Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Dave Evans and Jim Angione - 1978
Page Views: 8,737 total · 42/month
Shared By: M. Morley on May 12, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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A personal favorite. Perfect hands to fist crack. At the crack's high point, step up and right and move 20' across (mostly) unprotectable face to belay from Pinyon pine. A small stopper placement early in the traverse helps to protect both leader and follower.

Approach: From Barker Dam parking lot, follow trail to dam and continue north through wash. Bear northwest (left) past Escape Rock. The Room To Shroom formation will be on your right, but hidden until you pass it and look back. Scramble up rocks to get to base of route.

Descent: Single rope rappel to ground from Pinyon pine.


Bring pro to 3". A small stopper helps protect the final 20' traverse.
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
Nice climb - wish it was way longer. No harder than 8 if you keep your feet in the crack.

#2 WC Rock protects the traverse well. Nov 4, 2002
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
For purity of line and motion, few crack climbs of this grade at Joshua Tree can compare to "Room to Shroom".

Easier than it looks, the hallmark of any true classic. This climb turns out to be quite straightforward, if you can hand and foot jam, otherwise good luck.

Wouldn't be out of place on UK grit.

Thanks Dave (Evans) for giving us another top notch route.

Highest quality.

5.9 because of the intensive jamming, which is an advanced technique. Remember that this grade was placed before cams. Try leading it on hexentrics and wires for a slightly more sobering experience. Jan 5, 2003
This was one of my first leads, and instead of exiting onto the face at the top of the crack I continued downward along the arching crack,in essence downclimbing the 10b, or whatever the route to the left is rated. I knew Josh ratings were stiff but it wasn't until I checked the guide book that I realized I had down upclimed Room to Shroom and then down climbed a different route. It was wild! Feb 20, 2003
Great route on a steep but not overhanging wall. The angle of the crack put increased stress on my handjams. It's quite different when a crack angles for me since I cannot get my feet directly underneath me. It requires moves that I call Jtree funk. Good pro all the way. The exit at the top to the right is run out but easy and short. Just don't fall.

But not as hard as Touch and Go Aug 22, 2003
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
Nice clean jams...for about 30'. Despite the good rock and all this climb suffers from too much hype IMO. Two stars out of five. Dec 12, 2003
Richard Beller
Fort Collins, CO
Richard Beller   Fort Collins, CO
The crack is beautiful while it lasts, but this route is way too short to get all the praise it deserves. We spent close to an hour hiking around to find it, climbed it in about 20 minutes, and walked another half hour trying to find another good climb in the area. Mar 10, 2005
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
A bit hard to find, short, & overrated are the downsides; clean smooth jams, excellent gear, fun climbing, & a rap-off are the positives. Seems way overrated if you have experience jamming cracks. A new leader, or one near their limit, might use a 3.5" piece up high. Feb 25, 2007
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tyler Logan   Mammoth Lakes, CA
It's not too bad approaching this from the Don Juan Boulder area if you want to tick it after climbing on the Astro Domes. From the boulder, head towards Barker Dam until you are just past the southern flank of S. Astro Dome. Some boulder hopping and easy scrambling at that point brings you to a plateau, where you can scramble/walk down to Room to Shroom from above (it's easily seen). Mar 15, 2008
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
Fun climbing in a splitter crack. Leaning nature of the climb and the upsloping base keep groundfall a real potential for a while. This climb is remote and somewhat hard to get too, otherwise it would probably see a ton of traffic. Oct 26, 2009
Boulder, CO
boulderkeith   Boulder, CO
I'm not sure about these comments about protecting the traverse. Ken led it and placed a tipped out black alien. I don't think you are going to get good pro. The traverse is easier than it looks anyways. Apr 6, 2010
fubar   Babylon
A way of making this climb longer, though somewhat more runout, is to stay on the arete instead of traversing to the tree. Eventually you pass through a little roof and chimney move (5.8) and belay on top of the formation. Walk off climber's left. Dec 6, 2010
Tom Fralich
Fort Collins, CO
Tom Fralich   Fort Collins, CO
Well deserving of its classic status. Great rock, textbook jams, and no crowds. Got a #2 Ballnut on the traverse, but it really is quite easy. Approach is not bad. Jan 10, 2012
Good, but not great. In the area, I liked High Strung better. Approached via Don Juan Boulder - not too hard to find.

