Last fall, Eddie Bauer climbers Ben Ditto, Katie Lambert and Mason Earle migrated south to the iconic climbing destination of Joshua Tree. For decades climbers have road tripped south to this shoulder-season vortex in the high California desert, finding classic sandbagged testpieces, aesthetic boulder problems and a lifetime of weathered, granite climbing routes—many of which were pioneered during the Stonemaster era. Spending a week in an otherworldly location steeped in climbing lore, the crew experienced the stiff grades of classic routes, the harsh hot-and-cold desert environment and the distinct-but-strange culture of the towns that surround the park. And, of course, there was the iconic vegetation that gives the place its name. The stories the team discovered ran deep and it would be hard to tell the tale in a few words. So, next month, we will release a video series and a succession of personal trip reports about the J Tree mission, but today, as a preview, we’re providing a handpicked Gabe Rogel gallery of images from their time to whet the appetite for more. —LYA Editor
Top: Mason Earle first personal send on Streetcar Named Desire (V6) in Joshua Tree, where the boulder problems run deep.
Above: Ben Ditto testing out the stiff grades on Father Figure 5.12d, Joshua Tree National Park, California.
L to R: 1. Ben Ditto and Katie Lambert racked up in Joshua Tree. 2. Ben Ditto on Clean and Jerk (5.10c) in Joshua Tree. 3. Ben Ditto mooning the camera in Joshua Tree.
Above: Katie Lambert warming up on Illusion Dweller (5.10b), Joshua Tree National Park, California.
L to R: 1. Mason Earle hanging out on Tonic Boom (5.12d) in Joshua Tree. 2. Where the Airstream goes; Katie and Mason resting in the noonday soon in Joshua Tree. 3. A 5.11 that feels a wee bit harder. Ben Ditto on Patracide, an old-school 5.11.
Above: Mason Earle paying homage to the Stonemasters on Acid Crack (5.12d) Joshua Tree National Park, California.
L to R: 1. Mason Earle coiling in Joshua Tree. 2. Desert Solitarie, Mason Earle style. 3. Iconic Vegetation. It’s a plant not a tree, by the way.
Above: Mason Earle, personal, casual send on the Wedge Boulder, Joshua Tree.
L to R: 1. Mason Earle, Ben Ditto and Katie Lambert walking out to the Gunsmoke Traverse in Joshua Tree. 2. Mason Earle and his fingertips on the Wedge Boulder, Joshua Tree National Park, California. 3. Mason Earle first personal send on Streetcar Named Desier (V6) in Joshua Tree.
Above: Ben Ditto and Katie Lambert having an Instagram moment in Joshua Tree
L to R: 1. Katie Lambert stretching it out in the desert. 2. Our USNP Ranger observer, keeping friendly watch. 3. Mason Earle, ladies and gentlemen, Mason Earle.
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