Andromeda Strain is the name of a route on AFPA Rock
in Joshua Tree National Park
I have spoken at some length about the proximity of AFPA
Rock to Trashcan Rock/Quail Springs
, and how this closeness has caused AFPA Rock, to a great measure, to be over looked. From time to time, however, you find climbing teams seeking a bit of seclusion playing on AFPA Rock. More often than not, the route of choice is Andromeda Strain, originally rated 5.8. It has now been down-rated to 5.7.
is a fine route starting on low angle face on the largest face in the middle of AFPA formation. After clipping a bolt it heads up and left to gain a crack system on the left side of the face. Climb up this crack to gain the lower angle rock and a few stances to rest on, and to place protection about two thirds of the way up the route. The last one third of the route is scrambling up a blocky sections to the top.
Second option to do this route
After clipping the bolt low on the route head straight up the face to a horizontal crack. Past this crack, continue up and left to gain the lower angle stances two thirds of the way up the rock. From here climb up the short blocky sections to the top.
How to get there
From the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive about 5.8 miles on Park Boulevard. You will see a sign indicating "Quail Springs." This is your parking. There is ample parking, bathrooms and picnic benches. Walk back to the boulevard and head east toward Intersection Rock and Hidden Valley Campground. AFPA Rock will be on your left and only two hundred yards from Quail Springs parking.
One 60 meter rope, standard rack, pro to 3 inches, several slings, extra carabiners, a watchful belayer.