Type: Trad, 300 ft, 4 pitches
FA: John Long, Richard Harrison, and Rick Accomazzo, January 1973
Page Views: 36,296 total · 182/month
Shared By: Mark J. Nelson on Oct 30, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Approach: walk up the wash below the Lost Horse Wall. Your landmark for finding this route is the traverse down and left along a horizontal from the top of P2 into P3; look for this about halfway down the ledge that defines the right side of the wall. At the left edge of this traverse, there is an obvious, left-facing dihedral. Scramble up boulders to reach the approach pitch.

Photo opportunity: as the leader gets into the dihedral at the start of P3, they end up parallel with and 15 feet left of the belay stance. It's pretty easy for them to lean back and smile for the camera.

Short leader advantage: the dihedral in P3 is slightly less awkward for a shorter climber.

P1: 5.6-: Start from boulders roughly below where the crack starts from the ledge. Work up and left across easy terrain to gain the ledge, then traverse right to the base of the crack. Straightforward gear anchor.

P2: 5.8: Work straight up the obvious crack system. You may find yourself using both cracks towards the bottom, but before long you'll be entirely in the left crack. You can't really miss the three-bolt anchor at the top of this pitch.

P3: 5.8: Take the obvious, 15-foot traverse down and left into the base of the dihedral. Enjoy the fabulous fingers and plentiful protection throughout the dihedral, continue up either crack above until the angle of the wall tapers off. You'll end up with a gear anchor a short distance from the top of the wall.

P4: 5.8-: You can probably choose any of several options to exit this climb. I opted for a short, obvious, somewhat-right-facing crack above a low-angle slab. As you exit, you'll want to move right to avoid the Pancake Prickly Pear growing in the top of the crack. Gear anchor beneath a blade of rock about 15 feet from the edge of the cliff.


Standard rack. This climb protects beautifully. If you choose the right of two cracks above the dihedral on P3, there will be a runout towards the top of the pitch when the crack runs out.
Never done this in three pitches, usually go right for the bolts. Also, gotta choose, screw yourself or screw the second. Traversing down quite aways and then over, rope drag or can the second handle it? Nov 6, 2002
I read recently on rec.climbing that a flake had come off on Dappled Mare. Is this true? Is it still a 5.8 climb? Thanks. Carol (cychung555@yahoo.com) Mar 6, 2003

I'm going to assume you've been reading the newsgroup rec.climbing. You've been bitten by the biggest troll there, Jeff Batten. Dappled Mare is still there, no worries. It's best to always ignore posting concerning bolting of Double Cross as well. Mar 6, 2003
Whoops, Carol says right out she read it on rec.climbing, my ass-umption wasn't necessary. Mar 6, 2003
Uh ... yeah. Once upon a time (not very long ago), I got suckered by one of those Double Cross bolt threads ... oops. Mar 6, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Both protection bolts were replaced on Edgar Rice Burros (next route right of Dappled Mare) January 2003. Mar 21, 2003
On the traverse pitch, don't place any pro until you start back up the crack and get about level with the belay, (or farther if nerves allow) Use a long sling on the first couple of pieces and the drag won't be bad. May 12, 2003
I would like to second the advice about climbing high in the crack after the traverse. I've climb the route numerous times. I climb quite high, place pro with two slings to make sure there's no drag. May 25, 2003
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
We actually moved the belay to the bottom of the crack-not advised. You end up in an uncomfortable postition with a so-so belay. The crack flares in the back and makes good cam placement tough. Next time I'll have to try the advice above. Feb 11, 2004
Olympia, WA
Drederek   Olympia, WA
Found nuts and hexes more useful than cams on this excellent climb. Put in one cam about halfway down the traverse (with a long draw) and the next piece almost as high as the belay in the dihedral (with a sling). 3 bomber hexes later setup a belay at the top of the dihedral at an OK stance (where you can go left or straight up). Had no problem with drag and left a nice longish pitch to finish. We kept waiting for a 5.8 move but we did not think we ever did one. Apr 9, 2005
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
Meredith DB   Boulder, CO
This route can easily be climbed in two pitches with a 60-meter rope.

To avoid rope drag, I chose to set the first belay after the traverse. Done this way the first pitch is about 55m. There is a small stance that is reasonably comfortable for one person at the end of the traverse. Using this belay position means that the second has to downclimb to the anchor, so it is a probably a good idea to protect the traverse well. The crack eats gear, so this is easy to do.

