During a cold mid-week day in December, we had South Wonderland Valley in Joshua Tree National Park all to ourselves. We truly never heard nor laid eyes on another human all day. One of the main objectives on a cold day of course was to chase the sun. This classic route fest led us in a circle from Foolproof Tower (High Strung) to Lenticular Dome (Mental Physics) to Room to Shroom. Mental Physics is a three star classic in Miramontes relatively new guide book (2011). The south facing nature of Lenticular Dome is what drew us this far north before turning back for Room to Shroom.
Mental Physics makes Miramontes “12 terrific trad moderates” list and deserves it. I consider this a classic pitch to teach trad-leading on. Mental Physics offers a tall crack (100’) in excellent rock that allows you to place gear at will. You can continue to the top of Lenticular Dome via a second shorter pitch with one bolt protecting easy slab. But if one was really into slab, it would be best to rap Mental Physics and move to the left to climb Dazed and Confused (5.9), a two star bolted slab route.
I planned a cirque of classic climbs that had us starting on Foolproof Tower. From the Barker Dam parking areas (I used the dirt one, further NE), follow a trail and then continue up washes northwest around the northeast side of the Astrodomes. Lenticular Dome comes immediately into view (photo) once you pass these massive landmarks on your left, approximately 1.3 miles in from the dirt parking area. Stay in the wash until you reach the left end and then cut back to the base of the wall. Mental Physics is an obvious singular crack that runs up the right side of the south face, just right of a roof. Hand Wobler Delight is a route that follows a hand crack through the roof.
Route Description(s)Routes Listed Left to Right; West to East