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 ADVANCED
Headstone Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Cryptic S 
Cutting Edge, The S 
Headbanger's Ball T 
Headmaster TR 
Headstone Crack Left T 
Headstone Crack Right T 
South Face Center TR 
SW Corner T 
Unsorted Routes:

Cryptic 

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

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Mark Powell, 1970
Page Views: 10,977
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on May 5, 2002

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Posing on the jug hold of Cryptic

Description 

Cryptic is significantly steeper and a bit more strenuous than the SW Corner, but by going up the right side of Headstone's south face, it stays over the ground and thus lacks SW Corner's incredible exposure.

Nevertheless, it's a fun, well-protected, straight-up line in an amazing location. Not ready to lead it? The bolts up top are perfectly set up to TR this route, if you can manage to beat the crowds (much easier said than done).

Protection 

4 bolts, bolted anchor/rap (all 3/8")


Photos of Cryptic Slideshow Add Photo
Reardon soloing, photo by Damon Corso
Reardon soloing, photo by Damon Corso
"Cryptic" Photo by Blitzo.
"Cryptic" Photo by Blitzo.
Brian Smith cruising Cryptic.  Skip Garibaldi phot...
Brian Smith cruising Cryptic. Skip Garibaldi phot...
Cryptic
Cryptic
cryptic
cryptic
Unknown climber on Cryptic
Unknown climber on Cryptic
cryptic
cryptic
Jasyn Klamborowski on Cryptic
Jasyn Klamborowski on Cryptic
Kelly ticks her first lead on real rock at  age 14
Kelly ticks her first lead on real rock at age 14
We had just climbed S/W Corner and I was setting u...
We had just climbed S/W Corner and I was setting u...
Lowering Dalon back down Cryptic; VERY good route!...
Lowering Dalon back down Cryptic; VERY good route!...
Rapping down the front face of crptic.
Rapping down the front face of crptic.
Scott on the summit of the Headstone with Ryan cam...
Scott on the summit of the Headstone with Ryan cam...
The rappel off the North side of Headstone Rock is...
The rappel off the North side of Headstone Rock is...
Rapping down the front side of Cryptic after a gre...
Rapping down the front side of Cryptic after a gre...
My roommate Dan and co-worker Emily
BETA PHOTO: My roommate Dan and co-worker Emily
Super fun route with great finger and foot holds i...
Super fun route with great finger and foot holds i...
Sascha Madrid on Cryptic
Sascha Madrid on Cryptic
Climbers on Headstone Rock (((2-29-2004)))
BETA PHOTO: Climbers on Headstone Rock (((2-29-2004)))
Top rope anchors for Cryptic.
BETA PHOTO: Top rope anchors for Cryptic.
Shiloh on Cryptic -Sat April 8th
Shiloh on Cryptic -Sat April 8th
Rappel anchors for getting down off Headstone (ove...
BETA PHOTO: Rappel anchors for getting down off Headstone (ove...
show off
show off
Cryptic, photo Dave Rockwell, climber John Ely, Oc...
Cryptic, photo Dave Rockwell, climber John Ely, Oc...

Show All 30 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Cryptic Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 30, 2014
By Lichney
Aug 3, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13

CONDITION REPORT 
This was a great fast and easy route. Well protected with the four secured bolts , and the anchors on top are steady. You do have to scramble up the bottom of the rocks to reach the route. So don't wear flip flops or crocks or you could slip. This is Definately a climb to hit when your in JT weather you are just beginning or a little seasoned.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Aug 29, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Steve, you were right about being able to sling the "Horn". But it was not needed so I didn't. But it would be easy to do, though unnecessary. It's a pretty cool little climb though. And the view is hard to beat. Needless to say, as we did when we did the So.Corner, we of course hiked in. Boy was it a long hike. Wish they would open Ryan so we could just drive on in. But being the "Boyscout" that I am, ...................and upstanding citizen.......................
By Steven Powers
Oct 1, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

i know at the top of the route it is pretty easy climbing but, anything can happen, after the last bolt the route gets kind of run out, so to keep from taking a long fall all you have to do is flip your rope behing one of the large flakes/horns at the top, or sling it either way it will keep you much safer. Peace.
By C Miller
Administrator
Dec 11, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great moves and position with an easy approach. Worth repeating at least once every season. Four stars out of five.
By Randy
Dec 17, 2003

FA of this fine climb was done in 1970/1 by Mark Powell who placed only a single bolt and used a pin or 2 higher. The other 2 bolts were added later by unknown climbers.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
May 19, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did this one again and agree that it is worth doing. SoW Corner also again and again. Both good ones for the masses...........
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 26, 2005

I don't know about using the rap anchors up top for TR. They are fairly centered on the formation, if I remember correctly, and a fall could allow a big swing over the south face of the formation. Also, I didn't see any moves over 5.7. Nice route.
By Jason Shatek
Apr 7, 2005

Watched my climbing compadre TR this route, its more straight up and down than SW corner, more straight forward. From what I hear the moves ain't bad either.
By 46and2
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 11, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Excellent route that "feels" more safe than SW corner not that that route is bad. All the holds are there and the bolts are well placed. Don't worry about that featureless section up high, move right and its an easy romp to the top!!
By Blitzo
Sep 25, 2006

A good route!
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Oct 22, 2006

It's been along time since I did this one. Repeated it yesterday and had a blast - what a fun route - don't know where the crux was, but didn't do any mantles. Melody Wong followed in Tevas (she doesn't recommend it) toting a huge SLR digital camera with a zoom lens.

I think this is a classic.
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007

Fun, fun, fun! Be sure to walk the upper ledge with your hands, not your feet, so you can hang from the horn for that shameless photo op. ;-) And try it at night sometime!
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 13, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

By Mary Ellen Man
From: Midvale, UT
Jan 4, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Sweet, This was the best climb I did on my first trip to JT.
By Harrison Dreves
From: Nashville, TN
Feb 17, 2011

Anyone else get a sweet heelhook and campus move around the jug :)
Super fun to do at dusk!
By UpRope
Feb 18, 2011

An excellent JT classic and a very smooth lead.One to do again and again.Superb location.There's a photo in the old Wolfe/Dominick guidebook of someone climbing Headstone in tennis shoes in the 1950s.The FA of this formation was apparently accomplished by throwing a rope over the top and batmaning up.
By Canon
Nov 7, 2011

Awesome climb, great Cliffhanger photo op 2/3 of the way up. On top are two older bolts with ring hangers and three new metolius bolts with two chains. Bring webbing to extend the anchor for TRing this climb or SW corner.
By Brandon Bateman
From: Montrose, CA
Jan 21, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a must-do climb for any level climber in j-tree.
By Jaime Saucedo
From: Los Angeles, California
Oct 27, 2014

Does anyone know how to get to this specific site? I need like a map or some website where it shows how to get there.

Thanks,
By Greg Opland
Administrator
Oct 30, 2014

Right there...




C'mon man... at least do a little of the heavy lifting...

1) They'll give you a map when you pay to enter the park.
2) Look for Ryan Campground.
3) Drive to Ryan Campground.
4) Keep your eyes peeled to the east of the campground, can't miss it.