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Top Twenty Cracks in Joshua Tree...
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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
May 25, 2010

Fat Dad wrote:
Popular Mechanics (5.9) is really clean. You'd almost swear you're in the Valley.


Good call, those white cliffs routes are nice.


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By JSH
Administrator
May 25, 2010
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker

(I reserve the right to edit-add to this post)

++ Planet X, Nurn's Romp, Hands Off, Strawberry Jam, Colorado Crack.


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By Will Cobb
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 25, 2010
Me and my son, Kellen.

I really liked Bird on Fire and Rubicon.


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By Chris D
From the couch
May 27, 2010
Sign near the Third Flatiron

Fat Dad wrote:
A few of easy 5.7s: False Smooth as Silk (either 5.4 or 5.7) Classic Corner Bushcrack Popular Mechanics (5.9) is really clean. You'd almost swear you're in the Valley.


Bush Crack!

I thought about adding that one, but figured anyone who'd done it would think it silly to include here. Fun, tricky start (for 5.7) into just a perfect beautiful hand crack. Too bad it's so short, and most would probably say the approach is excessive for what you get, but for the short trip up it's a joy. I think it's worth it.

Along the same lines (great 5.7 crack, but short):

Life's a Bitch and Then you Marry One

My vote for some good (some classic) moderate/easy cracks:

Double Cross
Sail Away
Mental Physics
Double Dogleg
Mr. Misty Kiss
of course...The Bong


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By x15x15
May 27, 2010

never did understand the popularity of mental physics.

i think bambi meets godzilla should be on the list. a ton of good, moderate climbing. not something you see a lot of at jtree...


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By Adam Kimmerly
May 27, 2010

x15x15 wrote:
never did understand the popularity of mental physics. i think bambi meets godzilla should be on the list. a ton of good, moderate climbing. not something you see a lot of at jtree...

Each time you post in this thread, I agree with you more and more...

Mental Physics is way over-rated and Vector and Crack Queen are two of the best cracks in the park.

There could be a whole different thread on unknown/under-appreciated, quality cracks in the park...


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
May 27, 2010


There could be a whole different thread on unknown/under-appreciated, quality cracks in the park...

The danger there of course is that people might show up and climb them!

Re: mental physics... I don't know, it's been probably 6 years since I climbed it, but I remember it being pretty good for a 5.7 crack. Can't say that about a lot of josh 7s. Maybe it's cool to slag it like Double Cross? Double Cross is also super good for 5.7, but easy to poo poo because of it's circus?


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
May 27, 2010

I really like Mental Physics, but it's really the sum of all it's parts: the location out in the Wonderland, it's more than one pitch (which is nice for Josh), you get both crack and face, and you also getting that nice hanging belay where in the winter time you look over and see San Gorgonio plastered in snow. All that in a 5.7. Good stuff.


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By Snupe
From SoCak
Jun 6, 2010

caughtinside wrote:
My favorite 20 that I can think of of the top of my head, in no particular order: Rubicon Perpetual Motion Touch and Go Scary Poodles Coarse and Buggy Sail Away Pope's Crack Cedric's Deep Sea Fish Market Bird of Fire Prepackaged Mental Physics Overseer Anacram Invisibility Lessons Continuum the Bendix Claws Right V crack Double Cross The Rattler Tax Man I haven't done these, but I've looked at them and they look sick: Wangerbanger O'Kelleys Vector Equinox


the Exorcist doesn't make your list?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jul 24, 2010

The Bong 5.4
Mental Physics p1 5.7
Double Cross 5.7
Popular Mechanics/Ace of Spades 5.9
Touch and Go 5.9
High Strung 5.9
Illusion Dweller 5.10
Bird of Fire 5.10
Rubicon 5.10
Imaginary Voyage 5.10
Between a Rock and a Hardplace 5.10
Perpetual Motion 5.10
Coarse and Buggy 5.11
Heart of Darkness 5.11
O'Kelley's 5.11
Wangerbanger 5.11
Vector 5.11
Castaway 5.11
Equinox 5.12
Throbbing Gristle 5.12


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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Jul 25, 2010
Props to my home state show

caughtinside wrote:
12 feet of 5.8 OW one of the best cracks in Josh?

What can I say? I like groveling.


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By Terence
From Almont, CO
Jul 25, 2010

I can attest to that Matt...I have seen you grovel up some interesting stuff. Stoked for Tahquitz...


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By Bryan G
From San Jose
Jul 30, 2010
Puffy jackets and Happy Boulders

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Firewater Chimney. Chimneys count as cracks too don't they?... even if it is bolt protected.

