Trip Report
JTree New Years 09-10 TR - lots of photos AND videos
Tuesday April 13, 2010 9:57pm
Last year, Dirka took me down to Joshua Tree over New Years (you can see my two trip reports from last year here and here, if interested). Well, one trip and I was completely hooked. We spent seven full days in the park this year and we have a bunch of great photos, so I may have to actually split this into several different posts again. We'll see.

Day 1: Wednesday, December 30

The first day we wanted to ease into the trip, so we committed to a first day of hiking. First, we did the 3-mile hike to Pine City. This was a fun, easy hike, but we were disappointed in both of the hikes for the day that they didn’t have a clear end point. We basically just walked about 1.5 miles into the desert, to where we thought "Pine City" was, then turned back.

Of course, we did find the last dinosaur egg!
Of course, we did find the last dinosaur egg!
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya

The second hike was a 2.5-mile hike to Lucky Boy Vista. Same as Pine City--there was no clear end point to the hike. The discussion Dirka and I constantly had over this trip was that someone needs to take care of the lack of clear signs on the hikes.

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Dirka dares anyone to kick one of these like a soccer ball.
Dirka dares anyone to kick one of these like a soccer ball.
Credit: Lissiehoya
We did come across some old mines on this hike.
We did come across some old mines on this hike.
Credit: Lissiehoya
And evidence of miners.
And evidence of miners.
Credit: Lissiehoya
Mmmm... chili.
Mmmm... chili.
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 2: Thursday, December 31

Our second day we started out with a 2-pitch climb that was a bit off the beaten path, Dr. Seuss Vogel (5.6). The climb was ok, Dirka called it a "5.6 sandbag" and it was in the shade so we were COLD. Also, our guidebook lied about the Class 2 descent. It was definitely Class 3 at least, and very difficult to find.

Credit: Lissiehoya
I told you we were cold.
I told you we were cold.
Credit: Lissiehoya

So, after taking extra time trying to figure out how to get down, Dirka did some bouldering and I relaxed and drank girly beer.

Credit: Lissiehoya

We saw this crazy coyote that Dirka said would be shot on February 22. YouTube video: "Soon to be Dead Coyote in JTree" It actually came right at me when I was trying to get closer to get a picture... a bit startling!

Credit: Lissiehoya
Campfire + wine = awesome.
Campfire + wine = awesome.
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 3: Friday, January 1

We started our third day with a 3-mile (round trip) hike to the Pinto Wye Arrastra. This hike was actually shorter than that, but we made a giant loop, extending it significantly. The trail is unmarked and it is definitely off the beaten path, but a lot of fun.

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
On the way back we saw some of these crazy huge anthills.
On the way back we saw some of these crazy huge anthills.
Credit: Lissiehoya

Then we did the 1/2 mile Arch Rock Nature Trail (I really enjoy the nature trails in Joshua Tree!).

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya

We ended the day with New Toy (5.6). This was a fun climb, but our guidebook completely lied--it said it would be in the sun in the afternoon which was completely untrue. It’s over by the White Tanks area, which is a great climbing area for people like me who feel too anxious when there are a lot of people watching. Also, there are definitely a ton of brand new routes still to be done there.

How do I get up?
How do I get up?
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Dirka checking out possible other routes on the way down.
Dirka checking out possible other routes on the way down.
Credit: Lissiehoya
Exploring some other stuff in the area.
Exploring some other stuff in the area.
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 4: Saturday, January 2

At this point I was kind of slowing down with the climbing and getting sore, but what would you expect since I basically had been in the library from August to December? So, we decided to do a hardcore hike, the 10-mike Eureka Peak hike. This was fun, but tough at points. Imagine walking through a wash in the Joshua Tree desert. Got it? Ok, now imagine doing that uphill. Yeah.

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Who's king of the mountain?
Who's king of the mountain?
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 5: Sunday, January 3

On our fifth day, Dirka climbed, and I attempted to climb, Lazy Day (5.7).

Credit: Lissiehoya
We found that "in theory" I do better if Dirka can coach me from below...
We found that "in theory" I do better if Dirka can coach me from below instead of from the top, so he climbs the route, then sets up a top rope for me. Of course, that didn't help in this case.
Credit: Lissiehoya

I'm not sure why I had so much trouble with this overall, except that I found that climb really scary for some reason. On this attempt, I was also completely worn out from the 10-mile hike the day before. So, after my failure, we decided to just go boulder around the Hall of Horrors and had a good time there.

YouTube video: "Bouldering in JTree – Duke"
YouTube video: "Bouldering in JTree – Elissa1"
YouTube video: "Bouldering in JTree – Elissa2"

We ended the day by driving up to Keys View to see the San Andreas Fault line.

