Rock Garden Valley’s main wall is one of the better concentrated collection of 5.8-5.9 trad climbs in Joshua Tree and therefore attracts a decent amount of folks. The Lower Wall receives less traffic but offers decent climbing at the same grade as the main wall on good rock albeit the routes are shorter. In between these two Rock Garden Valley Wall's is a hueco covered well varnished wall aptly named Swiss Cheese Wall. Although the heavily featured wall has several easy 5.7 jug climbs on it: The Treat and Swiss Cheese, the highlight of this wall are its two 5.10b trad climbs: What's Hannen and Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?
I led both routes and both are quite good trad leads by Jtree standards. What's Hannen takes the obvious right facing corner, a chimney to off-width corner to dramatic roof pull. Why Does it Hurt When I Pee climbs a thin seam out on the face to the left of this corner and is full on at the grade and deals with technical/delicate pro.
Drive down Lost Horse Road and park on the left at approximately .3 miles. Rock Garden Valley Wall is across from Freeway Wall. Hike in the wash heading southeast for the upper north facing wall in Rock Garden. Scramble up the boulder choked gully and Rock Garden Valley Lower wall will be the first climbing wall on your right. Swiss Cheese Wall which is easy to identify due to its large huecos, divides Rock Garden Valley’s lower wall from the main wall on the right side of the gully. All three walls have a northern tilt, Rock Garden Valley Lower is northeast facing and therefore receives decent morning sun depending on the time of year. Swiss Cheese is true north facing therefore mostly shaded.
The Treat- 55’-5.7*/ More 5.6 than 5.7 by Jtree standards. Place a C4#1 then clip 4 bolts to the top. Rap Why Does it Hurt When I Pee. Guide does not show this rap as of 2018. Dow
Swiss Cheese- 55’-5.7/ Same as The Treat, not sure why one gets a star in the guide and the other does not. Again, 5.6 at most. Mixed, with one bolt near the top. Rap Why Does it Hurt When I Pee. Not near as interesting as the Swiss Cheese route at the same grade at the City of Rocks but named for the same reason, large juggy features. Dow
What’s Hannen- 55’-5.10b*/ My favorite route in the Rock Garden Valley. This route is comparable to other two starred routes in the guide. Full trad. I placed a single C4#4 and #5, otherwise single rack to #1 unless you want to build a top rope anchor, then take #2 and #3 for a floor crack near the edge. Great off width start, facing left. Hands come after just a few moves, but still vertical and interesting until you pull the small roof on jugs. Easy from there to the top. Rap Why Does it Hurt When I Pee. Dow
Why Does it Hurt When I Pee- 45’-5.10b*/ Full trad and full on at the grade up a thin/intermittent seam to the left of What’s Hannen. Pro is delicate including off the deck: wires and micro cams. Sustained through the first 30’ to a horizontal, lay backing the seam on the left side. Not much fingers, mostly balance and finesse. Fixed rap atop a small ledge above that is not shown in Mirmaontes guide as of 2018. Dow