Orphan, 5.9

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.01614°N / 116.16343°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.9 (YDS)
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.9
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log


Topo of the route
Joshua Tree Sunset
West Face of the Old Woman and the location of the routeOld Woman formation showing the location of Orphan.

Orphan is the name of a route on The Old Woman in the Hidden Valley Campground area of Joshua Tree National Park, California.

There are only a few dozen formations in Joshua Tree with a large number of super classic routes and the best accessibility. If there was to be a list, the Old Woman would have to be placed on top or near the top of it. Climbers graduating from leading Toe Jam, 5.7, Double Cross, rated 5.7 and Dogleg, rated 5.8 would not have to go far to reach the next level in climbing. Orphan, rated 5.9, is only a few feet away on the same formation.

Established in the mid fifties and conveniently positioned to the left of Dandelion and to the right of Sexy Grandma, Orphan follows a crack system leading to the top of the rock. The 5.9 crux is located fairly low on the route and consists of jamming and stemming the two sides of a short dihedral. Past the crux, beautiful hand jams and face holds, no harder than 5.8, will bring you to the base of a chimney about two thirds of the way up. Easy chimney climbing with plenty of face holds will put you on top of the route.

Descent: There are no easy walk-downs from the summit of Old Woman formation. You can, however, find a number of rappel stations on top of some of the routes. The closest anchor is off to the right on top of Toe Jam.

Essential Equipment: One sixty meter rope, standard rack, protection up to 3 inches, slings.

Getting There

West Face of Old Woman
Joshua TreeThe Old Woman

From the western entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive on Park Boulevard, formerly known as Quail Springs Road, for about nine miles to a major rock formation called ā€œIntersection Rock.ā€ Intersection Rock is a major landmark on the north side of Park Boulevard with ample parking for visitors and climbers alike. This rock, true to its name, sit at the cross roads to Hidden Valley Campground, Barker Dam Road and the road to Day use and picnic area. Old Woman formation is located across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground. Orphan is located on the west face Old Woman which sits at the southern entrance to Hidden Valley Campground.

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Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Old WomanRoutes