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Jerry's Quarry
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Ali Shuffle T 
Elephant Walk T 
Equinox T 
One Eyed Frog S 
Zen And The Art Of Placement T 


YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Dennis Johnson 1972, FFA (TR): John Bachar May 1978, First Lead: Tony Yaniro, 1981
Page Views: 25,957
Submitted By: Steve Juhasz on Dec 30, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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Photo: Bennett Barthelemy


The line of the route is not hard to spot. It is a unique crack up the vertical west face of the giant boulder which forms the summit of Jerry's Quarry. The start of the crack is thin fingers, and is is covered partially by a huge "ear-like" flake. Mantle onto this, and continue up the thin crack with increasing difficulty. The crux comes at about 25 feet when the footholds vanish and the face overhangs a degree or two past vertical. After this, some nice finger locks replace the desperate finger-tip jams, and the angle eases slightly. Be sure to utilize the tiny but solid edges under the crack for your feet. Just before the mantle onto the summit, you have an almost no-hands rest, and one you will want to milk! At the top, savour your send of one of the world's finest routes, at one time one of the first routes graded 5.13, (hey, they had EB's and straight-sided nuts).

It's possible to scramble around the backside, where there's usually a short piece of rope to yard up and over the top, if you want a toprope.


Despite the widening appearance of the crack near the top, the largest pro it takes is #3 TCU (or #1 friends). Take 2 each TCU's #1 and #2, one #3 and some finger sized stoppers.

Photos of Equinox Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Yaniro just a little pumped after 7 consecuti...
Tony Yaniro just a little pumped after 7 consecuti...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ian on Equinox
Ian on Equinox
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Goodwin on Equinox (5.12c), Joshua Tree NP  Ph...
Dan Goodwin on Equinox (5.12c), Joshua Tree NP Ph...
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh Higgins on Equinox.
Josh Higgins on Equinox.
Rock Climbing Photo: onsight attempt
onsight attempt
Rock Climbing Photo: Nicole Grider on Equinox.
Nicole Grider on Equinox.
Rock Climbing Photo: RTM on Equinox. photo: K.Sako
RTM on Equinox. photo: K.Sako
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading this via aid - because heck if I could lea...
Leading this via aid - because heck if I could lea...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ian on Equinox
Ian on Equinox
Rock Climbing Photo: Onsight attempt
Onsight attempt
Rock Climbing Photo: Spot the line - Equinox (5.12c), Joshua Tree NP
Spot the line - Equinox (5.12c), Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Painful fingerlocks on Equinox
Painful fingerlocks on Equinox
Rock Climbing Photo: A perfect crack
BETA PHOTO: A perfect crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Me climbing Equinox on toprope. Incredible route, ...
Me climbing Equinox on toprope. Incredible route, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: What a gorgeous crack!
What a gorgeous crack!
Rock Climbing Photo: Ian on Equinox
Ian on Equinox

Comments on Equinox Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 27, 2017
By C Miller
From: CA
Oct 22, 2006
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

A striking splitter and one of the best pure crack routes in Joshua Tree. Toproping this can be a bit easier than leading depending upon finger size.

Originally called "Et Tu" when done as an aid route.
By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Oct 11, 2007

Placing gear is real straightforward on Equinox. I think that leading being a whole grade harder is a bit of an exaggeration. Harder yes. A full number harder, well...
Regardless, Equinox is arguably the finest crack in Jtree and one of the best fingercracks in the West if not the entire country.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 7, 2007

If you're willing to take longish falls, there are decent locks/stances at the start, at the scoop, and above the scoop to place gear from. The gear is very straighforward, especially for a harder JT climb.
By Adam Stackhouse
Nov 7, 2007

I've heard similar sentiments about this climb not being 5.12 if on TR.
By bheller
From: SL UT
Jan 2, 2008

My 2 cents: This finger crack is simply amazing. The best I have ever seen on an intrusive rock. Leading it or TRing it? Not much different in my opinion. I say this because the thing takes perfect gear everywhere. Finger size cams just fall in. There are also some spaced, but really good locks- so if you're resting on em anyways, why not just drop in a cam as well? This crack was also the most painful I have ever experienced. I had flappers on my fingers afterwards. It is brutal. Smear those feet and yard on those locks, try not to bleed out... good luck. It is as good as it gets.
By 426
Apr 20, 2008

