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Loose Lady 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Dave Houser and Jan McCollum, November 1977
Page Views: 10,976
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 1, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (232)
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Me getting started up Loose Lady.


Seven bolts protect steep edges/smears up this exposed and fun route with the crux coming early on. Well protected, but not quite a sport route. A bolted anchor/rap is on top (90'). Take care if using a 50 meter rope and rap down the center of the formation, not down the route, as it's more than 80' down the route.

A standout climb with a short approach, exciting friction and great position make this a very popular route, so plan accordingly.

Rock Climbing Photo: loooooooose lady... photo by Eric Horst
loooooooose lady... photo by Eric Horst


Left side of the outer face of the buttress.


7 bolts, bolted anchor/rap (all 3/8")

Photos of Loose Lady Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Maggie trying to stay loose.
Maggie trying to stay loose.
Rock Climbing Photo: Alissa starting up Loose Lady on a very windy day.
Alissa starting up Loose Lady on a very windy day.
Rock Climbing Photo: loooooooose lady... photo by Eric Horst
loooooooose lady... photo by Eric Horst
Rock Climbing Photo: Another shot of Ron Roach leading Loose Lady. Phot...
Another shot of Ron Roach leading Loose Lady. Phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: I don't know if this is the crux of the
BETA PHOTO: I don't know if this is the crux of the
Rock Climbing Photo: Just after the crux on Loose Lady
Just after the crux on Loose Lady
Rock Climbing Photo: Loose Lady
Loose Lady
Rock Climbing Photo: Matthew Fienup on Loose Lady, Joshua Tree
Matthew Fienup on Loose Lady, Joshua Tree
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on Loose Lady.
Unknown climber on Loose Lady.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up Loose Lady.
Starting up Loose Lady.

Comments on Loose Lady Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 16, 2016
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 15, 2002
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I'd give it 2 stars. I wasn't that jazzed about it. I guess it made me feel more insecure than challenged.

They call this line "Loose Lady" because of the holds- some flexing flakes and some gritty smears. With it's popularity I would have though that it would be completely clean, but I snapped one off anyway.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 17, 2002

If I remember correctly, the crux is fairly low on the route (2nd bolt or so?) and involves navigating a slight bulge.
By Mark J. Nelson
Jan 9, 2003

Seemed like the first two bolts each protected crux sequences like Mike described. In both cases, you can stand safely to make the clip, figure out the sequence to get you over the bulge, and be comfortably through the crux by the time your feet are above the bolt.

Mixed reactions seem to be the order of the day: I absolutely loved this route, and my partner would have been just as happy if I had cleaned on rap and we had both walked away.

I tend to go with Vogel's 5.9+ rating, rather than Bartlett's 5.10a. The crux sequences are both in the hard 5.9 range, and the remaining climbing is relatively sustained at 5.8, with the occasional 5.9 move thrown in just to keep you on your toes. (Friction climbing pun intended, of course.)
By Kevin Jeffreys
Apr 23, 2003

I think the last bolt (way off to the left) is off route. Perhaps it's not even supposed to be on at all, but skipping it makes the finish the way J tree should be... runout. Mmmmmmm...
By mike harrison
May 12, 2003

great lead! typical JT FRICTION. the crux was at the first and second bolts.the other crux is in your head trying to trust your feet.classic JT route less a couple bolts.everyone should lead this one, at least once.
By Josh Beck
May 12, 2003

Not to be argumentative but I wouldn't call this really friction climbing - more like thin face and edging. Without all the nice little edges this would be a much more difficult route.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Aug 18, 2003

5.9+ or 5.10a??? Whatever the case my son and I love this climb. Real fun lead!!! I find it to have a good combination of friction and edging. I loved the feeling of not knowing if I was going to take a piece of it home with me in my hand or to yell to my son below "Rock!" R. Vogel gives it four stars and for my son and I, we agree. I also agree with whomever questioned that seventh bolt. I too felt it to be a bit off and did it both ways. I ran it out first, then down climbed and clipped it. It was more fun as a short runout. It is hot in the afternoon so we did it at dusk. I recommend it (How many C's are there in that word?)
By Steven Powers
Oct 6, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

ive done this route many times and still cant figure out while its so classic, just another jtree slab climb, its long well protected compared to other slabs in josh, but the climbing seems way to monotonous to consider a major classic. it gets a little sporty up top but not to bad, the second bolt is my favorite place to collect quick draws after and during a busy weekend almost every time i walked by last season there was a draw on the second bolt, i went up and got them every time, ive scored three complete quick draws.... gym climbers...... phhhhhhh!
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 30, 2003

Very good face/slab climb great belay station. crux is after first clip and each difficult section has a bolt just prior.
By namascar
Feb 2, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Long, well protected and pure slab moves.
By GoBotRocker
From: Spfld, Ma
Apr 29, 2004

Oh how I longed to lay my hands on this rock, was worth waiting years to do. Yup I'd agree the crux is at the first bolt, I thought it was a 5.9, Oopps... Another fun climb that's was a 10 minuete walk from my tent. Hey the Fridge Magnet Dispenser at the top was empty, wasupwidat?
By Woody Stark
May 24, 2004

As of Saturday, a prominent, pyramid shaped hold around the halfway point wants to give up the ghost. Beware.
By TrevorB
Jun 22, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I'll tell you why it's a classic. I'm too lazy to describe all the details, but it just is. A random snow flurry and the best campfire sing-along EVER had somethng to do with it though.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 5, 2004

