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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
Type: Trad, 250 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Fred Beckey & Brian Gochoel Feb 7 1969
Page Views: 461 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

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

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

Standard rack

Photos

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