Walk on the Wild Side
|15,740 page views|
the upper slabs
Walk on the Wild Side takes a sweeping line up the right side of Saddle Rocks and with it's deceptively moderate grade, multi-pitch climbing and the fact that nothing more than quickdraws are needed make it one of the most popular routes in all of Joshua Tree.
The climb starts by scrambling up to the base and starting off the highpoint of stacked blocks. P1) Climbing slightly left and up to start, work your way back right to belay in a natural hole at bolt anchors. 6 bolts on this pitch P2) Climb up and left to another bolted belay past 3 bolts. P3) This pitch climbs past 2 bolts to an anchor. This last pitch is a little run-out, but much easier. It's possible to combine pitches 2 and 3 together for a rope stretching pitch (a 70 meter rope works well here).
The descent offers several choices: 1) Rap the route with (2) two 60 meter ropes. The first rap is close to 100' and will take you straight down to the first anchor of Dial 911 (the next route to the left of WOWS). From here one more rap leads you to the ground.
2) The other option is to top past the last bolted anchor and walk/downclimb the ramp to the (climber's) right. At a certain point it will be best to traverse improbably out to the top of a slab to access a bolted rap anchor (this is the anchor for Presto In C Sharp). A rap from here takes you to a ledge where you will find another rap anchor that will take you down a faint waterchute and to the ground. Now walk downhill through rocks and a faint trail to the base of the rock, and back around to your packs. Please note that this descent is much longer, and slightly more involved, but has the advantage of only needing a single cord.
Lastly, if you are looking for some adventure on a long moonlit night (and/or couldn't make it on the route that day) do what the locals do and climb it by the light of the full moon.
All bolted with bolted anchors, but for the grade not a sport climb. All bolts and anchors are 3/8".
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks showing Walk On The Wild Side
Christa Cline surveying the next move near the top...
Rappel from top of 3rd pitch.
Christa Cline near the top of the first pitch.
Climbing 1st pitch. Top climber is at 1st belay an...
Walk on the Wild Side
Snider taking a sunset "Walk"
Western bolting... Great Route!!!!!!
BETA PHOTO: Looking up on the first pitch. The first bolt had ...
"Walk On The Wild Side".
Photo by Blitzo.
View from the top: spectacular! There is a great "...
BETA PHOTO: Walk on the WRONG Side!
This is Park Service bet...
BETA PHOTO: Topo with rappel route for Walk On the Wild Side.
Michael McKay enjoys perfect slab climbing near th...
Jeff Sewell on first pitch, Winter 2009.
Unknown climbers 2-13-10 early afternoon.
Unknown climbers 2-13-10 early afternoon.
Looking down the winding 1st Pitch.
Beth leading pitch 1 after I backed off the lead. ...
Sean takes off on P2. Walk on the Wild Side.
Gary, leading low on the route.
On the approach to Saddle Rocks
Anne is lower on the final pitch of the climb...
|Comments on Walk on the Wild Side
|By Mark J. Nelson|
Nov 4, 2002
Combining P2 and P3 left us with 15-20 feet remaining on a 60m rope. A set of stoppers could come in handy halfway up P1, but the route is quite reasonable without them.
From: Westminster, CO
Oct 7, 2003
Yes this one is a good one. I agree with it as a "classic". I missed a clip and ran out pitch two and three with zero problems. A suggestion to use stoppers somewhere on pitch one is questionable. Unless I was off route (Which I admit I often go to territory un-planned) all I saw that might take a placement were loose flakes. If they are the suggested spots, well....... I damned sure would not trust them. It is well protected and not neccessary to use pro. On top there are three different sets of anchors. Two chains, two bolted with rap rings, and one single bolt. Using the rap ring set up and a 60m rope takes you pretty much right back where you started from.
|By Steve Powell|
From: Alhambra, California
Oct 12, 2003
Did this climb for the second time yesterday. The first time was twenty years ago. Still remains classic(imo).As far as rapping, there is a rap anchor(chains) just to left(skier's left) of the anchor for WOWS. Rap from the chains to a hanging bolted belay anchor(on the route Negro Girls)with two ropes. Rap to the ground from there. You will end up to the climber's right to the start of WOWS.Rapping this way avoids a clusterf*ck on WOWS.
|By Woody Stark|
Jan 23, 2004
Don't trust those flakes for pro. This is a well protected route. If you would like a little more excitement vis a vis pro, try "Negro Girls" next door.
|By Kevin Currigan|
Feb 11, 2004
"but for the grade not a sport climb" Amen...better be solid at grade because the bolts feel like they are way out there; especially if you are expecting a sport bolted route. This was my first JTree climb-great intro...
