Dow leading Gandy, 5.9*
Some of the last remaining routes for me to explore in Joshua Tree National Park were obviously the most remote. Big Horn Dihedral
is one of my absolute favorite routes in the park and is listed in Miramontes guide as being the most remote climb in the entire park. On our hike through to do Big Horn, we passed through Wonderland North. We parked at the backcountry trail head for Boy Scout and Willow Hole trails and hiked to Big Horn Dihedral and then hiked out to Indian Cove. In doing so, we passed by an obvious wall on our left named East Siberia which is one of if not the largest granite face in the Entrance to Wonderland North
and marks in Miramontes guide where true Wonderland North starts.
Dow leading Hollywood Rattlesnake, 5.9**
The main attraction for many will be that most of East Siberia's routes are sport routes which is unusual at Jree.
It is also a quick flat approach hike despite Miramontes calling it 2.5 miles. It seemed shorter. Miramontes has one 5.10a “sport route” in his guide labeled with four stars and one with three stars out of his entire book (2nd edition). Dos Chi Chi’s is the listed three star sport climb in the guide
and was the first one I hopped on. It is a true two pitch route with the 5.10a portion encountered on the second pitch. The second pitch, albeit short, offers the most unique sport climbing on the wall; slab moves up a high arete. There are three trad climbs on this face with the rest being well bolted sport routes (2015). These bolted routes do not have the typical run out you see on a lot of slab and face climbs throughout the park.
This also is possibly the heaviest concentration of moderate leads in the entire park (5.8-5.10). So have a second option in mind before hiking back here, for I have seen a large group of New York college kids congregate below the entire wall.
Leave the trail heading as you would for Gilligan’s Island
, Hidden Dome
, etc. Stay on the Boy Scout Trail around the left side of Gilligan’s Island until you come to a fork. Take the right fork for Willow Hole. At this point you can make out two obvious features in the distance to the north: Timbuktu Towers straight ahead and Eastern Siberia to the northwest
. Look for an obvious southeast facing wall. Leave the Willow Hole trail, well before Timbuktu, on a climbers trail heading west for the base of the wall. There are several boulder hoping approach options. You are heading for the base of the main face, see the photo that marks the location of Dos Chi Chi's.
Route Description(s)Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall
Leon Redbone- 90’-5.9**/ Miramontes is quite generous with the stars for East Siberia and Leon is perhaps the best example. I concur with 90% of Miramontes praise on routes in his guide in general yet would give Leon Redbone zero stars where he allots it two. It is the furthest left of all routes on East Siberia’s wall. It is shaded by the arete that separates West Siberia from East Siberia. Relatively easy climbing to the first runout clip. Then a hidden piton before the bulge. Clip above the bulge before making a desperate slab mantel for the grade. Repeat at another bulge with scoop above for a pure slab move. Follow the bolts to Leon’s own fixed rap. There are two crux moves that make this route sandbagged for the grade. All clips. Dow
Randy- 160’-5.8/ Randy is the only route Miramontes does not give a star to on this wall. Climb the chossy and flaring corner to the left of the varnished plated wall that contains the more difficult sport climbs at East Siberia. The rock is bad through this flared box with one small piece in the corner. Exit out top onto better rock and continue up the corner, sometimes climbing the arete to the right. Stay straight up (to avoid loose blocks) or slightly left until you pass the first bolt. Take off right at the 2nd bolt and finish on Love Gas’s 2nd pitch to a fixed rap. I rapped with a 70m and just down climbed the last 30’ so I could clean the route. But you can use an intermediate rap below on the main wall. Single rack. Dow
A Bull with Gas- 5.9*/A Bull with Gas and Love Gas share the same start up a shallow corner with old fixed gear mixed with the bolts (2015). Love Gas offers more interesting climbing at the grade high up on its face. They parallel each other but Bull stops when it reaches the first fixed rap whereas Love keeps going to a second fixed rap. Well bolted fairly large holds for the grade. Dow
