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Sail Away 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c [details]
FA: Chick Holtkamp, Randy Russell and John Lakey, February 1978
Page Views: 17,657
Submitted By: M.Morley on Jun 21, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (447)
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Joel wants to 'Sail Away'!

flickr.com/thedan86

Description 

Climb perfect hand and finger crack that virtually eats gear. 10' from the summit, move 6' left across face to flake and continue to top. Multi-bolt anchor. Single rope rappel to ground.


Protection 

Standard rack to 2". If you want to go old school, just take hexes! Three bolt anchor/rap



Photos of Sail Away Slideshow Add Photo
Climbing with airplanes, not ships. <br />February 2008
Climbing with airplanes, not ships.
February 2008
Tyler getting into it.
Tyler getting into it.
Hidden Tower, Joshua Tree NP.
BETA PHOTO: Hidden Tower, Joshua Tree NP.
Tim leading Sail Away. Photo by Ashleigh
Tim leading Sail Away. Photo by Ashleigh
Hannah Tyler on the hard start of Sail Away.  Photographer: Courtney
Hannah Tyler on the hard start of Sail Away. Phot...
Awesome route, definitely a must do
Awesome route, definitely a must do
Climber seconds Sail Away.
Climber seconds Sail Away.
Christa Cline placing pro halfway up the pitch.
Christa Cline placing pro halfway up the pitch.
Cory Smith on Sail Away
Cory Smith on Sail Away
Helen nearing the top, the step left after this is a fun move
Helen nearing the top, the step left after this is...
Neale almost at the top, enjoying the great climb.
Neale almost at the top, enjoying the great climb.
Jason Partin leading Sail Away.
Jason Partin leading Sail Away.
Chris nearing the top of Sail Away 5.8-
Chris nearing the top of Sail Away 5.8-
Karen from Ventura on her first 5.8 trad lead.
Karen from Ventura on her first 5.8 trad lead.
Me leading.
Me leading.
Nearing the top of Sail Away
Nearing the top of Sail Away
Michael Bains on the final moves before topping out.  April 20, 2004
Michael Bains on the final moves before topping ou...
Sweet fingers. Photo by Ashleigh
Sweet fingers. Photo by Ashleigh
Timmay
Timmay
Monica near top, great for hand jams
Monica near top, great for hand jams
80-year-old Fred Beckey ascends Sail Away on New Year's Day. (c)2003 Neil Modie
80-year-old Fred Beckey ascends Sail Away on New Y...
Unknown Climber hitting the crux upper section of Sail Away on a very cold day
Unknown Climber hitting the crux upper section of ...
Just starting out on Sail Away
Just starting out on Sail Away
Another shot of Karen.
Another shot of Karen.
Sail Away on lead.
Sail Away on lead.
Myong on Sail Away.
Myong on Sail Away.
corinne hikes the crux leaving the crack
corinne hikes the crux leaving the crack
Comments on Sail Away Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 28, 2014
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 21, 2002

In regards to my comment regarding just bringing hexes, you'd probably want to throw in a handful of nuts for the crux section.

By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 11, 2002

This climb is brilliant, though I got a grand total of 2 hand jams on it. Lots of thin hands and fingers with a crack protected face climbing crux. Queue up!

By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 11, 2002

Andrew, were you wearing boxing gloves? ;)

By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 13, 2002

My hands are a little larger than average, so I don't get hands until loose 3 friend or tight 3.5 friend. I don't think I ever got a 3 friend into this one, so lots of tight hands for me.

By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 13, 2002

You must hate Incredible Hand Crack at Indian Creek! For me, it doesn't get much better!

By Steve Powell
From: Alhambra, California
May 3, 2003

just did this again on May 1. last time I climbed it was around 1983. no doubt about it this is a great crack climb.

By Matt Chan
From: Boulder
May 10, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did the direct start which definitely increased the difficulty to a solid 8. Probably the best route I've done in J-Tree at the grade. You've got to love the nut placements that pop up at you when you start to sweat - super bomber and right before or after cruxlike sections. Fun!!!

By Ryan Avery
Mar 9, 2005

This thing ate so much gear I was sorry to see it come to an end. I think I placed 11 pieces and 9 of them nuts. Stellar climb, probably best saved for a less busy weekday if you have the chance as I did.

By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 19, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I agree that it is a very nice route that protects extremely well. Placing those damned nuts was a ball! Hell, you could just about do the route with any type of gear.......or no gear at all! It's all there for the taking and a deffinate 'Must do'.

Even though it is very popular, it is often there for the taking, year round.

