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Run For Your Life 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Charles Cole, Dave Houser & Herb Laeger, 1978
Page Views: 9,563
Submitted By: M. Morley on Nov 18, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (141)
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Kim Miller on Run for Your Life


A standout climb of the Real Hidden Valley area. A sporty start gives way to fairly well-protected climbing on impeccable stone. A must for those climbing at the grade.

To belay, you can simply loop some giant plates on top for an anchor and then use the rap anchors to the left atop Runaway to descend. If you wish you can walk off, although this is long and involved. One positive aspect is it takes you past the Solosby face. Four stars out of five


6 bolts (all 3/8"), gear to 2" for belay

Photos of Run For Your Life Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber leading up Run for Your Life as se...
Unknown climber leading up Run for Your Life as se...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the run.
Starting the run.
Rock Climbing Photo: Classic
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin Riley leading Run For Your Life
Kevin Riley leading Run For Your Life
Rock Climbing Photo: Kim Miller in '89
Kim Miller in '89
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the upper section of Run for your life
Climbing the upper section of Run for your life
Rock Climbing Photo: Viet Tran on Run For Your Life - cragcam
BETA PHOTO: Viet Tran on Run For Your Life - cragcam
Rock Climbing Photo: Past the flake and now getting into steeper  climb...
Past the flake and now getting into steeper climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers on Run For Your Life.
Unknown climbers on Run For Your Life.
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg Jackson on Run for your Life.
Greg Jackson on Run for your Life.

Comments on Run For Your Life Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 20, 2015
By mike harrison
Aug 11, 2003

Great climb!! Skip the pro at the top it's a waste of energy, like it says run it out. First time on it I was a little slow compared to two Euro chicks that topped out before I coiled my rope. Damn them!!!! Next time ladies well see!
By Josh Beck
Jan 9, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Typical jtree climb in that there are bolts where there need to be and no extras. Be careful getting to the first bolt and then the second, although easy climbing, takes you well into groundfall range. After that it's just keeping calm for another 60' of excellent delicate climbing to a fun steep topout. Gear on top is nuts, cams to 2" and looped flakes, your choice. Rap off bolted anchor to climbers left. Probably not a good first 10b and it'll get your attention but not too bad really.
By Steven Powers
Jan 10, 2004

you can also place a green alien under the flake after the second bolt and there is an okay stopper placment above the last bolt, right at one of the cruxes
By Randy
Jan 12, 2004

I would avoid placing any gear under the flake above the 2nd bolt (particularly a cam) as the flake could be pulled off if you fell onto a piece placed under it. That flake (while not real loose) isn't the most solid feature I've ever seen.
By Steven Powers
Jan 13, 2004

i think it would hold the small fall you would take on it seeing as the next move you get to a slam dunk jug also its a nice have that little bit of "security" after the moves you just did, in any case its up to the leader, i was just pointing out tht you could do it.
By namascar
Feb 3, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

First two bolts are a stretch. Consider building a belay station at the begining of the climb, as if the leader falls, it may take both climbers down to the next level.You can put a small nut in a rock outcrop, more of a mental protection than real protection. The crux is well protected by the last bolt.
By Woody Stark
Feb 26, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

" The crux is well-protected by the last bolt"; you've got to be kidding. And if you blow the first bolt, you'd better have morphine along.
By Randy
Feb 26, 2004

One of the last (and best) Houser routes.

Sorry to disagree with Woody, but the crux is clearly after the last bolt. Sure it is a little run out to the first bolt (5.9) but the hard moves are right off the deck and then it gets easy. Pretty standard type "trad" protection for Josh; it ain't a sport climb.
By TraiseB
Mar 1, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is one of my favorites in J-Tree and I've led it three times before. The bottom three bolts are not for the "weak at heart", but with focus, the first run-outs aren't so bad so long as you are confident on your feet. I'd hate to fall as it would be a bone crushing grounder at the first two clips! The route has fabulous rock and "exposure" for a J-tree face route with lots of thin edging and a variety of moves. Just one comment on the top crux. While a bolt was added to the top, in my opinion, it did not adequately protect the crux! I took two 20 foot falls and sprained my ankle on second try. I fell over the OLD bolt, according to my partner, Woody. I must admit I'd been climbing there for almost two weeks straight before I led the route this time. I had never fallen off before nor sprained or broken any bones (knock on Granite). Good lesson for me and anyone else, make sure your energy level is good for the top! It has great handholds, but is a bit of a smear to exit and it is somewhat run out (in my opinion) to finish route. Still a great climb!
By Erik
Mar 24, 2004

