Cockroach Crags, 5.7-5.11b

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.01455°N / 116.17621°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
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False Classic Corner, 5.7*
False Classic Corner, 5.7*

Cockroach Crags is an obscure feature located up on the broad south facing hillside that outlines Lost Horse Valley.  Lost Horse Valley is a relatively large open and flat desert valley between Lost Horse road and Read Hidden Valley.   Jimmy Cliff is the mainstay feature in Lost Horse Valley featuring over 20 climbs, many of which are recommended in the local guide.  Aguille (sic) de (sic) Joshua Tree is a popular solo objective in Lost Horse Valley.  The rest of it gets much less attention.  

Cockroach does offers two 5.7 corner crack gems side by side:  False Classic Corner, 5.7*, and Classic Corner, 5.7*.   These two routes are great leads for the budding trad leader breaking into that grade at Jtree. Leatherhead Arete, 5.11b*, is the bolted line between the two 5.7’s.   Fabulous T. Gordex Cracks, 5.8, is definitely worthy of the effort if you have hiked up here and is located as the obvious crack up the center of a block located down and east a few meters from the 5.7's.    R.S. Chicken Choker, 5.11b*, is just to the left of Fabulous.

You can reach Cockroach Crags from either the parking at the dead-end of Lost Horse road or from the parking for Real Hidden Valley.  The distance is equal and the ground flat until you start the short scramble from the desert floor up to the short walls these climbs are found on.  Jimmy Cliff and Arid Piles offer routes to combine with the few worthy climbs at Cockroach for as full of a day as you want to entertain.  I prefer to park at Real Hidden Valley and hike west out of the parking area on the well-established trail as you would for the popular sport climb named Loose Lady, 5.10a****.  Pass its formation which sits on the right and continue out into the open desert for Arid Piles.  Once you are even with Arid Piles on your left and the upper south facing slope on your right, you can make out the clean twin roof capped block that possesses Classic and False Classic corners (photo).  Scramble up the hill to the base of this block for these two routes.   The Fabulous T. Gordex Cracks route runs up the center of a block just meters to the east.  It faces south, the corner routes face southeast.  

Routes Listed Left to Right on the West Block

False Classic Corner- 35’-5.7*/ The left side of two hand/finger crack corners side by side.  They both have roofs above them.  Not the most secure solo at the grade due to pulling the roof.  The final few meters are pure fingers with chossy feet through the right side of a roof.  Scramble down climbers left.  Dow

Leatherhead Arete- 35’-5.11b*/

Classic Corner- 35’-5.7*/ An easier climb on better rock than False.  Mostly all hands up the right facing corner.  Gets more fist sized at the end, but plenty of feet.  Scramble down same as False.  There is no fixed hardware of any kind at Cockroach Crags as of 2019.  Dow

Routes Listed Left to Right on the East Block

R.S. Chicken Choker- 45’-5.11b*/

The Fabulous T. Gordex Cracks- 45’-5.8/ This crack climb is as worthy as any up here despite not receiving a recommendation in the local guide.  Located in the obvious crack system on the right side of the lower varnished face sitting below the Classic Corner formation.  Climb below the grade up a few chossy horizontals.  Enter the steep dual cracks and jam up to the top.  No fixed hardware on the formation.  Walk off climbers left.  Dow



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