I have to agree with *someone*, it was 11d+/- on TR with "discreet" rope tension ;)-
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Oct 19, 2008

I have to agree that this climb is harder on the lead than on TR. I sent second go on TR, but have yet to send it on lead. There's something about being locked off on a painful fingerlock, trying to wiggle in a cam, while the feet are skating and the arms are pumping out. That seems to add some difficulty.
By Brad G
From: 1994 Honda Civic
Feb 1, 2009

5.11? That stresses me out
Feb 5, 2009
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

haha, not sure I agree with that! the crux is 5.12 no matter what! the bottom may be .11+, the top may be .11-, but the crux? leading it didn't necessarily feel much harder than tr, just a little concerning because if you fall you may leave a finger. My finger went numb for 3 months after one attempt!
By C Miller
From: CA
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Equinox on Youtube -
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 2, 2010

that is tradass!
By mike c
From: golden
Dec 10, 2010

now thats a crack.!
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Feb 18, 2011

You gotta love it. People saying that doing a climb on TR is the same difficulty as leading it. Pretty soon people are going to start claiming an ascent just because they looked at a particular route.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Apr 5, 2011

I think this is the best route in Josh. If the first 15' were less painful it would be the most fun, too. It's easier to toprope, for certain, but four grades difference is a bit overboard. Maybe two for the pain factor of the first few placements through the crux. After that it's simply pleasure. Of course, this being a crack and all, my review is rather large guy dependant. A small female friend of mine has fallen off the top and finds the bottom locker.
By Tommy L-D
Apr 20, 2011

Replaced the tattered fixed line on the back of the formation.
By randy baum
From: Minneapolis, MN
Jan 7, 2012

is honnold free soloing equinox in this video? whatever the line, it looks awesome!
By Adam Stackhouse
Jan 7, 2012

Sure looks like it Randy!
By TeleRoss
From: San Diego, CA
May 9, 2013

Got on this rig today, and man are those some painful finger locks. Such a sweet route!
Unreal that Honnold soloed that thing! Crazy!
By Alain Aleksandro De la Tejera
From: Riverside, Ca
Dec 4, 2013
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I have to agree with Jay Knower on this one. I thought it was really difficult having to lead versus on TR. There ARE solid locks everywhere, but when placing gear I had my feet cut many times while still engaged on those locks. I also had to "wiggle" cams in there instead of just sinking them in. I floated up the line on TR and had a hard time on lead. I gave it one lead go and believe it or not, fumbled with the gear quite a bit also ( I thought I did pretty awful actually). I also got sketched doing the traverse at the gear was terrible. I don't know if I would throw in a grade on TR, I would much rather just recommend to anyone into finger cracks to try it out. It is incredible!!! :D

12-23-13 Tweaked my shoulder and took three weeks off since my last visit to J-tree. Went there today, ran to the climb and led clean, it went super smooth. I was nervous to start but surprised that it went without a fight. My injury may have been a blessing in disguise as I got to rest. Stoked.
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Jan 10, 2014

The late, great Californian Michael Reardon free soloed Equinox sometime prior to 2006. There are photos of him going ropeless on this hard crack. It would be safe to say that his was the first free solo of the climb.

There is a famous photo of honemaster Tony Yaniro flexing his veiny and muscled arm after pumping laps on it that I have seen many times.
By Crusher420
Jan 6, 2015

Cake compared to any 12 at the quarry. Next time il actually remember to tie in. LOL!
By Adam Stackhouse
Jan 20, 2015

Randy Leavitt made the third ascent of Equinox Crack. John Bachar did the first ascent on top rope (5.12d) in 1978. Yaniro did the second ascent in August 1980. On this ascent, Tony lead the Equinox.
By Amos Whiting
From: Basalt, Colorado
Nov 17, 2016

Amazing route. Seems right at the grade. Supper splitter finger lock yarding.
By Arran James
Apr 27, 2017

Fished out a Scarpa Booster S, right shoe, in the chasm beneath the start of this climb today. Pretty well hidden. Looks new (no noticeable wear), but possibly been there for months? Years? Let me know if it's yours!

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