Don't let the comments of others dissuade you from doing this route. This route is more well-protected than many Josh routes of the same grade and most of the falls (at cruxes) would be clean. It is simply not bolted like a modern sport climb, but is certainly adequate. The rock is near perfect.
By TrevorB
Jun 22, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Runouts? What runouts? Oh wait, I didn't lead it... but just imagining leading it made me have to run out to the garage to chalk up. Must be a solid 5.10 leader, but a definite must-do. I remember doing it the day Pearl Jam's "Ten" came out. We wore that CD out. Actually, I think I has humming "Garden" while belaying. Glad you asked.
By C Miller
From: CA
Mar 2, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Put this one on your tick list, but make sure you're solid at the grade if leading. 4 out of 5 stars.
By Woody Stark
Mar 10, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Led it yesterday; followed it last year most of the way to clean qd after Tracie Best was injured on crux. The problem with the first bolt is the landing. I'm quite accustomed to JT practices on pro. After all, I've been climbing in JT for forty years. It's 5.9 getting to the critical pocket that leads to secure footing and hand holds. A fall will probably result in broken bones. It's one thing to land on a flat surface of dirt; it's another to hit sloping rock.There is a thin crack behind a plate that will take a wire on the way to the second bolt. I'd heard chatter about the possibility of placing pro above the last bolt directly below the crux. I took along a selection of small stuff: wires, zeros etc. I worked on it for at least half an hour and finally got three points in--all wires. All took the testing I could apply while standing in a less than comfy spot. When Locker came up, I put him on tension and had him give a good jerk on the pro; all popped. So, as was previously recommended in the comments, might as well forgo the pro and go for it.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 10, 2005

I loved this route. It has some really fine moves on it.
By Bo Johnston
Oct 10, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Just climbed it last weekend. I agree with the comments Erik posted above. This, compared to other J-Tree climbs, is just fine on the pro and if you're spending 30 minutes on crux moves to place wires behind flakes.... you might be on the wrong route. Awsome climb! For some reason, I was most spooked leading up to bolt #5.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

Probably the best route of the ~100 routes I did on my last visit to J-tree, a 4-star classic.

However... did someone retro-bolt the route? When I read this description of the pro, it doesn't seem like the route I did. There was a bolt right off the ground, then another 4 feet above that. Clipping that second one was hard for my partner, who was a good climber, but lacked the crimping power to lock off there. Those first two bolts protected the crux climbing in my opinion and were plenty fine.

The flake up and left takes a decent cam if you put it in as far left as you can to reduce leverage. I suspect if the cam was to lever the flake that such a small unit would flex and pull out before dumping the rock on you, but let's face it, if you are going to fall above that placement but before the next bolt (what, maybe 5.7?), you probably should NOT be leading a 5.10. If you fall without the cam, you're dead meat anyway, I guess, so what the heck, place it and hope it holds should you fall.

I was not personally impressed with the runouts at any point on this climb. If it scares you, stay the hell off of Billibong, that's all I can say!
By Randy
Jan 10, 2006

Tony, those first two bolts are on Runaway not Run For Your Life (which starts further right). Runaway then heads out left from the first two bolts and up face left of Run For Your Life. Going past the first two bolts on Runaway is not 10b (more like 11a). The crux of Run For Your Life the route is near the last bolt.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 12, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

Then I guess I'll be downgrading both routes in difficulty, because the start (Runaway) felt like 5.10b or c and the finish (Run for your Life crux) more like 5.10a.
By Hess
Sep 7, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

I didn't lead this due to the run out to the first bolt, and I'm glad because honestly it's too high up (on too little) for no protection by my tastes, great route though. The face was a treat and the crux challenging and fun.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Mar 27, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

Wow. This is the best 5.10 I've done at Joshua Tree. The start is runout enough to make the climb "memorable," and the moves hold your interest until the very end. All of this and a beautiful summit. I just don't think it gets much better.
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007

Great climb!!! If you don't mind the runout 5.9 start, this should definitely be on your tick list. The runout is indeed memorable and the well protected upper section is a blast! But be strong for the finish - that crux is a good 6 feet or so above the last bolt.

Thanks for the beta, Woody. I had wondered if it were feasible to set gear above the last bolt.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 22, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

This climb is pure joy. Climbed it for (probably) the 10th time today, and I never tire of it. It is definitely run-out getting to the first bolt, with the "move" coming about 8-10' feet off the deck. There is chalk everywhere at the start, but I think the easiest line starts right of the bolt and heads up for about 8', and then moves left under the bolt. Once on the main headwall, the climbing is wonderfully continuous and reasonably protected to the final steep crux.
By Pat C
From: Honolulu
Apr 5, 2009

This climb is unbelievable. Loved it. Reminded me of the first pitch of solid gold... just went back and did solid gold (4/11/2009) This was actually a bit different, but sustained and on small holds the whole time. I felt it was more run out than solid gold (the beginning at least).

