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The Comic Strip - SW Face
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Frontal Lobotomy 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Matt Cox, Dave Evans. Spencer Lennard, Alan Lennard, January 18 1975
Page Views: 1,873
Submitted By: Randy on Jan 17, 2003

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BETA PHOTO: Frontal Lobotomy, 5.10


A really great, steep crack climb, that seems more exposed and difficult that it really is (aren't we always looking for this kind of route?) Excellent protection. One of the first climbs done in the Comic Book area. The young Matt Cox, Dave Evans and Spencer Lennard were very active in climbers in the 70s, establishing many fine routes.

Pitch 1: The first pitch (5.9) is often neglected, but is actually quite good. Layback a wide crack (crux), which quickly becomes fingers; traverse left to a belay on a small ledge (you can scramble up from the left to this spot).

Pitch 2: Clip a bolt, and make a long reach into a finger crack-bomber layback (5.10a/b). Higher up, above a small roof, the crack widens and eases. Belay on a large ledge.

You can also lead this route in a single pitch, but unless you are careful (use runners), rope drag could be a problem.

Make a 100+ foot rap from a 2 bolt anchor. Alternatively, downclimb to the left (Class 4/5).


A good variety of small nuts/cams to possibly 4 inches (to protect crux of 1st pitch).

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By Murf
Jan 20, 2003

Great route, done it twice, always as 1 pitch from the offwidth start, rope drag is not an issue if you don't mind possible swings on the easy ground.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jan 24, 2003
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I remember this climbs as being rather strenuous for me.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Nov 25, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

We climbed it as one pitch, including the offwidth at the bottom. The offwidth is short but stout, and felt harder than the technical crux up higher, but YMMV. Bring a #4 or #4.5 camalot and you can safely protect the offwidth. I put double length slings on the last two pieces before the bolt, and a long sling on the bolt and the rope drag was fine.

After clipping the bolt, gently reeeeeeeeeeeaaach right (and dance your feet to the edge of the ledge!) and crank up the sweet crack above. Good pro (small TCUs after the bolt) lead all the way up to the roof and through the final, awkward 5.8 crack to the anchor. Expect some pump, particularly if the offwidth sapped any of your energy.

One 60m rope JUST makes the bottom from the anchor, so no need for doubles. This anchor is different than described above in the description, so I am guessing it is new anchor.

Double rack from thin to #3 camalot, include a #4 or #4.5 camalot (probably better) for the offwidth.
Aug 22, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

It never even crossed my mind to do this in two pitches, and the odd bolt is so far to the left it seemed off-route. Typical though, I find that alot of 2-pitch routes in Joshua Tree are easily done in 1 pitch.
By Bryan G
From: Yosemite
Nov 2, 2009

I found the gear through the crux section to be a little tricky. Maybe not tricky by Joshua Tree standards, but it's not Indian Creek style plug-n-go, and the stances you have to place from are quite strenuous. Offset size TCU's would have helped I think. Add to that the sort of awkward OW in the beginning and you have a very physical 5.10a with varied challenges. Awesome climb, but definitely not for leaders trying to break into the 5.10 grade.
By Richard Shore
Mar 26, 2012
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

My partner tried liebacking the wide section at the start, it didnt work out so well for him. Good fist jams exist deep in the wide section, and heel-toe cams make this bit less physical than it needs to be. The upper finger crack is a treat!
By D. Evans
From: Tustin, California
Oct 1, 2015

FA 1/18/75.

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