Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: Tobin Sorenson, 1975
Page Views: 15,979 total · 76/month
Shared By: Joe Collins on Jan 3, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Indian Creek at the Tree!!! The routes at Rusty Wall are fairly unusual by J-Tree standards: steep straight-in jamming more reminiscent of the Utah Desert that your typical quartz monzonite crag. You have O'Kelleys on the right side which tackles a desperate boulder problem to beautiful hands. To the left is O'Kelley's shorter but more demanding brother, Wangerbanger. Wangerbanger is fairly straight-forward by 5.11 J-Tree standards... no dicking with funky RPs, just plugging cams and climbing. As a result many people generally consider this fairly soft for 11c, though the percentage of leaders that end up dangling at the crux, just below the pod, is probably just as high as any other similarly graded climb.

So, anyway: The climb is short, but pithy. The crack begins as wide hands but thins to ring-locks just below the pod. Crank into the pod and cop a decent rest. The crux will be somewhere just below the pod depending on your hand size, though getting into the pod is also burly as hell. Continue upward through the pod system (harder than it looks!) to a funky mantle at the top.


2 sets of cams from blue TCU to #3 camalot. Nuts are useful for setting up a belay.
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
Funny thing how the start of O'Kelley's is harder than any single move on this route. Deep hands to start and then the short crux (.75 Camalot size) with a finger crack exit move. One of the best cracks in J Tree IMO. Mar 19, 2003
An awesome line require crack skills used in areas like Indian Creek Utah. Very straightforward crack jamming on a very steep wall. There is a rest pod before the crux and a rest pod after the crux off finger section. Endurance pays off on this route it seems. Fire a cam, clip and jam (repeat till you summit)The wall faces east so this gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Not much shelter from the wind.

Best quality I have done in J Tree. More similare to IC than O'Kelly's

hand and finger size determine the grade as the tradition of crack ratings have shown. Sep 12, 2003
I disagree with the IC comment. The crux thin hands section is too short and offset. More than anything the offset is what makes this section so hard, its not a straight in jam. In IC it would be more like 100' of green Camalots ( and 5.12 to boot ), but straight in and straight up. In and above the upper pod is pure JT as well, lots of nooks and cranny's and a few face holds as well. Amazing how a crack this short feels like an endurance route. Sep 13, 2003
I agree with Murf on the specific traits of this crack compared to cracks at Indian Creek. This crack is quite parallel and requires off finger techniques at the crux. I misused the phrase 'staightforward crack jamming'. Sep 15, 2003
Everybody knows that through a miraculous geologic exception there are no offsets among the 6 trillion or so cracks in IC. Mar 7, 2005

Start 5.9 hands, "To short, would like about 20 more feet of this section", to a thin steep crux. Good protection. The difficulty of the crux will very with hand size. Don't be afraid to fire this one on lead, you can get great gear before the crux (15 or so feet) with a very clean fall. Oct 31, 2005
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
Maybe the best 5.11 in Josh. Stellar rock quality and moves. About the "offset"...I think of an offset as one side of the crack sticking out farther than the other. And going into the second pod this is the case, but in the crux ringlocks section where it's not really "offset" what makes this awkward is that the crack goes into the wall at an angle, i.e. it's not perpendicular to the face of the wall. Crux is about a bodylength of tight hands and rings. Recommended rack, single set of fingers to cups with doubles in the #1 and #0.75 camalot sizes. Oct 24, 2007
randy baum
Minneapolis, MN
randy baum   Minneapolis, MN
crux aside, top out is no cake walk, either. section takes a #1,#2 camalot very well.

TR anchor takes small nuts and cams. a bit difficult to keep the rope out of the crack, though. Oct 23, 2008
The difference would be if you were climbing one of
the millions of 0.75 offsets in IC, it'd be a punishing
100 feet of it versus a few moves.

Regardless, great route! Despite the appearance, it
surprisingly didn't require much wide gear. One 3.5
friend, then everything else smaller (1 #2.5 friend,
1 #1 camelot, 1 #2 friend, 1 0.75 camelot, #0.5 friend
and #1 friend). A large hex at the lip is helpful to
keep the rope from falling into the crack.
Enjoy. Dec 2, 2008
Mike   Phoenix
An fabulous route and one of my favorites (so far) at Josh. Not too hard for the grade (at least for JT) and great pro the whole way. As previously stated, the top-out is no gimme either, but there is a nice no hands rest just before to de-pump. Jul 13, 2009
prescott, az
jbones   prescott, az
One of the greats! Its definitely desperate getting into that second pod. Dec 17, 2009
Beautiful. If you can ringlock, this thing is WAY easier than O'Kelley's. Dec 14, 2010
Matt Pesce
moab, ut.
Matt Pesce   moab, ut.
Definitely NOT Indian Creek...WAY J as they say...bouldery and powerful high quality movement. Pod was the crux for me. Friends 3.5, (2)2, 1.5, (2).75 Dec 4, 2012
This thing is hand size dependent, 11c is fair for even medium size hands. I removed the pesky .75 in the way at the crux, you're welcome. Apr 23, 2013
Weston L
Just to reiterate what everyone else here has said - this thing is awesome. Protects quite well, although there are some flexing/loose blocks in one of the pods but you can easily protect in a horizontal or just man up (which I failed to do) and punch it.

Stellar crack workout through a variety of sizes. Crux was pretty gnarly for me as perfect hands for me are #3 camalots...fun mantle at the end to really tie the whole thing together. Stellar route that felt like something that should be on the Cookie Cliff in the Valley more than a sandstone desert crack as others have purported. 5 stars either way...will leave a smile on your face. Nov 12, 2013
very cool route.
thin hands section is cruxy but short. and i did not find any mantle on the top. couple nice fingerlocks instead. there was also ok chicken-wing rest before the last few moves.
i have medium hands (perfect hand is between #1 and #2 C4) and it felt more like 10d-11a (i.e. enduro corner on AM was much much harder for me). Feb 18, 2014
Just a historical footnote: Mike Jaffe belayed Tobin when he did the FA. And he did the route without cams...keep that in mind, or...better yet...try leading it like Tobin did, with hexes and stoppers...YIKES!! Mar 29, 2015
Berkeley, CA
rafael   Berkeley, CA
I could barely get a thin hands even just above the pod, so I had to ringlock all the way to the second pod, and my hands are maybe yellow C4. Thin hands pumpfest to the top? HA! My partner has smaller hands and managed to thin hands most of the part I had to ringlock, YMMV
The topout is hard, but not that bad, I found the desperate move into the second pod harder, but I imagine the difference between those moves is finger size dependent. Mar 9, 2017
Nitish Nag  
Onsight youtube.com/watch?v=0U6StNm… Jan 15, 2019