The New Deal (5.14): One of the Joshua Tree's Hardest Routes Gets a Second Ascent After 22 Years

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Filmmaker Cole Gibson writes: The New Deal in Joshua Tree National Park is the first 5.14a established by an American. Scott Cosgrove did the first ascent on January 31, 1988—Super Bowl Sunday— and he suggested the grade of 5.13d. It took 22 years for The New Deal to see a second ascent. Alan Moore repeated the line in 2010 and suggested the grade of 5.14a. Now almost a decade has passed and it has yet to be climbed again.

The New Deal was one of the first rappel bolted routes in Joshua Tree and marks the beginning of the sport climbing revolution in California. This did not sit well with Stonemaster and legend John Bachar, who chopped all the bolts on the route. Cosgrove offered to settle it over a parking lot fist fight but Bachar declined. Bachar later apologized and gave Cosgrove nine bolts to fix the route.

The New Deal was a visionary rock climb for its time and still stands as one of the hardest routes in Joshua Tree National Park today.

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