Joshua Tree is marred at times with the gym climbing hoard who frequent Hidden Valley and its confines. But almost anywhere in the park, if you are willing to hike for a few miles, you can have a specific area completely to yourself and if the views align just right, it can even have an alpine flare as you stare out to Mount San Jacinto’s snow covered summit.
All that said, East and West Siberia can actually be quite crowded on weekends despite the several mile hike due to the free backcountry camping nearby and the “modern” graded and bolted routes on East Siberia’s sunny face. However, few humans are found to the left (west) of East and West Siberia, on a short varnished face named Al’s Crag. But this southeast facing wall has only three established trad routes as of 2018. Another option to combine with Al’s Crag for a decent day out is Asian Fever Buttress which is further west yet. Although it only has four established routes as of 2018, it is a short hike from the Siberia faces and/or Al’s Crag. These four routes are also a good destination for budding soloists as all four feel relatively secure for solo climbing on decent rock. Two star routes are fairly select in Miramontes guides and two of the routes receive that praise: Yellow Peril, 5.5** and Asian Fever, 5.7**. They are side by side at the left end of the wall. Yellow is a crack climb and Fever is a bolted line. Asian Sponge Bath, 5.6*, also shares the same belay area and is an uneventful left facing corner climb. There is a fixed rap above a ledge on the far left end of the wall that serves any route that goes to the top of the formation with a single rope rappel. Me Love You Long Time, 5.4, is a nondescript scramble up the right side of the wall.
Hike in via the Boy Scout Trail as you would for the Siberia faces. Al’s Crag is to the left of West Siberia’s dark face, on the opposite side of a wide boulder strewn gully. It is a short brown varnished wall that is mostly south facing. Asian Fever Buttress is further left at the west end of all of these formations. It is a relatively obvious south facing buttress (photo).