North Overhang is the name of a route on Intersection Rock, in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
This is one of the best and most popular 5.9 routes in all of Joshua Tree. The crux may scare you a bit, but the rewards are great. North Overhang is the left crack in the corner of the roof clearly visible from the ground. This route is best done in two-pitches to avoid a horrible rope drag right at the crux of the climb.
First pitch is moving on slabs and easy cracks to a huge alcove. There are plenty of opportunities to protect the first pitch. The alcove gives you the feeling of being inside a room with a huge window and a grand view. Take the time to enjoy the view. You will have your hands full in a few minutes when you go for the overhang.
This is where the real climbing begins. The beginning moves around the corner are intimidating but actually not that bad and pretty solid. You can plug in as many pieces as you feel comfortable with before going around the corner. If you enjoy having only a smooth rock for your feet and reasonable hand jams, you’ll love this crux section. The hardest part about this crux section is not being able to see your next jam around and high on the other side. Shortly after the corner, you begin to have solid hand jams, and foot holds. This is a good place to plug in more protection for your exit crack. After what you have just been through, getting to the top will be like a walk in the park. Set up your anchor at the end of the crack instead of all the way on top. This way you will reduce rope drag around the overhang that can be a problem. You will also be closer to your second.
How to get there:
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. North Overhang is located on the west buttress of Intersection Rock.
Essential GearOne 60 meter rope, standard rack, pro to 2.5", slings for under the overhang and anchors
Camping, Environmental concerns, noise considerations,
Please tread lightly. The Access Fund has gone to great lengths posting trail markers 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 campgrounds 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.