Iceberg Boulders is a relatively new area by Joshua Tree standards with many of the routes established post 2000. These large boulders are laid out on the lower slopes to the west of the Rattlesnake Canyon entrance. Not a far walk but still considered an obscure location compared to the rest of Indian Cove or Rattlesnake Canyon for that matter.
In Miramontes guide, he has Boortemus Boulder split out as its own destination. Since this massive boulder features just one route, Boortemus, 5.10d*, I have included it with the Iceberg Boulder routes. These various boulders are not far apart and the Boortemus climb is not to be missed if you are an avid 5.10/11 trad climber. Most of the routes on the Iceberg Boulders are short and stout sport lines. However, I found one incredible trad gem named Finley’s Crack, 5.11a**. It is a unique, slightly overhanging, right facing corner under a long roof. This Finley Crack feature (photo) is the easiest way to identify Iceberg boulders from the trail that runs west from the parking area. There are two large boulders right next to each other. Those stout sport lines, several of which are 5.13’s, are on the dark face of the massive boulder just to the left of Finley. A couple of real easy slab routes are on the backside of Finley. A decent, but run out, sport route is on a large boulder directly behind the beforementioned two boulders, named Hidden Agenda, 5.10b*.
Drive to the Rattlesnake Canyon trailhead parking area and park at a day use picnic spot with its own dead-end road to the west. Pick up a slight trail heading west. Walk a football field or two along this trail looking for the first shallow canyon coming down the slopes on the left. You will be looking back southeast (hidden as you walk past them) to locate the two main Iceberg Boulders with the obvious overhanging roof climb under a long roof, Finley’s Crack (photo). To reach the Boortemus Boulder climb, head back out to the trail and continue west for several hundred additional yards. You are looking for a deep shaded alcove below a boulder on your left, just meters off the trail. It is hard to see the crack line that splits the boulder until you are even or beyond it on the trail.
Bourbon On Ice- 40’-5.10d*/
Slightly Out of Our Minds- 35’-5.11d*/
Hot Tamale- 35’-5.13b/
Finley’s Crack- 35’-5.11a**/ Excellent unique climb taking on the obvious overhanging dihedral and then climb left on the fingers/tip rail. You can exit the dihedral vs getting on the traverse. Fists to off-fists with your left shoulder on the left wall at times. There are occasional features out right. Some interesting moves. Can bring the 2nd up on a fixed rap rigged for the easy slabs on the backside. Single rack to C4#5. Dow
Baby Steps- 35’-5.3*/ Easy almost pure white slab on the backside Have no idea who put in these bolted climbs on such low angled slab and I am even more amazed that Miramontes recommends these climbs in his guide? Dow
Girl Power- 35’-5.2*/ ditto as above. Dow
Cold Shoulder- 35’-5.11c/
Cold Fusion- 35’-5.13a**/
Hidden Agenda- 35’-5.10b*/ Worthy sport climb on the obvious varnished boulder behind Iceberg Boulders. Faces NW. Fun half-mantle move on a flake to clip the first bolt. The crux is after the third and final bolt, a steep slab move trending up and left (runout) to more positive edges again. Fixed anchor on the summit. Walk off south. Dow
Boortemus- 35’-5.10d*/ This would be a popular route if more centrally located in Indian Cove. An excellent tight hands to large hands/constrictions. Route is more overhung than it looks. A quick ringlocks to tight hands swim a few meters off the ground as your feet are minimal. The rest is more straightforward, but physical without a rest. Single to C4 #3. A 2nd #3 helps sew it up. Fixed (non-rap) anchor atop the route. Walk off to the west. North facing climb. Dow