Kris ticked The Pirate. Bruce Bourassa clicked the...
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).
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 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.
Browse More Classics in Suicide Rock
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Suicide Rock:
Featured Route For Suicide Rock
: Tahquitz & Suicide Rocks
: ... : Sunshine Face - Right Side
This ultra-classic tour of the Sunshine Face is perhaps the best face climb of it's grade at the rock, and long ago an ascent was a rite of passage that gained you entry into the fabled Stonemasters.Scramble up to a ledge with a pine tree directly below Log Ledge, a sloping shelf with a dead log, and locate the start which lies just right of the pine tree.P1) Climb past three bolts (5.11a) to the right side of Log Ledge and a 2 bolt belay. P2) Traverse straight right, clip a bolt a...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
My first time on the climb, gnarly. Photo by Tony...
Photo of Suicide from Devil's Slide trail.
Going old school..."most importantly, bring your o...
View of Tahquitz from roughly above the South Face...
The gorgeous slabs of Suicide Rock.
BETA PHOTO: The roadside sign across from the water tanks mark...
BETA PHOTO: Suicide Rock
Log on the approach trail that you must duck under...
BETA PHOTO: The climber's trail to Suicide Rock starts almost ...
Shot from Fingertrip. I noticed the climbers above...
photo by: Paul Torella
from Devil's slide trail.
|By Adam Stackhouse|
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|
From: La Crescenta and 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|
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: Temecula, 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
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.