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Bendix Claws, The T 
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The Bendix Claws 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Mike Lechlinski & Eric Eriksson, March 1986
Page Views: 3,224
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 1, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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BETA PHOTO: Crux face moves before entering the crack system o...


The moves past the bolt (5.11a) are technical and cruxy and while the crack above isn't terribly difficult (5.10+), hanging out too long to place gear could take it's toll. Descend by walking off to the climber's left.

Yet another great crack on the Future Games Wall, and one that's perfect after warming up on the easier climbs on the wall. Three stars out of five.


Located 35' left of Continuum, and is easily identified by a single bolt leading into a steep, thin crack.


bolt (3/8"), pro to 2.5" including wires (they work especially well)

Photos of The Bendix Claws Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: At the second crux on the redpoint of Bendix Claws...
At the second crux on the redpoint of Bendix Claws...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave kicking in the turbo on Bendix.
Dave kicking in the turbo on Bendix.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chis working Bendix Claws while I take the the eas...
Chis working Bendix Claws while I take the the eas...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 9, 2014
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 3, 2002

It's easy to throw a toprope on this one if you're not quite up for leading it. Just scramble up and left (see descent). A few hand-size pieces and a cordalette should be enough.
By Steve Juhasz
Mar 13, 2003

Dicey pro and high quality climbing, better be sure you can on-sight route of this grade before attempting this one as a ground-up lead. Eases up near the top as the crack widens. No fixed anchor on top.
By Josh Beck
Mar 26, 2003
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This is one of the best routes I've done in jtree in a long time, but I also think it's the hardest ".11a" I've been on out there. As hard for me as Hot Rocks, and definitely harder than Left Ski Track or Red Snapper (just chose those routes because they're the most comparably graded routes I've been on recently). I'd call it .11b, but that's just my opinion and I probably missed something...
By Mark J Gain
Aug 13, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

I agree with the last comment, a great route but just as hard as many of the 5.11b/c's I have climbed in Josh. Pro is funky after bottom bolt but then is good to the top. A real pumper!
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Oct 3, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

this is a beauty for sure. Moving past the bolt was great and difficult for my average height self. Bit I highly recommend this one when in the area. Cool moves. I might lean more towards 5.11b also. But perhaps it is just a height thing.
By Brandt Allen
From: Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 25, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

What Chris said. The bottom face move requires a little finesse footwork, while the upper crack has very positive jams but is rather sustained. Easy for 5.11, one face move.
By tom donnelly
From: san diego
Nov 8, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I toproped it thinking it would be hard and it felt so good that I then led it. Could rate it 10d.
By Adam Stackhouse
Feb 18, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

TR'd it, with the tech crux coming just past the bolt. A reachy right-hand fist-type jam in a flair was the key to bringing my feet up. After that, sustained, steep crack holds all the way to the top, About 3 stars out of 5
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007

Never led it and never will, just struggled my way through on TR. But this is fantastic, strenuous climbing on a beautiful aesthetic line!
By Manjushri
Oct 22, 2007
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Well worth the effort, fun and challenging climbing I truly enjoyed. Do not be deterred by the gear - it takes competence and confidence to place, but for a 5.11 leader it is not incredibly difficult to be safe.
By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Nov 11, 2007

attempted onsight. past the crux, i fell while trying to clip my first piece after the bolt (blue metolious). i had a bunch of slack out, i almost decked! finished the climb right after w/ no falls. >:0

great climb. four of five stars

From: Boise, ID
May 4, 2008

Outstanding route with loads of good gear. Mostly TCU's and wired's. I was greeted at the top by a giant Chuckwalla 3 feet from my head whilst zoning out at the belay!! I found it barely 11a. Good route for a 5.10 leader to take a stab at.
By Drewsky
Dec 27, 2008

Great route. If you're under 5'9" it's a little harder to place the next good piece after the bolt. I'm not sure I would recommend this as a first 5.11 lead, but it is relatively safe. I also hung out with a large lizard while belaying on the top. Perhaps it was one of the aforementioned chuckwallas?
By Michael Ybarra
From: on the road
Apr 29, 2009

I thought the crack was harder (or at least more serious) than the face moves. There's gear but it can be a little tricky and run and the stances aren't great in the middle of the route. There's a Thank God rest at the end of the sustained crack difficulties that I didn't find until after a whip on a small nut.
By avk
Jun 25, 2009

yeah, I think it's harder for shorter people. Hard to place the first piece after the bolt (blue alien) and have to do extra moves going from jam to jam/holds. The rest of the gear is great. The climb is super fun! I wouldn't rate it any lower than 11a. It was pretty hard for me; maybe because I'm shorter.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Mar 23, 2011

delicate, techy, sequential and sustained, brilliant route.
By Jack Kearney
Nov 16, 2012

just a note, the picture in the joshua tree classics book has this route totally wrong, it shows the line heading way right across the face. Had me confused for a minute.
By Brian Prince
From: morro bay, ca
Nov 11, 2013

This was one of my first 11 joshua tree onsights so I recommend it on that note. The crack was also harder for me, surprisingly. Extra blue-orange metolius was great to have and made it not too big a deal as far as pro. Although, the first placement after the bolt is pretty tricky.. A real classic in my eyes
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 12, 2013

Part of what I refer to as the Split Rocks Triple Crown…..

Bird of Fire
Bendix Claws
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Jan 27, 2014
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

I also found this to be one of the hardest .11a's I have done in the park. I would equate it with hot rocks as well. I passed the bolt no problem. The real meat of the climb begins with the thin overhanging rattly finger cracks with improbable gear. I fell from the stance above the bolt before I could reach to place gear (feet almost to the bad jam which was too large for me to jam). I took a pretty hard fall- about 15 feet, nearly factor 2 I would say. I stopped about 4 feet above my belayer's head, and he sat down as I was falling. Finding a stance to place the first blue alien is strenuous and improbable. I placed the first blue alien above the bolt with full body tension/extension on bad feet (almost to the jam), left hand in a shallow rattly finger crack, and didn't even feel that great about the placement (marginal). I would recommend backing the blue alien up as soon as possible. I placed a green alien about 2 feet higher to the left of the marginal blue alien. Then again, I'm 5'8" on a good day. I agree - this isn't a good "first .11a lead" for a budding .11 climber. The gear is too dicey for that, and the placement stances are strenuous. In total I placed two blue aliens, a black alien, a couple marginal nuts, and two green aliens in the rattly finger crack section. I was pretty stoked when I got a #1 in high on the route. Take a #2 and a #1 for the anchor, and a small-ish nut. I used the crack parallel to the climb and to climber's left and extended the anchor out pretty far (two cordelettes).

Beta: Fun moves and quite sustained climbing through the overhanging rattly fingers. Look around for feet behind you on the left face during the crux to help you place gear. Throughout the climb I kept waiting for a good rest hold that didn't exist.
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Feb 25, 2014

followed nelson day up this route. this was hard
By Phil Esra
Dec 9, 2014

Would love to hear the story behind the name on this one?

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