My Butt sure puckered on this one. SO GOOD!!!!
By Aaron Williams
Apr 2, 2005
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I thought the crux was more on the second bulge and it was a tiny bit runout at the top im very short so reaching the slopers was tough me and my bud are 13 and 24 and we climb alot and we saw more climbers at looking glass and we didnt taslk to any all day we were the only ones to get pinhead crack headstone locomotion rock and LOOSE LADY ALL DAY!!!!!!we were kinda depressed not to meet the lokies ill be out from richmond VA soon again
By Woody Stark
Apr 3, 2005

Aaron hang in there. You didn't see any of the "lokies" because they were all over by Double Cross fighting with each other to see who would get to chop the phantom bolt.
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Sep 18, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I have seen this route rated everything between 5.8 and 5.10c. I give it a 9.
By Blitzo
Sep 22, 2006

Nice route.
By reboot
From: .
Jan 3, 2007

Hrm, and I thought the route was named to encourage more "loose" ladies to climb topless (my apologies to the nice lady from the bay area; I couldn't resist after learning the route name, hehe).

It's not a bad route, but if the neighboring Hidden Arch only gets 4 stars, then this is at most 3.
By JP.8d
From: Menlo Park, CA
Feb 26, 2007

Climbed this route a few Decembers ago in 200 mph winds. I remember complaining about the gusts and nearly being blown off stances with each high step. My partner rightfully scorned me for being a little whiner. Put it all in perspective and made me laugh at myself, the wind and the route, which reminds me a little of the second pitch of ...Mariner on Lumpy Ridge.
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007

Fantastic bolted route for JT! Well-protected (enough, that is. Hey, it's JT, remeber?) Ran right up for the onsite my first time. Unfortunately, this is one of those routes that seems to get harder and sketchy-er every time I climb it...
By oldbull
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Apr 7, 2009

Great fun climbing....changes character bottom to top. Slab climbs are never supposed to feel "secure" in the sense of a good hand jam....that's the allure. May be 10a at other climbing locals, but felt like a very honest 9 to me. The cruxs come low. Great view from the top!
By Pat C
From: Honolulu
Oct 5, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

If you've done this one try dazed and confused on the lenticular dome, it's a bit more run out, but if you're comfortable on loose lady then there's nothing surprising on dazed and confused. I'd almost argue that loose lady is a bit more difficult. And this thing is not 10a. It's awesome, and fun, but it's 5.9.
By Ian G.
From: PDX, OR
Feb 27, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

Whatever you do, do not attempt this route in 40 mph winds!
By Benjamin Smith
May 6, 2011

This route should be relabeled as a Sport route instead of Trad. It's definitely sport... there is no other pro than bolts, and it's well bolted.

I wouldn't really call this a slab route either. I would have been better off wearing tight edging shoes rather than my big floppy multi-pitch smearing shoes.
By tinyonion
Dec 4, 2011


It's trad if it was done in the traditional ethic; bolts from the ground up on lead. A rap bolted but sparse bolting would still be sport. Even if there was a potential for groundfall because the bolter didn't put in enough bolts.

That said, I have no idea if the original was rap bolted or not but it's a trad crag so it's likely that it was done on lead. there is an 11 around the corner that was done on lead. Anyone know how this one was bolted?
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Dec 5, 2011

As listed in the route description Loose Lady was put up by Dave Houser and Jan McCollum, November 1977. It was done ground up on lead.

Table-side consensus: Routes being established on rap do not necessarily make a "sport route".
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 5, 2012

Loose Lady was a beautiful send out for my trip as the sun was setting. The high class hood rats from St. George we shared the crag with were a riot, although probably not a permanent feature of the crag. Gotta love some Utah boys drinking the pibbers and blasting Cannonball Adderly on their speakers.

I can only wonder about Loose Lady's relation to Sexy Grandma.
By Armor Todd
Apr 3, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Wow! A lot of these comments remind me of those on the I Phone vs Droid debate...lost of nastiness for no reason (I do have an I Phone)..Get over it! Loose Lady is a flat out beautiful climb on a gorgeous hunk of rock...5.9...10a, who cares? You cannot stand at the bottom and not want to be up there...enjoy the smearing, feel the friction beneath your shoes holding just enough to make the next move hands of course...just the right amount of bolts and an incredible view from the belay. I led it for the first time with no prior knowledge, having never been up it before...and went right up with no hesitation...there really isn't any place to hesitate! One of my best leads ever. Josh face is the best...
By Tommy G.
From: Killeen, Texas
Nov 12, 2012

Fun route. All of the business is well protected. Cruised it; there aren't many great opportunities to hang out. Easier than Dummy's Delight around the corner.

Houser buttress is a nice place to post up on a cold day.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Mar 9, 2015

For me, the crux was getting past the first bolt and I thought that section was harder than anything on Lady Finger. I'd call it 9+ (10b).
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Nov 25, 2015
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13

what a great climb. sustained razor crimps, friction and even a few surprise slopers. while the climbing would be great even on TR what makes this climb special is the bolt placements. they add excitement to the lead. there could easily be an additional bolt or maybe even 2 if they were just spaced at a set distance from each other. there are built in mini runouts...not on the hardest moves, but not on trivial climbing either. there is potential for a big fall in a couple spots but that only raises the focus needed and the intensity of the experience. i had a great time leading this, the climbing is secure and a little insecure at the same time. makes no sense i know but just my two cents. again nice job by the FAs.
By T. Stark
From: Los Angeles, CA
Mar 16, 2016

I really enjoy this route, it is well bolted and has some nice, sustained movement. I agree that it is on the lower end of the rating but depending on your comfort with trusting your feet, it could make for a more challenging experience.

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