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Routes in The Dunce Cap

Dunce Cap, The T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Spirited Away T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Time Out T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Waltzing in the Wonderland T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Type: Trad, 220 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Randy Vogel, Vern Stiefel, 92
Page Views: 2,370 total, 17/month
Shared By: Randy on Mar 27, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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This route stands among the best in the entire Park. Bold, but adequately protected, the signature second pitch offers continuous climbing in a stellar position.

Begin near the center of the North Face (right of center in Beta Photo), at the foot of the base of the rock, on the left side of a large rectangular block (in sunlight in Beta Photo).

Pitch 1: Up cracks on the left side of the block to a very large flat ledge (5.8).
Pitch 2: Move up and left to a discontinuous seam/crack which is followed up past 2 bolts. Move up and right to a large flake, exiting this higher up to reach a 3rd bolt. Head right to eventually gain a narrow ledge system -- belay at the ledge's right end (11b).
Pitch 3: Up a finger crack to its end and head left and up to the summit (5.7+).


95 foot rap off the back of the formation. Head around the west side of the rock to return to the base.


Bring a good variety of: thin brass, some stoppers, and thin cams to 2 inches.


Recently repeated this route and found it to be as good as I remembered. It has been 2 years since we lost our dear friend Vern. He is still in our thoughts and sorely missed by his friends. Dec 4, 2008
Tony, Actually, there are a several decent small pieces of gear that you can get before the 1st bolt (tcus, small brass, stoppers, etc.) [2008 Edit: see photo of 2nd pitch posted for location of pieces before 1st bolt]. We and everyone we know has avoided putting gear behind the black flake/small roof before the 1st bolt as it is probably not solid. Glad to see you did it. May 11, 2006
tony grice  
It is a true J-TREE Experience, long fun hike to get to it.The description in the new book is perfect, the climbing was fun.Shade mid day.
There is a loose shitty flake that takes the only really good pro before the first bolt, it will blow off if you whip before the first bolt, why not another bolt?No one will call you a chicken, maybe just me for wanting it,It could use it. The route was great nice job! May 11, 2006
Unless the movie was named for the climb, it must be one of those serendipitous events of them having the same name. Mar 31, 2006
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
One question, 1992? The movie didn't come out until 2001! Mar 31, 2006
Vernon Stiefel
  5.11b PG13
Vernon Stiefel  
  5.11b PG13
Aside from the exquisite position encountered on the second pitch, another appealing aspect is its sustained nature. "There aren't any annoyingly easy sections" was Randy's assessment after the FA. Mar 29, 2006
  5.11b PG13
  5.11b PG13
Many of the best climbs in JT are guarded by an arduous approach. These approaches dissuade those that haven't discovered that distance from the road isn't just an obstacle to overcome. The experience of true desert solitude, away from roads and their travelers is hidden out there.

Spirited Away integrates all the diverse qualities of Joshua Tree climbing into a coherent whole. The ability to edge, smear, jam, and the savvy to know when *not* to fall allow you to enjoy one of the best routes in the park. Days, weeks, many routes later, youÂ’ll still be able to visualize key moves and stances.

You may never climb Spirited Away; it may be too difficult to reach, too hard, sound scary, or just be too easy for you to bother. Regardless of whether you ever do it, it or something like it should be on the tick list of true JT Locals. Locals who understand that aspiring to difficulty or numbers of ascents doesn't necessarily translate into a true appreciation of the Joshua Tree experience.
Mar 28, 2006