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Routes in The White Elephant (aka Comet Wall)

Southwest Face (Beckey Route) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, 250 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Fred Beckey & Brian Gochoel Feb 7 1969
Page Views: 571 total · 14/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on Mar 16, 2015
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description [Suggest Change]

The fabled 4-pitch Beckey Route of JT. Probably the only route in Joshua Tree that was ever submitted to the American Alpine Journal. In his words - "with some probing, we found a long face, almost four pitches, in a large formation east of the main campground... The entire ascent was free and on good rock with a maximum of F8 on the last pitch to the summit."

The route starts below and left of the obvious "White Elephant" flake, hanging 50' up the wall. A minor bushwhack gets you started on route. All pitches are short (<70') and many are easily combined with proper slinging of gear.

P1: Lieback a sharp thin flake and follow a crack to a stance (5.5).
P2: Climb a flaring groove with hand crack in the back past a small chockstone to a spacious ledge (5.6).
P3: Move 30' left off the ledge and climb up a slot/squeeze, and then continue up a short section of face to the base of the summit block (5.5).
P4: An exposed and excellent (but short) splitter thin hands crack goes up the summit block on it's northwest side (crux, 5.8).

Beta from Big Al Bartlett can be found here

Location [Suggest Change]

Left side of the White Elephant (Comet Wall). Downclimb a 10' 4th class finger crack on the East side of the summit block, then scramble down the rocky gully NW and contour back around to the base of the wall.

Protection [Suggest Change]

Standard rack

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