This route page is as much an attempt to discourage any would-be climbers from doing this climb as it is to describe the route. This route is in a word: terrible. Any notions of it being aesthetic (looking @ the guidebook it seems to follow an attractive line) are quickly dispelled once en route. This route (P. 184, #1202 in the Falcon Vogel guide) offers a rated R start (not disclosed in the guide) over arguably the crux of the route, grainy face footholds, dirty, flaring cracks, & perhaps the worst rope drag that one might possibly ever experience (half ropes would reduce this). Perhaps the only redeeming factors of this climb are the great views to be had from the summit of Intersection Rock & the fun (2 rope) rappel back down. There is a reason that this climb does not have any stars in the guidebook- do yourself a favor and find one/some that DO have stars!!
Park at the Intersection Rock parking lot near Hidden Valley campground. If you’re staying at Hidden Valley campground, just walk over. The climb is located on the east face of Intersection rock. As previously noted, look at P. 184 of Falcon’s Rock Climbing Joshua Tree guide by Randy Vogel for route overlay. The climb begins on a slanting ‘ledge’ above a roof perhaps 5 ft off the ground.
The climb begins by mantling onto a sloping ledge above a roof. Traverse to the right of a dark water mark. Ascend an easy face to some poor, small ‘ledges’ underneath a large ceiling. At this point the climber is 15-20 ft above the deck with no protection (there are a few pockets here, but they are shallow enough not to waste any energy or provide any false hopes of sufficient fall-holding protection- besides, they’d make the already horrendous rope drag encountered further into the climb even worse). To reach a spot where some questionable protection can be placed one must surmount the psychological crux of the climb first. Standing on the aforementioned crappy ledges, one must high-step onto a thin flake on the wall that looks like it’s ready to go at any moment. From here, a committing, fairly stretchy step, with hands used primarily for balance, brings one to the horizontal crack system that defines the most obvious and visible portion of the climb.
From here one might find a few flaring, bottoming, dirty cracks into which to slot a piece of pro’ (cams recommended)- just don’t expect them to hold a fall if you slip (& remember that there is basically no pro’ up until this point- likely groundfall). From here follow this horizontal crack system to the bush protruding from the cliff to your left- at this point Gaz Giz meets up with Goldenbrush Corner (#1204 on P. 184 of Falcon’s Vogel guide). This traverse is characterized by grainy, sketchy footholds, dirty, sloping handholds that would not hold one if one’s feet were to go, & grainy, shallow, flaring cracks that make for insecure, questionable protection opportunities. Shortly after attaining the horizontal crack, there is a flake (perhaps 1 ft diameter) that one may sling with a double runner, found under one’s feet for protection.
The vertical (as opposed to the horizontal, traversing crack just completed- the crack itself is not pure vertical) crack here is easily the most enjoyable part of the climb (bear in mind it’s only 20 ft long or so). Go up it until it terminates at a large ledge. The rock is fairly solid here, there are good hand & foot jams, & decent protection is actually feasible as well!
Go along the ledge to the right (past a squeeze chimney with no feet). You will find an ignoble off-width/gully/chimney. Ascend this gully. The rope drag will be formidable here, & extreme force must be used to overcome it. There are good spots for protection. When the gully peters out, a short, steep (approaching vertical) headwall is encountered. Reach high- holds in the flake provide the means for upward progress. Atop this, traverse to the right. A large spot provides a good belay station. Either set up a belay here, or if enough rope is still available, continue to the top (with a 60 meter rope, there was not enough rope remaining to continue without belaying).
From this perch, go up a steep but easy squeeze chimney to the summit (~5.3). This is approximately 25 ft high, & protection would be difficult (perhaps a large Big Bro). From here, you can continue right & over the boulder to the flat ‘plateau’ slightly lower than the true summit. Belay your partner for this short section. A short walk brings one to a double-bolted rappel anchor, facing the parking lot. This fairly steep rappel requires 2 50 meter ropes.
Lots of long runners, cams from small to 3”; a big piece (Big Bro #4, #5?) could be useful for the final squeeze chimney; 2 ropes for the rappel down.
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