Joshua tree january


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 3, 2013 - 01:14am PT
Soooooo got to the point where I cant mentally subject myself to my most current job ( in a long line of jobs; car salesman, Military police, rei guide,verizon customer service) or the city life anymore & my girlfriend & I are going to outfit a van this week and leave next week for several months of climbing in the southwest until our next jobs start in may in the valley. What Im interested in here is J.Tree tips for this time of year, or just in general. We are pretty self sufficient on simple living, spent 4 months on the pct last year, not a lot of trad experience in our team, I was forced into a lot of soloing in my first two years of climbing and she has done mostly sport. So... lets hear these entertaining and insightful responses? oh yeah leaving the 11th or 13th.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:18am PT
"lets hear these entertaining and insightful responses?"


Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:20am PT
Bring a beenie

Credit: pud

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 3, 2013 - 01:34am PT
Probably wont hit J.tree for 3 more weeks, but the park gets lots of sun right? and current temps look pretty mild by my standards, so no worries there.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:59am PT
Did you meet my friend "The Donald" on the PCT? Fellow from Courtenay, on Vancouver Island?

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 3, 2013 - 02:39am PT
25 - 30 years ago JT was THE place to winter. As far as I'm concered it still is. With maybe two or three trips to El Paso thrown in.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 3, 2013 - 02:53am PT
Here's a little tip, or maybe just a consideration.
Some campsites get first, or early, light. Mornings are cold.
Maybe you prefer to sleep in...
Choose accordingly.
Actually, you may not have a choice.
Camping is crowded, hustlin' skills are helpful.
tinker b

the commonwealth
Jan 3, 2013 - 07:17am PT
theres a decent farmers' market on saturday's. showers at coyote corner.
even on the windiest days there is someplace out of the wind you just have to look.
you can walk from your campsite inhiddenvalley to most of the climbing.
the end of january slows down. you shouldn't have a problem getting a site, but the best ones are likely taken. enjoy the desert.

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Jan 3, 2013 - 08:25am PT
Sheep Pass and Jumbo Rocks are miserable camps. Lows will be in the 20s, sometimes 10s. Highs in the low 50s. It could snow.

Indian Cove is generally warmer than the park. If it is really cold, head to Corral Wall.

Learn how to follow the sun around the formations. Bring some good topo maps.

On weekends Hidden Valley CG will put you within walking distance of lines waiting to get on a climb. Boy Scout trailhead will take you to uncrowded climbing.

Do some hikes, it is a beautiful place. Hike on the weekends, climb on the weekdays.

The best day to hit the classics is Super Bowl Sunday. The park will be empty as every one else will be getting drunk watching TV.

Trad climber
Jan 3, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Be prepared for wind. Chill. Factor.

Seriously, JT can be really windy and cold.
Bad Climber

Jan 3, 2013 - 09:55am PT
What everyone else said, but remember it's now a National Park, so camping is limited to 14 days. Can climbers cycle in and out to rack up more time, or is the Ranger Gestapo too extreme?


Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 3, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Sometimes the Alabama Hills and The Owens River Gorge are warmer then Joshua Tree,the ORG gets good sun in parts and is *usually* not very windy.
Mostly Sport, but there are some good trad lines down there.

I hiked part of the JMT this summer, from Mammoth to Whitney. Mostly in July. Maybe we passed?

I did not meet Mighty Hikers friend, but heard of him, and passed a guy trying to catch up with him. Can't recall HIS name, but it was funny, we thought we knew each other from a distance.

You're gunna have a blast!
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 3, 2013 - 10:12am PT
stay away from josh until march 1. go skiing this time of year. no money? ski backcountry, absolutely free.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 3, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Appreciate some of the info so far, how about places to get water? camping outside the park? and whats the best guide book or two to pick up?

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Jan 3, 2013 - 11:14am PT
25 - 30 years ago JT was THE place to winter. As far as I'm concered it still is. With maybe two or three trips to El Paso thrown in.

Relatively new to SoCal, I just had my first realization that TX trips are in my future. Really psyched for that. But for now there's plenty to keep busy while in-state!

My tips:

1) You gotta bring all your own water, so load up!

2) Zero degree bags are almost not sufficient at times, go mega overkill and use a -40 degree bag, that way you can do the low maintenance no-tent bivy if needed.

3) It might snow! So be ready for that.

4) Camping: "the pit"

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jan 3, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Vertical.... go check out the Kern Canyon, north of Kernville.

Lots of climbing and free camping to boot and generally much warmer than JT ...NO LEOS around, have a blast.

Please post some pics and TR's .... for those of US stuck in the cubes.


Trad climber
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
Camp anywhere except the pit.

Listen to Guyman.

I've been in JT many times in Jan. when it was 70 at 9:00 in the morning.

The weather many change from week to week.

Same with the east side of the Sierras. The Alabama hills - Bishop - the whole east side can be amazing in winter.
John M

Jan 3, 2013 - 01:49pm PT

Water is available at the Oasis Visitor Center, Indian Cove Ranger Station, West Entrance, and Black Rock and Cottonwood campgrounds.

You can also get showers and water at Coyote Corner, which is a store on the corner of Highway 62 and Park Blvd. 62 is also called Palm desert highway and is the main thorough fair through town. Park Blvd goes to the West entrance.

The showers are pay showers and take quarters. There is a hose bib outback for water. Buy something from the good people. Its great to have showers there.

We would usually load up on water and food for a week and just go to town once a week. One night a week there use to be all you can eat night at one the Tai restaurants in town, but I don't know if the place is still there, or what the beta is, but we would go and pig out. Of course, with all things cheap, sometimes you pay the next day..

Lastly.. Always Always Always lock your gear away out of sight. Never leave it unattended, not even for two seconds while you go inside somewhere to buy a coke. Its meth head central and they have figured out how to spot a climber and rip him off. Especially be vigilant at Coyote Corner. The people in the shop are great people, but the thieves live nearby and watch the place. I can't state this enough. Make certain everyone in your group understands. None of this.. Oh.. he will watch it while I go inside, without being clear and making certain.
tinker b

the commonwealth
Jan 3, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
look at where the guy is from who says you need a -40 bag. i have gotten away with a 30 degree bag for years, sans tent, but in my old age have started to opt for the 0 degree bag just fine. january february can be hit or miss with weather, but stay long enough and you will get some beautiful days.
there are water spigits at nomad ventures and coyote corner. you can usually grab extra water jugs out of the recycling bins if you don't have the capacity you need.
have fun.

Trad climber
Jan 3, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
^^^^ Great advice Lock your car.
The Thai restaurant is still there. Buffet Fri. & Sat. Nights, very good.
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