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Story About One of Joshua Tree’s Hardest Sport Routes

The New Deal was a visionary rock climb by legend Scott Coscgrove that remains one of the hardest routes in J Tree

The New Deal in Joshua Tree National Park was the first 5.14a established by an American. The late Scott Cosgrove made the first ascent on Jan. 31, 1988, and suggested 5.13d.

It took 22 years for The New Deal to see a second ascent when Alan Moore repeated it in 2010 and suggested 5.14a. There’s never been a third ascent on record.

It was one of the first rappel bolted routes in Joshua Tree and marked the beginning of the sport climbing revolution in the California, which didn’t sit well with Stonemaster legend John Bachar. He chopped all the bolts on the route soon after. Cosgrove offered to settle it over a parking lot fist fight that never happened. Bachar later apologized and gave Cosgrove bolts to fix the route.

The New Deal