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Routes in Rusty Wall

Finish What You Started T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Maneater, The T,TR 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
O'Kelley's Crack T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Riddles in the Dark (aka Ok Crank) T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Slapshot T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Wangerbanger T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
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Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: Tobin Sorenson, Jim Wilson, Dean Fidelman & Gary Ayres, March 1975
Page Views: 26,128 total · 133/month
Shared By: Josh Beck on Mar 31, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description [Edit]

A gnarly 5.11 boulder problem start (cupped hands or fists and awkward tight fingers, can be aided) leads to stellar 5.10 hands up a gorgeous vertical wall. This route is as good as the best desert splitters and is on some of the best rock in jtree. In my opinion, the best route in the park by a signifigant margin and one of the best routes anywhere.

Protection [Edit]

Take a good selection of .75" - 3" cams, mostly in the hand size. A big piece or two might be nice to protect two short offwidth sections but aren't totally necessary. At least one thin piece (TCU) if not a couple are needed to protect the gnarly boulder problem start.
Joe Collins
  5.11b
Joe Collins  
  5.11b
How a route with a hard-V3 boulder problem off the deck can still be called 10c is beyond me... but such is tradition I guess. I think one of the guidebooks calls it 11a. This area can be very cold in the winter as it faces NE. Nov 26, 2002
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.11b
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
  5.11b
A very powerful route with a problematic start, let the tall guy lead, but make sure he's butch.

Position, exposure, purity

Including the start. Jan 7, 2003
Randy
5.10c
Randy  
5.10c
FA: Tobin Sorenson, Jim Wilson, Dean Fidelman, Gary Ayres, 3/75. Tobin was wild man on and off the rock (but seemed a real decent guy). The early to mid seventies was the start of the real exprolation of Joshua Tree (other than Hidden Valley C.G.) for climbing posibilities. An early and obvious classic.

The right hand face start (with cheat stones) is one move of 11a sure, but the rest of the climb is 10b/c. Calling it 5.11 really doesn't tell you the difficulty of climbing this route. Jan 17, 2003
Joe Collins
  5.11b
Joe Collins  
  5.11b
Not to quibble about such matters, but a route with a 5.11-move is a 5.11 route. Obviously this isn't as demanding a route as a sustained 5.11 pitch, but such are the limitations of the YDS. A route like O'Kelley's practically begs for the more complicated British grading system where a grade is given for the technical difficulty and then a subjective grade for seriousness, continuousness, etc... (e.g. 6a E4) Jan 19, 2003
Murf  
Randy/anyone - Wasn't there a climber named O'Kelly? Was this named after/for him? Jan 20, 2003
C Miller
CA
  5.10d
C Miller   CA  
  5.10d
Don O'Kelley was an early Josh climber who apparantly either aided the route or tried free-climbing the route unsucessfully. There is a picture of him hanging off the route in the old Wolfe guide. Jan 20, 2003
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.11b
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
  5.11b
I'd scan it and post it but that would be bogus, so I'll describe it:He's hanging from a swami belt that's pulled up his shirt, staring at the camera looking rather dazed while licking his lips. Looks like he fell along way. There's got to be a story to it, does anyone know?

I liked the old guide, it had a lot more character and heart than the new guides, we could learn a lesson or two from it. Just don't use the F grades! Jan 31, 2003
Josh Beck  
 
I recently went back to this route. I think that the direct start up the crack is not that bad - maybe 5.11-, certainly looked better than the crimp start, and who wants to use a cheat stone? Overall I would still give this route 5.11a or 5.11b, starting and climbing the crack via a cuppped hand or fist to the finger locks. Still my vote for best route in the park. Mar 3, 2003
Ben Craft
  5.11a
Ben Craft  
  5.11a
The rating would be 5.10c only if you forget about the first ten feet. I'd rate this 5.11a. Mar 19, 2003
Josh grades were made much clearer to me when someone mentioned their theory that the climbs are rated without the first 10 feet in mind. Sounds like it applies here. Mar 19, 2003
Randy
5.10c
Randy  
5.10c
In general I would agree with the statement about ignoring the first 10 feet. But then again, without the first 10 feet, Butterfly Crack at Trashcan Rock would be 5.9 instead of 5.11b or so. Humm.... Mar 19, 2003
Ben Craft
  5.11a
Ben Craft  
  5.11a
It seems like a lot of the classics would be 5.9/10a if you forget about the first 10 feet (a few that come to mind are O'kelleys, clean and jerk, perpetual motion, and Red snapper). If it's a two move wonder on the ground or 20 feet up, the route should get a rating that reflects those moves.

