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Suicide Rock

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Suicide Rock  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,000'
Location: 33.771, -116.696 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 642,030
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 20, 2006
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Jeff Gicklhorn on Insomnia. Photo by Steve Cox

General Description 

Suicide Rock, the smaller of the two rocks above the town of Idyllwild, is primarily a traditional crag and features routes from one to three pitches in length accessed by a relatively casual 30 minute hike from the parking area.

Please note this is a traditional crag and although sport routes do exist they are the exception. It's important to keep in mind that even fully bolted routes requiring nothing more than quickdraws tend to be runout and somewhat serious leads.

The area is well known for it's quality, albeit runout, slab and face climbing and is home to numerous routes from 5.6 to 5.13 with most being in the 5.11 and under range. Some of the better routes here include Mickey Mantle (5.8 R), Serpentine (5.9), Ten Karat Gold (5.10a R), Hair Lip (5.10a), Revelation (5.10a), Montezuma's Revenge (5.10b R), Sundance (5.10b), Godzilla's Return (5.10d R), Valhalla (5.11a), Iron Cross (5.11a), The Man That Fell to Earth (5.11a), Rebolting Development (5.11b R), Disco Jesus (5.11b), New Generation (5.11c), Moondance (5.11c), Double Exposure Direct (5.12a R), Burning Down the House (5.12b R), Caliente (5.12c), Ishi (5.12d) and Someone You're Not (5.13a).

Cracks are also in abundance here and although some of the easier ones are a bit grungy there are some fantastic cracks here ranging from 5.1 to 5.12+ with the majority in the 5.11 and under range. Some of the better routes here include Spring Cleaning (5.6), The Hernia (5.8), The Guillotine (5.8), Flower of High Rank (5.9), Munge Dihedral (5.10a), Hot Buttered Rump (5.10a), Johnny Quest (5.10a), Flakes of Wrath (5.10c R), Miscalculation (5.10c), Etude (5.11a), Insomnia (5.11b), The Drain Pipe (5.11b), Chisholm Trail (5.11b/c), Paisano Overhang (5.12c) and The Pirate (5.12d).

Getting There 

The climber's trail to Suicide Rock starts across from some large water tanks located just past Forest Drive (where the main road start to bend right). Follow the trail downhill, cross a seasonal stream, and then make a right onto Foresthaven Drive (paved). Walk the paved road to it's end and then make a left onto a trail where you'll see a climber sign-in box. After about a 1/4 mile the trail is unmaintained and becomes much steeper and rocky. The trail will deposit you close to the right end of the Buttress of Cracks and a little bit below the The Weeping Wall. The approach to the base takes about 20-30 minutes depending upon your degree of fitness - plan on another 15-30 minutes or so to reach the Northeast Wall (Flower of High Rank) or the South Face respectively.

The Rock 

The rock at Suicide Rock is a solid, fine-grained granite that through the effects of wind, water and time has been sculpted and polished into an amazing surface to climb on. Although never subjected to glaciation the rock can be distressingly smooth in places (Sunkist Face, Weeping Wall), yet in others the surface is rougher and more featured and provides some incredible holds.

Adventure Pass 

As of mid-2014 an Adventure Pass is no longer required to park at Humber Park.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.8 miles from here

245 Total Routes

['4 Stars',21],['3 Stars',62],['2 Stars',99],['1 Star',60],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',13],['5.7',19],['5.8',19],['5.9',33],['5.10',75],['5.11',59],['5.12',24],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Suicide Rock:
Mickey Mantle   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Smooth Sole Wall : Smooth Sole Wall - Right Si...
The Hernia   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Buttress of Cracks : Buttress of Cracks - Left S...
Serpentine   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   The Weeping Wall
Flower of High Rank   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Northeast Buttress
Hair Lip   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   Right of the Escalator
Sundike   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
Ten Karat Gold   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Weeping Wall
Johnny Quest   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Northeast Buttress
Sundance   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
Iron Cross   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 230'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
Etude   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Northeast Buttress
Valhalla   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
The Man That Fell to Earth   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 160'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Left Side
Insomnia   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Buttress of Cracks : Buttress of Cracks - Left S...
Moondance   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
New Generation   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 3 pitches, 280'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
Paisano Overhang   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Paisano Pinnacle
Ishi   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   Sunshine Face : Sunshine Face - Right Side
The Pirate   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, 2 pitches, 170'   Buttress of Cracks : Buttress of Cracks - Left S...
Hades   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   South Face
Browse More Classics in Suicide Rock

Featured Route For Suicide Rock
Looking down to the belay on top of P1 of Iron Cro...

