Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.03178°N / 116.04168°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
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Rattler, 5.10c***
Rattler, 5.10c***

One of the last true gems I found on my way to finishing 1000 routes in the park, was the Rattler, 5.10c***.  It is a long and convoluted hike to get to Emerald City, but I can assure you that the Rattler can compete with best in class at the grade for the park.  The Rattler is considerably better than O’Kelly’s Crack for example which would get climbed several hundred times a year vs the minuscule attention the Rattler would receive in comparison.  A smart strategy is to combine the short, but interesting, face routes on Poppie Field Boulders, en-route, with Emerald City for a full day of climbing.  It is even wise to make this trek via a loop on return through Voodoo Dome back to your car.  Emerald is west facing so this would put the routes in the sun for the most part.  The local guide has the calculation at a 1.5 mile hike along with a 800’+/- elevation gain which seems about right.  Stopping to climb at Poppie Field Boulders is a great way to break up the approach.

Rattler, 5.10c***
Rattler, 5.10c***

Baby Rattler, 5.9*, is pretty damn good in its own right for the budding 5.9 Jtree leader.  Snake Book, 5.11a**, looks absolutely stellar as well, a clean finger corner on the right side of the main wall.  I will make a return primarily for this route I imagine.  Rattler is amazing in that you are swallowed by a concave corner (hands and fingers) through the lower half.  I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of assist you got for your feet via features for a route at this grade.  In other words, plenty of rests.  You pull out of this corner and continue up a splitter that widens above to a large boulder that can be used for belay or top rope.  The only fixed rap at this main wall as of 2019 is down Snake Book and it is easy to walk along the top of the routes.

Park at the same pull out used for Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hawk Hatchery and/or Voodoo Dome, a pullout on the south side of the park road almost three miles in from the 29 Palms park entrance kiosk.  There is an interpretive nature board there as of 2019.  It is a pullout that accepts about three vehicles or so.  The obvious granite spires you see in the distance (southwest) are Voodoo Dome and No Place like Dome.  You can approach Emerald this way, but an easier approach which leads through the Poppie Field Boulders, circumvents the hillside to the right, drops into a wash heading for Zsa Zsa Gabor Boulder.  You pass a steep drainage on your left that leads to the Hawk Hatchery.  Continue to the next, much broader gully/wash on your left and Poppie Field Boulders will be visible.  Hike through these bolted boulders.  As you gain elevation, Oz Towers will be atop the hill on your left.  Trend up the hill but continue to angle back east.  The next obvious wall to the right of Oz Towers is Emerald City.  The tall cracks of the Rattler and Baby Rattler are easy to spot (photo).

Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face this West Facing Wall

Sonic Temple- 40’-5.11a**/ Sport climb located on a separate tower-like feature to the far left.

Rattler- 70’-5.10c***/ The best 5.10c I have climbed in the park.  Climb a fingers to tight hands widely flared corner.  There are plenty of foot edges on the opposing walls, particularly for the grade.  Where the crack widens, look to haul up on jugs on the right side.  Then up a steep hand crack to a wide, slightly awkward, finish.  Single rack to #4, double to #3.  Rap Snake Book way over climbers right.  Sling a large block (extra cordage) for a belay or top rope.  Dow

Yellow Brick Road- 80’-5.11c**/ Sport climb.

Baby Rattler- 80’-5.9*/ One of the better 5.9 trad routes in the park.  If located in Hidden Valley, would clean up and be considered a three-star route.  On the right side of the main wall, to the left of Snake Book’s corner.  Starts out fingers, which would be the crux for most, but protects well from bottom to top with a single rack. Intermittent hands to a wider finish below the grade.  Sling a boulder near the top for a belay or top rope.  There is no longer a fixed rap atop Yellow Brick Road as the latest guide suggests.  Rather rap Snake Book to the right.  Dow

Is That a Munchkin in Your Pocket- 35’-5.11b*/ Sport climb.

Snake Book- 30’-5.11a**/ Fixed rap off the wall.

I’m Melting- 30’-5.12a*/ Sport climb located on a boulder above the wall.