Bond Boulders is one of the last destinations I had yet to climb in Joshua Tree (if not the very last) by 2019. I suppose the word “boulders” was not overly inviting for an alpinist. However I was not disappointed. Yes, the routes were not long, but this collection did offer a varied selection of face and wide crack climbing. The traditional hike in (from Park blvd) is also interestng in that you pass several old mining camp relics, the most notable of which is an old stove (pic above). However, the quickest approach is to head northeast out of the Split Rocks trailhead. This general area is known as Loveland. Bond Boulders offers up the most routes of the Loveland area. The guide has Tiger Rocks listed as separate than Bond Boulders, but it is one and the same area.
The two more interesting trad climbs here are wide but fun off-width beasts: One Arm Giant, 5.10d*, and Fly Away, 5.10d*. The local guide has Giant listed as a top rope climb because it is so wide and burly. Fly Away takes a #5 and #6 at the crux roof pull which is not far off the deck. A tough start for 20’-30’, but then it becomes a chimney/stem climb well below the grade. Matt Gay, 5.10a*, and Eva Las Vegas, 5.10b**, are fairly good sport climbs located on the two front boulders. Bad Lieutenant, 5.8*, is a decent bolted arete on the next boulder up the hill. The before mentioned wide climbs are located on the larger back boulder (listed as Tiger Rocks in the guide). Therefore, there are essentially four boulders in this grouping although the guide labels the whole area as Boulder #1 and #2 and Tiger Rocks.
Park at one of two locations. Either at a small side pullout off of Park Blvd just south of the Cottonwood road junction or at Split Rocks trail head. From Park Blvd, hike northwest across open desert and eventually gain a significant wash that cuts around the north side of a hill in front of you. Stay in the wash straight at a Y (right) and continue around the hill. On the other side of the hill, you will have full visual of the “Bird Beak” rock formation straight ahead. To the south of Bird Beak, on the southwest side of the wash, is the main Loveland area. Bond Boulders are further on the left than what you are looking at. What you can pick out whilst still in the wash is Vector Rock with the infamous Vector, 5.11c****, route on its east face (photo). Turn left at a side wash and head southwest for Bond Boulders which are further left than Vector and still out of sight. Stay in the wash for only a few meters and then head up the hill on your right and look for the darkish "Boulder #2" which is the lowest. This is home to the bolted arete, (left side) Matt Gay. The boulder behind it also has a bolted left arete, Eva Las Vegas. The next boulder up the hill, to the left, has a bolted right arete, The Bad Lieutenant. Further up the hill are the two wide climbs on Tiger Rocks.
Matt Gay- 40’-5.10a*/ Good varnished rock on this particular boulder. All three routes look good. Fully bolted (5) up the left side arete. Face climbing up to the arete finishing below the grade. Fixed anchor atop the route. Rap off of Live and Let Die. Dow
Live and Let Die- 30’-5.11a*/
Diamonds are Forever- 30’-5.10d/
Eva Las Vegas- 50’- 5.10b**/ Fully bolted up the left side arete. Start up the features on the left side via several under clings followed by a few slab/face moves. Fixed anchor. Rap RCA or Gods Guns and Guts. Dow
RCA- 40’-5.10d*/ Fully bolted (4). Cross over the dike to edges, side crimps and slab. Worth doing, rap is either atop here or God, Guns. Dow
God, Guns and Guts- 50-5.6/ Solo the left to right dike up to the right arete. Climb through one bolt and head to the top. You can place gear on the upper arete if you want. Fixed rap atop here or RCA. Dow
Wife Beater- 30’-5.7/
Reach Around Cop- 35’-5.8/ Climb up the left side arete to a fixed anchor. There are no fixed raps off the formation as of 2019. Walk off climbers left. Four bolts/pitons. Dow
Bad Cop, No Donut- 35’- 5.9/ Contrived route. Start up the next crack right to a bolt. Traverse left to the arete (Reach Around Cop) and finish on it below the grade. Few medium pieces. Dow
Copulater- 40’-5.10a/ Left leaning crack running off of the start of the Bad Lieutenant. One interesting move making a long reach or short dyno for a jug up and left after the bolt. Then easy climbing up the arete. The start is cruiser gear to a bolt before the beforementioned single move at the grade. A medium piece or two. Dow
Bad Lieutenant- 40’-5.8*/ A fully bolted arete on the right side of the wall. The first few clips are up the left side, stemming at the grade. Then hug on the arete and finish right and then back left following the bolts. Three fix anchors on top, none of them are rap anchors as of 2019. (a few old pins, but basically bolted over). Dow
Bush Blows Chips- 60’-5.10d**/
One Arm Giant- 60’-5.10dR*/
Fly Away- 80’-5.10d*/ The overhanging crux is #4 and #5. Better have your off-width skills dialed as the start is full on. The route eases up after a small horn grab and mantel up into a chimney (25’). It is run out from there to the top well below the grade, but heady. Medium gear belay on top. Single #.75 to #5. You will use the smaller of that range for your gear belay. The pitch itself just takes #3’s to #6’s. I recommend double #3's and #4's and a single #5. Walk off climbers right. Dow