Some others that I haven't seen mentioned but would maybe be on my top 20 are Hex Marks the Poot, Room to Shroom, No Self Respect, and No Self Confidence.


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By alleyehave
From San Diego, CA
Aug 1, 2010
Start of Pitch 3

Does nobody else enjoy Gargoyle as much as me?


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By Frank K
From Bishop, CA
Aug 1, 2010

Bussonier or whatever, fuck that is a hard 5.7.

Every crack on The Old Woman. Touch and Go and Popes.


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By Kevin Craig
Aug 1, 2010
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

No Gem or Colorado Crack? Those are pretty good yet challenging for the grade.

Agree on Sail Away and Classic Corner though Sail Away is a bit more flared than some other 8's and is face rather than crack at the upper crux.

Double Dogleg has some pretty sweet jammin' for 5.7 too, especially near the top.


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By Kevin Craig
Aug 1, 2010
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Nathan Manson wrote:
Does nobody else enjoy Gargoyle as much as me?

Right! Another excellent moderate! Very similar to Gem in terms of roughness of the granite though - you definitely want to tape up for both of these.


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Aug 2, 2010
My kinda simian

Kevin Craig wrote:
No Gem or Colorado Crack?


Well, this originally started as a "Best 20 crack climbs in Jtree" discussion, not any crack climb in Jtree.


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By Kevin Craig
Aug 2, 2010
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Ryan Kelly wrote:
Well, this originally started as a "Best 20 crack climbs in Jtree" discussion, not any crack climb in Jtree.


Well, both are 3 stars on this site whereas Double Cross and Sail Away are 3.5 stars. That extra half star puts the others in the top 20??


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Aug 3, 2010
My kinda simian

Kevin Craig wrote:
Well, both are 3 stars on this site whereas Double Cross and Sail Away are 3.5 stars. That extra half star puts the others in the top 20??


I'm sorry, I didn't realize this discussion was ultimately governed by the database star count. In that case, why are we even discussing this, just do a search for Jtree by stars and take the first 20 cracks that come up.

I just don't think that Gem is very good, not worth of mention in a best of discussion. It's an ok climb, worth doing in the area, but nothing more. Colorado is much better, but the rock quality keeps it from a 4-star route; that and some of the movement. I don't like the large crystals in that part of the park, especially for handjams, especially that climb. They're both notable because they're "long" by Jtree standards, but that's it, IMHO.

Is it a decent climb? Sure. Is it one of the top 20 cracks at Jtree, not in my opinion, not by a long shot. Would it have 3 stars and more than 10 votes if it wasn't in the 5.5 to 5.9 guidebook? Probably not. There seems to be a mass of climbers with a blind faith that would make a Baptist feel inadequate, believing that any climb published in that book is a fantastic climb.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Aug 3, 2010

Gem is like 15' of perfect hands, with some of the biggest gnarliest flesh eating crystals in the park. Not even Top 50, IMO. I'd rank all those 5.9 and 10a cracks in the corridor behind Bird of Fire et al as waaaay better than Gem or Colorado crack. Most of them are just numbered...Crack #6, Crack #3 etc, but they're longer, more sustained, equal or better rock quality, and I've never seen other people there.

I think of Gem as something roughly on par with the right sawdust crack (very short, even by JT stds, perfect hands, super aggressive crystals, do it once if you're already in the area and afterwards wonder why it gets hype).


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Aug 3, 2010
My kinda simian

Will S wrote:
I'd rank all those 5.9 and 10a cracks in the corridor behind Bird of Fire et al as waaaay better than Gem or Colorado crack. Most of them are just numbered...Crack #6, Crack #3 etc, but they're longer, more sustained, equal or better rock quality, and I've never seen other people there.


Agreed, with the exception of Wedlock. Damn that climb *shakes fist*


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By x15x15
Aug 3, 2010

has winds of whoopee been mentioned? that climb rocks, and is way better than many on these lists. so is flaring rhoid! what a great couple of climbs that make for a good start of the day. then move to magnetic woose, roberts crack, and then pick one more to finish a great day. you will be getting tired for the last climb...

the colossus of rhoids had no stars in "the book" until the most recent one, and it is awesome.

and again, for those that want a little wyde, good, the bad, and the ugly is a good moderate to begin learning that skill. but it aint anywhere near the top 20...


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By Snupe
From SoCak
Aug 5, 2010

Ryan Kelly wrote:
Agreed, with the exception of Wedlock. Damn that climb *shakes fist*


Wedlock is neither in that corridor nor 5.9/10a.


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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Aug 5, 2010
My kinda simian

Snupe wrote:
Wedlock is neither in that corridor nor 5.9/10a.


Guideline #1: don't be a jerk


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