Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: Howard King and Rob Fainberg, 1977
Page Views: 1,775 total · 9/month
Shared By: Murf on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes

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Listed in the Vogel guide as a 5.7, many an inspired young leader has come face to face with mortality with the opening moves of this route. The thin starting moves about 15 feet off the deck from a boulder, with somewhat tricky pro will give even steady 5.9 leaders pause.

Begin off a block slightly left of mid-formation. After the thin entry moves, continue up the right leaning hand crack to the top.

Descend to the climbers right.


Standard rack, small to start


Ha! I remember this climb. Is'nt it so typical to show up at JTree with high hopes of bagging some sick hard lead, only to get beat down on the warm-up. Yea, it was hard, I was scared. Prolly bouldered the rest of the day. Jan 30, 2003
It's good to see the upgrading to 5.9! Having just climbed it (Feb. 03) thinking it was a 5.7, I felt quite sketched out. Big sandbag! Besides the "thin" start it is somewhat sustained and awkward. Feb 26, 2003
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
More comparable to Jerry Brown (at .10b) than to most 5.7s, in my opinion. Nov 11, 2003
Are you people getting soft? I led this wearing cowboy boots with a head full of blotter acid. I never could climb anything harder than 5.7 on a good day. Oct 27, 2004
Lets set the record straight. It was boxing gloves and roller skates and 5.7 in his wildest dreams. Oct 27, 2004
Richard Adler
Bend, Oregon
Richard Adler   Bend, Oregon
Wow, a Howard King sighting on a climbing web site. Did you misread this address, Howard???? This Climbingjtree.com not Birdingjtree.com. I'm gonna have to add this to my State and County lists.

And yes, I thought Capt. Kronos was hard for 5.7!!! Probably cuz I did it WITHOUT the cowboy boots and blotter!!!!

And Last year I saw the film "Captain Kronos, Vampire Killer." It's as bad as the route!!!


-r- Oct 28, 2004
A good route but, curiously, more difficult than Brownian Motion (10a) next door. Nov 29, 2004
Adam Stackhouse    
What a slug in the face Joshua Tree climbing was when we did this in 1989...5.7? Wow...what a way to introduce someone to Jtree trad....hahahaha Jan 28, 2006
Green metolious can be place off the block in a shallow horizontail. You can then start from the begining or just go from the block. Mar 19, 2007
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
This is one of those courses that probably won't be quite as much fun the second time around, because it won't make you think as much about how to do the start. A good pitch. Mar 21, 2007
armand rollice
rancho cucamonga
armand rollice   rancho cucamonga
Enjoyed this climb alot have to return to do Jerry Brown. Feb 27, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Really good route! Deserves more stars than it gets. Once you pass the face move down low, it is continously enjoyable jamming all the way to the top. The face move about 15' off the ground protects perfectly with a pink tricam. You do have one of those on your rack don't you? :) I brought a #4 camalot and it went in perfectly at a wider spot. Apr 17, 2008
  5.9 PG13
  5.9 PG13
I started from the ground, seemed logical. Only runout for a little bit in easier terrain. If not for rock quality this would get a solid three stars. Yes, not 5.7. Jan 1, 2013
  5.9 PG13
  5.9 PG13
Not a 5.7! Kind of ackward in the right leaning crack, more footholds on the face would have been nice. Started from the ground and it was definetly don't blow it territory. Feb 19, 2013
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Started from the ground with smallish bomber pro. Never for a moment thought it was 5.7 or R for that matter. Surprised to see that here on the Proj. Seemed obvious, place small gear low and follow the crack. It's slightly flared in a few areas but thought it was just me for the warm up, still took bomber gear. Didn't find it run out or sketchy and I'm not exactly a pro on leading cracks so a sandbag assessment this is not.

5.9 plenty of pro of all varieties. Wonderful ledge above leads to 2.5 - 3.5" crack or set anchor in the back with .5"+ or nuts. Plenty to love on Captain Kronos.

Oh, scramble up and over from the ledge. You can walk off back the back and climber's right or climber's left and down the chalkstones to the base (preferred method for me). Nov 6, 2013
JTLA Tolins
Los Angeles, CA
JTLA Tolins   Los Angeles, CA
I'm with Susan on this one. Rushed this in at the end of the day, while the sun was setting. never felt runout or sketchy and even felt calling it 5.9 was a bit of a stretch. I'm not a particularly bold climber and usually look for mid tens. Feb 27, 2014
Josh Baxley
Seattle, WA
  5.9+ R
Josh Baxley   Seattle, WA
  5.9+ R
I could not find any decent pro at the beginning of this route, at all. I actually down climbed, double checked I was on the right route, and read the above comments again on the mobile app. Still not sure if we're talking about the same route.

There is one crappy slot about 10 ft. up for a TCU, then it's another 10 ft or more to real gear. There's at least one insecure move until you get decent pro. Nov 30, 2015