Outward Bound Slab, 5.2-5.10a

Outward Bound Slab, 5.2-5.10a

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.05278°N / 116.17492°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview/Approach

Dow leading Look Mom No Name, 5.7*
Dow leading Look Mom No Name, 5.7*

One of the easier climbing destinations in the park, and therefore a favorite for gang bang top roping at times, is Outward Bound.  Despite 15 published routes as of 2019, not one exceeds 5.10a, which for Joshua Tree would be unusual on a any formation/feature.  The fact you have to hike half a mile plus to climb here does keep it less crowded than Hidden Valley of course, but on a weekend in season, it can still draw crowds/guided groups. 

From a solo perspective, it is a good location to knock out cleaner low-end routes.  There is one decent crack route, on the upper east face away from the main slab, Tres Fun, 5.10a*.  Mom for the Road, 5.7*, is a fun approach pitch to use to access Tres Fun which starts on the ledge above it. 

Park at the Boy Scout Trail-head parking lot.  Hike north on the popular well-traveled trail and turn right when the main trail takes an abrupt left for Wonderland North.  The slab is just a few minutes away to the east rising from the desert floor.  The east facing routes require some short boulder hopping to reach. 

Behind the South Facing Slab

Duncan Imperial- 50’-5.10a/

Oh Pinyon Crack- 40’-5.9/

Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the South Facing Slab

Sandal Crack- 30’-5.4/

Paint Me Gigi- 35’-5.7R/

Outward Bound Slab Route- 60’-5.8*/ This route along with Look Mom, No Name at the opposite end of this lower wall, are by far the best two routes of this group, most of which feel contrived.  For the grade, this is a thought provoking slab climb through three bolts.  Crux is a slab move in the middle.  Why Miramontes has it as a mixed route, I have no idea, fully bolted via three clips to the top.  Rap station at top.  Dow

Mastering 5.2- 70’-5.2*/ Secure solo up varnished and featured rock to the same fixed rap as Outward Bound.  Dow

Look Mom, No Sweat- 70’-5.4/ A solo as worthy as Mastering.  Guide mentions “wide crack” that is dirt filled and nasty, but I did not find it either. There is another fixed rap on the right side that serves the rest of the routes on this lower wall.  Dow

Look Mom, No Hands- 70’-5.6/ Feels like someone contrived some lines to make more out of this wall than it really has to offer.  Not sure I would call this a flake as the guide calls it, but another secure solo if you are trying to hit 1000 routes. Dow

Look Mom, No Brains- 70’-5.7*/ Listed as a top rope route in Miramontes guide, but really just another contrived solo option.  Short section of steep scoops for a few meters but none of it felt like 5.7 nor does it deserve a star. Dow

Look Mom, No Name- 75’-5.7*/ This is a decent trad route for the budding 5.7 leader, featuring a 40’curving finger crack that takes good gear.   Dow

Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the East Facing Slab

Quo Vadis- 80’-5.6/

Mom for the Road- 65’-5.7*/ At the grade, probably worth another star in the local guide.  Walk east from the main wall and look up for the east facing varnished face with an obvious roof.  Scramble to the base of a left facing corner that leads to the roof.  Great gear in the corner to the roof.  A C4#3 protects in the roof before traversing out left on slab, then up and finish to an intermediate ledge between this route and Tres Fun above.  You can scramble down the gully on climbers right.  Dow

One for the Road- 65’-5.10a/

AC/DC- 60’-5.8/

Tres Fun- 65’-5.10a*/ If this route was in Hidden Valley, it would draw at least another star in the guide.  From atop Mom for the Road, head straight up and build a medium gear anchor at the base of the obvious finger to hand crack, shallow corner, that mantles a small roof above.  Mostly flaring hands or fingers until the last several meters which become pure hands.  Mantle through the squeeze at top and build a medium gear anchor in the boulders behind.  Scramble down climbers left with some 5th class back to the belay ledge.  Then scramble down the gully on skiers left to the top of Mom for the Road.  Dow