On my second trip to Joshua Tree National Park, just four weeks after the permanent removal of nine of my toe nails, my wife and a friend were looking for the opportunity to take advantage of my healing toes and tick off as many of the 5.7-5.9 classics as we could before I got bored. The Jtree single pitch granite routes were no doubt the best place to gain confidence back in my feet. We were burning through the multi-asterisk routes in Miramontes new guidebook (2011) when a local friend suggested we get on one I had not heard of, Catch a Falling Star, 5.8
, on the southeast side of Cap Rock
. We were camped at Ryan Campground
and Cap Rock is located just one road west of the campsite. Catch a Falling Star is on the middle
of three large rocks that make up the Cap Rock destination. The main formation is a dome that sits at the south end overlooking the parking area and serves as the namesake for the area. The southeastern exposure for Catch a Falling Star obviously makes this route a great morning destination during cooler weather.
Catch a Falling Star, 5.8
Catch a Falling Star is the only double asterisk route on Cap Rock in Miramontes guide although there are quite a few single ones. He has it divided up into north and south side as well as a parking lot area section although it should really just be thought of as south and north and thus dependant on temperature as to which side you climb. Continue 1.7 miles along Park Blvd east of Intersection Rock to Keys View Road. Turn right (south) and pull into the paved parking area on your left. The trail to the southeast side starts at the restrooms.
Route Description (s)
Routes Listed Left to Right, South and East Side
- Visual Nightmare- 60’- 5.10a/*
- Indirect Start- 60’- 5.10c/
- Slim Pickens- 60’- 5.10b/*
- Slimmer Pickens- 60’- 5.10d/
- Nose to the Grindstone- 60’- 5.11aR/*
- Robo Cop- 80’- 5.9/*
- Terminator- 80’- 5.9/*
- Dunce Cap- 80’- 5.13a/*
- Hey Taxi- 100’- 5.11a/
- Catch a Falling Star- 60’- 5.8/**Excellent and fun traverse crack. Took all sizes of medium gear. A few slabby moves at the end. Great am sunny climb. Dow
- Nobody Walks in LA- 45’- 5.8/
- Catch a Falling Car- 45’- 5.10c/
- Tumbling Dice- 45’- 5.10a/
- Dunce Cap- 80’- 5.13a/*
External LinksJoshua Tree National Park Including Map.
Campsites I don’t recommend the Ryan Campsite. We were there at a quiet time as far as seeing any other climbers at all, yet this campsite was full of tents and RVs. The RV’s ran their generators all night and the circle configuration of the site made it very loud and crowded. Hidden Valley looks strung out and much more quiet.
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Royal Siam Thai Restaurant
Everyone thinks this is great Thai food. It really is not, but food always taste better after a day of climbing. Best option in Jtree proper. The camping is pretty decent though and I would advise taking your own food.
Robert Miramontes' fantastic new guide book (2011) at Wolverine Publishing