Peter Block, 5.10a-5.11c

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 34.00691°N / 116.05699°W
Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter


(Dow leading For Paul, 5.10a*, photo above)

No doubt this wall is just an afterthought or forethought to two of the parks more classic routes:  Bird of Fire and Rubicon.  Any of the three published routes on this face make for a perfect warm up for Rubicon, 5.10c****. First of all this wall faces south, therefore on cool mornings it is much warmer than the shaded Rubicon just across the way. Second, two of the three routes are at 5.10a and 5.10b and not near as sustained as Rubicon.

For Paul, 5.10a*, is an easy sport climb for the grade in the park. In fact I would call it the easiest 5.10a in Joshua Tree that I have led out of some 700 routes to date. Some slab climbing leads up to a long dike traverse left. Very cool climb and worth doing for sure. The Wrath of St. Valentine, 5.10b*, on the other hand is pretty damn chossy and I guess rarely climbed. The rock was sloughing off at every move. It is a pure trad route up a flaring crack with a punchy crux to connect cracks. For Peter, 5.11c**, is on the next block to the right. These routes are directly across (to the north) from Rubicon.

As you would for Rubicon and/or Bird of Fire, park at the Split Rock trail head and head southwest. Rubicon comes into view on the left in short order. Take the left fork off the main trail and the Peter Block routes will be on your left. For Paul should be relatively easy to spot, a bolted horizontal dike up high on the left. There are two chossy looking cracks that go straight up to the shared rap anchor with For Paul (left end of the dike). Wrath is the right side seam.

Route Description (s)

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall

  • The Wrath of St. Valentine- 55’-5.10b*/Unlike For Paul, this pitch is full on for the grade on lessor quality rock. Climb the right of two seams below the shared rap anchor. A shallow chossy crack leads up to a bulge where intricate edging and face climbing come into play for a move or two. Relatively easy from there up to the rap anchor. Gear is sparse at the crux. Dow

  • For Paul- 90’-5.10a*/This has to be one of the easier 5.10a’s in all of Jtree but is definitely worth doing. A fully bolted climb, and well bolted by Jtree standards. Follow several bolts up to the start of a dike traverse, no slab move harder than 5.8. Traverse left on the cool dike clipping bolts until there are no more, then traverse up and left to the fixed rap rings.  Can be lowered to the ground with a 200’ rope, no worries, to treat the 2nd as a top rope. Dow

  • For Peter- 60’-5.11c**/

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