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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:

Headstone Rock  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 33.9836, -116.154 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 88,771
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on Jun 26, 2002
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Headstone & Joshua Trees on a beautiful day. Feb ...

Description 

Headstone is one of the true classic locations at JTree, and home to two of the parks most popular moderate routes: SW Corner (5.6 ***) and Cryptic (5.8 ***). Although the SW Corner offers spectacular exposure (due to the positioning of the rock), both routes are well bolted by JTree standards. In addition to these two routes, the South Face Center goes at 5.9, and there are some bolted 5.reallyhard sport climbs on the blank, overhanging north face of the rock as well.

Quickdraws are all you'll need for protection, although a couple of double-length slings will help for setting a belay on the top of the SW Corner.

Rappel descent from bolts and chains on top of the rock.

Like I said, these routes are POPULAR, so get there early in the morning or climb them late in the evening. But they're well worth it!


Getting There 

Park on the east side of the Ryan Campground Loop, next to the bathroom. From there it's an easy 100 yard plus 2 minutes of 3rd class approach (past some kind bouldering, by the way).


Climbing Season



Weather station 11.7 miles from here

8 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',2],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Headstone Rock:
SW Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Cryptic   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
South Face Center   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Headmaster   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
The Cutting Edge   5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Classics in Headstone Rock

Featured Route For Headstone Rock
Loving the exposure on the SW Corner

SW Corner 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Headstone Rock
Awesome setting, great summit, big air underneath you. This is a great climb. It's popular, and there's often a line, but it's still well worth doing. Ss soon as you hit the corner past the second bolt, it's like there's no one else around but you and a hundred feet of air. The crux is negotiating your way over a small bulge above the second bolt -- the holds are there and bomber, though, so fire away!! This is one climb that I intend to come back and do again, many times.For excellent phot...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Headstone Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rappelling Headstone Rock.
Rappelling Headstone Rock.
Classic Headstone shot
Classic Headstone shot
Rainbows at Headstone
Rainbows at Headstone
Climbers on the Southwest Corner and Cryptic.
Climbers on the Southwest Corner and Cryptic.
Headstone Rock. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Headstone Rock. Photo by Blitzo.
Sunset at Headstone
Sunset at Headstone
Rainbow at Headstone
Rainbow at Headstone
Climbers on Headstone Rock (((2-29-2004)))
BETA PHOTO: Climbers on Headstone Rock (((2-29-2004)))
Anchors for Top Roping Cryptic.
BETA PHOTO: Anchors for Top Roping Cryptic.
Headstone Nov. 2004 We were climbing in shorts two days earlier.
Headstone Nov. 2004 We were climbing in shorts two...
Headstone Rock with Saddle Rocks in the Background. Photo By Jeff Laina.
Headstone Rock with Saddle Rocks in the Background...
Celebrating atop Headstone Rock, Joshua Tree.
Celebrating atop Headstone Rock, Joshua Tree.
Leading at sunset, so CLASSIC!
Leading at sunset, so CLASSIC!
Descending Headstone Rock. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Descending Headstone Rock. Photo by Blitzo.
Topping out on the 5.9 high ball on the north side of the Headstone piles - a place to relax in the shade after headstone.
Topping out on the 5.9 high ball on the north side...
Bouldering below Headstone Rock, Joshua Tree NP
Bouldering below Headstone Rock, Joshua Tree NP
Headstone Rock
Headstone Rock
Classic Headstone with me on top
Classic Headstone with me on top
Joe De Luca attempting the 2nd ascent of The Cutting Edge 5.13b
BETA PHOTO: Joe De Luca attempting the 2nd ascent of The Cutti...
From the top.
From the top.
Oh, F**k, I forgot the rack.  Can you just toss it up to me?  Two highball cracks on the rear end of the headstone pile that cowards can rope up.... Photo and rack lobber, Dave Rockwell; laughing belayer, Todd Bradley, climber, embarrassed.
Oh, F**k, I forgot the rack. Can you just toss it...
Headstone Rappel Anchors (taken May 2011)
BETA PHOTO: Headstone Rappel Anchors (taken May 2011)
south side of Headstone rock
south side of Headstone rock
Headstone with Cryptic on the left side
Headstone with Cryptic on the left side

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By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 28, 2002
Several fun boulder problems lie en-route to the base of the Headstone formation.
By Randy
Dec 17, 2003
The original name given this formation by Mark Powell and Bill Feuerer in 1958 was "The Can Opener." Later, early Wolfe guides called it "Balance Rock." Wolfe changed the name again to "Headstone Rock" since there is some evidence that this name was used before climbers named it (a couple of miners are buried nearby).