Rat Rock, 5.8-5.10dR

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
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Rat Rock, 5.8-5.10dR
Created On: Mar 6, 2018
Last Edited On: Mar 6, 2018

Overview/Approach

Arraignment, 5.10a
Dow leading Arraignment, 5.10a
Rat Ledge, 5.8*
Dow leading Rat Ledge, 5.8*

As close as it is to the paved parking trail head for South Wonderland, surprisingly Rat Rock became one of the last formations I got on in South Wonderland.  It is actually located right above the infamous Barker Dam therefore expect an audience when climbing.  Two of the routes are located on the left side of the dam:  Bad Lizards, 5.10a* and Rat Ledge, 5.8*.  Two are located just on the right side meaning you need to jump the dam to climb them in succession or do a long walk around the small lake (unless it is a dry lake bed, in the winter as of 2018 it had a nice amount of water in it):  Mirage, 5.10b* and the Arraignment, 5.10a.  Two of the routes are actually located on a different part of the formation way around right (north):  Oasis of Eden, 5.10dR* and The Way It Should Be, 5.10a*.  A significant gully separates these two from the previous four.

Bad Lizards is fully bolted, seven clips, despite Miramontes guide showing it as a mixed climb.  The face is chossy through the first half, but the crux moves are above the horizontal crack and involve better rock.  Rat Ledge is the only full trad route and climbs a nice slanting horizontal that goes full horizontal near the end which is succumb with a fun mantle at the grade.   Mirage is on the other side of the damn (east) and is a mixed climb starting up a wide right facing shaded corner to a bolted line that veers back onto the left side face finishing where Bad Lizards does.    The Arraignment starts in the same belay spot as Mirage, but does not get a recommendation from Miramontes guide, even though it is actually a better climb than the others on this feature.   It is a mixed climb up a flake that takes gear to fingers and then bleeds into a bolted line.  The weird thing on this route is that it naturally could be a complete trad line finishing up a left facing corner that looks decent, but instead they bolted a run out face to the left of the corner with some of the hardware ancient as of 2018.   The flake offers fun climbing though.  Oasis of Eden and The Way It Should Be are two of the worst routes in Jtree despite Miramontes getting conned into giving these two a recommendation.  They are both short bolted lines on decaying slab granite. 

Hike in from the paved Barker Dam trail head and follow the signs for Barker Dam.  Once you reach the damn, Rat Rock is the formation above the dam on the opposite side.  Simply cross through the drainage below the dam and up the other side to the base of the obvious Rat Ledge crack (topo provided).

There is no fixed station (2018) at the top or viable gear top rope, therefore you have to bring the 2nd up and walk off climbers left for the first four.  You can go climbers right, but it is more of a scramble down than walk down, with more bushwhacking at the bottom to return. The two routes to the far right located on their own wall share a fixed rap.

Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Southern Wall above the Dam

Bad Lizards- 90’-5.10a*/ Fully bolted so I don’t know why Miramontes has it as a mixed climb. None of the rock on Rat Rock is great by any means and this route has a ton of shedding to do as of 2018. However the moves were fun on thin edges, eventually pulling over Rat Ledge to the well bolted crux that trends up and right via slab. There is no rap anchor serving this south side of Rat Rock as of 2018. Walk off climbers left. Dow

Rat Ledge- 90’-5.8*/ This is a good pure trad lead even though the rock on the face is some of the worst in the park. The obvious leaning to horizontal crack is well varnished but your feet are on the chossy face. Plenty of gear as you make the horizontal above. The crux is mantling the horizontal (hands to feet) and then it follows a flared seam up and left. No rap anchor, walk off climbers left. Dow

Mirage- 90'-5.10b*/

The Arraignment- 90’-5.10a/ A weird route located on the east side of the damn. It starts up an obvious thin flake via gear and then follows bolts to the top even though there is a good crack on the right side. The flake is fun, but the slab is just more chossy slab. The last bolts and hangers are old and rusty. No rap on top, walk off climbers left or scramble down right back to the lake. Dow

Next Wall to the North, But Still Facing South

Oasis of Eden- 50’-5.10dR*/

The Way It Should Be- 50’-5.10a/