Mounds is a relatively small climbing destination at Joshua Tree located between Echo Rock and Bighorn Pass. The more common objectives in this area center around features known as Snickers and Little Rock Candy Mountain. However, I found two worthy objectives among Mounds’ four published routes in Miramontes’ guide book: Deep Throat (5.9) and Eff Eight (5.8). In my opinion, Deep Throat is one of the more interesting climbs in all of Joshua Tree. Deep Throat was established by John Bachar in 1975 and involves burrowing through a perfectly round hole in the granite to reach a challenging off-width section. This pitch is short but involves a few spectacular moves. Eff Eight is perhaps the best warm up route for this entire “candy bar” area in that it is the first climb you reach beyond Echo Rock, dead center north from the Echo Rock trail head.
Park at the paved parking area at the Echo Rock trail head. Head north on a well marked trail circumventing Pope’s Crack to the right. Eff Eight is on a singular mound of granite straight north. The other three routes are accessed by continuing northeast from Eff Eight as you would do on approach for the Chair feature. Cut back west and scramble up the granite slabs to the base of a short wall with an obvious window to the right of a wide crack (photo).
Eff Eight- 5.8*/ Miramontes does not give Eff Eight a star in his guide book, but it deserves one. This is a short and wide hands splitter that arcs. It serves as a perfect morning warm up in the winter (south facing). Dow
Deep Throat- 5.9***/ One of the more interesting routes in the entire park. I did the roof on lead (5.10a) and then did the hole on top rope. The hole is the way to go. Either way you enter a tricky off-width section. Lie back into a slab move to get out of it. I had only one C4 #5 and #4 on me so just ran the rest of it out, real easy ground after the initial roof section. Rap off climbers right onto Caligula. Dow
Behind the Green Door- 30’-5.10d*/ Sandbagged (height dependent) fully bolted (3) on the right-side wall of Deep Throat (Mounds). Bolt line to the west of two total. Mid height up this route comes a sandbagged move at the grade, or a 6’3 person might have an easier shot at a handle to gain leverage on. Shared fixed rap with Caligula. Dow
Caligula- 30’-5.9*/ Fun next-to-the arete climb at the far right side of the Deep Throat wall. Shared fixed rap with Behind. Dow