No Place Like Dome, 5.9-5.10d

No Place Like Dome, 5.9-5.10d

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.03076°N / 116.03115°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Honey, 5.9
Dow leading Honey, 5.9**

Oz is a pretty cool spot in Joshua Tree and you are almost guaranteed to have it to yourself, at least I always have. Munchkinland contains the closest objectives to the road in Oz: No Place Like Dome and Voodoo Dome. It is easy to climb most of the routes at both locations in a single day and they are each located less than a mile from where you park. Depending on temps (shade) would determine which dome is best to start. Voodoo gets pm sun, No Place is mostly shaded all day.
Storm Rider s, 5.9
Dow leading Storm Riders, 5.9*

The main attraction on No Place Like Dome is a curved splitter named Honey, 5.9**. But Storm Riders, 5.9*, a curved dihedral with a roof pull, is the better climb of the two 5.9’s despite receiving lesser accolades in Miramontes guide. I combined Storm Riders and There’s No Place Like Home, 5.10cR, in one lead.  No Place Like Home is an exposed climb with just 2 bolts and no gear covering 35’ of steep climbing but it is quite soft for a 5.10c at Jtree. There is no fixed rap at the top of No Place, but you can 5th class it to the top of Honey and from there rap off the back of the formation and then off of the top of the Question to climbers right. The best way to access Honey is to either climb Storm Riders or the crux section of the Question, 5.10b to reach the starting ledge. Or you can climb the Question to the top (the rest is 5.5 after the first splitter) and rap back down to the ledge from a slung rap (2017) and scramble up and left to reach the base of Honey. The Question deserves a star in Miramontes guide even though he does not oblige. It is an aesthetic route and the first 30’ offers an outstanding splitter at the grade. The upper section of the Question would be a three star 5.5 or 5.6 splitter anywhere else in Jtree. The other two routes are located on the upper left wall, they are both short. We arrived in the am in February and I do not believe the main wall had received any morning sun despite Miramontes guide showing am sun, but I am sure later in the year it does.

Miramontes guide calls this a one mile hike and that seemed accurate. From the 29 Palms National Park entrance, drive several miles looking for a small gravel pullout with a nature placard on the right. I am not talking about the full on trail head on the right with ample parking but rather a small 2 or 3 vehicle pull out on the right. From there you can see the boulder choked canyon which is Munchkinland. No Place Like Dome sits on the left side of the wash as it bends right. Just follow a wash heading into the canyon southwest from the parking area. You should be able to match up No Place Like Dome with a photo I provided once you enter the canyon. Voodoo Dome or at least the routes on Voodoo Dome are not visible from the approach.

Route Description (s)

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Main Feature

  • Glenda Crack- 45’-5.10dR*/

  • Click Your Heels Twice- 50’-5.10c**/

  • Storm Riders aka The Answer- 45’-5.9*/ This 5.9 is better than the Honey despite getting one star vs two. It climbs the obvious arching dihedral and then pulls the roof in dramatic fashion. Excellent 5.9 and if a tad taller would be a three or four star route. I combined Storm Riders with There’s No Place Like Home. We rapped a gear belay off of the top of No Place Like Home and retrieved it when we climbed Honey. Pure trad climb, single rack. Dow

  • There’s No Place Like Home- 40’-5.10cR/ This was a bit of a sketch lead on two ¼” bolts (two vs three as depicted in the topo) (no gear options even the guide has it marked as mixed). But it did feel a lot easier than 5.10c. It is in line with Storm Riders and it made sense to combine the two on lead. Dow

  • Honey- 100’-5.9**/Miramontes’ guide has Honey at 45’, but to reach the base you need to climb one of the other routes. The best combination is to climb the first few meters of the Question (5.10b), which offers outstanding climbing itself, to reach the ledge below Honey. Or you can also climb Storm Riders (5.9) to reach the same ledge. If you hiked in just to do Honey, either of the two approach pitches is just as worthy. As the name implies bees might be a hazard in spring and/or summer. In February the hive was vacant. Storm Riders is the obvious arching dihedral from the desert floor. Honey is located on a varnished wall on the next level up. It is relatively soft for a Jtree 5.9. Just follow the left arching crack until you can start jugging varnished plates straight up. Continue all the way up to the top of the formation behind Honey and sling a stone on top for belay. Down and behind you is a slung rap (2017) that gets you down to the rap atop The Question with a 70m rope (just barely). Make another rap to the ground. Pure trad climb, single rack. Dow

  • The Question- 60’-5.10b/This is an obvious hand splitter down and to the right of Honey. The hand splitter section makes up most the length of the Question but is only 5.5. The crux is the vertical hand/finger splitter on lessor quality rock that leads off the desert floor right next to a narrow chimney. This start is soft for the grade at Jtree but offers several meters of excellent straight in climbing and/or wide stemming if you would rather. Continue up the mid 5th crack to a slung rap (2017). Pure trad climb, single rack. Dow

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