Quiet Desperation 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a  CA : Tahquitz & Suicide Rocks : ... : Sunshine Face - Right Side
Good mixed climbing. A very thin face crux combined with a unique feature on the second pitch, as well as a pitch of superb liebacking.Pitch 1: Do the first pitch of the Iron Cross (11a).Pitch 2: Clip the first bolt of the Iron Cross and then move left to follow the razor thin flake up and left. This flake is wild, a small rock dropped behind it will come out at the bottom of it, down by Red Rain. Although easy, the super thin nature of the flake makes it quite exciting. At the end of th...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Suicide Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Kris ticked The Pirate. Bruce Bourassa clicked the...
Kris ticked The Pirate. Bruce Bourassa clicked the...
My first time on the climb, gnarly.  Photo by Tony...
My first time on the climb, gnarly. Photo by Tony...
Log on the approach trail that you must duck under...
Log on the approach trail that you must duck under...
Going old school..."most importantly, bring y...
Going old school..."most importantly, bring y...
Suicide Rock
BETA PHOTO: Suicide Rock
Kevin Powell on an early attemp of Hit it Ethel (5...
Kevin Powell on an early attemp of Hit it Ethel (5...
from Devil's slide trail.
from Devil's slide trail.
Photo of Suicide from Devil's Slide trail.
Photo of Suicide from Devil's Slide trail.
The gorgeous slabs of Suicide Rock.
The gorgeous slabs of Suicide Rock.
photo by: Paul Torella
photo by: Paul Torella
View of Tahquitz from roughly above the South Face...
View of Tahquitz from roughly above the South Face...
Great view from the top.
Great view from the top.
The roadside sign across from the water tanks mark...
BETA PHOTO: The roadside sign across from the water tanks mark...
The climber's trail to Suicide Rock starts almost ...
BETA PHOTO: The climber's trail to Suicide Rock starts almost ...
All snowed up!
All snowed up!
Shot from Fingertrip. I noticed the climbers above...
Shot from Fingertrip. I noticed the climbers above...

Comments on Suicide Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 19, 2007
For the first timer, the trail to the rock base can be a bit unclear. From the road sign pictured above to the service road some 200 yards away is nice, with plentiful (but unnecessary) carsonite signs. From here, one hangs a right following the paved road for about a half mile, before turning left. After a carsonite sign or two, one encounters the "end of maintained trail" sign, and a quick steep little section. After this, the trail is somewhat evident, but deteriorates after this. Many windy days this year have left a lot debris (some real big downed trees too) on the forest floor, so the weave on the way up, may not be the same path taken back down. It is this run of the trail that could use the half dozen carsonite signs found below, and a bit of chainsawing.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Oct 27, 2007
Very cold weather yeilds good results when climbing the thin face/slab routes, at least it has for me. Hotter weather increases the routes' difficulty IMHO.
By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Feb 12, 2008
Please NOTE; This is a Historical climbing area! Do not add ANY fixed protection to ANY existing route! Fixed Pins,Bolts and or Anchor replacement should ONLY be done by those with knowledge of the area and its history. PLEASE RESPECT THIS. Have a good day and enjoy the climbing.
By Jim Dover
From: Los Osos, CA
Oct 3, 2011
Suicide Rock FA list in chronological order (not that anyone but me cares)! If you notice errors or want to contribute to this list, email me.

1. Paisano Jam Crack, 5.10a, 2/55 (1955!!!!)
2. Limp Dick, 5.10a, 5/59
3. Munge Dihedral, 5.10a, 1960s?
4. Surprise, 5.8R, 4/66
5. Goliath, 5.7, 6/66
6. David, 5.7R, 6/66
7. Surprise Direct, 5.9, 8/66
8. First Pitch, 5.8, 10/66
9. Captain Hook, 5.8, 10/66
10. The Step Away, 5.8R, 11/66
11. Sundance, 5.10b, 1/67
12. Buttress Chimney, 5.8, 1967?
13. The Pirate, 5.12c/d, 6/67
14. Hesitation, 5.10a, 7/67
15. The Hernia, 5.8, 8/67
16. Sampson, 5.9R, 8/67
17. Flake Out, 5.7, 9/67
18. Piasano Overhang, 5.12c, 1/68
19. Delila, 5.9, 1/68
20. The Breeze, 5.10a, 2/68
21. Pass Time, 5.9, 3/68
22. Frustration, 5.10a, 3/68
23. Sword of Damocles, 5.9, 3/68
24. Graham Crackers, 5.6, 4/68
25. Hot Buttered Rump, 5.10a, 4/68
26. Piasano Chimney, 5.8, 5/68
27. Axe of God, 5.8, 5/68
28. Flatman Chimney, 5.9, 5/68
29. Tabby Treat, 5.1, 5/68
30. Deception Pillar, 5.9, 7/68
31. Catís Cave Inn, 5.8, 9/68
32. Spooky Spike, 5.9, 12/68
33. The Guillotine, 5.8R, 10/69
34. Etude, 5.11a, 11/69
By agd
Jul 6, 2012
As always in southern California, watch out for rattlesnakes. I almost stepped on one that was coiled on the approach to Buttress of Cracks. They are very camo'd.
By Kazu Watanabe
From: Irvine, CA
Oct 20, 2014
There are a couple of bee nests at the base of Sunshine face. I have been attacked twice this year. Watch out.
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