We first jumped on Double Cross (5.7+). I figured a 5.7 climb would be a good intro to the area and a good first Jtree climb, but boy was I in for a surprise. Looking at it from the ground: a steep, sustained-looking crack, overhanging at the start section. Hmm, but it's only 5.7, right? Well, to avoid embarassment, I'll just say it was the most flailing lead I've ever done, and there was much hanging on gear. Style is the last thing I cared about, given that I had a single selection of cams, and the crux portion of the crack was the same width (hand-fist). Not willing to run it out, I had to walk the cams up for protection which worked fine with some careful management. I guess Jtree is famous for stiff grades and I really didn't know. Additionally, I need to work on my crack climbing technique (but I knew that already). Repeating the climb on a toprope wasn't really any easier.
The second day was cold and there was a chance of storms. We rose relatively early and were planning to hop onto Overhang Bypass (5.7). Not the wisest choice given that it's in the shade in the morning, but oh well. It was cold but we tried not to complain. Surely, I chose the wrong line for the first pitch - the guidebook was sparse and I was inexperienced in reading this type of rock. I headed for what looked like an easy flake (from the ground) - what I got was a very hard flaring crack which was incomparably harder than the previous day's climb, obviously off-route (confirmed later). Some more pulling on cams and delicate climbing and I was past that section, again in very poor style and with plenty swearing, but happy to have made it after all. The second part of the pitch was thankfully much easier and I belayed Parisa up from the cave below the large overhang. Of course she had a very tough time at that section as well, and didn't have the cams to pull on at the beginning (as I had walked them up), but she is a tough girl and made it with some grunting and a tight rope. The second pitch was much easier (that's the supposed 5.7 crux) - a hand traverse on overhanging rock with little for the feet... all upper body. I shot through it quickly and belayed Parisa, who had some difficulty, but made it - we were both glad to be on top. The wind was very cold and we rappelled and scrambled down to the car. It was about 1-2pm, and we wanted to hit the road to get back to the Bay Area. Our parting words were "Good bye Jtree, and fuck you!" We'll be back though, we've a score to settle. Back in Mountain View it rained, so we chilled, switched apartments, and then hung out at Google before I had to leave back to Calgary.