Type: Boulder, 20 ft
FA: John Bachar
Page Views: 15,035 total · 77/month
Shared By: RTM on Feb 2, 2003
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Located in a small group of campsites on the Southern end of the Blob formation. Please ask permission for bouldering in occupied campsites.

Stem Gem is the Quintessencial JTree boulder problem, embodying the essence of Joshua Tree climbing: Highly technical and often times perplexing movement across extremely friction dependant, featurless granite. Indeed, this problem has nary a hold on it, the only thing making it climbable is its coarse friction and the undulating nature of the stone.

Getting both feet off the ground on this problem can be an event in itself, bringing ones flexability and stemming prowess to task. Start by stemming up the concave face and then traversing right across a faint/blunt arete. Most continue right and stand on the "bump", however it is possible to avoid the bump and friction direct (v3 friction in itself), continue up the water groove and to the top of the boulder. Jump across boulder to get off.


standard bouldering gear
Hard. Jul 28, 2006
David Aguasca!
New York
David Aguasca!   New York
I onsighted this twice in one day! Apr 30, 2010
camtron Summers
Huntington Beach, Ca
camtron Summers   Huntington Beach, Ca
The starting foot dish is getting crumbly. It seems like this area of the rock has changed a lot since its first ascent. Looking at the old photos of the rock you will notice the 3 slashes are not present. Jan 10, 2012
San Diego, CA
A.Javi.Gecko   San Diego, CA
The lessons I learned from Stem Gem:

1) Get up at dawn when friction is good

2) trust the ball bearings.

3) One quartz crystal can make all the difference. Literally. I sent by smedging on a single crystal.

4) Palm-friction saves the day.

Also, according to this:

Stem Gem is V2... WTF? Dec 27, 2012
Robbie Brown
the road
Robbie Brown   the road
you can't onsight something twice bro Mar 14, 2013
Andy Liu
Eastern Sierra
Andy Liu   Eastern Sierra
Does anyone know if my run/jump that goes up and left to the big incut has any repeats? I called it "Air Johnson". Latch the jug and face climb straight up, independent of "Slam Dunk". May 24, 2016
Russ Walling
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
That up and left run and jump was done decades ago. It used to be a quasi favorite that has fallen out of favor. Probable FA by John Yablonski, and I've even done it in the same time frame. Had to be like in 1981 or so. The one even further left where you jump off the boulder to the series of solution pockets is a good one too. May 24, 2016
Cool. I did it decades ago as well. Funny, Yabo didn't mention it to me all those days burning at Stoney. Mari either. That is good to know. May 24, 2016
Not a good enough line to tell the community about? May 25, 2016