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If you're search is for bouldering gems the treasure hunt ends at Joshua Tree. Every kind of climbing style is addressed on these bonsai jewels; steep cranks, roofs, fissures of all sizes, slabs, corners, grooves, dynos,.....................
The rock is coarse crystalline granite (Quartz Monzonite), it offers great friction and sometimes very subtle holds. Alternately a baked patina shell allows passage on many of the steeper faces, its darker, denser composition is more featured. Huecos, edges and cracks abound on the patina faces. The boulders have no uniform angle or orientation, varying degrees of steepness and sunshine aspect can be found. Even on the most windy or hot/sunny days a bouldering haven can usually be discovered.
Past generations of Joshua Tree's visitors and residents were not too concerned with the rock's quality. They were much more interested in its mineral or ore content, some used the narrow canyons and enclosed valleys to hide stolen cattle. The Real Hidden valley was a place favored by cattle rustlers, hidden and enclosed but quite close to the Keys Ranch (still occupied). Bill Keys was a feared man in the developing west. The Desert Queen mine is an example of the areas minimal gold rush. Tucked behind it is a smaller operation, an example of one man's diligence and hard work remains in tact. Two mine shafts, a very well preserved cabin and even a small garden remain.
The Topos are hopefully easy to understand. The V grading system is used throughout this guide. The V system seems to be settling down in many areas and becoming a widely understood system. All the information is provided on the topos, each problem is labeled and graded. Click on the links within the topos to move around to adjacent areas or back to the overview. The maps do not show 100% of Josh's bouldering, they merely reference the more established good quality areas. This zone is by no means exhausted, plenty of gems still await ascents, and one doesn't have to look very hard. Compiled in '97 with apologies for not keeping them 100% updated but there's certainly sufficient to steer a fine visit.
Bouldering history is rich in this part of the Mojave desert. Climbers from all over the US & the world used to consider Josh the prime winter hang. Many of the problems were established by the likes of; Jerry Moffat, Lynn Hill, John Bachar, John Long, Russ Walling, Dick Cilley, Ron Kauk, Dale Bard, Skip Gurin, Scott Cosgrove, Mari Gingiry, Mike Lechlinski, Kevin Powell, Mike Guardino, Mike Paul, and many more too numerous to mention. Development has been slow since the discovery years, most of the classics were established over a decade ago. Recent years have seen a sporadic development and with a few classic additions.
----The Topos----Road Map & Amenities ----National Park Service-----Roped Climbs--
Climbing and bouldering are dangerous activities. Use you own judgement, evaluate the risks and be sure to get a spotter. Only you know your capabilities. Grades are merely a vague guideline and cannot be held accountable for your actions.
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