The second pitch then goes up the left-arching crack, then up the face and cracks to the top of the wall. The second pitch is about 50 m. Apr 18, 2006
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
At the start of P3, I put in two spread out pieces during the downward traverse with single length slings. When starting up but still below the belay, I put in another piece with a double length sling. Rope drag was not an issue even though I led to the end of the 60 meter rope, combining P3 and P4. Unless you only have maybe sport quickdraws or are short-clipping the pro, I'm thinking that protecting the traverse doesn't mean a lot of rope drag later (your mileage may vary). Apr 25, 2007
Lynn S
Lynn S  
Did this in two pitches with my kids, but it would have been better as follows.

Pitch 1 - go up to the bolts, start left of the yucca just off the big boulder, with long runners on pro there is not much rope drag, maybe 160 foot pitch.

Pitch 2 - do the downward traverse, climb the left leaning crack and find the most comfortable stance you can above that section. This keeps decent visual/verbal communication with the follower(s) in case they have trouble. Not a great stance but you won't be there that long. Roughly 80 feet total and puts you left and not far above the bolted stance. Again that is helpful if it is windy and you want to communicate with the second, etc..

Pitch 3 - climb pretty easy and fun rock up to nice stance below some chickenheads. Walk off right (east) past a yucca and pick your way down through the boulders. 100 feet Dec 30, 2008
Dave Daly
Kernville, CA
Dave Daly   Kernville, CA
Done this in 2 pitches with 60m rope (last remaining bit is 4th/low 5th). As for the traverse, protect the second midway then place a piece (with long runner) about the same height as the belay as you head up the left facing corner. Hardly got any rope drag and my second felt well protected. I felt the second pitch was just as fun as the first. Folks who'd rather go 'Roan's Way' (did it already) don't know what they are missing! Good stuff! Feb 23, 2009
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
The traverse at the start of P2 in particular is very good - along with the crack above, not sure why this wouldn't be classic, but then again I like traverses. Sep 26, 2009
santa clara, utah
jeffozozo   santa clara, utah
How do you descend? Oct 22, 2009
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Fantastic climb! There are great nut placements on all pitches. I've now done it with both finishes, and I agree with Dave Daly that the standard finish is more fun(although Roan's Way was fun too). That diagonal crack/dihedral after the traverse is just so sweet! I waited until I was even with the belay to place my first piece, which I slung with a double length sling and Rope drag was not an issue.

The descent is an easy scramble off to climber's right. Nov 9, 2009
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
Lost Horse moderate classic. Can be done in two pitches with a 70m rope, or a bit of creativity with a 60. Dec 14, 2009
Catherine Conner
Phoenix, AZ
Catherine Conner   Phoenix, AZ
Great route, no stress. 2 pitches. Very fun! Dec 20, 2009
Tip for pitch 3 leaders; load your gear on the left side of your harness for easier access while going up the crack after the traverse. Our guidebook indicated this is a 3 pitch route, but we ended up doing 4 pitches cuz I ran out of draws with about 40 feet to go. Feb 26, 2010
West Jordan
Rockwood   West Jordan
We found ourselves all alone on this route all day so we did it twice. Both times on P1 we started way over to the right so we basically went directly strait up instead over curving to the right. It was fun and seemed to fit with the rest of the climb. Doing it twice in a row was great since you don't have to choose between the 2 short cracks in the middle, we did them both. First time we ended with Roan Way and the second time did the normal route but set the belay after the traverse. The down climb was also tons faster the second time. Watch for loose boulders though, one rolled on me and almost pinned my legs. I escaped with only major abrasions. Also there's a bees nest on the downclimb. Watch out or bring your epi pen. Mar 22, 2010
We belayed at the bolts and had no problem with rope drag,I intuitively knew to go about 6 ft up the crack before putting in a piece.All the protection at the traverse ,and immediately after, I extended with long slings.
I love this route and it has all the makings of a classic JT climb. Nov 14, 2010
Sherman oaks, ca
BrendanC   Sherman oaks, ca
Classic. We did it in two pitches with a 60
P1: 5.8. Getting to the bolts in one pitch is easily done, just keep your rope running straight-ish up to the ramp below the main crack. From there 80+ feet of excellent, varied climbing leads to the bolts.
P2: 5.8. Protected the traverse with one piece, then a doubled runner on the first piece in the dihedral even with the belay. As long as the belayer keeps it slightly loose rope drag is not a big issue. The dihedral pitch is fantastic, just remember to look over your left shoulder for a sick view. Once out of the dihedral, I went straight up (last pitch or Bird on a Wire, I think). This is a bit run out in spots and felt 5.8ish and a tad spicy. The traditional line goes a bit more left into a more continuous crack system with better pro, but you probably want to break this pitch in two if not taking the direct line. I used every inch of our 60 going straight up which finishes by pulling an easy roof with good pro and 15 more feet of fun 5.8 jams.
.75 to 1.5" for an anchor in the summit block.
NOTE: This route eats gear in the .5 to 1.5 range so bring plenty of those. May 13, 2011
Chad N
Central California
Chad N   Central California
Nuts, tri cams and hexes (all small to med) will place better than cams on this one. Jan 3, 2013
Bernard Van De Walle
San Francisco, CA
Bernard Van De Walle   San Francisco, CA
We did it with super short first pitch to the ramp.
Second pitch to the bolted belay
Last pitch to the end.
Can be done in 2 pitch if you link the super short first one with the second one Feb 20, 2013
el cajon, CA
  5.8 PG13
sdrockstar81   el cajon, CA
  5.8 PG13
Climbed this yesterday... Only used 2 cams the rest were hexes, nuts, and tri-cams medium/small sizes. Took the Roan variation finish which was fun and not as horrible as everyone says, a little spicy in a couple spots but not terrible.

