REI Community
Future Games Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bendix Claws, The T 
Continuum T 
Disappearing Act T 
Games Without Frontiers T 
Hang 'Em High T 
Invisibility Lessons T 
Invisible Touch T 
Sandblast T 
Therapeutic Tyranny T 

Invisibility Lessons 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: John Long, Mike Lechlinkski & Mari Gingery, December 1978
Page Views: 6,598
Submitted By: Mike Kidner on May 14, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (169)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Not so invisible leading Invisibility Lessons


This is the right hand, hand crack of the face, easy climbing to a bulging step left into the crack proper, jam your way to the top. Try not to grin inanely all the up.


It's all good, cams up to a #2 Camalot. Belay at top is about 0.5-1 Camalot size.

Photos of Invisibility Lessons Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Moulin on "Invisibility Lessons". Ph...
Tom Moulin on "Invisibility Lessons". Ph...
Rock Climbing Photo: going for the sinker jam
going for the sinker jam
Rock Climbing Photo: crux of invisibility lessons
crux of invisibility lessons
Rock Climbing Photo: scoping out the crux on invisibility lessons
scoping out the crux on invisibility lessons
Rock Climbing Photo: Mary plugging pro at the crux
Mary plugging pro at the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: "Invisibility Lessons". Photo by Blitzo....
"Invisibility Lessons". Photo by Blitzo....
Rock Climbing Photo: This is an odd angle, but you get a feeling of jus...
This is an odd angle, but you get a feeling of jus...

Comments on Invisibility Lessons Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 27, 2016
By Rob "rk" Kalinowski
Jul 26, 2002

Well, I have to dissagree with Mike's description of the begiining "easy". Of course, you'll have to take my comments with a grain of salt since this was my first 9 trad lead ever, and I wouldn't have tried it except for the fact that it was my last day in J-Tree and I had just finished the 8+ to the left (Continuum). A man who my friend and climbing buddy Mike and I dubbed "Cool James" told me it was more straightforward then the 8+ and since I had lead that, I should definitely lead Invisibility Lessons. It was a little bit of that great encouragement and community that makes this place so special, and I'm glad I did it. But I digress... The start is thin, I sort of side pulled and slightly laid back in the right facing dihedral/ crack up to the big step. It was only until my fourth attempt that I was comfortable enough to be able to get an alien in and continue up. And I guess that was kinda easy compared to the step and then thin hands/ hand crack above. I thought that feet were a bit desperate for my taste while leading at the time, but the pro an the hand jams were good. After about 10 or 15 feet, it opens up to hand crack and then eases considerably. I think a first time 9 trad leader (like I was) can tackle this if you feel comfortable with crack climbing, and you can get up the start. I used a 1 as well as a large (3 or 4) camalot on top for the belay. Lots of options up there. And although I haven't climbed many 9's in the park, I might have to give it a 3 stars...
By Josh Beck
Dec 8, 2002

This is one of the nicest routes I've done in jtree, and one of the nicest moderates that I've done anywhere... excellent and fun all the way on superb rock.
By Joseph Lee
Feb 22, 2003

My favorite 5.9 to date at JT. Lots of fun. You need to build your own anchor. Great walk off to the left. While you're in the area, definitely run over to Bird of Fire.
By Dynomight510
Sep 29, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

You need to climb about 10' off the deck to the first pro placement. The moves off the deck and the stance at the first pro placement is powerful and delicate. The next challenge is moving out right into the thin hands crack. The stance here is good and you should be able to place gear in the crack before the next series of moves. The crack angles right and opens a bit to bomber hands. A bit sustained but it's hand crack. If you want to lead a crack that has pro off the deck, go Touch and Go.

Good rock and great crack. Fun moves all the way.

