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Poodles are People Too 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Randy Vogel and Charles Cole, February 1980
Page Views: 10,042
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 3, 2002

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This baby is steep! Doesn't look like it from the...


This climb is located towards the left end of the wall and lies just to the right of the obvious straight-in crack of White Lightning. This was the first of the many Poodle routes in Joshua Tree, and what it all means...well who knows, but this is a fabulous route.

The lower (crux) section of the route is characterized by face climbing with small wires for pro. Not your ordinary clip-up, it makes you question how far you want to go off that last piece...higher, the difficulty eases until a steeper section is encountered at the top. To descend rap off with two ropes from bolts nearby or head (climber's) right to a 2 bolt rap anchor atop The Importance Of Being Ernest (80' rap). As an alternative there are several ways to walk/downclimb off as well.


Pro to 2.5". Small wires and cams work well for the lower part of this route; higher you'll want some bigger stuff.

Photos of Poodles are People Too Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Browning leading Poodles are People Too.
Browning leading Poodles are People Too.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackson on his on-sight lead. The opening moves. S...
Jackson on his on-sight lead. The opening moves. S...
Rock Climbing Photo: The business start section.
BETA PHOTO: The business start section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Would you believe...
BETA PHOTO: Would you believe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Janiszewski leading the route!
Chris Janiszewski leading the route!
Rock Climbing Photo: Poodles Are People Too. 1/2012.  Photo: James Sull...
Poodles Are People Too. 1/2012. Photo: James Sull...
Rock Climbing Photo: Thin moves on Poodles Are People Too. 1/2012.  Pho...
Thin moves on Poodles Are People Too. 1/2012. Pho...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Poodles Are People Too". Photo by Blitz...
BETA PHOTO: "Poodles Are People Too". Photo by Blitz...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sounds like some people I know...
Sounds like some people I know...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up Poodles are People Too!
Starting up Poodles are People Too!

Comments on Poodles are People Too Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 6, 2017
By Brian Reynolds
Oct 10, 2002

So who DOES know what's up with all of the poodle routes? Inquiring minds want to know ...
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 13, 2002

Lots of people know what's up with all the poodle routes. Precious tradition might dictate, however, that such tales be reserved for the late night b.s. session over HVCG campfires, rather than speculated upon and bastardized over the internet.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 18, 2002

The JTree Commandment:

Thou shalt not bastardize the poodle joke.

Oh, and the other JTree Commandment:

Thou shalt urinate on thyself at campfire, and cultivate thy foul language when breaking fast, and covet thy SUV-driving neighbor's wife, and misrepresent thy identity when thy tent is impounded by the NPS. Just no bastardizing poodle jokes.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 19, 2002

uh ... yeah, right. What he said. Except the part about urination.
By Randy
Jan 13, 2003

The whole "Poodle" thing got started with this route, a tribute of sorts to Charles Cole's giant "Standard" poodle "Gus." It expanded to poke fun at the various macho, pompus or just stupid sounding route names being put up during the 80s. (ie: "Scary Monsters = Scary Poodles; Knight In Shining Armor = Poodle In Shining Armor; etc.) It just got out of control (very silly) from there. (Tales of Power = Tails of Poodles; The Atom Smashers = The Poodle Smasher). Soon other people who had no idea of what prompted all this were naming poodle routes too. Some of the other Poodle routes are quite good too.
By C Miller
From: CA
Jan 13, 2003

Let's see some more Poodle Route names~!
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

The way I did the crux after a few false starts involved a strange mantle like move off of my right palm... behind me. I went up and down 3 times looking for a more secure way, thinking that a fall from there if one slipped would be up-side-down. Consider a helmet for this route.
By Joseph Lee
Oct 10, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Maybe 10c. The first thirty feet is all business. The moves are sustained and technical. The gear is bomber and thin. There seemed to be two cruxes packed into this section. A thin layback move and then a long awkward jam to the left.
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Dec 30, 2005

So good... Spot on about the two cruxes on top of each other. The runout over the small roof and the topout also kept me focused. Less fun were the ropes coming down from the parties rapping above and the peanut gallery waiting in line for nearby routes below.

