Climbing Joshua Tree National Park

Find the Lost Horse
By Jonathan Copp

For a foray into the realm of 5.9 climbing, ride over to the Shorter Wall in the Lost Horse area. The Lost Horse, although a fairly vast region, has a superb concentration of quality routes. The walls here tend to face either northeast or southwest, delivering many great options when temperatures are a concern. Getting to this area is simple, but finding the routes can sometimes be tricky. The Shorter Wall, however, is an easy one to find. A few miles to the northwest of Hidden Valley Campground, a dirt road intersects the main Quail Springs road. Head southwest on this road, stopping after about a quarter mile. A large formation, the Freeway Walls, rises to the east of the road. The most direct passage to the Shorter Wall leads around the southwest side of the Freeway Walls to eventually climb into the Rock Garden Valley. Look for a fractured area that composes the base of a beautiful wall split by four pronounced cracks. Jumpstart yourself on Double Dogleg. At 5.7, this crack is a good warm up. Then clip your way up Rock Candy, a delicate 5.9 face climb with four bolts for protection. Young Lust, a stunning 5.9 thin crack, could be next. This crack is located 10 feet to the right of the broken area, and requires small wires and TCUs. If you are looking for something (or someone) else, Split Personality could be it. Start as you would for Double Dogleg, then stem right into a thin crack, 5.9. Last but not least, finish up with Smithereens, another 5.9 thin crack. The Shorter Wall will leave your fingertips throbbing for more. (Vogel p. 98)

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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