Atlantis, 5.5-5.10c

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Trad Climbing
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Atlantis, 5.5-5.10c
Created On: May 3, 2018
Last Edited On: May 3, 2018


Overview/Approach

Minotaur, 5.7*
Dow soloing Minotaur, 5.7*

Atlantis is one of the ideal shady walls in Jtree.  Although it can catch plenty of morning sun in the spring, for the most part, the deep corridor at the base will keep your belayer cool at a minimum.  Miramontes has this area broken down as Atlantis Wall in the back and Minotaur Wall in front (the two walls form the before mentioned corridor), but they are essentially the same destination.  A perfect combination for a full day of climbing in the shade is the west face of Super Heroes Wall in the morning and Atlantis in the afternoon.  Both share the same parking.  There is little fixed hardware on either of the Atlantis walls and no fixed raps.   For descent, walk off climbers left on Atlantis, left or right on Minotaur.

A couple of solid trad climbs, Trident, 5.10c, and Vorpal Sword, 5.9*, start off the Atlantis wall on the left side (east) and happen to be two of the better climbs at this destination although Trident does not get a recommendation in Miramontes guide.  Most of the other climbs on these two walls are soft for the grade relative to Jtree.  Hot Crystals, 5.9*, starts just on the other side of the deep corridor and is the softest 5.9 I have climbed at Jtree.  Ceremony, 5.10c*, has an odd non-protected start at the grade off the deck to a lone bolt (right where it eases up?) then transforms to crack climbing at a much lower grade.  Solar Technology, 5.6*, Men with Cow’s Heads, 5.5 and Wet Pigeon, 5.8*, make for secure solos by following well featured crack systems from bottom to top.  Wet Pigeon is not a whole lot more difficult than the other two, perhaps the softest 5.8 I have soloed in Jtree.  On Minotaur wall, its namesake route, 5.7*, is a secure solo at the grade as well.  Fantasy of Light, 5.8*, has a fun crux start at the grade off the deck, traversing in from the right.

Park at the sandy pull out before the typically open gate that leads down to ranger housing at the end of Lost Horse Road.  Cross the road and follow the marked trail southeast circumventing the Atlantis formation along its western side and cut left into a small open valley between Atlantis and Lloyd's Rock.  Cut left again to access the corridor between Minotaur Wall and Atlantis for the Atlantis routes or continue to the northeast facing, much shorter, Minotaur wall with a large boulder in front of it.

Route Descriptions, Left to Right Facing the Walls

Main Wall

Vorpal Sword, 5.9*
Dow leading Vorpal Sword, 5.9*

Trident- 50’-5.10c/ These first three routes are located at the left end of the main wall, left of the corridor.  Soft for the grade, but the roof pull stem hero moves through a bolt (old in 2018) near the top more than makes up for the lower portion.  Can share a gear rap/belay anchor with Vorpal Sword.  As of 2018 there are no fixed raps atop the wall.  Walk off climbers left.  This entire wall catches sun until almost noon in April.  Dow 

Vorpal Sword- 50’-5.9*/ Considerably more challenging and interesting than Hot Crystals.  Climb the left weighted finger crack with offset gear.  Plenty of features to make it 5.9 vs anything more difficult.  Standard rack, can share a gear rap/belay with Trident.  Dow

Hot Crystals- 50’-5.9*/ Softest 5.9 I have climbed at Jtree.  Had a young friend with me and had him make his 2nd outside lead ever on this route, it was that easy and straight forward.  Twin cracks, mostly hands the whole way, located just right of the corridor in the center of the wall.  Medium to large gear belay/rap.  Dow

Anointed Seagull- 50’-5.8/ Nothing memorable.  Runs right up left of Ceremony which is popular as a guided top rope and normally chalked up.  Can share the same medium gear rap/belay with Ceremony.  Dow

Ceremony- 60’-5.10c*/ The crux is the intricate face/slab climbing off the deck, before reaching the lone bolt on the route whose purpose is to protect this slab start?  Therefore it is a heady lead to say the least.  After the slab/face (several meters) it goes back to 5.8-5.9 as most of the cracks are on this face.  Medium gear rap/belay at top.  Dow

Solar Technology- 60’-5.6*/ Secure solo.  Follow the left leaning crack system. Dow

Men with Cow’s Heads- 60’-5.5/ Same start as Solar, but climb the route straight up.  Definitely easier than Solar with mostly hands and/or positive features.  Secure solo.  Dow

Wet Pigeon- 50’-5.8*/ Like Hot Crystals, I thought this pitch was way soft for the grade.  Secure solo.  Hands and jugs the whole way.  Located at the very right side of the wall.  Walk off the formation climbers left.  Dow

Minotaur Wall

Mystic Knights of the Sea- 40’-5.9/ Miramontes guide references a “large lieback flake”.  There is not much lay backing or much of a flake.  Rather the crux is off the ground via a side pull/layback type move from right to left.  Then a well featured crack system to the top.  Sling a large block for a top rope or down climb the formation climber’s left.  Dow

Minotaur- 45’-5.7*/ A secure solo.  Positive holds and finger crack the whole way, but varied left to right to left. Stem over the wide, but easy, section atop the formation.  Gear belay for top rope or down climb left.  Dow

Fantasy of Light- 45’-5.8*/ Crux start.  Traverse from right to left to start the crack.  This is the crack (mostly fingers) to the right side of the wall right where the front boulder starts.  Good gear to the top for a gear anchor.  Dow