Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 34.02688°N / 116.14178°W
Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season: Spring, Fall, Winter


Death of a Decade, 5.10a*
Dow leading Death of a Decade, 5.10a*

There are two climbing destinations/features located just north of the paved parking area for the popular Barker Dam loop hike in South Wonderland:  Hunk Rock and Dissolution Rock.  Hunk Rock is by far the largest of the two and is where I found a surprising gem trad lead in Death of a Decade, 5.10a*.  Considering this routes proximity to pavement it should get more attention than it does.  Although it might lack enough pro for many of the tourist climbers who visit the park, I thought it was as good a 5.10a trad lead I have experienced in some time at Jtree.  It does have one pro bolt on it which needs to be replaced or removed as of 2018.  There is a solid off set pocket just below it.  In Miramontes guide, his topo would lead you to believe that Death and Soft Cell, 5.10d*, are much closer together than they actually are.  Death of a Decade runs up a left facing corner and Soft Cell is way out unto the face to the left by 40’+/-.  Soft Cell is a fully bolted line with a fixed rap atop it.  Hunkloads to Hermosa, 5.9, is another fully bolted line to the left of Soft Cell.  These three routes face southeast and receive direct winter sun for much of the day.

Mad Men, 5.10a*, on the west face, is a poorly protected bolted route (off the deck) on poor rock.  Paint and Body, 5.4, is actually a decent solo or beginner trad route way around to the north end of the west face on a separate dome to the north.  It actually takes quite a bit of scrambling through and around boulders to reach it.  It is an obvious hand crack to the top.  If you are just soloing it, it is relatively easy to down climb to the col between this feature and Hunk Rock to the south and then continue scrambling down back east and to the base of Death of a Decade.  You could also reach Soft Cell’s rap after down climbing to the col if you would rather rap.

Park at the Barker Dam trail head paved parking area.  You can clearly see Hunk Rock to the north.  Start on the trail for a few meters and just break off south for the formation (photo).  The right side is where Death of a Decade is, an obvious corner with one bolt, and the left side is where Mad Men is located, the arête you are starring at.

East Face, Routes Listed Right to Left

Death of a Decade- 60’-5.10a*/ This is a hidden gem in close proximity of the Barker Dam parking area.  Climb up a water-worn left facing corner.  It starts with a wide hollowed out section that you stem.  You can get in a hand piece on chossy rock before you leave this wide section and enter the corner proper.  The corner is not an open crack.  You get a perfect off set pod below a rusty bolt and hanger, C4#.3/.4.  It is a thank god placement as pro if slight.  Continue up the closed corner, getting a C4#1 in before having to run it out to the top which would take a larger piece before reaching the top of the wall on steep hands.  Gear belay with long extension on small gear.  You can rap Soft Cell on a fixed rap that is not noted in the recent guides (2018).   Dow

Soft Cell- 60'-5.10d*/

Hunkloads to Hermosa- 50'-5.9/

West Face, Routes Listed Right to Left

Mad Men- 50'-5.10a*/

Paint and Body- 90’-5.4/ A secure solo route.  Actually a good route for a budding leader at this grade.  It is further to get to from Mad Men than Miramontes topo leads on.  You need to boulder hop and tunnel through approximately 50 yards north from The Mad Men route.  This varnished crack is west facing not south facing as the guide suggests.  It starts out stemming and then goes down to mostly hands to the top.  You can scramble off between this feature and Hunk Rock on the east side or rap the top of Hunk Rock on Soft Cell.  Dow