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Locomotion Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Edam vs Gouda T 
Edom vs Moab T 
Grain Dance TR 
Gunks West T 
Hhecht T 
Jump Back Loretta T 
Jumping Jehosephat T 
Leaping Leaner T 
Lumping Fat Jennie T 
Slip and Slide TR 
Snnfchtt T 
Wilderness of Edom T 

Leaping Leaner 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Tim Powell & Dan Ahlborn, April 1977
Page Views: 8,055
Submitted By: Tony B on Mar 23, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (183)
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The start of this was way harder than 5.6. Of cour...


Follow the directions to reach the Locomotion Rock and settle into the niche on its West side. At the far north end of the rock there are two offset hand cracks that go from near the ground, up and left to the left hand side of the top of the rock. Grain Dance is a TR problem between Jumping Jehosephat to the left, and Leaping Leana, to the right.

Move up to reach the main crack. There are a few ways to accomplish this, and the further right you start, the harder it seems. If approaching the main crack from straight up or from the right, this might have some ankle-twisting potential at 5.8+. Approach from slightly left, and keep the grade easier. The beginning of this route, in my frank opinion, made it harder than Jumping Jehosephat. Climb up to reach said crack, then follow really great jams and locks to the top of the rock. Once you are in the main crack the protection is stellar, but the offset leans just far enough over to make it a little hard to get in for some people.

There are rap anchors [replaced 2/16/01 - ed.] just above this route.


This climb protects well on a set of cams. New leaders might appreciate doubles in the hand-size range.

Photos of Leaping Leaner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Clean good start
Clean good start
Rock Climbing Photo: Halfway up Leaping Leaner.
Halfway up Leaping Leaner.
Rock Climbing Photo: doing the leap on Leaping Leana
doing the leap on Leaping Leana
Rock Climbing Photo: leapin into first trad lead
leapin into first trad lead
Rock Climbing Photo: Hard start!
Hard start!
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost done! Easy to sew it up once you're on the ...
Almost done! Easy to sew it up once you're on the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim on clean up, Leaping Leaner.
Tim on clean up, Leaping Leaner.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff on Leaping Leaner
Jeff on Leaping Leaner
Rock Climbing Photo: Bennett puzzles out the start of Leaping Leaner
Bennett puzzles out the start of Leaping Leaner
Rock Climbing Photo: Me sewing it up on lead
Me sewing it up on lead
Rock Climbing Photo: "Leaping Leana". Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "Leaping Leana". Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Me "Starting from the pit".  I concur wi...
Me "Starting from the pit". I concur wi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lori learning what jamming is all about on Leaping...
Lori learning what jamming is all about on Leaping...

Comments on Leaping Leaner Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 25, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 3, 2003

Bring a 3 Camalot, or similar sized cam, for a pod about 10' up. Makes the start less scary. 2-3 friends the rest of the way. Fun for the grade.
By The Gray Tradster
Jul 7, 2003

Try it with the "leap" down and across the trench. We've conned unsuspecting victims into doing this on a TR. It's suprisingly easy to "stick" It would be a pretty sick lead that way though!
By Dynomight510
Aug 20, 2003

I did the 5.8+ start thinking it was 5.6 (I was sandbagged) and the pro was solid. Once pulling the move, there is poor or no pro until you reach the crack. The slab section is low angled and lowers the grade and eases the nerves but be aware, you can deck if you fall here. Solid gear to the top. Rack: .5" - 3". A few extra 3" would help.
By Steve Powell
Feb 18, 2004

Starting this in the pit is definitely 5.7/5.8
By Michelle
Dec 12, 2004

The start to the right did have some pretty technical climbing for a 5.6, but it will take pro in between the bomber hand jams to help out with those dicey lower moves.
By Bo Johnston
Mar 13, 2005
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Yeah, not a 5.6. We took a beginner here and it wasn't so cool to try and get her through the first 20 feet. The rest of the climb could fall into the 5.6 range but I'd say 5.7 for the upper crack. Great anchors on top!
By mmurduff Mic
Oct 16, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Although the route seems easy, the little to very few foot holds for your left foot make this climb very interesting. Excellent practice for right hand jams! Great anchors and solid gear in the crack. Used a small tri-cam (pink) near the bottom before reaching the crack. Nut placements were few, tri-cams worked better, and cams worked best for this parallel crack.
By Kellen Holt
Dec 31, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Only 5.6 if you start way left. Starting straight on, or 5 feet from either way is definitely harder and a tad spicy. I got a purple camalot in, but then ran it to the crack. Possible ground fall below the crack, but not enough to garnish an R/S rating. Once you hit the crack, the gear and jams are excellent. I got worried towards the top, as the crack widens, but the rap bolts allow you to anchor without gear. Beginning to intermediate leaders will want a 3.5 or 4 towards the top. Rap bolts are good as of 12/28/05.
By Adam Stackhouse
Mar 20, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Another overly pursued route because of its grade.
By Blitzo
Sep 22, 2006

Nice crack! Feels 5.7 to me.
By Gary Schenk
Mar 5, 2007

One of the bolts is missing at the top as of 3/3/2007
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Apr 6, 2007

