Climb Smart Oct. 19-21 is building up to be the biggest and best ever, with
double triple! the registrants and supporting organizations than last year and still a few days until it happens… The event will sell out, so if you are interested to attend, click here.
Glimpse a gallery of images from the 2011 Climb Smart event
Meet JTree legendary climbers, network with fellow climbers, brush up skills, give back to the park and stay informed on latest developments that affect climbers nationwide. Join Us!
There is still space for Climb Smart 2012, kicking off the Fall climbing season in Joshua Tree with a fantastic lineup of legendary climbers, brands, locals, and inspiration to last all of 2013.
Click Here an important article just published by the Access Fund on egregious activities that currently affect climbing access in JTNP
Friends Of Joshua Tree, in support of climbing in the Park and JOSAR (Joshua Tree Search & Rescue), works with the local community, sponsors like prAna and Sterling Ropes and athletes and guides to bring us together and give back to one of America’s most treasured and storied climbing areas. This year the price has been drastically reduced (it’s tough out there and don’t we know it!) and the program expanded to include all day Friday and Saturday clinics and evening events for both nights.
Climbers unite! We have always been great stewards of the land in Josh, but several individuals, acting outside of the carefully crafted rules that climbers in JTree have lived by for decades, now force the Park Service to consider drastic rules to thwart further illegal developments in the Park. We’ve worked hard to steer the attitude toward us in a positive direction, but it only takes a few misinformed or uncaring moves to crush the progress. JOIN US as the climbing community to show the Park, and each other, our strength of purpose and commitment to stewardship for the long haul. SIGN UP HERE for Climb Smart 2012.
April 15 tied the record for the most search and rescue incidents in a single day for the Joshua Tree Search and Rescue Team: four in 16 hours. It actually started the evening of April 14th, with an emergency callout for 5 lost hikers in the Willow Hole area. We should rename the area – give us your suggestions after you read its history.
There’s a hike described in multiple JT hiking guides that takes you from the the Boyscout Parking lot, north down the Boyscout Trail, then east to the Willow Hole Trail. After passing Willow Hole, you find the Wonderland Connector which leads you to the top of Rattlesnake Canyon, and out at Indian Cove. This season there were ten searches for lost hikers on this route.
One guide book gives it a “strenuous” rating. They apparently don’t have a “forgetaboutit” category. Don’t get me wrong. If you’re conditioned, experienced and well-equipped, it can be done. I estimate that more than 80% of the visitors who attempt this hike either turn back shortly after Willow Hole, or get lost and need a rescue.
Some of the difficulties are:
- The Willow Hole Trail itself, that often gets washed out and hard to find and has confusing turns.
- Finding the Wonderland Connector that looks on a topo map like a nice corridor between formations, but with smaller formations in the multitude of little canyons is very difficult to find.
- The Connector itself, which includes more than a mile of giant boulder hopping and high fourth class travelling.
If you go in before 7AM with LOTS of water, a GPS, a compass, a topo map, shoes with sticky rubber, sun protection, survival supplies, two other hardbody friends and an attitude for adventure – you’re likely to have a great time and come out the other end in Indian Cove. Or at least you’ll come out somewhere near a road.
Back to April 15, 2012. If you happen to be in the right spot when you’re lost, and you can get up to the top of a formation, you might get cell reception. Five young men were in that spot the evening of the 14th, and made a 911 call. It resulted in a JOSAR callout, and the search was on. The incident continued through the night, until about 2PM on the 15th when they were located and lead out to safety. They did all the right things while being lost, and were in good shape.
Just after JOSAR finished their debrief and left the park, there was a second call from dispatch alerting us of two people hiking in the Willow Hole area who were lost and needed help. The second operation of the day began, and resulted just four hours later with the subjects of the search safe and sound in the parking lot.
Twenty minutes after the team left Boyscout parking for the second time that day, a call came in for a fallen climber at Hidden Valley. The climber was on Double Cross, a multi-starred classic responsible for more broken ankles than any other route in the park. As expected, a broken ankle, and he was helped off to the hospital.
The last call of the day was a pleasant one. Two older visitors were stuck in the park because their rental car’s ignition pushbutton wouldn’t work. JOSAR only had to call it in, reassure the visitors they would not be stranded overnight and wait for the tow truck to come (4 hours later). We were very tired by then, so a quiet talk with the visitors after sunset was a nice rest.
In addition to Willow Hole and Double Cross, there are several repeat “black holes” for incidents in the park. JOSAR has been involved in a long-term project to develop pre-plans for these areas for a quicker and more effective response. The planning done in the Willow Hole area has been resulting in faster and safer searches.
This last season JOSAR had 39 SAR callouts, 17 medical incidents and many visitor assists. The summer should be a bit quieter, and give us the time to build that garage.
Your idea for a new name for the Willow Hole-Wonderland Connector hike??
Before you move on to the high elevations, mark your calendar for Climb Smart 2012, October 19-21 at JT Lake Campground and in the Park. Climb Smart is the kickoff event in Joshua Tree for climbers, bringing the local and global climbing community together for education, celebration and inspiration. Last year’s event was a breakthrough success for FOJT and JOSAR, with new venues, new clinics, a new format and even the Cactus Pricks live performance! See images from last year’s event below, and click here to get beta on the 2012 event, or see a photo gallery of CS11.
