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The Old Woman - West Face
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YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: John Wolfe and Rich Wolfe, December 1965, FFA: Dick Webster, Bill Briggs and Woody Stark, February 1967
Page Views: 10,851
Submitted By: C Miller on Jun 20, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (320)
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BETA PHOTO: Who needs wide gear for Dogleg's anchor? Scramble...


A tricky start with fiddly pro is the crux after which fun but sustained crack climbing leads to the top of the rock. To descend head to the east side of the formation and rap off from bolted anchors atop the route Deviate.


The obvious curving crack on the left side of the west face.


Gear to three inches

Photos of Dogleg Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Midway up Dogleg
Midway up Dogleg
Rock Climbing Photo: anonymous climber on Dogleg, 1/7/12
anonymous climber on Dogleg, 1/7/12
Rock Climbing Photo: The Old Woman - West Face
BETA PHOTO: The Old Woman - West Face
Rock Climbing Photo: That same anonymous climber on "Dogleg"....
That same anonymous climber on "Dogleg"....
Rock Climbing Photo: Trying to get pass the crux
Trying to get pass the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Dogleg
Rock Climbing Photo: First 20 feet of Dog leg
First 20 feet of Dog leg
Rock Climbing Photo: Dogleg, Joshua Tree.
Dogleg, Joshua Tree.
Rock Climbing Photo: Loving the hand jams
Loving the hand jams
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Chris Parks.
Photo by Chris Parks.

Comments on Dogleg Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 14, 2017
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 6, 2003
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

The book suggests a rack to 2".

I suggest a rack to 3.5" You can pro it quite well with a double set of Camalots to #3 plus a 3.5. and the standard small tricams + set of nuts.

To avoid the insecure/hard start, step into the climb from a stance off to the right.
By Woody Stark
Apr 9, 2003

I and others are responsible for the rating problem on this route. In the sixties ratings were a good deal more conservative than today. It should be a solid nine and sustained.
By David Evans
Apr 11, 2003

I agree with Woody. Dogleg is 5.9. I used to solo it on a regular basis, would never solo it now.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 4, 2004

As a solid 5.10 crack climber, I worked pretty hard on this route. My ego liked reading the comments above calling this route a possible 5.9. The start was pretty hard and while there are great stances throughout the climb, it is pretty sustained. With that said, leaving it as 5.8 or 5.8+ is probably appropriate as it isn't nearly as hard as Damper. But, no matter the rating, it is still a very fun climb.

A number 3 camalot is very nice to have as the crack doglegs to the right.

By Woody Stark
Feb 5, 2005

Led it again today. I still think it's a solid nine, as did my partner.
By bert Vergara
Jun 17, 2005
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Great Route, Definitely an 5.8 or better. The crack spits you out about 3/4 up the route in one short section. It's commiting, but the moves are there if your head is.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Oct 13, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Bit of a grunt this one. I wouldn't argue with 5.9.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Mar 27, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

An excellent route. I thought the start move seemed very hard, but the rest of the climb was sinker hands for me. I have no idea what the start should be rated, but all but the first five feet felt about 5.8.
By Kayte Knower
Mar 27, 2007

Really sustained, engaging jamming. I got punished on the start. I hope I was doing it wrong.
By Darren D.
Apr 12, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Apparently you can traverse in right to make the start easier. This is a nice crack and makes a good "approach" for Geronimo on the other side of the formation.
By BenCooper
Dec 22, 2007

I'd agree with most of the above statements. The route seemed to want to spit me out constantly. I'd suggest a solid 5.8+ rating, and if 5.8 is your limit, start on double cross and then climb this one.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Dec 26, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The route has been upgraded to 5.9 in the new Vogel JTree West guide.
By Jon Hanlon
From: SLO
Dec 31, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Felt 5.9 to me...
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Oct 5, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This route takes a nice assortment of gear for the budding leader. Nothing too small or large needed for the climb itself. As you creep up the arch towards the top the rock quality drops a bit but the face moves are pretty good. Consider not burning your large piece as it could be used the the anchor.

Getting on the route could be considered the crux. Protect with 1" cam in small pod and just lob into it.

