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The Don Juan Wall 

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

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Ed Ehrenfeldt & Mike Pope, July 1976, FFA: Mike Waugh, Tony Yaniro & Randy Leavitt, 1981
Page Views: 16,555
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (63)
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Gomoll, pitch 5 (11-) Don Juan Wall (11b). Sorcere...


Words cannot describe how amazing this route is.

P1: Take the same right-facing corner start as Thin Ice/Ice Pirates. Move the belay to the far left end of the ledge formed by the top of the flake. 5.9+

P2: The next two pitches follow the immaculate left-facing corner system. Climb a long finger crack with stemming and progressively harder moves. Belay at bolts. 5.11.

P3: Continue up the corner system. Again, 5.11.

P4: Climb up a lower angle face and corner with tricky gear, step left and belay on the face below the huge roof. 5.10.

P5: Undercling out the roof to the right, pull the roof, change corners, and continue to the summit. This is very physical and strenuous, but awesome. 5.11. It is also possible to escape left, but probably not as classic.

It's hard to say where the crux is. Physically, and according to the rating, the last pitch gets it, but we felt the technical cruxes were on P2 and P3. This route is rated easier than Atlantis, but the Atlantis crux is short and powerful. This climb is continuous and sustained and felt much harder.

Descend to the north; see the description for the Sorcerer for more details.

I can't believe I'm saying it, but a climb like this puts routes like Wunsch's Dihedral and The Naked Edge to shame.


Double set of cams from micro to 0.5 Camalot. A single 0.75 and #1 Camalot. Wires, larger RPs. Lots of quickdraws and a couple double-length slings.

Photos of The Don Juan Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: oh yeah. good time to climb, belay in the sun and ...
oh yeah. good time to climb, belay in the sun and ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Angelina enjoying a nice rest on P3 of Don Juan Wa...
Angelina enjoying a nice rest on P3 of Don Juan Wa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dr. Sciences on the upper corner
Dr. Sciences on the upper corner
Rock Climbing Photo: Christina following the "tube" on P3, be...
Christina following the "tube" on P3, be...
Rock Climbing Photo: Outstanding second pitch, just like all the rest.
Outstanding second pitch, just like all the rest.
Rock Climbing Photo: P2 of the Don Juan Wall.   Photo: Corey Gargano
P2 of the Don Juan Wall. Photo: Corey Gargano
Rock Climbing Photo: Darren sending the 2nd pitch (11b) of Don Juan Wal...
Darren sending the 2nd pitch (11b) of Don Juan Wal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jordi cruising the 4rth pitch, the amazing crack s...
Jordi cruising the 4rth pitch, the amazing crack s...

Comments on The Don Juan Wall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 24, 2016
By david goldstein
Jun 25, 2006

The second pitch is sensational and extremely well protected. There are two options for pitch three: continuing straight up the corner, potentially baffling 10+, or stepping left into another corner/crack system at 5.11; I did only the former so can't recommend between them.

I thought the quality of the climbing deteriorated in the upper pitches. In other words, I did not feel DJ put The Naked Edge to shame.
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Jul 24, 2006

I've only done the first 2 pitches of Don Juan, but they gassed me more than Atlantis.
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Feb 27, 2007

I thought the last pitch was the crux. I was tired, and I had the rope get stuck when turning the roof in the crack. Had to downclimb and put a nut in to keep it from happening again.
By toddgordon Gordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 15, 2007

This is my favorite climb in the Needles. It is absolutely *****.
By Aleix
Jul 2, 2009

I thought the 3rd pitch corner was the one with the trickiest gear. I did what I thought was the crux with a 00 alien just below my feet. After that, I luckily found two fixed stoppers just above me. Protecting the fourth pitch and the climbing itself was very enjoyable after that.
Thanks for the note Manuel, I placed a piece at the lip of the roof on the last pitch and it prevented the rope to get stuck.
By Scott Bennett
Jul 9, 2009

Great route, the second pitch is probably the hardest, most sustained lead, and we thought the last pitch had the hardest single move.

