Although there are countless boulders in Joshua Tree National Park
, certain areas, that aren't even known for their bouldering potential, get considerable amount of attention. One such a case is bouldering on and around the base of Intersection Rock
. You often see people climbing the first few feet of known routes, then they jump down or down climb to the ground. One of the all-time-favorites is the opening moves for a route known as Waterchute. Looking up from the base, you would think this feature was created by large amount of water running down this rock for millions of years. In fact, nothing is further from the truth. I have never seen water coming down this chute, even during a rainstorm.
Starting off the ground, the opening moves are awkward and technical. In fact, this is the crux of the route and it used to be rated only 5.9. Through the years of people trying this initial section, the dead rubber from people's shoes has made the rock slick and difficult. After the initial moves, you end up inside a semi pod on the base of a featureless body size chimney/groove. You need to have nerves of steel and technical ability to get high enough to place your first piece of protection. The route continues up the same groove slowly turning into a face. This face culminates onto a big ledge. Go a little left to find the anchor. This ledge is the official end of Waterchute. But, since you are here, you might as well climb to the top. The easiest option is climbing the second pitch of Mike's Books. Easy chimneys, cracks and face lead to the top of the rock where you will find another anchor.
You can rap down to the ledge with a single rope, then another rap to the base of the route.
One 60 meter rope, standard rack, slings, helmet.
From the western entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive on Park Boulevard, formerly known as Quail Springs Road, for about nine miles to a major rock formation called “Intersection Rock.” Intersection Rock is a major landmark on the north side of Quail Springs Road with ample parking for visitors and climbers alike. This rock, true to its name, sits at the cross roads to “Hidden Valley Campground”, Barker Dam Road and the road to “Day use and picnic” area. Skirt around the rock from the right to the base of Waterchute.