From: Spfld, Ma
Apr 29, 2004
A fun climb, Nice "Dog House", at the top of the P1. Glad I took 2 60 M ropes... My forgetful partner, calls this climb "Crazy Feet". No matter the name still fun. Oh and the acces trail is not directly across from the parking lot it's about 100' to the right as you face the cliff, look for the brown 4' tall stake with the Access Fund trail marker on it.
|By Jack Thompson|
Sep 15, 2004
This was my fourth lead in my home town of Joshau Tree, done when I was 17 on a spectacularly clear and windy day. The experience still sticks with me, seven years later. I lead the first pitch without falls, but plenty of moments where the wind was stealing what little breath came out of me, whipping chock out of my bag in huge plumes. My focus was only broken when I feared I might be off route and those fears took further shap in the profound wonder about how I had gotten myself into such a mess. Pitch 1 ended and my more experienced partner was soon out of sight, going for the top on pitch 2. The belay device was soon up against my tie in knot, and I waited for familiar tugs on the rope or his call that he was off belay. Instead, between huge gusts of wind I heard "climb up!" My partner had done this route at leat three times before this day and I assumed we would never make the mistake of bringing a knife to a gun fight. But alas, our stupid asses had brought a fifty meter rope and I was soon shaking my head as the reality of the situation sunk in and I found myself unclipped my belay rig so we could simul. We gained the top without incident. I sat next to him, our feet hanging off the edge, saying not a word and instead, savoring the amazing panoramic view before us. I'd chew his ass later. But I coudn't bring myself to. We'd both been fools. We'd survived. There was more climbing to be done, hopefully distancing myself with each hand jam and smear, further and further away from the perils of novicedom. I'll never forget that day, as long as I live. It felt as true and adventure as any.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Sep 15, 2004
Cool story Jack. Makes me sentimental for J-tree.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Oct 4, 2004
The belays on this route seem to have been re-engineered for the better since I last climbed it. P1 climbs past six bolts to a three bolt belay stance in a little hole. P2 climbs past five bolts to a nice ledge. We then did two double rope rappels down chain anchors to the right (climbers right) of the route.
We watched Peter Croft solo this route while we were on our way down. It was an appopriate way to meet a climbing legend.
Have fun on this classic.
Sep 15, 2006
Good route! I'm with the 5.7+ rating.
From: oxnard, ca
Sep 20, 2006
Dont bother bringing nuts or cams. There is one spot that may take a nut but there is a bolt right next to it. Save yourself the trouble with weight its a fun climb go do it.
From: Mesa AZ
Oct 30, 2006
I did this route on October 28th and led the second pitch. The first pitch was relatively easy going but the height on the second pitch makes you think. As I passed the second bolt...looking for the third I realized that I didn't go left to the anchors and had traveled about 40 feet out the wrong direction. I don't recommend this...LOL
I had to solo from the second bolt to the top, all the while thinking hard about the amount of rope trailing behind me. Make sure you go left to the anchors or you will be wondering if your life insurance covers this type of activity...Dont bring stoppers they are unnecessary, there is only one spot that may take them and its bomber handholds and a mantle and voile...your there...
|By Bill Olszewski|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 8, 2007
One of the best face climbs in JT - this IS traditional slab climbing! I've only done it as two pitches, just stay right of the bolted anchor on P2 and continue up the waterchute to the world's greatest belay ledge. Kick back in the "easy chair" and enjoy the view of Hidden Valley and the Wonderland. Bring several slings including a couple 4'ers for the corners of the zigzag first pitch.
|By Mark L|
Apr 30, 2007
I led the first pitch 2 years back and for those breaking in to friction climbing at the 5.7/5.8 level would recommend eyeballing it first before leading it or taking a beginner to follow it (due to the pendulum possibility).