I haven't seen too many 5.6 handcracks, this was a fun one. I don't really remember the opening moves out of the pit being hard, maybe one mildly strenuous one? I thought the first two moves in Josh don't count? hah! If you've got your rope up, TRing grain dance to the left is definitely worthwhile.
By Brett Brotherton
From: Arvada, CO
Nov 29, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

As of 11/28/08 there are two solid bolts up there with rap rings. I definitely agree with the 5.8 rating for the bottom part and felt the crack was harder than 5.6 as well. If it is 5.6 it is a rather strenuous 5.6. Not recommended for 5.6 leaders at all. The bottom part was super run out. I placed a green camalot and then went jumped over to the left crack from the ledge in the pit. There is a perfect jam in the right slanting crack however it was in the only spot I could find a good gear placement so I couldn't use it. It was pretty solid and held a couple small falls while I figured out the bottom section.
By DaveGustafson
From: Palm Desert, CA
Mar 29, 2009
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Okay, I got worked on this route. I'm not too sure if it was poor technique or what, but that bottom felt easily like 5.8+ to 5.9 (IMO) so any new 5.6 leaders may want to pass despite the temptation of rap anchors. Solid crack climbing once you get there that protects well. A nice area, not too populated on a weekend.
By Dan Costello
Apr 19, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I will echo the general consensus and say that this route can go from 5.6 to 5.7+ depending on how you plan the opening.

Be careful; this route is probably not the best bet for a beginning leader -- one of our friends took an unpleasant lead fall from the start.
Apr 20, 2009

is it really called Leaping LeanER. and for the past 17 years I have been calling it Leaping Leana! oops
By jj brown
May 22, 2009

Yea, the start is not 5.6 if you start below the crack, but it is fun. Climb up to the ledge, stick in sketchy pro, then do some slab moves to get up and over towards the crack. Rest of the crack is a breeze throwing in some right hand jams with left hands on the wall occasionally. Protection is bomber. Once you are up at the top hook to the rings and you are set.

Last climbing a week or two ago, and everything looked good to me.
By Ryan Strickland
From: Idyllwild, CA
Nov 13, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Just led this one today. I'd give it a solid 5.8 rating if you start directly below the crack. I'm just getting into leading 5.8 and this was the right amount of "scary" for me. I like to be stressed but not terrified. A #1 Camalot fits nicely into a pocket before you reach the main crack and allows you to skip the possible ground fall.
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Mar 8, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Felt like a 5.6 version of "Double Cross."
By Vitaliy
Oct 11, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Awesome route to practice crack climbing skills. Hard to protect start (it was originally done by leaping from a bolder above) so let someone competent at 5.9 lead it.
By Ryan Stefani
Oct 24, 2011
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Just led this. I've been working on 8/9s in the "classic rating scale" found in places like Little Cottonwood Canyon or Eldo Canyon and this is way not a .6 if started from the bottom. I started it directly below the crack and the mantle was fairly sketchy to the first piece a good 15' off the deck. Sail Away right around the corner is mega-polished, and at a .8-, WAY easier. I had far more trouble on this than I did on Double Cross (7+).

In the end, it was a very cool climb, but definitely not worth the amount of stars in the book.
By Hamik Mukelyan
From: San Francisco, CA
Nov 4, 2011

Led this a year ago with the classic leap start! My toes got a bit beat up on the landing in the crack, but it was totally worth it. It took about half an hour for me to work up the cojones to actually jump (you can protect it by attaching your belayer to a slung boulder).
By Justin Peacock
From: Denver/Los Angeles
Jan 8, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

The start is spicy. I agree that this start is as hard or harder than Sail Away. It's weird and hard to protect. The crack itself is fantastic! Only wish it was longer...
By Climb To Safety
From: california
Feb 15, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

My lead but couldn't complete the "5.6" start in the pit, this is 5.7 or the hardest 5.6 I've climbed in Joshua Tree. My buddy took over lead, and while on top rope, I changed my form, lie backing the first diagonal crack to the right, much easier. Great area to climb to avoid the crowds at thin wall.
By Repose climbing
Feb 16, 2013

The start is all about technique, with that being said this is still stiff for a 5.6 rating, very fun route from beginning to end, the crack to the top protects great and eats up BD#2's and 3's, rap bolts at top of route are bomber.
By Cron
From: Barrington, NH
Mar 26, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

j-tree's hardest 5.6
By Rich Welker
From: Cardiff, Ca
Oct 2, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I'd say J Tree's Double Dip 5.6 is harder and scarier. None the less, fun route!
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
May 18, 2015
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

this route is way better than double cross because it isn't all greased up from brazilians of people. just be careful at the start.
By Gregory Cooper
From: San Diego
Dec 20, 2015
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

"5.6 my ass", I told my climbing partner after pulling through the start and getting safely to the crack. "I'm going on Mountain Project and seeing what everyone has had to say about this." Boy I'm glad I'm not alone on this one. I think the biggest reason for the increase in difficulty is to do how smooth and greasy the bottom holds were.
By mhagny
Oct 27, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Vogel's guidebook has the start at 5.8+, which I think is ballpark accurate (i'd say flat 5.8). The handcrack on the upper half is certainly a very easy 7, or maybe even .6 by JT standards.
Comments on the pro on the bottom half are true. Even tho it's low angle, you dare not fall. Might not be the best for the budding gear climber.
By G1nj3r
Apr 25, 2017

Tightened the left of the bolts, was loose/spinning.

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