Spider Wall, 5.5-5.9

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Trad Climbing
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
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Spider Wall, 5.5-5.9
Created On: Feb 16, 2018
Last Edited On: Feb 17, 2018

Overview/Approach

Spider's Web, 5.8
Dow leading Spider's Web, 5.8
Palmreader, 5.8*
Palmreader, 5.8*

Spider Wall is no doubt one of the easier accessed climbing walls in all of Joshua Tree.  It hoovers above several campsites in Indian Cove.  These routes are short and south facing for the most part.  They are also all trad.   There are two bolts with hangers (not a rap station) atop Poppa Spider to set up a top rope or build an anchor.  The wall is best walked off climbers left. 

Momma Spider, 5.9* and Poppa Spider, 5.9* are the only sought after climbs on this short wall and only then if you, like myself, are trying to achieve 1000 routes at Jtree.  The main four routes, Momma, Poppa, Spider’s Web, 5.8 and Boris the Spider, 5.9 are all lumped together for the most part and would not even be worthy of being established in many climbing destinations.   Crack 69, 5.5*, is an easy and secure solo on solid rock and is to the right of these other routes.  I have included Palmreader, 5.8*, in this group even though the guide has this short wall broken out as independent.  You can easily access it from the Spider Wall alcove without taking your climbing shoes off.  It is a short south facing wall located between  the Spider Wall alcove and Dos Equis Wall (home of one of my Indian Cove favorite’s:  Scareway, 5.10b**).  The Palmreader route itself is an obvious finger splitter (photo), that is no taller than the Spider routes, but is a more aesthetic trad lead at the same grade.

When you enter Indian Cove, turn right on the loop road.   Take another right, southwest, that leads to campsites 60+.  There is a short road that splits off right and serves several campsites and restrooms.  Spider Wall is fairly immediate on the right in an alcove with two picnic tables (photo).  In the deep section of the alcove (darker rock) is where the four main routes are.  Crack 69 is on the right side of the alcove.  Palmreader takes a short scramble off the desert floor to reach it, out front and to the left of the alcove. An obvious short wall with one splitter in it.  Walk off of it climbers left as well.

Route Descriptions, Right to Left as you face the wall

  • Crack 69- 45’-5.5*/ Well varnished and low angled solo above the picnic table on the right side of the alcove. Walk the ridge off all the way climber's left beyond the other routes. Dow
  • Momma Spider- 30'-5.9*/ All gear.  Climbed it ten years ago, do not remember anything specific or interesting.  Not much different than the ones written up below except darker, better rock.  Just the one fixed station atop Poppa Spider. Walk off climber's left.  Dow
  • Poppa Spider- 30'-5.9*/ All gear.  Climbed it ten years ago, do not remember anything specific or interesting.  Not much different than the ones written up below except darker, better rock.  Just the one fixed station atop Poppa Spider. Walk off climber's left.  Dow

  • Spiders Web- 30’-5.8/ Same start as Boris and about the same difficulty. Stay with the true right leaning crack surrounded by features.  Finish on Poppa Spider to the two bolt belay and/or top rope. Walk off climber's left. All trad. Dow
  • Boris the Spider- 30’-5.9Shares the same start as Spider Web. After a meter or two, climb the jugs straight up to the upper right slanting crack. Finish up straight on a steep flaring crack, crux, but not overly difficult for the grade. The only fixed station is above Spiders Web and Poppa Spider. It is not a rap station but rather two bolts and hangers. Walk off climber's left. All trad. Dow
  • Palm Reader- 30’-5.8*/ The guide calls it 40’, but it is not even. Although too short to warrant any additional stars in the guide, it is the best moderate trad route of the Spider Wall-Campfire Crags area. An easy 5.8 by Jtree standards up a featured perfect finger crack on a short independent wall. This short wall is located directly between Dos Equis Wall on the left and Spider Wall on the right. Scramble up to the base, easy walk off climbers left. A few finger pieces, no fixed station on top.  Dow