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Spirited Away 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 220'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c PG13 [details]
FA: Randy Vogel, Vern Stiefel, 92
Page Views: 2,319
Submitted By: Randy on Mar 27, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Tom preparing to send the crux.


This route stands among the best in the entire Park. Bold, but adequately protected, the signature second pitch offers continuous climbing in a stellar position.

Begin near the center of the North Face (right of center in Beta Photo), at the foot of the base of the rock, on the left side of a large rectangular block (in sunlight in Beta Photo).

Pitch 1: Up cracks on the left side of the block to a very large flat ledge (5.8).
Pitch 2: Move up and left to a discontinuous seam/crack which is followed up past 2 bolts. Move up and right to a large flake, exiting this higher up to reach a 3rd bolt. Head right to eventually gain a narrow ledge system -- belay at the ledge's right end (11b).
Pitch 3: Up a finger crack to its end and head left and up to the summit (5.7+).


95 foot rap off the back of the formation. Head around the west side of the rock to return to the base.


Bring a good variety of: thin brass, some stoppers, and thin cams to 2 inches.

Photos of Spirited Away Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Murphy edging his way to the crux on the initi...
Tom Murphy edging his way to the crux on the initi...

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By Murf
Mar 28, 2006
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

Many of the best climbs in JT are guarded by an arduous approach. These approaches dissuade those that haven't discovered that distance from the road isn't just an obstacle to overcome. The experience of true desert solitude, away from roads and their travelers is hidden out there.

Spirited Away integrates all the diverse qualities of Joshua Tree climbing into a coherent whole. The ability to edge, smear, jam, and the savvy to know when *not* to fall allow you to enjoy one of the best routes in the park. Days, weeks, many routes later, you’ll still be able to visualize key moves and stances.

You may never climb Spirited Away; it may be too difficult to reach, too hard, sound scary, or just be too easy for you to bother. Regardless of whether you ever do it, it or something like it should be on the tick list of true JT Locals. Locals who understand that aspiring to difficulty or numbers of ascents doesn't necessarily translate into a true appreciation of the Joshua Tree experience.
By Vernon Stiefel
Mar 29, 2006
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

Aside from the exquisite position encountered on the second pitch, another appealing aspect is its sustained nature. "There aren't any annoyingly easy sections" was Randy's assessment after the FA.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Mar 31, 2006

One question, 1992? The movie didn't come out until 2001!
By Randy
Mar 31, 2006

Unless the movie was named for the climb, it must be one of those serendipitous events of them having the same name.
By tony grice
May 11, 2006

It is a true J-TREE Experience, long fun hike to get to it.The description in the new book is perfect, the climbing was fun.Shade mid day.
There is a loose shitty flake that takes the only really good pro before the first bolt, it will blow off if you whip before the first bolt, why not another bolt?No one will call you a chicken, maybe just me for wanting it,It could use it. The route was great nice job!
By Randy
May 11, 2006

Tony, Actually, there are a several decent small pieces of gear that you can get before the 1st bolt (tcus, small brass, stoppers, etc.) [2008 Edit: see photo of 2nd pitch posted for location of pieces before 1st bolt]. We and everyone we know has avoided putting gear behind the black flake/small roof before the 1st bolt as it is probably not solid. Glad to see you did it.
By Randy
Dec 4, 2008

Recently repeated this route and found it to be as good as I remembered. It has been 2 years since we lost our dear friend Vern. He is still in our thoughts and sorely missed by his friends.

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