Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: FA: Bill Mikus and Bob Dominick, December 1970, FFA: Spencer Lennard, February 1978
Page Views: 25,821 total · 123/month
Shared By: Joe Collins on Jan 4, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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This route is among many people's favorite climbs at J-Tree and I would have to say that it's the coolest single pitch I've done at the Tree.

Locate the stunning left-facing dihedral which faces the road...you can't miss it. A toprope can be set up top without too much trouble, which means the climb is likely to be swarmed by a TR-ing mob from time to time.

The climb can either be started by climbing easily in from the boulder on the left or via a direct start (5.10). The crux (5.11-) comes right away with in a very technical stemming corner with little in the way of hands (RPs, black alien). Stem up the amazing corner to a section of good hand jams and rest as best you can. A second crux comes at the top pulling around a small roof the caps the dihedral (10+). Continue to the top of the formation where a good anchor can be set with large nuts and hand-sized cams.

Walk off to the right, picking your way down ledges to circle back left to the base.


Nuts, including RPs. Cams up to #2 camalot. A black alien or equivalent is helpful.
C Miller
C Miller   CA  
The direct start is superior and definitely recommended. Take care when placing pro at the start of the lieback section as there is a section of hollow-sounding rock regularly used to set gear. Also, if much gear is placed in the middle section be mindful of rope drag. Once I watched a leader pitch off the upper crux and as the rope came taut several pieces in the middle popped. 4 out of 5 stars. Mar 21, 2003
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Did the hand-traverse start. The smooth dihedral section was delicate and technical and the crux in my opinion, thin fingers would certainly help. Middle section was a relief but I remember the pump encroaching as I hit the grand finale. Power very helpful here.

Purity, Line, position, technicality, varied technique Mar 21, 2003
Lassitude 33
Randy   Lassitude 33
On the FFA of this route, the entire climb was rife with loose rock, but was still obviously a great route. The crux section (the stemming down low) had one fairly large hold on the right side of the corner. It was probably an inch wide and a few inches long, but composed of layer after layer of potato chip rock (as was much of the right wall). Near the top layback section, I cleaned a large stopper, by pulling it through the ball-bearing filled crack!

I did this route most recently about a year ago; it is a testiment to what traffic can do to totally clean the rock of loose flakes and ball-bearings. A classic. Mar 21, 2003
I led this route not long after it was established as a free climb and it was just like Randy described. I remember it being stunning but spooky lead. I am actually glad to hear it has been "groomed" into civility. I am planning a trip out there this March and have always wanted to go back to this cool route. Unfortunately, time, and other thieves, have tarnished the stainless steel of my shrinking family jewels. I dont think I would want to lead it like it was now that my juvenile juices have turned to geriatric jelly. Feb 24, 2004
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
Can be set up, as we did, as a TR. The middle crux takes more time than the top. My buddy labeled this as one of the best in JTree. Jun 22, 2004
Joe Brophy
San Diego
Joe Brophy   San Diego
Does anyone know if the FFA was done as a direct start or from the traverse in? Feb 16, 2005
Lassitude 33
Randy   Lassitude 33
FFA was done via the traverse in from left. Feb 1, 2006
Stephen Marsh
Thornton, CO
Stephen Marsh   Thornton, CO
Just finished 2 weeks in the park and this route was my favorite. Such an aesthetic line and the rock is not rough at all. I used BD microstoppers primarily for the crux, as well as a very small BD stopper and a #0 tcu down low. A blue alien was too large. All the gear is there and it can be very safely led. Get a good rest before the end crux! Feb 17, 2006
Bishop, CA
outdooreric   Bishop, CA
The overhanging off-fingers lieback at the top was the crux for me. No problem with the thin, stemming corner. Mar 25, 2007
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
What a line!

The stemming corner is pretty straightforward (if you can stem :). BD micronuts, a green Alien, and purple and green C3 sewed it up. C3s go in the top of the stem section like a knife through butter! The middle section is cruiser thin jams with big rests - including a no hands stem rest.

