Kahn Corridor, 5.9-5.12a

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Kahn Corridor, 5.9-5.12a
Created On: Mar 5, 2018
Last Edited On: Mar 6, 2018


Kublai KaU, 5.9*
Dow leading Kublai KaU, 5.9*
Return from Kahn
Return from Kahn

Joshua Tree is marred at times with the gym climbing hoard who frequent Hidden Valley and its confines.  But almost anywhere in the park, if you are willing to hike for a few miles, you can have a specific area completely to yourself and if the views align just right, it can even have an alpine flare as you stare out to Mount San Jacinto’s snow covered summit.  

All that said, East and West Siberia can actually be quite crowded on weekends despite the several mile hike due to the free backcountry camping nearby and the “modern” graded and bolted routes on East Siberia’s sunny face.  However, no humans are found deep behind East and West Siberia, up a boulder strewn gully that leads to a secluded large “corridor” with its unusual red varnished rock.  This northwest facing wall is slightly overhanging and has only three established routes as of 2018.  All three are starred up in Miramontes guide with Kublai KaU, 5.9*, offering the only moderate trad lead on the wall.  This is a very unique route that slants heavily from left to right under a roof.  I pulled the roof to the upper crack which I believe I did too early and put me off route on some more difficult climbing.  The topo shows you pulling up and to the next crack but not where I got suckered into it. There is a huge horn I used to pull up and left where I should have stayed with the crack system I was in for several more meters no doubt.  Although the rock quality looks stellar from below, it does start to show choss half way up the route where I in fact blew a sizable hold.  But the climbing eases up on the final third as well.   The walk off the back into a parallel corridor is relatively fast and easy and the return back to Kahn is straight forward as well.  It is a long enough walk around to justifying hauling shoes up for the return. 

This corridor is magical by Jtree standards.  Sort of reminiscent of Big Horn Mating Grotto:  an isolated corridor with a dead end.  You want to ascend a wide boulder filled gully located directly between West Siberia and Al’s Crag.  Another stellar moderate route in the area is the short, but fun, bolted climb named The Glass Onion, 5.10b*.  It is half way up this gully on the left, up and around the corner from Al’s Crag.  Al’s Crag has several easier trad climbs on it, but nothing notable.  Head up this broad gully and bypass the first steep corridor located directly behind East Siberia’s massive.  Instead, continue all the way up the gully to the col above.  At the top, you will get clear visual of the vegetated corridor on the right which is Kahn’s Corridor.  Kublai KaU is at an obvious break in the wall where all the cracks slant right.  Look for the crack below the obvious feature which forms a roof over the route for quite a few meters off the deck.  Genghis KaU’s bolts are easily discerned just to the left but there are no bolts on Kublai.  As seems to be the norm, Miramontes guide has these routes listed as shorter than they actually are.

Route Descriptions, Routes Listed Right to Left as you Approach Them

  • Kubia KaU- 80’-5.9*/ There are multiple diagonal crack systems but the guide leads you to believe they are referencing the one right under a roof caused by another diagonal crack. I started up the varnished crack below the roof thinking it was going to be good rock the whole way but ran into chossy holds breaking off half way up. Descended a meter or two and made the awkward transition to the upper diagonal where more holds broke in and around the flared and chossy crack which made for tenuous climbing above the grade.  Instead, I advise staying in the lower crack until 2/3rd's up. The last 20’ was no worries to a medium to large gear anchor. Scramble down the immediate backside to the large corridor directly behind Siberia and circle back around. Take your approach shoes up on the climb. Standard rack with extra finger pieces as well as some inner faith to lend to a few gear placements. Dow
  • Genghis KaU- 80’-5.11b**
  • Mongolian Lieback- 60’-5.12a*