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Which Witch 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Don O'Kelley and Bill Mikus, FFA: John Wolfe, December 1972
Page Views: 753
Submitted By: Locker on Feb 1, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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Finishing up on the "Witch"


The start is the fun stuff, but the climb has a bit of variety that makes it worth a shot. Close to the road with easy access and just a couple routes to the right of Andromeda Strain, afternoon sun, and to top it off, right next to a few other fun and relatively easy climbs. After finishing, drop off then head left to a small slab for the walk off. Easy!


easy to protect with cams in the small to medium sizes. Passive pro would work as well (we were just being lazy). A boulder near the top is easily girth hitched with a double length sling if desired and cams, tri cams or slings girthed for an anchor on top good.

Photos of Which Witch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug 'chalkin up' on the 'crux' of "Which  Wi...
Doug 'chalkin up' on the 'crux' of "Which Wi...

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By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Feb 19, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Vary the climb after the mid-way point to add some flavor. The rating changes of course so if you plan to mix it up eyeball it and be sure. But we did some fun changes that made it a tad bit more challenging.
By C Miller
From: CA
Feb 25, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

So-so climbing but not totally worthless. Zero stars out of five.
By E. Ramos
From: Los Angeles, CA
Mar 28, 2004

My first 'roped' climb in Joshua Tree! Many (many) thanks to Locker and his son (Doug) ;) Fun climb... it begins on the 'crux' with a bouldering move that leads up onto a massive shelf (good spot to rest when your in the desert heat!). From the shelf up, it's pretty straight forward, but I ended up smearing on the left side of the crack making it a variation, and a bit more difficult then the original graded route. Beginners Tip: Stay toward the right when beginning the 'crux'. You will find it awkward if you try climbing off the left side. This route is also best climbed during the early morning, or later afternoon.
By Blitzo
Oct 24, 2007

Pretty hard start for 5.8. Good route.
By seamstress
Dec 28, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There is a great fist jam at the crux, but getting the height to reach it was the problem. I ended up putting my left hand underneath the bulge where there is some texture to hold onto. Then I was able to get my feet higher so I could reach the jam. On the second half of the climb, I went left the first time I climbed this. It was dirty and the pro was sketchy, but at that point, I didn't have the nerve to downclimb. The right side looks harder, but is safer. Good climb for a cold day.
By Alex Peterson
From: Kamas, Utah
Nov 17, 2012

Crux is right at the start, but it is easy to pro and push pass. Rest of the climb provides a variety of alternatives. Easy to set up a TR off the large boulder on top, so my kids could play on it afterwards. This is a great ("warm") winter climb.
By mhagny
Oct 30, 2016
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Agreed that the first 15' is stout for a 5.8, even in J-tree.

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