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Rock Garden Valley - Left Side
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Beck's Bet T 
Candyman TR 
Double Dogleg T 
Euthyphro T 
Fortune Cookie T 
Griffin, The T 
Holly Device T 
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct T 
MZM (Maria Zink Memorial) T 
Personal Space TR 
Pop Rocks T 
Rock Candy T 
Rock Dog Candy Leg TR 
Rock-a-Lot T 
Silent But Deadly T 
Smithereens T 
Spitwad T 
Split Personality T 
Top of the Pops T 
Unknown T 
Yi T 
Young Lust T 


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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Keith Cunning, 1979
Page Views: 2,993
Submitted By: Tony B on Apr 11, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (83)
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Nelson Leading Rock-A-Lot


This climb ascends the left hand edge of the "shorter wall" of Rock Garden Valley that holds the more spectacular lines of Double Dogleg and Split Personality. Still the line does see some traffic and deservedly so. It is a nice and largely juggy warm up. It should be noted that "Shorter Wall" is a relative term and that the perhaps mis-named 'shorter wall' is taller than many of the walls at J-tree, with most of the lines being about 100' or so.

Start in the left hand side of the buttress, stemming a move or two up an A-shaped overhanging dihedral to a good horizontal, then heave up into a crack. Climb the crack up and to the top, passing a wide section about 1/2 way up. The climb may not be appropriate for nervous or beginning leaders unless you take some OW protection.

Up top, place a directional and head for the bolt anchors of Rock Candy (up and right) to belay. Rap with a 60M+ rope to descend.


This climb is reasonably well protected provided you take a big piece or two. A 4.5 Camalot could be used with a #4 to Sew it up, but with just a single #4 the lead is also 'reasonable'. For climbers solid at the grade, I think most will be comfortable with no wide gear at all, as the route is not very insecure.

Photos of Rock-a-Lot Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jill cranking through the start, for the well-earn...
Jill cranking through the start, for the well-earn...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock a lot. Fine line.  Photo: Dave Rockwell.
Rock a lot. Fine line. Photo: Dave Rockwell.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting some gear on Rock-a-Lot.
Getting some gear on Rock-a-Lot.
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up
Finishing up
Rock Climbing Photo: Ample face holds make this pretty mellow
Ample face holds make this pretty mellow
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting ready to clean Rock-a-Lot
Getting ready to clean Rock-a-Lot

Comments on Rock-a-Lot Add Comment
Show which comments
By Woody Stark
May 20, 2004

A person learning to lead should not make this his/her first 5.7. The start may be a bit too much. Either way, whoever leads should place bomber pro to protect the start. It's technically easy; but if you blow it, you may be on a feeding tube forever and ever.
By Jason Shatek
Apr 7, 2005

I'm surprised this one doesn't get climbed more often. The crack is great but it has a stiff start! You just have to suck it up and do the first two or three moves. I sort of chimneyed my way up the left side till I could move over. Bring lots of big gear, I recommend doubles of cams 2,3,4. Overall a very good climb.
By Colin Parker
From: Idyllwild, CA
May 22, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I agree with Larry. This route is a lot of fun, and I personally enjoyed it more than double dogleg. I don't think you need much big gear since the off-width section is short and easy, but a #4 camelot should do fine. Lots in the #2 range though is helpful throughout.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Apr 24, 2012

You can stem around the off-width portion easily on this route. Good fun.

The guidebook says "lots of shade". From the pictures, you can tell this is NOT the case. The wall gets shade in the afternoon.
By Matt N
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 29, 2012

Fully shaded mid-morning this past weekend.
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
Mar 5, 2016

the upper and lower Rock Garden Valley (Shorter) walls are all NE facing, ie, shady most of the day. the sun does arc across the sky a lil differently in the summer than in the winter, that these walls get morning sun for longer in the summer than in the winter
By Howard
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Oct 17, 2016

The start is well protected with bomber .5 BD. Easier than I expected. The rock and jams were fantastic but with JT uncharacteristic juggy face holds. Sewed up well with yellow, red and blue hexes.

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