Really fun crack climb! So sad its so short. :( Considering some feel this route is "soft" 5.8, I personnally felt it was harder than climbs like 'Dappled Mare'. Even so, I had just finished 'Bird On a Wire' (btw, never did feel the .10a moves come into play) and drove over to Hidden Tower right afterward, feeling 'Sail Away' was a tougher 5.8. JMO. Mar 2, 2009
Rich Graziano
Atascadero, CA
 
Rich Graziano   Atascadero, CA
 
What an absolute joy of a route. I can't recall having that much fun on such a beautiful hand and finger crack! It only has one weakness...it's over too quickly. Mar 29, 2008
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
  5.8
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
  5.8
The first ascencionists walked in and couldn't believe this fine line hadn't been done. They were so excited they ran back to their camp grabbed their gear and ran back to score the first ascent. Oct 26, 2007
Brad G  
This route is one of my top five favorites at Jtree. Great quality all the way through. Much better then Illusion dweller in my opinion. Sep 24, 2007
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
 
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
 
Great route for the grade! The best part is stemming to the other crack at the top. Apr 8, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
 
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
 
Classic for a reason. You can sew it up with medium to 2.5" Feb 23, 2007
Blitzo
 
Blitzo  
 
Good route! *** Sep 22, 2006
Drederek
  5.8-
Drederek  
  5.8-
Was fun and easy going straight up at the top, incut rails on both sides of the final block. Apr 5, 2006
Adam Stackhouse    
  5.8
The move near the top where one goes left can be protected by a bomber #11 BD nut. Mar 20, 2006
Kellen Holt
  5.8
Kellen Holt  
  5.8
CLASSIC!!! Good jams, locks, and face holds where you need them. Excellent feet all around the crack, and this thing eats gear, especially nuts. Face section did not seem difficult, but this will depend on how early or late you leave the crack. Rap bolts are good as of 12/28. Excellent route, but extremely popular. Take a number, but wait out the line - it's worth it! Dec 31, 2005
Is the traverse at the top of WILD ONE protected??? Mar 24, 2005
Locker
Yucca Valley, CA
  5.7
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
  5.7
I agree that it is a very nice route that protects extremely well. Placing those damned nuts was a ball! Hell, you could just about do the route with any type of gear.......or no gear at all! It's all there for the taking and a deffinate 'Must do'.

Even though it is very popular, it is often there for the taking, year round. Mar 19, 2005
This thing ate so much gear I was sorry to see it come to an end. I think I placed 11 pieces and 9 of them nuts. Stellar climb, probably best saved for a less busy weekday if you have the chance as I did. Mar 9, 2005
Matt Chan
Boulder
  5.8
Matt Chan   Boulder
  5.8
Did the direct start which definitely increased the difficulty to a solid 8. Probably the best route I've done in J-Tree at the grade. You've got to love the nut placements that pop up at you when you start to sweat - super bomber and right before or after cruxlike sections. Fun!!! May 10, 2004
just did this again on May 1. last time I climbed it was around 1983. no doubt about it this is a great crack climb. May 3, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
You must hate Incredible Hand Crack at Indian Creek! For me, it doesn't get much better! Dec 13, 2002
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.8-
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
  5.8-
My hands are a little larger than average, so I don't get hands until loose 3 friend or tight 3.5 friend. I don't think I ever got a 3 friend into this one, so lots of tight hands for me. Dec 13, 2002
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
Andrew, were you wearing boxing gloves? ;) Dec 11, 2002
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.8-
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
  5.8-
This climb is brilliant, though I got a grand total of 2 hand jams on it. Lots of thin hands and fingers with a crack protected face climbing crux. Queue up! Nov 11, 2002
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
 
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
 
In regards to my comment regarding just bringing hexes, you'd probably want to throw in a handful of nuts for the crux section. Jun 21, 2002