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Room To Shroom 

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: Dave Evans and Jim Angione - 1978
Page Views: 6,661
Submitted By: M. Morley on May 13, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (104)
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loving the wide jams near the top!



A personal favorite. Perfect hands to fist crack. At the crack's high point, step up and right and move 20' across (mostly) unprotectable face to belay from Pinyon pine. A small stopper placement early in the traverse helps to protect both leader and follower.

Approach: From Barker Dam parking lot, follow trail to dam and continue north through wash. Bear northwest (left) past Escape Rock. The Room To Shroom formation will be on your right, but hidden until you pass it and look back. Scramble up rocks to get to base of route.

Descent: Single rope rappel to ground from Pinyon pine.


Bring pro to 3". A small stopper helps protect the final 20' traverse.

Photos of Room To Shroom Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Route in shade til after 1pm Thanksgiving 2010
BETA PHOTO: Route in shade til after 1pm Thanksgiving 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Addison leading Room to Shroom.
Paul Addison leading Room to Shroom.
Rock Climbing Photo: Room To Shroom Rock
BETA PHOTO: Room To Shroom Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Wally leads 'Room To Shroom' while Christina belay...
Wally leads 'Room To Shroom' while Christina belay...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Kidner on Room To Shroom.  (C)2002 Mike Morle...
Mike Kidner on Room To Shroom. (C)2002 Mike Morle...
Rock Climbing Photo: Perfect splitter
Perfect splitter
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Parks nears the end of the perfect handcrack...
Chris Parks nears the end of the perfect handcrack...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun climb, but hard to find. (This was  the first ...
Fun climb, but hard to find. (This was the first ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Addison just before the traverse on Room to S...
Paul Addison just before the traverse on Room to S...

Comments on Room To Shroom Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 7, 2016
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 4, 2002
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Nice climb - wish it was way longer. No harder than 8 if you keep your feet in the crack.

#2 WC Rock protects the traverse well.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jan 5, 2003

For purity of line and motion, few crack climbs of this grade at Joshua Tree can compare to "Room to Shroom".

Easier than it looks, the hallmark of any true classic. This climb turns out to be quite straightforward, if you can hand and foot jam, otherwise good luck.

Wouldn't be out of place on UK grit.

Thanks Dave (Evans) for giving us another top notch route.

Highest quality.

5.9 because of the intensive jamming, which is an advanced technique. Remember that this grade was placed before cams. Try leading it on hexentrics and wires for a slightly more sobering experience.
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 20, 2003

This was one of my first leads, and instead of exiting onto the face at the top of the crack I continued downward along the arching crack,in essence downclimbing the 10b, or whatever the route to the left is rated. I knew Josh ratings were stiff but it wasn't until I checked the guide book that I realized I had down upclimed Room to Shroom and then down climbed a different route. It was wild!
By Dynomight510
Aug 22, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Great route on a steep but not overhanging wall. The angle of the crack put increased stress on my handjams. It's quite different when a crack angles for me since I cannot get my feet directly underneath me. It requires moves that I call Jtree funk. Good pro all the way. The exit at the top to the right is run out but easy and short. Just don't fall.

But not as hard as Touch and Go
By C Miller
From: CA
Dec 12, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Nice clean jams...for about 30'. Despite the good rock and all this climb suffers from too much hype IMO. Two stars out of five.
By Richard Beller
Mar 10, 2005
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

The crack is beautiful while it lasts, but this route is way too short to get all the praise it deserves. We spent close to an hour hiking around to find it, climbed it in about 20 minutes, and walked another half hour trying to find another good climb in the area.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 25, 2007
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