Lots of #1-#2 camalots on this route, and the traverse to the tree is easy. Nov 22, 2012
Justin Tomlinson
Monrovia, CA
Justin Tomlinson   Monrovia, CA
While it is short, what you do get is stellar. Very clean, smooth rock and excellent jams, even got a couple lieback moves, and tons of fun.

This one had me smiling at the top, such good movement. Mar 26, 2013
Joshua Tree, Ca.
Dimes   Joshua Tree, Ca.
Due to a new Joshua Tree National Park regulation, vegetation of any kind may not be used for climbing anchors. Therefore the pinyon pine tree normally used as the belay/rappell anchor for Room To Shroom may no longer be used. A Special Use Permit was applied for and granted by the Park to replace the tree anchor, which is in wilderness with a bolted anchor. This is now in place about 12' left of the tree. It was placed with the thought of trying to benefit all 4 climbs that end at this anchor. It is equipped with rappel rings. Please do not add webbing to this anchor and please avoid using the tree for any climbing related purpose. The goal is to have an anchor that is low profile with the least visual impact. Nov 9, 2013
Mike Fogarty
La Quinta, CA
Mike Fogarty   La Quinta, CA
This is a classic and a must do! May 11, 2014
Brian Martin
Bend, OR
Brian Martin   Bend, OR
Short fun climb. Traverse is a little spicy, saw a fresh dark spot where a flaky edge had recently broke off, remaining edges are a bit delicate and creaky but low angle and easy. I thought this was much easier than 5.9, only slightly more difficult than double cross but much easier than sphincter quits or touch and go. I'd call it a 5.8, similar to the flue. Would definitely do it again. Dec 28, 2014
San Diego, CA
alleyehave   San Diego, CA
A little soft for Jtree 5.9 but worth the hike no-less. The traverse is spooky only because the rock crumbles under your feet and fingertips, otherwise the moves are easy and low angle...Get on this! Feb 6, 2015
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
Serge Smirnov   Seattle, WA
Not knowing where or what Escape Rock is, I ended up in the wrong canyon (too far west) after Barker Dam. I would describe the approach as follows:

The trail to Barker Dam heads mostly NW but turns W a couple hundred feet before reaching the dam. Get off the trail before reaching the dam and head N (maybe even slightly NE). You end up in a canyon which eventually turns NW. After a half-mile, that canyon dead-ends. Continue NW by scrambling over a large pile of boulders and descend into another canyon. Head right (NE) and in 5 minutes spot the route up above on the right. Feb 21, 2016
The slab is crumbly and doesn't inspire confidence. I recommend taking small nuts for the slab at the top. There's at least one decent/good nut placement (black diamond #3) that can be made halfway through the slab traverse. Nov 7, 2016
B Regan
Joshua Tree, CA
B Regan   Joshua Tree, CA
Please do not rap off of the pinyon pine described above or any vegetation in Joshua Tree National Park. In 2013, this tree anchor was replaced with a stainless steel anchor (permitted by JTNP). The anchor serves as the rap for all the climbs in the immediate area. Nov 29, 2017
jt newgard
San Diego, CA
jt newgard   San Diego, CA
You don't find smooth cracks like this in Josh very often which makes this route a nice surprise after the long hike. This is probably 5.8 for those with gold C4 size hands.

As of Jan '19 bolted anchor / rap station is in great shape!

PS. I wasn't able to fiddle any gear in the tiny opening on the slab traverse. But as others have mentioned it's easy. Just watch what you're crimping since the slab is on the grainy side. Jan 28, 2019
Jim Walseth  
I 'discovered' this climb while wandering around on a solo exploratory hike circa 1989. I was so blown away by the beauty of this climb and the serendipity of finding it that I soloed it, up the hand crack and down/left on the traverse back to the ground. I practiced the traverse to make sure I could do it before heading up the crack, which is very secure. Looking at the pictures I am reminded that the exposure is perhaps not 'death defying'. Apr 5, 2019