A few sustained sections.
By Josh Beck
Sep 29, 2003

The crux of this climb is actually the left leaning tight hands. Best to place a piece high then pull into it and make a few moves to get to better hands before the next piece goes in. Then eases off to the top. Not hugely sustained but no gimme. Excellent either way, along with Touch and Go probably the best two < 5.10 cracks in the park in my opinion.
By Kayte Knower
Feb 1, 2004

WOW WOW WOW. Absolutely grinning all the way to the top, and feeling like a hero because .75 camalot is decent hands for me and this crux protects beautifully. There are a lot of feet on the left wall that ballance you nicely to pull into the crack. I brought doubles from purple to gold, but it's that yummy green cam that you could place five times if you want to. My favorite of this grade at J-tree.
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Dec 31, 2005

Good route, but maybe overrated. 1.5 out of 3 stars, I thought. Short, not sustained, no exposure. Overseer on Hemmingway is a much, much better line at this grade.
By nicole
Mar 4, 2006

Nice route. I thought it was much easier than Continuum even though it is rated harder.
By Adam Stackhouse
Mar 13, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good route on clean rock 3 stars out of 5. Nice hands crux in the middle gives way to easier terrain to the top. A couple of #3 camalots for the belay. Recommended
By Bo Johnston
Oct 18, 2006

I agree with Sirius completely. It is worth doing for the move left at the roof and the 7 feet after that!
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 21, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Nice line, crux is the left leaning thin hands section near the bottom, takes excellent gear at the crux (and just about anywhere else too). Bottom is a little delicate and polished. If you are going to TR this after leading, stop about 15' below the top at a good stance (4th class low angle bomber hands to the top from here) and build your anchor in the double hand cracks (takes anything from #1-#3 camalot size)...this will be much easier on your rope and easier to belay the TR than going all the way over the top. While you've got the rope hung, take a run up the .10c face route just to the right "Disappearing Act". And I agree with the other two, Overseer and Touch and Go are better routes.
By DavidHH
From: Parker, Colorado
Apr 24, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I can only assume that this routes name stems from the fact that there ARE small footholds out left which were initially "invisible" to me at first. Great route which seemed harder than 9 to me until this discovery.
By Ian G.
From: PDX, OR
Feb 27, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I can't believe this route only gets 2.5 stars! The start's a little odd, but the handcrack above is really cool.
By Brandontyrrell tyrrell
Apr 22, 2010

Great climb on a busy weekend
By BrendanC
From: Sherman oaks, ca
May 9, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Another great route. The start is intimidating but all there. I think a .5 in the obvious pod/crack at about 10' and you're off. Just a little slick and polished in this section (spotter is key) but it's easier than it looks. Very fun fingers gets you to the roof which looks much harder than it is since it seems like there are zero spots for your left foot on the face once you pull over and commit to the crack. You can get a great piece in to protect this move, pull up and in, put in one more if you want but it's over quickly. Thin hands. Then a big rest and easy glory hands to the top. I thought Continuum was definitely easier.
By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Mar 14, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

If you blow it in the polished section before the first placement, it would be easy to crack an ankle on the angular, buried blocks.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Mar 14, 2012

Are you suggesting that if you fall off a climb before you get gear in, injury is possible?
By Tradiban
Mar 14, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

caughtinside-ZING! This thing is good but probably too short to be considered classic. I liked Continuum better.
By Drederek
Apr 11, 2013
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

continuum favors big hands, invisibility is better for thin fingers. Hope I cleared things up!
By alleyehave
From: San Diego, CA
Mar 29, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Was expecting something more, enjoyed Continuum a lot more, worth doing, but not worth the 4 stars this route gets in all the guidebooks imho...
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Jan 5, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't understand the concept of ratings of routes by being short, having exposure, being thin or wide. Maybe if a crack were just 10' I will pass it up. Why should I care about exposure? Do I climb for the thrill of being high off the ground or for the good climbing movement? Do I suck at thin fingers or thrashing up mean off widths? Smooth or grainy rock? These are just pieces of the overall puzzle that makes climbing fun.
By mhagny
Oct 27, 2016
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

For me, this was considerably easier than Continuum. Perhaps only 5.8+.

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