Bat Crack is the name of a route on Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
A close neighbor of Drawstring, Bat Crack is one of the oldest routes that was done on Intersection Rock, in fact in all of Joshua Tree. This route may not be the most pleasant one, but it is a good representative of what chimney and crack climbing at low level of difficulty in Joshua Tree is all about. The rock is not very steep, certainly less than vertical, and there are plenty of handholds and footholds on the face that can be utilized. Hence, you are not restricted to pure chimney and crack climbing techniques. Bat Crack is a great beginner lead route, but make sure to protect yourself well. Take extra cams of larger sizes from 2 to 4 inches, and plenty of slings to reduce rope drag.
Pitch 1: This pitch is mostly chimney climbing but you will have handholds to use. Reach deep inside to place protection but move out of the narrowest part of the chimney to be able to move up. This pitch ends on Bat Ledge, a big ledge with an anchor that from time to time gets a bit crowded.
Pitch 2: From Bat Ledge work your way up to a prominent crack that leads to the top. Again, there are plenty of face holds to be used. There are a number of anchors on top that you can use to rappel off of. Using a different anchor to rappel will give you a close up view of some of the other routes on this beautiful formation.
Essential Equipment: Two skinny ropes are best but you can get along with just one rope, Standard Rack with emphasis on cams from 2 to 4 inches, Slings.
From the western entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive on Park Boulevard, formerly known as Quail Springs Road, for about nine miles to a major rock formation called “Intersection Rock.” Intersection Rock is a major landmark on the north side of Park Boulevard with ample parking for visitors and climbers alike. This rock, true to its name, sit at the cross roads to “Hidden Valley Campground”, Barker Dam Road and the road to “Day use and picnic” area. Walk around the rock to its south face. Finding the prominent second pitch crack of the climb makes the start of the this route obvious.
Camping, Noise considerations, Environmental concerns,
Please tread lightly. The Access Fund has gone to great lengths posting trail marker for approaches to many of the more popular crags. Do your best to stay on these trails, and where you are forced to use a different path, choose the ones that rain can mend in time. Drainages make for good trails where there are no established trails.
Avoid stepping on native and fragile plants, and do not feed the coyotes. Coyotes are very much used to people and often hang around picnic areas and camp grounds in hopes of getting a hand out. It’s better to let them live their natural life.
Joshua Tree Camping
When you are camping with friends and sitting around the fire, it is easy to forget that there are other people trying to sleep in the nearby campsites. It is important to put yourself in their shoes. Keep the noise and music to a minimum and certainly not too much past 10 p.m. Your neighbors will smile at you in the morning instead of giving you dirty looks