Mar 19, 2003
Murf  
You mean the rating should reflect the hardest move? Interesting... Mar 20, 2003
O'Kelley's is one of the premier routes I've ever done anywhere. The rating is just part of the mystique. Also, I think the cheatstone start is in the neighborhood of 10c, at least for a tall person. The direct start is definitely harder. Dec 30, 2004
Will S
Joshua Tree
  5.11a/b
Will S   Joshua Tree
  5.11a/b
Finally got on this thing. Stout. Even past the starting couple of moves it felt harder than anything on Wangerbanger. Calling this "hands to the top" after the start is very misleading, it does have a short section of slammer hands, but also fingers, liebacking, face, and a wide move or two. Save some juice for the last bodylength. Best route in the monument? Not even close, but probably in the top 10 and a must-do classic. Dec 4, 2007
Ryan Kelly
work.
 
Ryan Kelly   work.
 
Will S: "Best route in the monument? Not even close, but probably in the top 10 and a must-do classic."

I don't know... being in the top 10 out of some 6000 routes is pretty damn good, and I'd say "close". Apr 30, 2008
randy baum
Minneapolis, MN
randy baum   Minneapolis, MN
beware of flakes in and out of the crack system near the top of the climb. they are loose and fragile. Oct 23, 2008
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
 
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
 
I've been climbing at Josh since the mid-70s and when I first climbed this in the late 70s, everyone seemed to acknowledge that the cheatstone start was the standard start and the standard, FA start was more off a "direct." The varying amounts of chalk on each seemed to confirm that. No one quibbled about the rating either. Everyone I knew just called it .10c, which seemed right with the cheatstones. Nowadays, the harder start appears to have become the standard, hence all the comments about the sandbag rating.

The FA start is .11a or so and kind of size dependent. You have to stick a fist in a flared groove and yard off of it. If you have big meat paws, it sticks fine. If not, it won't. Though I've done Wangerbanger lots of time clean, I've never been able to make that one move on O'Kelly's. May 20, 2009
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
scarpelli showed me how "fist the start" and he sure made it look easy. Of course with paws like his.... Like many Josh routes, the grade does not include the crux ! Feb 17, 2010
Frost
  5.11-
Frost  
  5.11-
Even without the first boulder crux, this thing is not 10c. With the boulder problem, 11b/c would be my opinion (with all due admiration to the sandbag ethic of J-Tree). Dec 14, 2010
Russ Walling
www.FishProducts.com
  5.10c
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
  5.10c
Industry standard for 5.10c Dec 14, 2010
Peter Valchev
Truckee, CA
  5.11a/b
Peter Valchev   Truckee, CA
  5.11a/b
Awesome climb. There are no cheat stones to stand on, and the start moves are probably burly 11a/b if you're tall, harder otherwise (feels as hard/harder than the 11c pitch on Rostrum and harder than the 11a/11b pitches on it, for example, but sure it's much shorter). I managed to get to the jug on first go but I'm also 6'5", which probably helps (fell on the next moves, which are also not trivial, pumped out)

The rest of the climb is 10c, sure. So either call it 5.10c A0 or 5.11b, but calling it 5.10c makes no sense, unless it is a running joke (as it seems to be). Though hard, the start is very well protected..

But whatever, grades are subjective, who cares. Jan 14, 2012
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
 
Jon Clark   Philadelphia, PA
 
Being relatively short (5'6" with climbing shoes on) with average sized hands and fingers I found the direct start to be straightforward jamming and not at all height dependent. Mar 25, 2012
Adam Stackhouse

  5.10c
Adam Stackhouse    
  5.10c
Same rating game can be said of the route Hook and Ladder. mountainproject.com/v/hook-… Feb 27, 2013
Tradiban  
 
Maybe the start is reachy? I lay-backed it with balance, got a perfect finger jam and hit the flat jug, not V3. I also tried Wanger Banger and that felt way harder, hand size dependent it seemed. Apr 23, 2013
Kevin DB
  5.10c
Kevin DB  
  5.10c
I think if you are tall and have beefy fingers then the start is not hard. I can see why it would give others problems though. Dec 12, 2013
busik  
Start is not bad. one fist jam and then bomber fingerlocks. You can easily protect the entry move with blue mastercam. The whole route is quite physical though. Feb 17, 2014
Lou Cerutti
Carlsbad, California
  5.10c
Lou Cerutti   Carlsbad, California
  5.10c
Not V3. It's not that serious. Blue Master cam is good beta for the start. I threw in a yellow x4 also. Mind the crunchy rock up high! It's a short choosy section on otherwise flawless piece of rock. I felt tempted to jam my hand behind it. Easily avoided with a nice face hold or two. Oct 11, 2016

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