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5.10a, Trad, 80 ft,  Avg: 3.2 from 244 votes
FA: John McGowen, Rich Smith & Herb Laegar, February 1977
California > Joshua Tree NP > Lost Horse Area > Hemingway Buttress > Hemingway Buttress (E…


This excellent route climbs the rightward diagonaling hand crack just to the right of Feltoneon Physics. Bring your guns for this sustained pitch of quality stone and great gear placement. Although the crux may be in the lower portion of the route, the ensuing pump will make the finish a challenge as well. Descend via standard rap anchors abeam White Lightning. Enjoy!


Standard J-Tree trad rack up to 2.5".

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Photo by Blitzo.
[Hide Photo] "Prepackaged". Photo by Blitzo.
Brandon on Prepackaged.
[Hide Photo] Brandon on Prepackaged.
[Hide Photo] Prepackaged
Start of Prepackaged, demonstrating how the crack eats gear.
[Hide Photo] Start of Prepackaged, demonstrating how the crack eats gear.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
[Hide Comment] Classic! Technical finger locks and subtle footwork get you through the bottom section with bomber small wires for pro. A short, enjoyable section of hand jams (#0.75-#1 Camalot) finishes the main portion of the climb. Some easy wandering gets you to the top. My favorite on this wall. Feb 13, 2006
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
[Hide Comment] I seem to remember the start as being pretty tough. Also, using holds on the face to the left of the crack (Just above where the climber is) simplifies the crux immensely, or is that cheating? Mar 18, 2006
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] This route is well protected and incredibly fun. May 11, 2006
Edward Jenner
[Hide Comment] Good route to do even if not comfortable at 10's - safe and relatively easy. Nov 1, 2006
Will S
Joshua Tree
[Hide Comment] Very fun route, protects well, start is a little funky/balancy until you can get into the fingercrack. Climbed this once before and thought the fingerlocks were too small for my digits...but I must have been blind because I found perfectly good ones the last time I was on it. Dec 27, 2006
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
[Hide Comment] Completely hand/finger size dependent. Ladies fingers makes the route go closer to 5.9. If you've got a large 3.0/3.5" cam you can plug that dog in down low while standing on the block before starting into the finger crack. It's a bomber placement. Feb 23, 2007
Kayte Knower
[Hide Comment] Why must you downgrade? Can't it just be a fantastic route? I hear so many people bitch about the bad attitude of sport climbers at Rifle, yet here it is in the heart of trad climbing. Leave the grades alone. One of my favorite routes ever. I couldn't decide you crawl through the hole at the top? How cool is J-tree? Mar 27, 2007
Oakland CA
[Hide Comment] Great climbing with great gear. Fun jams! Nearly brained my belay when I got butterfingered with my orange alien. I unclipped it from my rack, found I was only holding a biner, and looked down to see it just miss his melon. He was checking out the girls though, didn't even notice. I'd say this one is totally fair at .10a, although it is easier than other .10as I've been on in Josh like Tax Man or Exorcist. Mar 30, 2007
Ryan Kelly
[Hide Comment] I don't know if I'd put Exorcist in with Taxman and Prepackaged. Exorcist is super cruiser, probably more like 5.9- Sep 3, 2008
Russ Walling
Overlord @ FishProducts
[Hide Comment] For me (a real man with large fingers) Taxman is far harder than either the Prepackaged (5.8+) or Exocist (5.9)

All three are pretty darn good and should be on everyones "must do" list for the grade. Sep 3, 2008
[Hide Comment] Russ, with an emphasis on "real man," or "large fingers?" Sep 3, 2008
Ryan Kelly
[Hide Comment] Agreed on Prepackaged and Taxman, but Caughtinside didn't fall off of either of those, so I'm not as concerned with downgrading those two. Sep 6, 2008
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
[Hide Comment] Here's my experience of the three previously compared climbs, bearing in mind that climbs are graded for on-sight no beta ascents (all in my case from the mid 80's):

1) Prepackage, fell at the crux, got seduced by the crack and ignored the face holds to the left, did not make that mistake on the second try.
2) Taxman felt easier than Prepackaged, just one tricky move close to the start.
3) Exorcist, easier than both the above with the crux supposedly being a bolt-protected face move above the crack, so hard to compare.

PS I've got fairly thin fingers. Jun 15, 2009
Los Alamos, NM
[Hide Comment] Shouldn't need anything over a #1 except possibly a #2 for your anchor. Jan 10, 2010
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
[Hide Comment] Awesome route! Getting established in the crack at the start was tricky, but then it was just fun finger locks with good features for feet the rest of the way up. There were lots of great stances for placing pro. Oct 24, 2010
[Hide Comment] Yo Kayte, there is a certain validity in not giving the .10a grade to this route. Prepackaged was originally rated 5.9-, and when you think of other .10a crack climbs, this is reasonable: Exorcist and Taxman are certainly harder. However, there is a lot of play when it comes to rating cracks, because hand/finger size will have an effect on the perceived difficulty of a route...just ask Big Fingers "The Fish" Whalling. That being said, to be consistent with the area this route is in and the 5.9 rating is reasonable. I think you will agree when you go to lead Exorcist over in the Hall of Horrors. The difference in rating crack climbs is highly personal, just compare what I said to the remarks of Chris Owen...But it's all cool, ratings are just a guideline anyway, and if you climb a route and miss a few key holds, then you'll think it is hard, but if you have a hand that fits into those #1 Camalot marathons down at Indian Creek, then you'll think they are easy...having fun is really what its all about anyway.
I think this and Overseer are the best routes on this face, and finer 5.9's will be hard to find. Good clean fun!! Mar 29, 2015
Daniel Evans
Phoenix, AZ
[Hide Comment] Having now led most of the 3+ star classic 5.9 routes in the park, as well as Taxman right before this, I felt that getting established into the corner as well as the first 5-7 ft afterwards were easily 10a. It may be less sustained than Tax Man, but if someone called Tax Man a 10b I don't think I would argue. After the crux low in the corner, I agree, it is pretty cruiser 5.9 to the top. Dec 28, 2017