It felt very technical on the first pitch and falling from almost any point is usually going to involve either hitting something (such as before 2nd bolt), or penduluming. To one who is not a comfortable 5.8 Josh slab leader the average bolt space on the first pitch is probably farther than one would like.
From: Oakland CA
Nov 24, 2007
Did it in two pitches. I guess I was off route, I led p2, climbed up past a couple bolts. Saw an anchor 20 feet directly left, opted to keep going up. Traversed left up higher to clip one more bolt before easy runout to the top. Good slabbin' fun.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 10, 2009
When I climbed this route in 2006, we only had one rope with us so we did the walk-off. It so totally sucks. Bring a second rope and do the rap.
It seems like whichever pitch one leads (if you don't lead both) perhaps comes across as the crux pitch on this route? I lead the first pitch and thought it was the crux. My partner thought the second pitch was scarier. I guess it just depends on whether you're on TR or not? :)
|By Brian Hench|
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 25, 2009
rating: 5.8 PG13
Come on. The walk off doesn't suck. It's all a matter of attitude. Think of it as an adventure.
From: Joshua Tree, California
Mar 25, 2009
I agree with Brian;.
(But respect Eyes of Greens comment....and enjoy her comments, what she has to say, and her pics.....)...I enjoy the walkoff, and have never rapped the route in the many times I've done the climb.......If you walk off to the left, you get to go through the cool tunnel section, which is fun. Rapping the route always seemed funny to me......and you miss out on the last 150 feet of scrambling to the top of the formation.......
|By peachy spohn|
Mar 29, 2009
This route is great fun. However, if you climb at this grade and are wanting to do it because it is bolted and 5.7+ be aware that the bolts are far apart and the moves are slab moves. Could be a scary lead if you climb 5.9 or below...even if you climb harder. One of the coolest routes though.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2009
I still say the walk-off sucked. It seemed overly long and laborious for a 2-pitch route, and my partner and I (and he is definitely an avid "adventure" climber) would have preferred to use the time to climb something else instead and get that much more in for the day. To each her/his own.
|By Dan Costello|
Apr 19, 2009
A nice route that rewards you with wonderful, continuous movement* and a hell of a view from the final station.
Between the downclimb and the rappel, I'd go with a rappel with 2 ropes so long as there are no parties climbing below yours. I don't guess that trying to rap through someone else's business on this slab would be a service to them.
[*]In other words, well-protected by Joshua Tree standards ... but not a Malibu Creek or New Jack bolt-ladder by any means. I would not suggest falling for kicks on this route.
|By roman d|
From: Pasadena, CA
Mar 17, 2010
Excellent line, easily done as 2 pitches. A single 70m rope gets you down without hassle.
|By Rodger Raubach|
Oct 14, 2010
Possibly the most enjoyable moderate route in Joshua Tree National Park. Certainly one of the longest routes here, and deservedly popular. No problem with the assigned grade, either.
Nov 17, 2010
I did this route in April 2010 with my girlfriend to introduce her to multipitch climbing. We did it in two pitches with a 60m rope.Walk on the wild side is an appropriate name for the meandering and exposed nature of this climb.Since we only had one rope we walked off the back,it was definitely an adventure since we had only one headlamp to share and only found the last rappel into the boulder gulley after stemming down a long chimney ropeless.
|By Eli Stein|
From: Los Angeles, CA and Boston, MA
Jan 23, 2011
Rapping with one 60 meter rope is no problem. Rap the third pitch as normal. When rapping the second pitch,go straight down (not following the line of the climb at the bottom),and see two sets of rap anchors very close together; pick the left most one. Then, do a short rap to a set of ring anchors clearly seen from the top of the rap(you are no longer rapping down Walk on the Wild Side). Do one more rap from the ring anchors to ground. Down with a 60!
|By Justin Tomlinson|
From: Monrovia, CA
Oct 7, 2011
I liked this route. Mentally, i prepared ahead of time by studying the topos. This really helped me feel confident on the route. Climbing the runouts was a real rite of passage for me and i really enjoyed topping out so high on the rock in a place that i've loved ever since my first visit as a boy.
Thumbs up, a good route, but one i would not want to repeat frequently, especially with so many other classics nearby.
|By Trad Nanny|
Apr 23, 2013
Make sure you start at the highest point of boulders leaning on the wall.
I think it's pretty standard to do this in two pitches.