Deviate is the name of a route on The Old Woman
in the Hidden Valley Campground
area of Joshua Tree National Park
Established in the late 1960s, Deviate became my very first climb in Joshua Tree in the early 1970s. Following another climber who had done this route before, I took a swinging fall at the crux. Long before the invention of smooth sole sticky rubber climbing shoes, I was wearing my seven-pound heavy leather mountaineering boots. After the swing, I stopped in the middle of a blank face held by my leader. I batmanned up the rope to the first foothold I could find, then climbed the rest of the way to the belayer.
Originally rated at 5.8 and protected by only one 1/4 inch bolt, Deviate was an interesting climb. Some fifteen years later, the rating of this route received a boost to 10a in conjunction with a second bolt. Nowadays, the consensus on the rating is 10b and I would not be surprised if it gets another promotion in the future. To make a long story short, I would not trust any of the difficulty rating for any climb in Joshua Tree or any other climbing area.
Start your climb roughly in the middle of the east face of Old Woman. Low angle rock will lead toward steeper rock and a small overhang that you will overcome by face climbing up the easiest part. Clip the bolt protecting the traverse to the right on a very thin face. Continue face climbing to a second bolt heading up and right to reach a ledge system. From here climb up a crack in a right facing corner to another ledge and a two-bolt anchor. Belay your second here. You can make this the end of your climb and rappel from the anchor bolts. Your second option is to climb up a short roof crack known as "Jeronimo" for a "Jeronimo finish" at 5.7. I have never done "Jeronimo" and cannot give any solid opinion on it.
Rappel from the anchor bolts at the end of the second ledge.
One standard 60 meter rope, standard rack with protection up to 2", slings.
North Face of Intersection Rock and parking lot The Old Woman
From the western entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive on Park Boulevard, formerly known as Quail Springs Road, for about nine miles to a major rock formation called “Intersection Rock.” Intersection Rock is a major landmark on the north side of Park Boulevard with ample parking for visitors and climbers alike. This rock, true to its name, sit at the cross roads to Hidden Valley Campground, Barker Dam Road and the road to Day use and picnic area. Old Woman formation is located across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground. The east face of old woman is facing the campground itself.