Lenticular Dome, 5.7-5.10a

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.04045°N / 116.14778°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
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Booglesby, 5.10aDow leading Booglesby, 5.10a*

During a cold mid-week day in December, we had South Wonderland Valley in Joshua Tree National Park all to ourselves. We truly never heard nor laid eyes on another human all day. One of the main objectives on a cold day of course was to chase the sun. This classic route fest led us in a circle from Foolproof Tower (High Strung) to Lenticular Dome (Mental Physics) to Room to Shroom. Mental Physics is a three star classic in Miramontes relatively new guide book (2011). The south facing nature of Lenticular Dome is what drew us this far north before turning back for Room to Shroom.
Dazed and Confused, 5.9**Dow leading Dazed and Confused, 5.9**

Mental Physics makes Miramontes “12 terrific trad moderates” list and deserves it. I consider this a classic pitch to teach trad-leading on. Mental Physics offers a tall crack (100’) in excellent rock that allows you to place gear at will. You can continue to the top of Lenticular Dome via a second shorter pitch with one bolt protecting easy slab. But if one was really into slab, it would be best to rap Mental Physics and move to the left to climb Dazed and Confused (5.9), a two star bolted slab route.

I planned a cirque of classic climbs that had us starting on Foolproof Tower. From the Barker Dam parking areas (I used the dirt one, further NE), follow a trail and then continue up washes northwest around the northeast side of the Astrodomes. Lenticular Dome comes immediately into view (photo) once you pass these massive landmarks on your left, approximately 1.3 miles in from the dirt parking area. Stay in the wash until you reach the left end and then cut back to the base of the wall. Mental Physics is an obvious singular crack that runs up the right side of the south face, just right of a roof. Hand Wobler Delight is a route that follows a hand crack through the roof.

Route Description(s)

Routes Listed Left to Right; West to East

South Wall

  • Unconscious Obscenity- Single Pitch- 5.8/*
  • This bolted line is a bit contrived but does have a few interesting moves at the grade higher up. Move to the left side of a large boulder, through some brush, that separates this climb from the other four. Climb up some easy terrain to clip the first bolt. This pitch is well bolted compared to everything else on this wall. Five bolts through the 70’ section at the grade. The first 30' is more or less 5th class. 60m rope just makes it back down to the ledge from the fixed rap. Dow

  • Hand Wobler Delight- Single Pitch- 5.9/
  • Why Hand Wobler does not get any stars (compared to the others on this wall), I have no idea. Climb the delightful varnished crack/corner to the left Booglesby. Up higher it becomes flared hands. Turn the roof to the left and finish at the shared rap with Booglesby. Dow

  • Booglesby- Single Pitch- 5.10a/*
  • Booglesby shares the same anchor with Hand Wobler Delight. Both of these routes are longer than the guide has them at. Rapping straight down just makes it with a 60m. Same start as Dazed and Confused, then traverse up and left into the obvious water chute. Chimney up to the first bolt in the chute. Then grab the arete and swing out left to a sloping foot and layback up the arete via intricate moves at the grade. The 2nd bolt is up higher way beyond the 5.10 climbing. Water chutes in Jtree are notoriously chossy. This route is run out with only 2 bolts protecting the first 80’ (crux of the climb) and then a small piece of gear if you need or want it to the fixed rap. Dow

  • Dazed and Confused- 2 Pitches- 5.9/**
  • Very thoughtful sport climb (although Miramontes has it marked as mixed), 150’ through 6 clips to the top of the formation with mid rap station, 60m rope gets you down. Seems to be a lot of conversation regarding the potential hazards of this route on MP.com, but I think that is due to 5.7 trad beginners being attracted to Mental Physics (5.7***) and then ending up on Dazed and Confused as well. Dazed and Confused is well protected where it needs to be, nothing out of the ordinary for Jtree run out. Dow

  • Mental Physics- 2 Pitches- 5.7/***
  • Perfect tall crack on perfect rock. Place gear at will. Second slab pitch does not look worth doing unless you want the walk-off exercise. If looking for slab, move left to Dazed and Confused. Dow