This year’s event will sport three full days of clinics, two evenings of live entertainment, and even lower pricing for participants, with new food options, and more swag! “Pie for the People” will have their world famous pizza pies, salads, and baked ziti available for purchase at the camground Friday night, and Saturday night we are bringing back our popular spaghetti dinner as part of the evening’s events.
Register early, by September 10th., to be entered in a drawing for a new climbing rope! Winner will be announced at the Saturday dinner party.
This year the Lake will be open for fishing, so bring your fishing poles, or rent them at the country store next to the Lake. More details when you register.
NEW THIS YEAR: Special Keys Ranch Tour, Sunday 9am! Register early. Only 25 spots available.
While summer approaches in Joshua Tree, it’s the climbers natural migration time to the higher ground. Kick off your mountain season with the perfect excuse to get into the Idyllwild frame of mind…
Where: Suicide Rock, Idyllwild, CA
When: Sunday, June 3 2012
Hosted by: Idyllwild Climber’s Alliance
Details: On Sunday, June 3rd the Idyllwild Climber’s Alliance will be hosting the Second Annual Climber’s Festival in Idyllwild. In the morning volunteers will work on the three main climber’s trails in Idyllwild, while the alliance’s ambassadors will distribute educational materials to climbers as well as an invitation to attend the BBQ and raffle. The big project for the day is to put in new stairs down to the Suicide Trail. The day will wrap up with a BBQ, raffle and book signing.
In 2011 the festival brought out 40 volunteers and we are hoping for 50 this year. We raised $250 for the Access Fund last year and this year we’re hoping for $300 for the Alliance. This event is sponsored by: the Alliance, the Access Fund, and the Southwest Section of the American Alpine Club. We expect further help for the raffle from our friends in the outdoor industry.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Every hour of time you donate to a crag helps show land managers that climbers are responsible stewards. Grab some friends and a pair of work gloves and spend a day giving back to the sport you love! We hope to see you there.
Thanks for your support,
Joshua Tree National Park will offer a front-row seat for one of the
biggest celestial events of the year. On May 20, large areas of the western United States will experience an annular solar eclipse, an event last seen in the United States in 1994. In the hours before sunset, the Earth’s moon will pass in front of the sun casting a giant shadow across the land.
To mark the occasion, Joshua Tree National Park will host a special Solar Eclipse Event 051112 giving the public great views of this highly anticipated event. Solar eclipse activities will take place at the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms.
The Visitor Center is located at 74485 National Park
Drive. Joshua Tree National Park is in the zone to experience a partial
(near total) eclipse.
Here is the schedule of activities for the Solar Eclipse Event:
Noon Telescopes with special filters will be set up to allow viewing
of the sun. Long before the eclipse is visible, solar observers
will be able to see sunspots and any solar flare activity.
4:30 p.m. Rangers will offer presentations about the solar eclipse and
will show participants how to make a pinhole viewing device for
watching the eclipse.
5:25 p.m. Approximate time for the start of the partial eclipse. Public
viewing of the eclipse will take place through telescopes and
through a video astronomy presentation. Special glasses for
viewing the eclipse will also be available.
6:38 p.m. Peak of the eclipse for the Joshua Tree area occurs.
7:44 p.m. Sunset
8:00 p.m. Night sky program presented by National Park Service rangers
and park volunteers.
For more information about the May 20 eclipse at Joshua Tree, the public
can visit the park website at:
Information at viewing the solar eclipse at other National Park locations can be found here
It’s a great time to visit the park, with the peak wildflower season beginning, perfect climbing temps and just to top it off, National Park Week… no charge to enter from April21-29! National_Park_Week_at_JOTR_2012
There is also a Jr. Ranger event on April 21, and April 28-29 the 2nd annual Joshua Tree Biodiversity Hunt, this year focused around the 49 Palms Oasis… learn more here.
Mark Butler, JTNP Superintendent, says “The people of southern California have long looked to Joshua Tree as a place of refuge and recreation. We hope that as they visit us during National Park Week, they will also think about how they can get even more involved. There are many ways people can support the park, and rangers will be happy to suggest ways people can make a difference.”
See the NPS press release here
Visit our photo galleries here and get inspired for your visit…
Volunteers needed for revegetation project March 24; afterglow ‘Spring Cling’ gathering for AAC that night!
Friends of Joshua Tree is partnering with American Alpine Club with the SPRING CLING event Saturday March 24th 6:30 pm in Downtown Joshua Tree, after a day of revegetation work in the central Hidden Valley area of the Park.
See/Download the Spring Cling spring cling flyer!
There’s room for more volunteers to participate (click here for details) in the park project with AAC & Threshold Climbing Gym on Saturday. Specs are for about 200 plants, vertical mulch and delineating trail with rocks along the swath of old road by the Old Woman (see pic above).
The Evening event will be at the Starlite 61738 29 Palms Hwy – 1 block west of Park Blvd.
Our show starts promptly at 7pm with images and narrative by Damon Corso.
The presentation will feature images of free soloing (Michael Reardon) amazing bouldering images, as well as sport climbing and adaptive climbing. Don’t miss this free event!
Grab a bite to eat at Pie for the People – we receive a special price on any pizza slice(s) & beverage between 6 & 9pm)
The tranquil and beautiful patio is a perfect place to mingle with fellow climbers, make new friends, hang out and enjoy a slice of the best pizza west of New York.
Learn about the March 24 special project in the Park here
You can email us at email@example.com, or call the Park directly with questions;
Climbing Ranger – Resource Management
Joshua Tree National Park
(mention FOJT please!)