By Aaron Williams
Mar 24, 2005

Is the traverse at the top of WILD ONE protected???

By Kellen Holt
Dec 31, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

CLASSIC!!! Good jams, locks, and face holds where you need them. Excellent feet all around the crack, and this thing eats gear, especially nuts. Face section did not seem difficult, but this will depend on how early or late you leave the crack. Rap bolts are good as of 12/28. Excellent route, but extremely popular. Take a number, but wait out the line - it's worth it!

By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Mar 20, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The move near the top where one goes left can be protected by a bomber #11 BD nut.

By Drederek
Apr 5, 2006
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Was fun and easy going straight up at the top, incut rails on both sides of the final block.

By Blitzo
Sep 22, 2006

Good route! ***

By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 23, 2007

Classic for a reason. You can sew it up with medium to 2.5"

By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007

Great route for the grade! The best part is stemming to the other crack at the top.

By Brad G
From: Yosemite and else where
Sep 24, 2007

This route is one of my top five favorites at Jtree. Great quality all the way through. Much better then Illusion dweller in my opinion.

By Karsten
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 26, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The first ascencionists walked in and couldn't believe this fine line hadn't been done. They were so excited they ran back to their camp grabbed their gear and ran back to score the first ascent.

By Rich Graziano
From: Atascadero, CA
Mar 29, 2008

What an absolute joy of a route. I can't recall having that much fun on such a beautiful hand and finger crack! It only has one weakness...it's over too quickly.

By Dave Daly
From: Del Mar, CA
Mar 2, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Really fun crack climb! So sad its so short. :( Considering some feel this route is "soft" 5.8, I personnally felt it was harder than climbs like 'Dappled Mare'. Even so, I had just finished 'Bird On a Wire' (btw, never did feel the .10a moves come into play) and drove over to Hidden Tower right afterward, feeling 'Sail Away' was a tougher 5.8. JMO.

By DaveGustafson
From: Palm Desert, CA
Mar 29, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great route! Have been putting this route off for some time and glad we were able to tick this today. Enjoyed the whole experience that this route offered, cool moves, nice protection AND especially enjoyed the easy escape with the rap anchors :)

By The Gray Tradster
Mar 29, 2009

Great route to do on all passive gear!

Leave the cams on the deck.

One larger than #12 stopper may be a good idea. Something in the 1-1/2 1-1/4 range.

By Dan Costello
Apr 19, 2009
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This route is a straight-up blast and it is tailor-made for passive protection. "The Gray Tradster" is right -- leave your cams on the deck and bring a double set of nuts instead.

I found it to be perhaps easier, but certainly no harder, than either Double Cross or White Lightning.

By C Miller
Administrator
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Sail Away on Youtube -

By TylerW
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 11, 2010

How is this route on the "classics" short list for all of California??? I mean, it's good, but not one of the best 20 routes in the state.

By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 11, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Tyler,
This is as good or better than Astroman....

By Chris D
From: the couch
Mar 22, 2010

If, like me, 5.8 is the limit of what you lead, and you've led Mental Physics a couple of times, and come to this route thinking that at 5.8- it can't be much harder than Mental Physics at 5.7+, you're in for a surprise. This was one of the most exciting climbs I've ever done. What a treat!

The polished hand crack is just beautiful. Totally forgiving for people (like me) who are still working on mastering placing nuts. Every move at 5.8 can be well-protected.

If you have big hands (as I do) you won't get more than one or two good hand jams. There is a really neat spot just below a hard move mid-way where you can hook your fingertips solidly on a vertical ledge within the crack.

Absolutely beautiful. Glad I led it, and with a couple of great guys.

By J.J
Mar 16, 2011

Pretty cruiser for 5.8 but way fun! If you're lucky like me the wind will pick up near the top and you'll get that "exposed" feeling!

By Vitaliy
Oct 4, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fully committing to reach each stance was the key for me to make it a solid lead. On my first lead here I tried to place pro midway through a move and it was a nightmare. Bottom line: find the stances and it's enjoyable, blow/not reach them and it's a scary lead.

By Matt N
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 4, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Awesome line and lead! Glad to have found it with no climbers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Lighten your rack beta: I didn't place anything over a .75 camalot and I'm not a bold leader. Take up to a #1 and carry extra nuts if you want to sew it up.

By Canon
Nov 10, 2011
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Mostly nuts and a couple tri-cams. Great climb, crowded.

By TLob
Feb 28, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

One of the greatest single pitches I've ever done, anywhere! Incredible jams, ample pro, amazing top out. A must do and one of the only climbs I'd recommend waiting in line for.