Minimum 2.5" cams & nuts for the belay. Rap the formation directly behind this route on the North side.

edit: This route still sports a fixed pin mid-way that seems bomber but easily backed up.
By bsavall
Nov 24, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Lot's of discussion about the rating of this route! I was fortunate enough to lead both Touch and Go (5.9) and Dogleg (5.8+) on the same day, in that order. For me, Dogleg seemed a half grade easier than TNG, but that could be the mix of techniques on TNG. Could be there were more opportunities to rest on Dogleg. I felt comfortable protecting the first move with a 0.4 BD. but other options exist.
By Brian Hench
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 30, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I've shied away from leading this one for a long time because of all sorts of comments like the ones above. When I finally led it, it seemed a lot easier than I expected it to. It has lots of good rests all along it's length. The hardest move for me was not the start but in the vicinity of the piton. I used a combination of foot jamming and stemming that got me to the next jug.

To get down we climbed up and over and down to a ledge and rap station on the east side. A single rope rap took us to the ground. Is that the best way? Seemed easy enough.
By Cory Harelson
From: Boise, ID
Feb 22, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The climb was fun and sustained, with great pro once you get past the start. After the thin start it was pretty much narrow but bomber hand and foot jams the whole way. The tricky part for me was that the flare outside of the main crack often made it awkward to get my feet all the way in for a good jam. I can understand the debate over the grade, but with the great hand jams and numerous rests, I think I'll say very solid 5.8. We climbed Pope's Crack next which definitley felt more difficult.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Mar 31, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Pink tricam protects the first move perfectly. Sink the pink!
By Pete eye
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 7, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

bright orange tcu offwidth too. 5.8+ is 5.9, dogleg is killer
By "Hal"
Dec 20, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I TRed this felt pretty tough to me, as a beginner crack climber. I got fed up with inching up the crack, so I moved out to the face for ~20 feet around 3/4 of the way though the climb, until the crack gets much easier. That was actually really fun, and surprisingly clean.
By Chris Keefe
Mar 16, 2012

Does anyone know the type or history of the bolt on the face to the right of the start of Dog Leg's dog leg?

I'm no expert, but It appears to be a buttonhead. If I remember correctly, the hanger looked pretty solid, and the head itself was larger than I'd expected.

I had a few nervy moments inspecting it before leaving a sling and lowering (very gingerly) when dark came on faster than expected.

The bolt held up well to pulling (outward), and side-to-side forces, and safeguarded my descent well enough, but I'd love to learn from this for future reference.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Mar 17, 2012

Looks like the top bolt for The Cavity .11d. Put up by Gaines and Mayville in 94. Less than 20 years old, two guys who know what they're doing. I hope you didn't lower directly through a sling.
By Chris Keefe
May 28, 2012

Sure didn't, @caughtinside. Just a little crag booty for the next .11d climber up.
By ChadC
From: San Diego CA
Feb 17, 2013

5.9 across the board
By Phil Esra
Dec 4, 2013

Forget the difficulty, what I'm surprised about is the star rating. This is absolutely a 3-star line.
By Sean Maher
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 3, 2016

This was my second lead in JT, and after styling Double Cross I thought I would inch my way up the grades... Dogleg shut down all such ambitions! Dogleg seemed significantly steeper and blanker than Double Cross, with more strenuous jams and thoughtful sequencing. A great climb, and a humbling introduction to the Joshua Tree sandbag.
By Howard
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Nov 2, 2016

According to Wolfe and Dominick's A Climber's Guide to Joshua Tree National Monument (1976), Dog Leg and Music Box are benchmarks for the Joshua Tree 5.8 standard.
By Ronald B
From: Los Angeles, CA
Nov 3, 2016

Led this one on the same day as Popular Mechanics (5.9) and Overseer (5.9), and this one felt harder. The individual moves felt at least as technical, and certainly I think it would be uncontroversial to say it is much more sustained climbing at grade. I agree with Tony B that you can protect it very thoroughly with a double set of Camalots to #3, although I don't think you'd need any nuts or tricams if you had that many cams.

Definitely a fun climb with a nice variety of moves and I feel like repeating it will improve my technique as someone who is working on getting better at moves around this level.
By Sean Cooney
Aug 14, 2017
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

My advice to anyone going to Joshua Tree is "Anything rated under 5.9 is actually 5.9. Once you hit 5.10, the ratings are pretty fair." Dogleg is one of the routes I think of whenever I say this.

A super classic jam crack full of fun. Kudos to Friends of Joshua Tree for putting anchors at the top.

A rack to 3.5" is good, especially with doubles in the 2" and 3" range. If you don't have doubles, you can supplement with a #4 BD Cam, which will go into the crack in several places.

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