Type: Trad, 95 ft (29 m)
FA: unknown
Page Views: 94 total · 9/month
Shared By: D F on Jul 25, 2022
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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The 2016 Western Sloper guidebook labels this as a 50-foot 5.7 and categorizes it as a sport route (blue line instead of yellow), making it one of the most significant sandbags I've encountered in a while. I would feel sorry for the 5.7 or 5.8 leader who committed to this route by trusting such information.

If you're looking for a little old-school adventure on pure friction moves with a bit of dirt and lichen sprinkled in...

The pitch is closer to 100 feet long, judging by the middle mark on our 70m rope, and a rappel is pretty much mandatory because of the anchor's primitive condition: a rusted quicklink and a locking carabiner on regular bolt hangers that are far apart. Alternatively, you could probably find a walkoff utilizing the gully to climber's left.

Start on a steep talus slope next to an evergreen bush. Sling a rusty bolt stud with a wired nut. This is more to protect the belayer than the climber; a hand-size cam could help with this, too. Cast off up and right above the bush on friction moves. The bolts are well spaced, and there is a good chance of tumbling into the bush if you blow it before clipping bolts 2 & 3. The top half of the climb is easier but dirtier and is mostly protected by small wires and micro cams.

Overall, I thought this pitch was about as hard or harder than the first pitch of Taliban Blues, which gets 5.9- (in Joshua Tree that route might earn "5.7").


On the far left side of the Hell's Gate Slab, look for the well-spaced bolts a few feet to the right of a vegetated crack that splits the length of the slab.


A 60m rope if you are planning to rappel, small wires and micro cams, and at least four quickdraws. A medium wired nut is nice for slinging the bolt stud, and a hand-size cam could help protect the belayer from getting pulled down the talus slope.


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