I thought the crux of the climb was getting to the first bolt. I just got a rhythm going after that. I couldn't tell the difference in difficulty in the rest of the moves, I just thought they were all hard.
By oldbull
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Apr 14, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

Just did this climb over the Easter weekend. Absolutely stellar from beginning to end. Please heed the comments above regarding the climbing to the first two bolts....5.9 to the first and 5.8 to the second...definitely in "don't fall" territory. I agree with Randy that no cam should be placed in that flake after the second bolt....Just go for it and everything will work out okay. I actually found the area below the second to last bolt the most challenging. What people are calling the crux after the last bolt didn't seem that bad as everything up to that point has prepared you for buckling down and working through it. The crux is absolutely well protected....there is no huge whipper potential. The best climb I've done in quite some time. It keeps your attention from gates to finish line!

As perhaps an academic debate, I would call this an "R" route because a fall before clipping the first/second bolt would have serious consequences. Just because it's relatively easy compared to what's in store should not make a difference. 10b and 9 climbing are close enough to each other that it is possible that a 10 leader statistically could fall. Now if the hard part were in the 11's with the same beginning, maybe I can see not bothering as the hard part would clearly dissuade folks from getting on it unless they clearly are at that grade. Just my 2 cents....
By Choncho
Oct 3, 2009

Bullshit Tony B. Nice Try.
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Nov 5, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

Big fun but a little spicy.
By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Nov 30, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

Classic. Spacey first few bolts, but the climbing is easy. For the rest of the route the bolts are exactly where you need them. Crux is at the top, and may be height dependent (easier if you're taller). Felt easier than other .10b jtree face routes (Papa Woosley and Out on a Limb).
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jan 31, 2010

One of the best 10's in Josh. The climb is bolted properly, skip placing up top it's not worth it.
By mehangd0g
Oct 14, 2010

I'm 5'11'' and couldnt quite reach the first bolt from the ledge. On my first ascent, I fell trying to clip the first bolt. Long walk out with a broken ankle. Came back a year later and conquered. Classic climb!
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 13, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

Why thank you Choncho, it's not everyday that I am flattered by such a literate and well formulated argument. Perhaps my comprehension is lacking... but I fail to see why my opinion is bullshit, or what it was that I was "trying"?
What is it that you are "trying" here?
By bajaandy
From: Escondido, CA
Oct 2, 2011

Led this one back in the late 80's. While I remember that the intro moves seemed to get me focused, what I remember more is that I almost blew the exit. Just as I put both hands over the top and went to turn the sloping lip, my foot popped. I caught myself, but not before I had smacked my chin, and hard. It was bleeding all over the place. When my partners got up there, my shirt was covered in blood and there was blood all over the rock. Funny that I remember that more than I remember it being run-out. A stellar climb none the less.
By Rolf Rybak
From: Penticton BC
Apr 4, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

Did this route 22 years ago when I was turning 40 and led it again last week . One of the great slab/face routes at JT. The start is a good wake up call, with some healthy run outs up higher.
I placed a bomber small to medium stopper after the last bolt both times, but felt the crux was two bolts lower.
It's nice to have a few small to medium cams for a directional anchor at the top.
By Kye
From: Joshua Tree, CA
May 12, 2013

Great line. Don't know why it gets an R; seems like standard JT start to me :)
By Choncho
May 15, 2014

This discussion goes back a few years...but here goes.
Down-grading routes such as this doesn't make much sense, especially if you're going to downgrade by a single letter (really??). Josh grades have a tendency to be all over that map, usually at the sand-bag end, I get that. But, if you've climbed hundreds then you should be getting a feel for the nature of the climbing and therefore the grades. Run for your life is an established classic and, I believe, has served as an anchor point for 1st ascenionists setting grades, whether consciously or unconsciously. Every area has to have a baseline for grades. Bridwell has discussed this often in different forums. The route may not feel like 10b to the TonyBs, or Sharmas of the world, but that doesn't mean it's not.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Jan 19, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

I'd say the R rating is from the run out to the second bolt. The climbing isn't hard but if you blow it you will deck.
By Tradiban
Jan 20, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

If a "R" rating is applied when the climbing "isn't hard but if you blow it you could deck" the whole damn park would be "R". The point being that this isn't a sport climb and when doing ground up stuff anywhere you should expect parts where blowing it isn't an option.

"R" nowadays doesn't mean run-out, it indicates a seriousness of the lead, with movie ratings; PG-13, R, X.

This whole "R"=Run-out thing has to die.

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