Credit: Lissiehoya
It was cold up there.
It was cold up there.
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 6: Monday, January 4

We headed back to the White Tanks area to check some more climbs off in the guidebook. We started the day with Gargoyle (5.6) which I really enjoyed even though I generally dislike crack climbing.

Resting and smiling at the camera.  All the other pictures are just pi...
Resting and smiling at the camera. All the other pictures are just pictures of my butt.
Credit: Lissiehoya
I did that! :)
I did that! :)
Credit: Lissiehoya

Then Dirka put up a new route, which he thought was about 5.8 and we called the Arrete Fiasco. YouTube video: "New Route in JTree"

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
My quick drawing of the approximate route.
My quick drawing of the approximate route.
Credit: Lissiehoya

Dirka made fun of me because although I was completely cool with the face climb, where there are only tiny little holds, I freaked out on the arrete itself (where he said I should just stand up).

Dirka admiring his handiwork at the end of the day.
Dirka admiring his handiwork at the end of the day.
Credit: Lissiehoya
Falkor, the Luck Dragon.
Falkor, the Luck Dragon.
Credit: Lissiehoya

We ended the day with a trip to our favorite nature walk, the Cholla Cactus Garden.

Credit: Lissiehoya
Look at that sunset!
Look at that sunset!
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 7: Tuesday, January 5

I made Dirka take me back to Lazy Day (5.7) on our final full day and I did make it, even though I thought it was hard.

Credit: Lissiehoya

We had plans to do more climbs that day, especially Where Two Deserts Meet, but I crashed and Dirka aptly named the afternoon "Where Two Deserts Nap." We ended the day with the 1.7-mile Skull Rock Nature Trail. Skull Rock = so disappointing... who names these rocks? But the nature trail is fun.

Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya

Day 8: Wednesday, January 6

Before driving back to Dirka's home in San Francisco, we decided to do the 1.5-mile Wall Street Mill Hike (which turned into a 2-mile hike because we got lost thanks to the lack of signs). This is a great hike to see some old mining ruins, including where Worth Bagley was shot by W. F. Keys.

No fun allowed on this trail!
No fun allowed on this trail!
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya
Credit: Lissiehoya

All in all, this was great fun and we’re planning to go back again over next New Years to check off more of the hikes in our guidebook.

Credit: Lissiehoya

  Trip Report Views: 1,635
Lissiehoya
About the Author
Lissiehoya is a climber originally from Massachusetts, but most recently from Saint Louis, MO.

Comments
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Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
  Apr 13, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
Joshua Tree RULES!...you guys did it up.......thanks for sharing...get a longer blow tube, sir;........that short one is ghetto.....
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Apr 13, 2010 - 11:24pm PT
nice one thanks.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Apr 14, 2010 - 12:34am PT
Nice trip!
troutboy

Trad climber
Newark, DE
  Apr 14, 2010 - 10:26am PT
Nice. Thanks. For what it's worth, I always found Lazy Day harder than I would expect for 5.7 also. Not sure why, but there is something about that climb. Nice view from the top though.

TS
Lissiehoya

climber
Saint Louis, MO
Author's Reply  Apr 14, 2010 - 05:32pm PT
I'm so glad you said you always find it harder than you expect for a 5.7. Makes me feel better about finding it so difficult both times.
Pate

Trad climber
  Apr 15, 2010 - 05:34pm PT
Sox fan- good girl! We got shelled today though.

Nice TR thanks for the pics! Don't you love those 2nd class Josh descents?

Those coyotes are fearless. All of 'em.
Lissiehoya

climber
Saint Louis, MO
Author's Reply  Apr 15, 2010 - 11:01pm PT
Pate, did you like the "New England girl" shirt too? My best friend got that for me this year. As for the Sox hat... interestingly enough that was actually Duke's hat that he gave to me--I never was a big baseball cap person, but needed one for camping.

As for the Sox, we won the home opener against the Yankees so I'm happy even though we're a few games back. It's a long season, so there's time... :)
Ezra

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
  Apr 16, 2010 - 11:56am PT
Very nice , thanks y'all!
Joe

Social climber
Santa Cruz
  Apr 16, 2010 - 12:53pm PT
nice TR. nice photos. glad you had fun
go Yankees
Lissiehoya

climber
Saint Louis, MO
Author's Reply  Apr 17, 2010 - 08:06pm PT
Haha, Yankees SUCK. :P
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
  Nov 12, 2010 - 11:02pm PT
Thanks!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Nov 12, 2010 - 11:16pm PT
You guys fulfilled the main requirement of a climbing trip: YOU HAD FUN!!!
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