Morbid Mound, 5.1-5.11a

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Trad Climbing
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
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Morbid Mound, 5.1-5.11a
Created On: Mar 7, 2018
Last Edited On: Mar 7, 2018

Overview/Approach

Bouncer, 5.8
Dow leading Bouncer, 5.8
Disappearing Belayer, 5.7*
Dow soloing Disappearing Belayer, 5.7*

Miramontes guide says it all, “great for beginning climbers” if only because so much of Joshua Tree National Park is not that great for aspiring leaders, run outs, crux moves off the deck, chossy slab, flared cracks, etc. I have climbed with and/or guided many from British Columbia, Colorado or Salt Lake City who supposedly were 5.10 trad and/or sport leaders but in Joshua Tree they become hesitant to take any lead. Morbid Mound is a great ego fix for leading. I doubt you can find this large a collection of easy trad climbs side by side on one wall anywhere in the park. They are short, but offer a variety of styles, from short chimney and off width problems to well featured finger cracks.

This wall is south facing and offers full sun stuck out in the middle of the desert by itself just north of the Indian Cove campground. As you approach the routes from left to right off the dedicated trail to this feature, here are the highlights: Bouncer, 5.8, a worthy fun trad lead; Brimstone Stairway, 5.1*, a wide ladder like dike that actually protects with gear even though Miramontes has it as a top rope route; Flies on the Wound, 5.7*, a fun entry move or two at the grade; Disappearing Belayer, 5.7*, a cool flake climb that takes a chicken wing in places.

There is a dedicated pull out and trail right off the paved road leading to Indian Cove, on the left (east). Of course you could hike north from the camping area as well. Morbid Mound sticks out of the desert floor all by itself straight north of Feudal Wall and Billboard Buttress. I am sure there are multiple walk offs, but it is easy to down climb several of the routes as well. There are not many bolts on the wall which is refreshing. That allows aspiring trad leaders to work on their anchor building skills as well to set up top ropes.

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face this South Facing Wall

DOA- 25’-5.8/ Miramontes has this route as a top rope, but as of 2018 someone added a fat new bolt to make it a sport climb. A manufactured route, not inspired by anything other than someone adding routes to his resume. Dow 

Bouncer- 30’-5.8/ A good route, too short, but better than many routes that get stars in the local guides. Climb the obvious series of finger cracks divided by a ledge. Takes solid finger pieces and offers up a few shallow hands. The crux move is near the top where you step up on a toe jam and grab the top of the wall. Set up small horizontal anchor for top roping. There are easy routes at each end of the face that are easy to down-climb but I am sure there is a walk-off as well. Dow 

Brimstone Stairway- 30’-5.1*/ Cool obvious wide dike feature. Like climbing a ladder and there is gear on it even though Miramonte has it as a top rope route. Easy solo. Dow 

Flies on the Wound- 30’-5.7*/ A good lead at the grade, albeit short. Angle in on a hand rail of sorts and make hero like movement on steep jugs to the top. A good solo. Standard rack, gear anchor. Dow

Hillside Stranger- 30’-5.4Quick, easy solo route up a secure chimney. Dow 

Fly in the Ointment- 30'-5.11a/

Disappearing Belayer- 30’-5.7*/ A fun one. Stem up and traverse left to the bottom of the huge flake. Enter the off width portion above and climb it with a knee jam/chicken wing. Gear anchor, standard rack. Dow

Be Wary- 30’-5.3/ Miramontes calls it a prominent crack/dihedral, but it is really more of a chimney to the right of the large flake. Good solo. Dow 

Ambulance Drive- 30’-5.1/ Just climb up on the mini ramp crack and walk it to the top. Good solo. Dow 

Myrmecocystus Ewarti- 30’-5.4/ Exact same angled crack as Ambulance but with a sportier entrance. Dow

Till Death Do Us Part- 55'-5.10d/