REI Community
Rock Hudson
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Absolute Zero T 
Gem Nabors T 
Hot Rocks T 
Ipecac T 
Looney Tunes T 
Nereltne T 
Stand and Deliver (aka Spanish Bombs) T 

Hot Rocks 

YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: John Long, Richard Harrison and Ging Gingrich, February 1973 FFA: John Bachar, 1979
Page Views: 8,237
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 17, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (96)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]
Casey McTaggart sending Hot Rocks


There are two starts to the climb - 1) climb the seam directly with no protection, or 2) climb past a bolt just right of the seam. Either way thin and delicate slab moves gain a stance where you can get some gear in. From here lieback and jam up a thin crack (crux) to a horizontal, after which the crack widens and enjoyable jamming past a steep bulge leads to the top. Descend by walking down the south shoulder (climber's right).

A true Josh classic with varied, interesting moves up a clean face.


Hot Rocks is the masterpiece of this wall and climbs a line just right of center identified as a seam that higher widens and forms a crack. Just left of this route is the thin and technical Stand and Deliver (aka Spanish Bombs) while further left is the widening crack of Looney Tunes.


1 bolt (1/2"), gear to 3"

Photos of Hot Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: rad
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the Crux in style ;)
Pulling the Crux in style ;)
Rock Climbing Photo: zack d.  taken by my mommy
zack d. taken by my mommy
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the move after the crux
Pulling the move after the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Hot Rocks
Hot Rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: Lucas Crushing Hot Rocks
Lucas Crushing Hot Rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: "Hot Rocks" climbs the beautiful crack, ...
BETA PHOTO: "Hot Rocks" climbs the beautiful crack, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The starting moves at the bolt
The starting moves at the bolt
Rock Climbing Photo: Todd Graham on Hot Rocks, J Tree
Todd Graham on Hot Rocks, J Tree
Rock Climbing Photo: hot rx
hot rx

Comments on Hot Rocks Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bart Fay
From: Redlands, California
Aug 8, 2002

Bold, delicate, burley, clean.Also part of Vogel's solo circuit, this really is a nice line. With so many routes at JTree, I'm not sure that any are 'Easily' in the Top Ten.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

The route seems to be on the easier side of 5.11, not the harder side, the crux being a switching sides layback or a thin fingerlock on a bad foothold (2 hard moves total). I TR'd it though, so maybe the ease of that brought the route down. As for soloing it, it seemed to me that the move was more 'low percentage' than it was hard, and the trick was simply not to slip off on the bad foot. Which is to say... I wouldn't solo it. Of course, I'm not a local and J-tree friction is not automatically programmed for me. Really fun route! Once the crux is over, the climb goes to a well-protected 5.10a that is still super-fun.
By Josh Beck
Jan 8, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

If you're taller the crux is certainly easier. I don't know off the top of my head how tall Randy or John are. On a gear note, it's easy to put gear where you need to put your feet on this route.

One of the best routes I've done in the park, ranks w/ O'Kelley Crack, Left Ski Track, Illusion Dweller, Clean and Jerk and the like for me.
By armand rollice
From: rancho cucamonga
Apr 7, 2008

Hotrocks is such a beautiful line and one of the best that I have done in Joshua Tree. The crux move after the bolt was very hard, I took several falls on a #4 TCu (Metolius). After pulling the crux at the bottom the climb was still a challenge. What a memorable day it was. Thank you Jeff for the belay and catching me when I fell. Thank you Sean for taking photos and Lee for the spot at the start! And you guys that solo this route, hats off to you! Armando
By Drewsky
Nov 9, 2008

Incredible route. Some care is required on this one to ensure that you have gear at the crux. On my first lead I recall missing some placements that would have made it much safer.
By Nate R
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Not runout at all. You can sew it up every 5 feet with totally bomber gear.
By John Long
Jul 21, 2011

We first did this route on aid to learn how to place copperheads. A few years later, Bachar and I did the first free ascent on a TR, and despite it being quite grainy at the time, the moves were so suave we lapped it several times. Later that day, Bachar went over and soloed it. It's just the one body length down low but at that time climbing this cordless was a revolution.
By Drewsky
Dec 21, 2012

...and still is, I would say, a bold statement!
By pkeds
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Dec 23, 2014
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

  • *Gear betas**
grey DMM offset nut just below the crux is super easy to place and super bomber.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About