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Zippy Rock
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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
FA: Todd Gordon and Cyndie Bransford, February 1989
Page Views: 165
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 1, 2002
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Don't....the name say it all.....


Walking around to the south face of Zippy Rock will bring this gem of a route into view. Stop here! - this is as close as you want to get...trust me. Even the FA party claims it as one of their worst.

So you really want to climb this route? Starting from a wide crack climb the gritty, light-colored slab, with a texture akin to freshly dried kitty litter, passing bolts which offer more in the way of a route marker than actual protection. Belay on top and walk off (if you make it that far), reflecting on your excellent choice for a route.

This route is a candidate for "Worst route in Joshua Tree", and while it may not be the worst it could place as high as the top ten. One advantage to doing this route is it puts all those other bad routes you've done into context.


5 bolts, pro to 2.5"

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Here are the old crappy bolts.....now replaced by good strong bolts...
Here are the old crappy bolts.....now replaced by ...
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By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Nov 17, 2012

The Don't now has new bolts and a bolted anchor on top. The old 1/4" and 5/16th" buttonheads are gone; replaced by sturdy 3/8" rawls. This climb is still a "don't do" climb, for the rock is shit and the climb is run-out too. If you have to do this climb, throw a top rope on it. Even with good bolts, the climb still sucks, but at least you won't die on this climb anymore...

By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Nov 17, 2012

Here is some beta, if you must lead this pile;....Carefully lieback up the wide crack to the first bolt.
After clipping the first bolt, drop down and to a low traverse over to a crack. Climb and grovel up the crack placing a couple of medium cams until you get to the 2nd bolt.....After clipping the 2nd bolt, it would probably be best to downclimb and get your cams, so you won't have too much rope drag. Grain up steep gritty face past 3 or 4 more bolts to a bolted anchor.