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The Definitive Guide to

Rock Climbing on Mojave Limestone

Elizabeth climbing Joe's Six Pack in Virgin River Gorge, Arizona.There is a spine of high limestone mountains running through the northeastern quadrant of the Mojave Desert, most of which are ringed with long cliff bands. This guidebook describes 2,500 rock climbs found in and around these mountains. The area covered is based upon the cities of Las Vegas and Mesquite in Southern Nevada with some of the crags being in California, Southern Utah and Arizona.

With the exception of Rainbow Canyon, where approximately half of the routes are traditional climbs, the routes covered in this guidebook are fully-bolted sport climbs. As a sport climbing venue, this area has few peers anywhere in North America thanks to the year-long climbing season, the reliable weather, the low-hassle desert camping and above all the quantity, variety and quality of the routes.

The area's most famous routes are iconic, nationally known test pieces such as Chris Sharma's Jumbo Love on Clark Mountain, the gorgeous Golden For A Moment and its maze of variations in The Cathedral, and the long, crimpy pucker-fests of the Virgin River Gorge. But more importantly for the vast majority of climbers, there is a real depth of quality climbing throughout the entire grade range. Also, perhaps more so than any other of North America's premier sport climbing areas, the routes are extremely varied in almost every aspect. There are perfectly formed 20' micro routes on Gorilla Cliff and brilliant eight pitch 5.14s on Universal Wall, there are routes of almost every grade, on rock of almost any angle, that use holds of every type imaginable

It seems likely that, as time goes by, the importance of this region as an epicenter for North American sport climbing will only increase. The amount of rock available and the pace of development are such that future editions of this guidebook will probably require two or even three volumes.

Jerry Handren, December 2020.

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Mojave Limestone

By Jerry Handren

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