A bit hard to find, short, & overrated are the downsides; clean smooth jams, excellent gear, fun climbing, & a rap-off are the positives. Seems way overrated if you have experience jamming cracks. A new leader, or one near their limit, might use a 3.5" piece up high.
By Tyler Logan
From: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mar 15, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It's not too bad approaching this from the Don Juan Boulder area if you want to tick it after climbing on the Astro Domes. From the boulder, head towards Barker Dam until you are just past the southern flank of S. Astro Dome. Some boulder hopping and easy scrambling at that point brings you to a plateau, where you can scramble/walk down to Room to Shroom from above (it's easily seen).
By ccmski body
From: Seattle, WA
Oct 26, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fun climbing in a splitter crack. Leaning nature of the climb and the upsloping base keep groundfall a real potential for a while. This climb is remote and somewhat hard to get too, otherwise it would probably see a ton of traffic.
By boulderkeith
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 6, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I'm not sure about these comments about protecting the traverse. Ken led it and placed a tipped out black alien. I don't think you are going to get good pro. The traverse is easier than it looks anyways.
By fubar
From: Babylon
Dec 6, 2010

A way of making this climb longer, though somewhat more runout, is to stay on the arete instead of traversing to the tree. Eventually you pass through a little roof and chimney move (5.8) and belay on top of the formation. Walk off climber's left.
By Tom Fralich
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jan 10, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Well deserving of its classic status. Great rock, textbook jams, and no crowds. Got a #2 Ballnut on the traverse, but it really is quite easy. Approach is not bad.
By Canon
Nov 22, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good, but not great. In the area, I liked High Strung better. Approached via Don Juan Boulder - not too hard to find.

Lots of #1-#2 camalots on this route, and the traverse to the tree is easy.
By Justin Tomlinson
From: Monrovia, CA
Mar 26, 2013

While it is short, what you do get is stellar. Very clean, smooth rock and excellent jams, even got a couple lieback moves, and tons of fun.

This one had me smiling at the top, such good movement.
By Dimes
From: Joshua Tree, Ca.
Nov 9, 2013

Due to a new Joshua Tree National Park regulation, vegetation of any kind may not be used for climbing anchors. Therefore the pinyon pine tree normally used as the belay/rappell anchor for Room To Shroom may no longer be used. A Special Use Permit was applied for and granted by the Park to replace the tree anchor, which is in wilderness with a bolted anchor. This is now in place about 12' left of the tree. It was placed with the thought of trying to benefit all 4 climbs that end at this anchor. It is equipped with rappel rings. Please do not add webbing to this anchor and please avoid using the tree for any climbing related purpose. The goal is to have an anchor that is low profile with the least visual impact.
By Mike Fogarty
From: La Quinta, CA
May 11, 2014

This is a classic and a must do!
By Brian Martin
From: Bend, OR
Dec 28, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Short fun climb. Traverse is a little spicy, saw a fresh dark spot where a flaky edge had recently broke off, remaining edges are a bit delicate and creaky but low angle and easy. I thought this was much easier than 5.9, only slightly more difficult than double cross but much easier than sphincter quits or touch and go. I'd call it a 5.8, similar to the flue. Would definitely do it again.
By alleyehave
From: San Diego, CA
Feb 6, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A little soft for Jtree 5.9 but worth the hike no-less. The traverse is spooky only because the rock crumbles under your feet and fingertips, otherwise the moves are easy and low angle...Get on this!
By Serge Smirnov
Feb 21, 2016

Not knowing where or what Escape Rock is, I ended up in the wrong canyon (too far west) after Barker Dam. I would describe the approach as follows:

The trail to Barker Dam heads mostly NW but turns W a couple hundred feet before reaching the dam. Get off the trail before reaching the dam and head N (maybe even slightly NE). You end up in a canyon which eventually turns NW. After a half-mile, that canyon dead-ends. Continue NW by scrambling over a large pile of boulders and descend into another canyon. Head right (NE) and in 5 minutes spot the route up above on the right.
By Camron
Nov 7, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The slab is crumbly and doesn't inspire confidence. I recommend taking small nuts for the slab at the top. There's at least one decent/good nut placement (black diamond #3) that can be made halfway through the slab traverse.

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