Love Gas- 5.10a**/The 5.10 climbing is past the first fixed station. I led the route as one total pitch. The many varnished features disappear and you start making the typical slab smearing on vertical ground with the crux coming at a hard traverse left to reach the second fixed station. Two raps with a single to get down. Well bolted. It deserves the two star guide book rating. Dow
Showers with Dad- 100’-5.10b**/ There is little to any difference between Love Gas and Showers with Dad. The best way to start both routes is the direct variation on the solid varnished vertical block. Reach a positive rail and mantle up past the first clip. The two routes diverge here with Showers with Dad meandering up and right. They meet back up at the fixed rap. Felt easier than Leon Redbone (5.9) despite put up by the same FAer’s. Dow
Hollywood Rattlesnake- 100’-5.9**/ Again, two stars was quite generous for this route. Miramontes also has this route as mixed, but no gear is needed. Hollywood Rattlesnake has an independent start between the two main walls on East Siberia. At the bottom of the gully between the walls, start up and clip a few bolts before you trend up and left. The crux comes at several slight slab moves on whitish rock after you get on the left wall. Felt a bit sandbagged compared to the other routes on this wall. Bends left into the shared fixed rap with the “Gas” routes. Dow
Yasmine Bleeth- 5.9**/Yasmine parallels Dos Chi Chi’s to the first fixed station and stops. The crux is in the bottom third and cruises up from there. These are the first two routes I led in the morning when I got to the crag and thought Dos Chi Chi’s definitely was the 5.10 and Yasmine a 5.9 (as the guide has them), but witnessed someone else struggle on Yasmine and he thought it the other way around. Pulling through the roof before the final couple of bolts is the highlight but necessarily the crux, as it is juggy. Dow
Dos Chi Chi’s- 5.10a***/This is one of the higher rated 5.10a sport climbs in the park supposedly. I am mostly a trad climber and was not overly impressed but it was worthy. The highlight for sure is the second pitch slab arête. You could combine pitches for a full 70m lead with only inches to spare, but most will prefer stopping at the large ledge that divides the wall. The slab arête finish to the top is the 5.10 climbing. The first half of the first pitch offers a crux that requires just one sequence choice (left, not right) or you will find yourself in 5.11 territory. If done correctly, no move should be harder than 5.9 on this first pitch. Miramontes’ guide references three raps, but only two are necessary with a 70 rope. Bypass the ledge anchor on the way down for two raps with a 70m. Dow
Gandy- 5.9* /This route is located on a short tower in front of the main wall. It climbs the obvious fun arête with the crux at the bulge near the top, after the last clip. Short route, but definitely worth doing. Fully bolted. Rap from the top. Dow
Crossroads Finish- 160’-5.7**/ Same start as George’s Route. When you spot the anchor out left on the arete, start climbing that bolted line to the summit. Then make two raps to the ground. Miramonte’s guide calls this a two pitch route, but easily led in one. Dow
George’s Route aka Binder- 100’-5.8**/ The next wall to the right of Dos Chi Chi’s (need to move the belay to a different boulder) has two sport routes on it that share the first 80’. To be efficient, I climbed George’s, then down climbed and cleaned the upper block and then traversed left on a ledge to do Crossroads, then made two raps to the ground. Crossroads has its own fixed rap stations to make it down in two raps. Nothing memorable on either route, just like the acclaimed Dos Chi Chi’s except easier. Dow
Toby- 100’-5.9**/ I do not remember much about it. Just the next wall to the right yet. Again, you must move the belay which is a bit of a scramble. All of these sport climbs are the same, same rock, same sun, same moves. More slab climbing then the others maybe. Dow
Weo- 100’-5.7**/ This route is on its own feature located below the main wall of East Siberia. Scramble back down direct from the main wall and through some boulders to the north to find the base of this climb at an arete. Miramontes guide has Weo labeled as a mixed climb but I only clipped bolts and thought it was well protected iwth same. His guide also references that the fixed rap might have been chopped. In 2017 it was there. It is directed to go down the back side and therefore you would have to scramble back around. However, I was able to rap right back down the route with no worries on the rope pull. The climbing is kind of cool for the grade. Sometimes on the arete, sometimes to the left. Dow