Stem Gem wouldn't be the classic that it is if there weren't skateable features directly in front of it. That's what everyone comes to Joshua Tree for, right? All the rideable rock?
Older campers disturbed by the sound and sight of skateboards tainting the purity of their precious weekend retreat had to deal with a little dose of Daton, who had plenty to say back to their pleas to stop.
Later in the day, Will took us back to a secluded stretch of jumbled boulders within which he had located a jewel of a cliff dropping. Dr. Brown V10 is an impressive, burly climb starting on a low rail, moving out to an arête, and then up to a small crimp and onto another sloping corner before mantling out. Will put this climb up not too long ago and it has been seldom visited since. Turns out it hasn't gotten softer, says Will.
Then we saw some biting goats, native to this slice of neature.