Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: Todd Swain and Peggy Buckey, 1986
Page Views: 691 total · 6/month
Shared By: Adam Stackhouse on Oct 8, 2008
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Climbs up the face of the pillar in front of Popular Mechanics. Head straight for a bolt low on the climb, then work up the arête over easy ground (runout) to a horizontal that takes good pro. Continue up passing one more bolt to the top of the pillar. From there you can join the last leg of Jack of Hearts – do the step-across over to the main wall and up a chimney to the bolts.

The 'R' rating is arguable, this climb really only has about two moves in the 5.8 range and there is a bolt at your waist for those moves.


From the start of Popular Mechanics head straight up the pillar towards a bolt.


Two bolts, a medium-sized cam for the horizontal and a finger-sized cam for after the step-across. Bolted anchor.


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M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Both bolts on Scientific Americans (between Jack of Hearts and Popular Mechanics) were replaced 1/2003.

Mar 21, 2003
Eric Foltz
  5.8 PG13
Eric Foltz   California
  5.8 PG13
Like it says in the description, this route probably isn't a real "R".

The only place you notice the lack of bolts is between the 1st bolt and the horizontal and the moves are fairly easy. A .75 for the first horizontal a smaller piece (Orange Metolius) for the second horizontal and a #2 BD for the step across will get you up.

Fun route but the "R" keeps it from getting the traffic it deserves. Jun 14, 2010
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Plenty of gear options for the two horizontals -1.5"-2" stuff. You may also consider bringing extra extendable runners for an easier line, in particular at the 2nd bolt and if you plan on placing any gear in the slot after crossing over to the wall behind. Fun route, not run out in any areas of 5.8 climbing. The "crux" if there is one is at the 1st bolt so well protected. Step across to the back wall looks intimidating but it quite fun. Be mindful of the chalkstone in the slot/chimney, they're solid enough but best to be avoided. Nov 30, 2014
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Definitely not an unsafe route. Crux is right at the bolt and then it is super easy climbing to the horizontal (gear) and then the next bolt. From the top of the pillar, you need to step across and climb blocky (and somewhat loose) rock to the chains atop Ace of Spades. Route deserves an anchor of its own IMO. Certainly worth doing in the area and agreed the "R" rating is not warranted - at least by JTree standards. Nov 21, 2017