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

The New Deal, established by Scott Cosgrove, follows barely-there holds up what is essentially an overhanging slab. No wonder it took so long to be repeated...

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

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