Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: John Wolfe 1968
Page Views: 2,585 total · 13/month
Shared By: Tony B on Dec 23, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

54 Opinions

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This route is the aptly named broad groove just 8' right of the direct Start to Mike's Books on the SE end of the Intersection Rock.

The meat of the route is divided into two cruxes, the first of which is getting more than one move off of the ground by pulling/pushing onto a left-leaning flake off of a sloper foot. Wide stemming makes this easier and more secure for the flexible people. Another (easier) crux lies perhaps 15 or 20 feet up, above a so-so TCU placement. One bolt remains on the route, and others were either broken or chopped, which is hard to say. The route is somewhat runout, but for the real crux you need a spotter, not protection.

Rap from the fixed chains on the ledge.


bolt ( 1/2" stainless steel bolt & rock colored SS hanger courtesy of the ASCA, June 2017), standard rack (you can lead this with a few TCU's and the fixed gear)


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This was the first 5.9 I ever climbed (original rating), and I've probably fallen off the first move more than anyone. The first move used to be doable by a horrible rounded layback, but as this because greased up it became near impossible. The upper crux is very frustrating as well. Feb 4, 2003
In the dim past we considered the first move off the ground 5.8; but, as Randy makes clear, it's well beyond that now; and, if you try it, you'll probably rip open your left shin when your foot slips. Dick Webster used to run at it and leap into the bottom of the chute and spread his knees to grab hold. I tried that once--only once.

One can bypass the greasy move into the bottom of The Waterchute by climbing the face to its right then stepping over into it. This approach is no more than 5.9. It's unprotected so have a spot. By doing this, the route is 5.9. The original approach--to me--isn't worth the bleeding shin you're likely to get if you blow it. Oct 13, 2004
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
I did this thing pretty ugly I am sure... I am glad it is over!!!... Nov 8, 2005
Ian McEleney
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Ian McEleney   Mammoth Lakes, CA
I found the second crux to be at the bolt, though it was easier than getting off the ground. Hexes were helpful in the flare above the bolt. To me the alternate start seemed harder than 5.9. If you're going to skip the original start, don't bother with the route, it's half the "fun". Mar 16, 2007
Adam Kimmerly
  5.10a/b PG13
Adam Kimmerly  
  5.10a/b PG13
There is another way to do the start other than the hard lieback. It involves a stem move and a hand-foot match. Flexibility is a must, but if you have it, it's far easier than the slick lieback. May 6, 2008
I enjoyed this climb. I've seen people top-rope it and stem the whole thing in a very insecure manner. But leading it chimney style was interesting and with cams for pro no longer deserves the R rating. Dec 15, 2009
This thing is one my favorite routes on the formation. The key to getting started is with a good spot and a left high foot. Once you have made entry, you will start your road to ecstasy. You can also traverse from the right, but it feels sketchy. However, it is not to bad once you commit. Left side in and some good smears on the right side will propel you to the top. Have Fun!!!
PS. Don't do this in the sun! Jan 20, 2010
John Long
Venice, CA
John Long   Venice, CA
This route has always been 5.10a or so and was the first 5.10 route Rick Accomazzo, Richard Harrison and I ever did. I chimneyed the slot above the mantle, not knowing how to chicken wing. Climbed it the old red PAs. Dicey!

JL Jul 19, 2011
Mike Fogarty
La Quinta, CA
Mike Fogarty   La Quinta, CA
Through the years i have found four different ways to enter this climb, was always fun, the crux is jus past the first bolt. Mar 7, 2012
Jeff Laina
Southern, New Mexico
Jeff Laina   Southern, New Mexico
A favorite of mine on our Nighttime Bouldering Circuit 1980s. Which is to Climb the First Ten or Fifteen Feet, Touch The First Bolt, Then Downclimb it. Fun! Apr 7, 2012
Ben Philbrick
lucerne, switzerland
Ben Philbrick   lucerne, switzerland
i chicken winged my ass off the ground, and cursed my life as i made my way up. i'll remember that route for a long time. May 14, 2012
Hopped on this after doing Mike's Books. Thought, "How hard could a 5.9 be? Let's just do it really fast." I forgot it was "Old School"... Mar 18, 2013
Joshua Tree, Ca.
Dimes   Joshua Tree, Ca.
The lone bolt on this was replaced today with a 1/2" stainless steel bolt with a rock colored SS hanger courtesy of the ASCA. Jun 2, 2017