The finishing crux isn't that hard, but don't get suckered into a rush layback like I did! Instead square up to the crack and work the crack (and dodgy feet) until you can get the positive crimps that allow you to hit the finishing rail. A purple camalot (#0.5) protects the final crux perfectly.

Truly one of the best lines in the park. Apr 11, 2007
Well as Randy noted, the route was extremely loose before and on the first free ascent. Though I top-roped the route (without falling) the weekend before the FFA, I was quite unprepared for the experience leading the thing.

My protection consisted entirely of standard 70's era hexes and stoppers, and at the crux I must have stuffed 4 to 6 pieces in close proximity. Randy also remembered that he removed one of my best pieces by pulling it with a downward force. I suspect that had I fallen, pieces would have pulled resulting in a long fall or a even a groundfall. I came back and led the route in the mid 80's with cams and it was still scary, more due to my own loss of cajones (now that I'm past age 19) than quality of protection or difficulty. Oct 7, 2007
I took a 40 foot screamer on this route from the top crux. I blew two crappy pieces. and fell from the top lie-back holds to below the little roof half way up the route. I don't know if anyone cares, but you might want to place a .5 camalot or a red alien at that part instead of a blindly placed yellow alien (just FYI). Dec 7, 2007
randy baum
Minneapolis, MN
randy baum   Minneapolis, MN
still a bit "coarse and buggy" down low on the right hand wall. crux takes a orange TCU perfectly.

awesome route! Oct 23, 2008
Mike   Phoenix
Super fun, with a technical stemming crux down low. Bring several tiny nuts & microcams for this part. The pumpy section up high gets easier if you have the good beta. Jul 13, 2009
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
Rowdy!! One of the best routes in the park. Done via the Direct Start this climb throws a bit of everything at ya. Black Alien and BD #4 stopper protect the stemmming corner and a Red Alien at the top crux helps keep you sane. Oct 14, 2009
prescott, az
jbones   prescott, az
Spectacular Route! Its Like a latter in that beautiful corner. That last .5 is tough to place under the bulge, followed by one of the cooler moves in Jtree. Dec 17, 2009
Jebus H Bomz
Sacramento, CA
Jebus H Bomz   Sacramento, CA
There is still a bit of exfoliation on the direct start, but I don't think it's loose enough to justify avoiding like back in the day unless you're a bit light ;). Mar 22, 2011
Neil Roessler
Neil Roessler  
I was fortunate enough to climb this route the only time I ever visited Joshua Tree with Mike Reardon feeding me pounds and pounds of Beta. A good man, great memory and excellent 5.11 climb. Jul 27, 2011
been thinking a lot about this route as of late . . . one of my favorites in J-Tree Feb 8, 2012
With modern micro gear you can sew this up, without plug the pods after using them, bomber .3 C4.

Of course, a super route with good rests, use them. Jan 7, 2015
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
Direct start is worth doing, it fits really well with the rest of the route. The rock is a bit crumbly right at the very bottom but no big deal.

Really fun cerebral route. Puzzling out the moves and getting gear in the dihedral took me a long time; the calf pump was more threatening than any forearm pump during that section. A juggy middle section that leads to a pumpy overhanging finish makes for a really great climb overall.

youtube.com/watch?v=fEg6X6F… May 12, 2016
Jean Spencer
Squamish, CA
Jean Spencer   Squamish, CA
Piton pulled today. No more infamous Coarse and Buggy fixed gear. Dec 28, 2016
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
Since when has there ever been a piton on this route? Where did it pull from? Mar 6, 2017
john durr
Joshua Tree, CA
john durr   Joshua Tree, CA
there was a small angle piton around the middle of the climb - it wasn't that important. Mar 8, 2017
master gumby  
Techy, balancy, thuggy and fun. Really quite safe with small modern gear. Save some juice for the top, which I thought was the Crux of the route. Maybe I am just weak. Nov 17, 2018