The Middle Kingdom

Perniciously Persuasive

Return to North Wonderland Main Index

Continue to Outer Mongolia (part 2 of the Middle Kingdom)

Main genre on this page:

  • Vulture’s Roost
  • The Shady Spot
  • Easy Buttress
  • Pernicious Dome
  • The Techulator
  • El Dorado


  • Smith Rock
  • Jones Rock
  • Wane’s Wall
  • The Skin Graft

Trek Dates, 2015: Mar 20, Apr 24, May 16

A DINKY VALLEY by Joshua Tree NP standards, and the first of two valleys comprising The Middle Kingdom. The southern edge (where The Shady Spot is located) is the back side of the West Rim hill, that has Gilligan’s & Ellsmere Islands, Hidden Dome.

Plenty of shady oak and pine trees along this side, where one can recline on a rock and ponder, or picnic and drowse away a lazy afternoon. The perfect area for doing the latter is beside the aptly named Easy Buttress, where I ate a chicken thigh and munched an apple.

Easy Buttress

Note: Climbers be forewarned, as Alan Bartlett observes matter-of-factly in his rock-climbing book, “It is probably more effort to downclimb on this crag than it is to climb up it.” The main Easy Buttress routes are “Easy Buttress, Left,” “Easy Buttress, Right,” “Poaching Grain,” and the ever-popular “Nothing to Fear But Beer Itself.”

The Shady Spot

Immediately to the right is a steep wall called The Shady Spot, actually the back side of  Gilligan’s Island which is found in the West Rim 3D Gallery of the North Wonderland.

Deeper into the valley and across-yonder lie other Middle Kingdom piles, pillars, and stacks of rock who, for their troubles, have been given sometimes odd and silly names. Readers point out that all these names sometimes give them a headache, and cause confusion. But traveling around JTree Park, I have found it helpful knowing which is which, the better to understand where I am, where I have to go, and how best to return from whence I came. Makes getting lost nearly impossible.


  •  Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
  • Click to Enlarge Photos

3D Anaglyph



3D Half Side-by-Side

(For 3D TV viewing)


Enjoy Part 2 of The Hidden Kingdom under the heading Outer Mongolia, where these persuasive formations continue into the next (and larger) valley.

Your Most Humble Web Host

Thank you for visiting The Middle Kingdom. I found the climbing routes and piles really rock in 3D!

John Murbach




Posted 2015 May 6

Updated 2017 Nov 8

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