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Cactus Flower 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c PG13 [details]
FA: Troy Mayr and Charles Cole, February 1988
Page Views: 2,149
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 6, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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BETA PHOTO: The bouldery moves of Cactus Flower


When this route was established Joshua Tree was going through some changes as sport climbing and rap bolting were becoming common in other climbing areas although Joshua Tree was still very much a traditional area and new routes still went in ground up for the most part. This climb was done in a unique style to uphold that "ground-up ethic" - as the climber lead up to each stance a power drill was hoisted up on a toprope! These days the atmosphere is more relaxed and most people are more concerned if the finished route is a quality one, which this one is.

Three bolts are found on this route, although some additional pro is required. At the start steep lieback moves (small gear) lead to an overhanging hand traverse which will get your blood flowing. Next you must mantle up onto a stance looking at a big fall potential as your last bolt is a ways down and left of you. Once up a lunge/long reach past a final bolt into a flake concludes the hard part. A bit of easy face leads to anchors.

There is also a direct start to this - This is Only a Test that bumps the grade up to solid 5.12 if the regular version is not enough.


10' right of Lazy Day on the east face of the rock.


3 bolts (3/8") and pro to 2", 2 bolt anchor/rap (3/8")

Photos of Cactus Flower Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cactus Flower (5.11b), Joshua Tree NP
BETA PHOTO: Cactus Flower (5.11b), Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: about to mantle on the sloping dike of Cactus Flow...
about to mantle on the sloping dike of Cactus Flow...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 19, 2015
By Randy
Jan 14, 2003
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Be sure to bring a few thin cams to protect the initial moves getting to the first bolt. Other than that, no other pro is really necessary. Easily top-roped from the bolt anchors.

If Jane's Addiction and such get 3 stars, this one deserves 3 as well (it is equally good).
By Josh Beck
Mar 11, 2003

Some friends put a TR on this route a few months back and when I took a stab at it I didn't know you moved up and left past the last bolt, but instead walked out the dike to the right and made a couple of very thin friction moves (11- maybe). Wouldn't want to do this on lead, as you'd look at a massive fall. I've also seen someone hand traverse the dike quite a ways right before mantling, for variety. Looks like you might get some small - medium cams in pockets in the dikes above the last bolt as it's a long way to the anchor, although quite easy.
By Steven Powers
Oct 23, 2003
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

i agree with randy, an awsome line as good or better than janes addiction. this climb is easily toproped by hiking up the NW side of the formation.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 15, 2004

The crux on this one as I remember wasn't the most enjoyable part of the climb. I remember standing on a pretty good ledge and good holds, (a crack maybe?) was just barely out of reach and I had to desperately lunge and stab for it. I remember thinking "Wow that was not aesthetic". Maybe I missed something but there are definitely more interesting 11s in Jtree.
By Brandon R
From: Sacramento, CA
Mar 21, 2006

The last bolt is sticking out about a half inch.
By Adam D
From: Los Osos, CA
Jan 31, 2009

I believe there has been some bolt replacement on this climb
By peachy spohn
Mar 26, 2009

A fall past the mantle move could be pretty bad. Fun route and thoughtful moves, though I would give it an R rating.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
May 23, 2011

The top lead bolt is indeed sticking out almost an inch, pretty sketchy. You can get gear after the top bolt which may be a good idea given the state of the bolt, even though you are past the hard moves. a 2 or 3 camalot should work, maybe extended to keep your rope running smooth.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Oct 10, 2011

I would not recommend clipping any of the bolts on this route. I would say this route is a top rope only until the bolts are replaced. I didn't look at the gear placements too hard, but I imagine it would be possible to place gear on this route at the bottom. Not much pro options at or past the third bolt.

I top roped this route after climbing Lazy Day to the left. Worked out great. If you are looking at trying a .11 in J-Tree and haven't lead any .11's in the area, this is a good one to try on top rope to get an idea of the area's .11 difficulty.
By Nick Sullens
From: Yosemite/ Bishop
Jan 26, 2012

The bolts through the crux are very solid, the last bolt that you clip is sticking out a bit but would likely hold the fall you would take on it, a .75 or a 1 goes in the crack above the lunge move to protect the top, more or less.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Dec 3, 2012

The bolt that is sticking out protects the upper crux. You will not be able to protect the upper crux without it as the gear is after the crux move. I would NOT trust this bolt. It is rusty and sticking out about 1 1/2". Not recommended for leading until this bolt is replaced... That aside, it's a GREAT route.
By drewp
Oct 19, 2015

Was on this yesterday. The bolts are fine (I tested them...), looks like someone replaced them. The lunge/reach above the mantle can be avoided by some really interesting no hands stemming... fun!

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