We tried the 11c variation on the third pitch, the climbing was worthwhile but it felt pretty contrived. It also would be pretty runout if it weren't for the fixed heads. I would recommend the normal 10d 3rd pitch.

By Kristian Solem
From: Monrovia, CA
Jul 27, 2009

On 7-25-09 I replaced the belay anchors at the top of P3 and P4. Original 1/4"x1" bolts were cleanly removed and replaced with 1/2" 5 piece powers anchors and Fixe ring hangers. Special thanks to ASCA for the gear.

The old anchor atop P4 had two 1/4" bolts about 5 feet apart backed up to an old thin pin in a flake about 5 feet above. I replaced the right hand bolt by redrilling the same hole, added a second anchor the proper distance to it's left, and left the remaining antiques in place for "atmosphere."

The anchors on P1 and 2 are not original. Each has one 3/8 buttonhead and one 5 piece type bolt also 3/8", equipped with rings.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Dec 18, 2009

Thanks for the time and effort Kris.
By Leif
Sep 12, 2011

Beautiful route. Beautiful place. I was just reliving this climb and thought I would offer this video up as a reminder of how good the whipper is at the crux. I am sure there are many of us who have taken it.
By Dr. Crushenstein
From: Reno, Nv
May 24, 2012

Awesome video! Pretty much the same thing that happened to my onsight attempt. At least the bird that lives in that hand jam was nice enough to stay out of your way.
By Mr. Stevens
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 29, 2013

The third pitch was one of the best leads I've ever done. Amazing granite trickery. The 4th pitch has great gear, p.3 is definitely thin.
By Dustin Stephens
Jul 8, 2013
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

fantastic route. pitches 3 and 4 (10+) link easily. beware the inevitable rope-in-the-crack hassle on the final 11a pitch, consider using nuts to keep it out of the 2 obvious constrictions
By ACassebeer
From: Mojave, CA
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

It was nice to have triples in finger size cams, although not totally necessary. Whereas Atlantis is bouldery and commiting, this route is sustained 5.10+ and keeps you engaged the whole way. There's only 15 feet of 5.11 climbing on the route.
By The Other James
Aug 25, 2014

Amazing. I placed several bomber small offset nuts on pitch 2, and it was comfortable to have doubles of .75 and #1 camalots.
By Anders
From: Berkeley
Sep 6, 2014

I tried to rope solo this a few days ago which meant that I had to climb every pitch twice. My system didn't work super well so I ended up French freeing most of it and then rapping and climbing it on traction. And I must say, DAMN this thing is fucking sustained!!! I was annihilated at the end. Literally. Maybe no single move is super hard but because of attrition is felt like 11+. And that third pitch is devious as hell! Harder than the second IMHO. Serious kudos to whomever can climb this one clean.
By Max Tepfer
From: Bend, OR
Sep 26, 2014

Pitches feel pretty short (like on a lot of Needles climbs...) Linking 2 and 3 eliminates a semi-hanging stance and makes the pitch length feel a little more normal. Also, no brass necessary and the 'difficult to protect' 5.10 on pitch 4 protected easily. Gear wasn't always at your chest when you wanted it there, but it was never unsafe or devious.
By Brian Prince
From: morro bay, ca
Oct 20, 2015

Would recommend linking 3+4 over 2+3 (unless crux doesn't faze you).

If there is a (slow) party on Thin Ice, the direct start to Don Juan goes fairly reasonably. Pro is a little funky getting to the big flake, I clipped the second bolt or so on tradewinds. Pro is also a little weird once in the flake but it's pretty secure. So anyway, if you just can't wait, it goes.
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Oct 21, 2015

I agree with Max: link 2&3 and skip the only hanging belay. You could also easily and naturally link 4&5 (the 5.10 pitch into the direct, 5.11 finish), though I haven't done this latter link.
By hummerchine
Dec 8, 2015

I fully agree with Todd Gordon! Oh wait...I was there with him! And I've climbed the route at least 6 more times since. On my top-ten favorite routes list for sure!
By Justin Skaare
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 24, 2016

We didn't look at a topo or read a rout description and assumed the climbed went through the off-width for the final pitch. You need probably need a #5 or more likely a #6 C4 to adequately protect it.

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