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Beck's Bet

5.7+, Trad, 70 ft,  Avg: 2.1 from 106 votes
FA: Tom Beck 1982
California > Joshua Tree Nat… > Lost Horse Area > Rock Garden Valley > Rock Garden Valley - Left Side


This climb ascends the right hand edge of the "shorter wall" of Rock Garden Valley that holds the more spectacular lines of Double Dogleg and Split Personality. The line is pretty good and would be much better were it not for a huge ledge 1/2 way up which interrupts the climbing quite significantly. This line seems to get fewer ascents than the others at the same cliff. It should be noted that "Shorter Wall" is a relative term and that the perhaps mis-named 'shorter wall' is taller than many of the walls at J-tree, with most of the lines being about 100' or so.

Start at the far right-hand side of the buttress, climbing perhaps 10 meters up a handcrack to reach a ledge, tehn continuing up furher in a similar line for the top. Once topped out, move up and left to reach the set of bolt anchors of Split Personality (up and left) to belay. Rap with a 60M rope to descend.

If the lien were more singular, I'd have given it more stars.


This climb is quite well protected with a few sets of cams, mostly hand-sized. It is a nice and largely bomber handcrack and takes good pro. Running out a few easy sections however, may be the best bet due to the fact that a 15' ledge interrupts the route about 1/2 way up.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Jolene jamming the start up the upper section of Beck's Bet
[Hide Photo] Jolene jamming the start up the upper section of Beck's Bet
Beck's Bet
[Hide Photo] Beck's Bet
Almost done.  Photo by Neale Brain.
[Hide Photo] Almost done. Photo by Neale Brain.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Not that it's a big deal but I believe the 5.8 rating in Bartlett is correct for this route. It's also an enjoyable climb. May 20, 2004
[Hide Comment] This is another fun route. Cool step across start and long reach past a wide section. The upper crack has a nice section of hands. If you are there, might as well do it. Oct 14, 2005
Palm Desert, CA
[Hide Comment] I agree with the suggestion of a 5.8 rating. Some protection not the greatest, so be advised this might not be the best choice for a new leader. Nov 7, 2009
Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
[Hide Comment] I though it was a pretty fun handrack. The ledge kind of screws it up yes, but still good. Feb 6, 2011
[Hide Comment] Good jams, worth doing if in the area knocking out all the other great climbs. Nov 17, 2012
Tommy G.
Killeen, Texas
[Hide Comment] If you run across the ledge real fast, jump into the upper crack section, and forget the ledge ever happened, this is a great jam! Oct 28, 2013
Patrick Beeson
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] Another great moderate hand-crack line! I was a bit nervous looking down at this route from Double Dogleg, but the gap to the starting crack isn't that deep up close. You can also place pro out of the gate by stemming between the boulder and wall.

Yeah, the ledge sucks, but that final section of crack is awesome.

Use the rap station at the top. Feb 6, 2018
jt newgard
San Diego, CA
[Hide Comment] My partner and I accidentally skipped the first half of this climb. We scrambled up to the big ledge from the Double Dogleg start and hopped on from there.

This left me scratching my head...'Huh, thought this climb would be longer??...'

I think you have to approach the climb by hugging the wall as you journey up canyon.

Anyway, upper crack was a good time! Mar 7, 2018