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Enchanted Stairway 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Mike Pope, Hank Levine & Russ Yeoman, December 1975 Direct: Brad Johnston, Bud Bruce, Randy Vogel & Mike Orr, January 1977
Page Views: 961
Submitted By: Dustysdawg on Dec 19, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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Dan getting to the forced first bolt

Description 

This was my second time leading a face climb at Joshua Tree, and it was exciting. The first bolt is about 40 feet off the ground. Just before you get to the first bolt you need to make a couple of 5.8 moves, including a high step/mantle on a small chicken head. Before you make the moves to the first bolt, make sure to look down. 40 unprotected feet below your feet you will see a broken Manzanita bush and a cactus. I wonder how the branches got broken?After the bolt comes a few nice 5.9 moves. Then the climb gets easier on big patina flakes. 50 feet past the first bolt you will come to a second bolt. Then about 60 more feet to the top.Definitely worth doing if you are a competentent 5.9 leader. It is also perfect for a cold day because it faces the sun.


Protection 

There are two bolts on the route. It is also possible to sling a couple of flakes/horns after the second bolt.



Photos of Enchanted Stairway Slideshow Add Photo
Dan mid way on the cool plates
Dan mid way on the cool plates
Bill Odenthal on Enchanted Stairway in the 80's
Bill Odenthal on Enchanted Stairway in the 80's
"Enchanted Stairway" on Disneyland Dome. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
"Enchanted Stairway" on Disneyland Dome.
Photo by ...
One more from the 80's
One more from the 80's
Comments on Enchanted Stairway Add Comment
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By DJ Reyes
From: Northern Nevada
Apr 7, 2008

After the initial difficulties, you are rewarded with many feet of jug hauling on interesting rock for JT. Would be a classic if it weren't for the initial forty feet or so.

By Graham Roff
May 6, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

If you start the route up the crack (as in the picture, and following the most obvious line) then there is no significant run-out and the climbing is much easier than 5.9. Tricky gear can be had most of the way up using nuts and small cams and slinging a few horns. I only found a single bolt about 20 feet above the end of the crack (which agrees with the Vogel guide).
It is a 60m rope stretcher to go from the base of the crack all the way to the top of the formation - a long fun climb!

By Bonesaw
From: CA
Mar 31, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

New Miramontes guidebook says to start in the crack, then move left to bolt and then up the patina face. If that is the true line, then it is very contrived and runout getting to the first bolt. If the route is supposed to go to the first bolt from directly below, then it is very runout. The natural line would be to take the crack up until it dies out and continue up the face, which would only be about 5.7 or so. Great climbing on this face, but why force hard moves by moving so far left of the crack? It just doesn't make any sense at all.

By Jeff Scheuerell
Apr 7, 2011

The Vogel guide says one bolt but does not show the route going into the crack. It shows the route going left before it reaches the crack heading to where the runout lower bolt is. It calls the crack Tragic Kingdom 5.8A1 a totally seperate line. I agree with Les, going to the lower bolt is contrived and takes away from the quality of the line. I highly recommend this route but I would start up the natural line of the crack. 4 out of 5 stars for the natural line.

By Colin Schour
From: Big Bear Lake, CA
Feb 5, 2012

Just for the record, I took the slab up to the first bolt and thought it was quite fun. Few moves worth thinking about, but nothing a competent J Tree 5.9 leader can't handle.

By Richard Shore
Dec 10, 2012

Take the fun crack line instead of going out left to the forced bolt. Done this way, this is one of the best long "easy" pitches in the park. 45+ meters long. The upper face is a blast! Huge holds!

By J Smith
Jan 13, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

I also say skip the lower bolt and climb up the crack until it ends. Move onto the face clipping the upper bolt and climb super fun patina. Nice 5.7 route this way.