60m rope was needed for Roan finish
used either a .5 or .75 about 10ft off of the bolted belay on pitch 2

I think I took another variation on Roan way at the very top I took the crack on the right instead of finishing straight up. fun finish still 5.8 Mar 30, 2013
Alex Peterson
Kamas, Utah
  5.8 PG13
Alex Peterson   Kamas, Utah
  5.8 PG13
We did this a two pitch with a 60. First pitch go straight for the bolts, you can go easy on the pro down low and then stitch it up as needed up to the bolts. But if you keep your line straight, it will reach. Second pitch, long sling the traverse and finish about ten feet shy of the top, just under a large agave plant. Solid anchor build there and it is an easy 5.0 climb the last ten feet. Apr 28, 2013
Brian Chastain  
So after turning away from this route countless times we finally got up early and arrived to the parking lot FIRST!

Found the climbing pretty easy. Went via approach pitch, to belay bolts and then to the top. Finished on Bird on a Wire which probably made it more fun but did increased rope drag.

I cannot see how it could be PG13 unless you did the finish of Bird on a Wire as the pro is a little less but climbing isn't too tough.

I would do it again Dec 23, 2013
Jason Kim
Encinitas, CA
Jason Kim   Encinitas, CA
1st pitch felt like 5.4, super relaxed and several options to approach the ledge. 2nd pitch protects great and felt 5.7-ish to me, nuts worked great and I didn't even reach for a cam (gasp!). 3rd pitch is definitely the money pitch, whether you lead or follow. The downward traverse, if you take it, is fun and different. 4 pitch, if you do it, is easy and over in 2 minutes. All sorts of anchor options up top, I wedged myself behind a yucca and slung the rope around a little horn as a backup. Mar 4, 2014
I started perhaps a bit too far right, and had a fairly hard, bouldery move right off the deck, which turned out to be the crux of the whole climb with a potentially painful fall. Make sure you are starting in the right place! Mar 30, 2015
Matt Skorina
Bend, OR
Matt Skorina   Bend, OR
Linked the first 2 pitches. Put one piece inline with the main crack, and a #1 camalot with a double length sling in the diagonal crack to the left, ran it out the rest of the way to the top of pitch 1. Rope drag wasn't bad. Sustained 5.8. Oct 7, 2015
San Pedro, California
Benjaminadk   San Pedro, California
for anyone that isnt aware there is a sling known as a double length. as the name implies it is twice as long as a "shoulder length" sling - the type that is typically used as an alpine draw. there is no drag if the leader places a piece at the end of traverse/beginning of corner and extends it with a double length runnner. no need to intuitively climb 6 feet up the crack and risk a swinging fall out of the corner. i did not extend any piece on the traverse, used the double where i said, and used a sport draw on my second cam in the corner and had zero drag and felt like i protected the second (no other extensions). i know lots of us know this, im only writing because i read the comments and noticed many people were doing unnecessary things with regards to protection. that being said what a classic pitch! did the climb as three pitches (two to bolts) but if i ever go back again i think for experienced climbers it is most effective to do in 2. a party can do four and while time consuming will really help with communication and conserving gear in my opinion, Nov 25, 2015
Griffin Costello
San Francisco
Griffin Costello   San Francisco
super cool traverse and is a blind belay. Bring Walkie-Talkies. Nov 28, 2015
Santa Clara, CA
ahd   Santa Clara, CA
I'd add 'nuts recommended' to the rack section. I didn't take those with me and ended up running out the slab section. Jan 6, 2016
Santa Clara, CA
ahd   Santa Clara, CA
Beta Alert: Here my awkward but cool-looking way to do the traverse.

