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White Cliffs of Dover - Left Side
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Ace of Spades T 
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Field and Stream T 
Good Housekeeping T 
High Anxiety T 
High Tension T 
Jack of Hearts T 
Make or Break Flake T 
Nolina Crack T 
Perennial Favorite T 
Popular Mechanics T 
Quest for Fire T 
Scientific Americans T 
Sen Blen T 
Sharon Stone T 
Solar Flare T 
Stone Hinge T 
Wilted Flower Children T 
Unsorted Routes:

Popular Mechanics 

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: Mari Gingery, Mike Lechlinksi and John Long, December 1977
Page Views: 7,632
Submitted By: Murf on Jan 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (156)
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Nolina bloom taken at the base of Popular Mechanic...


This route climbs a clean right-facing dihedral on the right side of the main formation. Start on the right face of a chimney and climb the thin crack up the corner. The crux comes early, with a long move off fingers, and continues directly up, on occasion using the cracks on the left wall. Bolted anchor/rap provides a quick return to your packs.


pro to 2 inches, bolted anchor/rap (100')

Photos of Popular Mechanics Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason Corwin makes it look easy
Jason Corwin makes it look easy
Rock Climbing Photo: Ahhhhhhh
Rock Climbing Photo: Geoff Kinsely approaching the crux on Popular Mech...
Geoff Kinsely approaching the crux on Popular Mech...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down while climbing Ace of Spades. The cor...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down while climbing Ace of Spades. The cor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Great finger crack.
Great finger crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber: Gerry Egbalic
Climber: Gerry Egbalic
Rock Climbing Photo: Me, just after the short crux.
Me, just after the short crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up from the bottom
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the bottom

Comments on Popular Mechanics Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 5, 2016
By C Miller
From: CA
Nov 11, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Great route with rock that always reminds me of Tahquitz. Four stars out of five.
By Mike Hack
Mar 21, 2005

I agree that this rock feels like Taquitz rock. Smooth and not as much friction as other Jtree rock. This route reminded me of "El Camino Real" at Taquitz, although much easier.
By namascar
Apr 4, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Great climb for hot days. It is away from the sun all day.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
May 20, 2005

I'm going with two stars on this one. It has some really good moves.........
By Woody Stark
May 20, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Much fun with good, easy, pro placement.
By Joe Dawson
Jan 18, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

This is one of the best routes I have done at JTree. My partner and I find the rock there to be like a cross between Yosemite and Tuulomne granite. 4 out of 5 stars. It is well worth the short hike, long for some of you, to this area to do a couple of climbs here.

A #4 Camalot fits well in a spot at knee level once you are on top of the starting block. Red alien fits well at the very top of the second hand pod before the section of the climb where the crack peters out for a bit. You want to get a solid piece here as it is almost run out to the next piece. Jugs will save the day right when you start to feel the runout. Bring extra medium gear: green aliens thru red aliens or purple camalots. Bolts and rap rings at top.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 6, 2006

Takes great pro. Short section down low gets you thinking but easily passed. Fun, multi-star route and worth the trip when coupled with other classics in the area.

By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Feb 14, 2011

Superb fingercrack in a corner on some of the best rock in Joshua Tree with a short crux. Tons of fun, but get there first as the approach is longer and there aren't too many options once you're waiting behind a party.

Spoiler Gear Beta: The crux is nicely protected by a #1 camalot in the first hand pod, then preferably a green #0 C3 (green #6 BD Stopper is ok) in the highest reachable slot before doing the crux moves.
By BrendanC
From: Sherman oaks, ca
May 14, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Fantastic. Crux is in the first 25 feet, before you get to Ace of Spades. The new Miramontes guide has this as a 10a. Typo? Felt like solid 5.9 to me, no harder than Pope's or Touch and Go. The final 30 feet after the Ace of Spades intersection looks harder than it is. Just good white granite fun. Great pro.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Aug 26, 2011

Chris, Randy, Adam, Mike.....when did the bolted anchor appear? It wasn't put in on the 1st ascent. While it is extremely helpful, because the walk off is heinous, similar post FA anchors (ie. Gargoyle/Canaliso, Silent Scream, etc) have been removed. What's the justification?
By C Miller
From: CA
Aug 26, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Not sure when the original anchor went in but it was replaced around 1994 or so and at that time the rusty 1/4" bolts were definitely in need of repair, so perhaps sometime in the late 70's/early 80's .
By Canon
Mar 27, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Super dope. A breeze to protect. My first Josh 5.9 lead and I couldn't ask for anything better.
By Fluoride
From: Los Angeles, CA
Nov 5, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

This route never gets old. One of the best in the park. Combine it with doing Ace of Spades doing these two classics on Dover makes for an amazing half day.

Sartin/Gaines just put up a new FA called Field and Stream to the right of this. Look for the nut sticking out below a bolt that's hard up enough to make it a far harder start that the usual 10c.

The rest of the route is genius. Hard, but genius. Bolted with some gear. Well worth it.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Dec 6, 2012

Another Fantastic Route at the White Cliffs! The Crux is down low for sure, shares the crux with Ace of Spades in my opinion! Super aesthetic route with some high quality lay backing! A must do in the area!! Fine Rock quality as well!!! Do IT!!!
By j moore
From: Santa Maria
Mar 22, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

hollywood finger crack. this would be a yose 5.8 cant get anymore locker than this. not pg13 by any means there is a short 6 foot section with no pro but its easy.
By Jordan Collins
From: South Lake Tahoe
Apr 4, 2015

wish the bottom section lasted like 100 feet. that would be cool.
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Nov 5, 2016

Felt easier than Ace of Spades. They share both the same crux down low, but while PM gets easier up high, Ace of Spades still has a 5.8/5.9 move above (unless I climbed AOS completely wrong).

Gear BETA: nothing bigger than a 0.75 Camalot need. Need tiny gear to protect crux

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