Careful about where you place pro - some of those tapers are essential for fingerlocks. Great line!
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Nov 6, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Best on the wall IMO. While the first 50 feet is the technical crux, the mental crux for most will be the small roof about half way up. You'll want a yellow alien (or equivalent) to protect this move. Expect a little spice as you surmount the roof.
By SirVato
From: Boulder
Jan 4, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is a cool route!! It looked pretty scary from the ground but, there is excellent small gear whenever you need it for the first
crux(s). Protect the roof above with a green OR yellow alien. These moves are not hard but the gear will be below you so if you come off you could slam kinda hard in to the slab (maybe)
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Mar 24, 2007

A single 70M rope will get you down from the anchors on top and to the right.

This is a beautiful thin line with great gear at the cruxes. Save a yellow alien for the roof. This is the only gear for ~15ft before and ~20ft after the roof.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 28, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

really good route with solid pro where it counts. not for the budding 5.10 leader, though!

i thought that while there were two cruxes in the first 30 feet, the upper one was definitely the business. the polished feet make it pretty exciting, too.
By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Nov 26, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Great route. Mostly face climbing with a thin crack for pro. My friend talked me into bringing extra TCUs and I was very glad to have them, and not just for the bottom section.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Dec 15, 2008

you can sew this thing up at the crux with a set of stoppers plus some brass. I wouldn't say the brass is mandatory though. Very slick from all the feet paddling around on this one.
By ccmski body
From: Seattle, WA
Oct 26, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Technical feet and thin locks make this an exciting and classic route. This route protects reasonably well enough, but be prepared to do some hard climbing above thin gear. I remember getting a bomber Black Alien placement down low as well as some thin wires.
By Adam Stackhouse
Oct 26, 2009
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Leading past the lower thin section leaves the rest of the climbing in a much more relaxed mode (e.g., bigger stances)
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Mar 26, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Did this for the first time 20 years ago, and slipped and slid all over the crux. Yesterday not so much but it left me thinking that it's a tad hard for 5.10b, but perhaps I didn't find the correct solution. Takes wires very well - there's a bomber wire placement between the two opening cruxes. Three stars, as it hits White Lightning in the top section and one could bail there, so not completely pure.

So, my middle-aged ambition is to cruise this route with just wires.
By DavidHH
From: Parker, Colorado
Apr 15, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Maybe it was just the style or the amount of blood I left on this route but it seems hard for the grade. I onsighted several other routes in this range but this one had me stumped right at the first crux, tore my finger up pretty good and lobbed onto a green alien about 5 times. Maybe 10- after you know the moves but harder for the onsight.
By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Oct 31, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Excellent route with thin and insecure crux. A sandbag at .10b IMO.
By Andrea Cockfield
From: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Aug 11, 2014

Yep - left some blood and sweat but no tears...technical moves on the face. If you like thin face climbs, like I do, this one is thin and facey and fun! Be prepared to shed a layer of skin here and there to pull the poodle.
By Brian Chastain
Nov 3, 2014

Best route on the left side of the wall. Would agree with some that it is a sand bag.
By Jux Tolle
From: Los Angeles, CA
Mar 24, 2015

Lay back up the crux a bit to some small finger cracks. Feet are there, but they are nubs and smears. Pro is mostly nuts in the beginning but you can use some x4's... and a rack up to 2 once it opens up.. Smooth and calculated is the way to climb. It bulks up as you ascend, and eventually gets to the apex which can be navigated two ways; 1. lateral left smear with a strong single move to a jug that is on the lip of the crack; 2. Stay within the crack on the right and power your way up technically. Either way they are very fun. Get funky on the poodle people.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Oct 12, 2015

I like Pigs in heat substantially more. Poodles had some good hard moves off the deck and maintained a similar degree of difficulty but it was super straightforward. Whereas Pigs gave you the opportunity to work on multiple Jtree techniques. Kinda like comparing WL to Dung Fu.
By Ryan Strickland
From: Idyllwild, CA
Dec 6, 2016

I got this one onsight. It felt harder and more sustained to me than Papa Woolsey and Sundance which both go at the same grade and are relatively similar styles of climbing. Maybe it was just placing small gear and trusting it that made this one feel tougher. It protects well though, as others have stated. I didn't need to layback any moves, instead I moved up on finger jams and crimps.
By john macleanakawhitey
From: north providence, RI
Mar 6, 2017

"poodle bites, poodle chews it" from a song by the gone but not forgotten Zappa

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