youtube.com/watch?v=ZuetEuj… Jan 7, 2016
Oak Park, CA
Sean   Oak Park, CA
have done this route in 2 pitches many times. as mentioned by a few, for manageable rope drag on both pitches, ignore the anchor bolts and set the midway belay at the low point of the traverse, with solid anchor placements avail. no long runout nec if done this way. have often seen parties beeline to the anchor bolts, setting up next leader to have to avoid rope drag by not placing gear across the entire traverse and some ways up after that, with likewise extra stress/fright for the less exprienced second. it's just not nec. take a good look from the ground beforehand and think about it. also harder to communicate with leader on last pitch if belaying at the bolts. those anchor bolts make more sense for protecting the "runout" P2 start of Roan Way that continues straight up Jan 15, 2016
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
Serge Smirnov   Seattle, WA
For P3 (diagonal crack) I loaded my gear on the left side (as recommended here) but found myself wishing it was on the right. Feb 21, 2016
San Diego, CA
MattPin   San Diego, CA
On October 21st I climbed this route and got a blue Wild Country Helium friend #1 slotted deep in pitch one and my follower could not get it out. If anyone climbs this route I am sure it can pop out and would deeply appreciate paying for shipping and reiumbursing for any hardship! Thanks and enjoy the route! (408) 916-7065 Oct 23, 2016
Adam Block
Colorado Springs, CO
Adam Block   Colorado Springs, CO
First pitch is very solo-able, any move remotely close to 5.6 is off huge ledges and feels very comfortable. That said, it wouldn't save much time since P1&2 are link-able. P2&3 are link-able with ample forethought and a 70M. Logistics aside, I thought the traverse was cool, but the other pitches are fairly yawn-inducing. It's a lot of climbing for a VERY short section of interesting terrain. Would be a great first Josh route though, seeing how it gradually eases on and has a variety of styles in the easy range. Takes protection like a mafia snitch too. Nov 29, 2016
Nick Brennan
Concord, NH
Nick Brennan   Concord, NH
Found this to be a little easier than some other josh 8s. Easily made it from the ground to the bolted anchor. From the bolted anchor I tried to summit in one pitch and was stopped short by rope drag and dwindling gear. I exited the leaning corner and moved right which may have put me in harder terrain, but the climbing was good. Definitely bring nuts, they'll tame the run out above the corner. Speaking of nuts, there is a small red BD stopper right below the bolts that should come out with a little convincing. My follower couldn't get it. Dec 2, 2016
Clayton Rardon
Yucca Valley, CA
Clayton Rardon   Yucca Valley, CA
Welcome to 2017, bring your 70m, climb it in two pitches, you're going to get close to using the entire thing both times. If you're old school and only own a 50m, you're probably going to scramble up the first little part anyways and scoff at the use of fancy new SLCDs, while slamming nuts and hexes for two 50m pitches (the second one you'll stop short and scramble to the summit
Plan your gear placements to avoid rope drag. Then run it out.
Starting the second pitch, run it out to let your second enjoy a little JTree spice.
Start early, if you're there Sept-May.
If anyone is practicing hauling on this route, ridicule them mercilessly, they're douchebags. Then go climb the Swift, Altitude Sickness, and Bird on a Wire.

Enjoy the walk off. Sep 16, 2017
San Diego, CA
steverett   San Diego, CA
From the bolts, you can get up to the big belay ledge/cave up left (just below the summit - easy scramble up) with a 60m rope (I had about 6 feet to spare). I put 2 pieces on the traverse, with alpine draws; drag was pretty insignificant. Make sure you save some pieces for the anchor. Feb 5, 2018
David Bruneau
St. John
David Bruneau   St. John  
With a second who was near their limit, I did a short pitch from the belay bolts to the start of the two cracks above the dihedral. This allows the leader to put in loads of pro on the traverse to protect the second, and makes communication a lot easier. Mar 11, 2019