Hot Rocks is the masterpiece of this wall and climbs a line just right of center identified as a seam that higher widens and forms a crack. Just left of this route is the thin and technical Stand and Deliver (aka Spanish Bombs) while further left is the widening crack of Looney Tunes.
There are two starts to the climb - 1) climb the seam directly with no protection, or 2) climb past a bolt just right of the seam. Either way thin and delicate slab moves gain a stance where you can get some gear in. From here lieback and jam up a thin crack (crux) to a horizontal, after which the crack widens and enjoyable jamming past a steep bulge leads to the top. Descend by walking down the south shoulder (climber's right).
A true Josh classic with varied, interesting moves up a clean face.
This is one of the climbs that John Bachar used to routinely solo back in the late 70's/early 80's. Other routes regularly soloed were Left Ski Track (5.11a), More Monkey than Funky (5.11b) and Spider Line (5.11d).
1 bolt (1/2"), gear to 3"
|By Bart Fay|
From: Redlands, California
Aug 8, 2002
Bold, delicate, burley, clean.Also part of Vogel's solo circuit, this really is a nice line. With so many routes at JTree, I'm not sure that any are 'Easily' in the Top Ten.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
The route seems to be on the easier side of 5.11, not the harder side, the crux being a switching sides layback or a thin fingerlock on a bad foothold (2 hard moves total). I TR'd it though, so maybe the ease of that brought the route down. As for soloing it, it seemed to me that the move was more 'low percentage' than it was hard, and the trick was simply not to slip off on the bad foot. Which is to say... I wouldn't solo it. Of course, I'm not a local and J-tree friction is not automatically programmed for me. Really fun route! Once the crux is over, the climb goes to a well-protected 5.10a that is still super-fun.
|By Josh Beck|
Jan 8, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
If you're taller the crux is certainly easier. I don't know off the top of my head how tall Randy or John are. On a gear note, it's easy to put gear where you need to put your feet on this route.
One of the best routes I've done in the park, ranks w/ O'Kelley Crack, Left Ski Track, Illusion Dweller, Clean and Jerk and the like for me.
|By armando fimbrez|
From: rancho cucamonga
Apr 7, 2008
Hotrocks is such a beautiful line and one of the best that I have done in Joshua Tree. The crux move after the bolt was very hard, I took several falls on a #4 TCu (Metolius). After pulling the crux at the bottom the climb was still a challenge. What a memorable day it was. Thank you Jeff for the belay and catching me when I fell. Thank you Sean for taking photos and Lee for the spot at the start! And you guys that solo this route, hats off to you! Armando
Nov 9, 2008
Incredible route. Some care is required on this one to ensure that you have gear at the crux. On my first lead I recall missing some placements that would have made it much safer.
|By Nate R|
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Not runout at all. You can sew it up every 5 feet with totally bomber gear.
|By John Long|
Jul 21, 2011
We first did this route on aid to learn how to place copperheads. A few years later, Bachar and I did the first free ascent on a TR, and despite it being quite grainy at the time, the moves were so suave we lapped it several times. Later that day, Bachar went over and soloed it. It's just the one body length down low but at that time climbing this cordless was a revolution.
Dec 21, 2012
...and still is, I would say, a bold statement!