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Tahquitz isn't for beginners
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By mountainlion
Apr 30, 2012

Please spread the word that Tahquitz isnt for inexperienced climbers.
Recently I have noticed a lot of people bringing inexperienced climbers here. They are easy to spot because of the dropped gear/falling rocks and the fact that it takes an hour to do a 5.6 pitch. In addition just because you have taken a Single Pitch Instructor course it doesnt mean you are a "guide" and should pack
the crag with gumby climbers. There are climbing areas for you to
take these people until they gain the necessary experience. Michael Reardon told me when I began climbing at Tahquitz not to bring people
there who dont CRUSH 5.7 on lead at the minimum. I think he is right.


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By toddgordon
From Joshua Tree, California
Apr 30, 2012

I agree somewhat with mountainlion..........it's a big mountain for sure. I started climbing on Tahquitz in 1976 when I was an inexperienced climber....but I climbed there almost every weekend, and soon became experienced.......surviving those early climbing experiences is dicey, but the reward in safety and enjoyment of climbing from experience is priceless.
Climb safe, wear a helmet , check you tie-in, climb within your limits, and take some lessons or have an experienced/patient mentor......Tahquitz is a big mountain.....


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By agd
Apr 30, 2012
alaska

mountainlion wrote:
Please spread the word that Tahquitz isnt for inexperienced climbers. Recently I have noticed a lot of people bringing inexperienced climbers here. They are easy to spot because of the dropped gear/falling rocks and the fact that it takes an hour to do a 5.6 pitch. In addition just because you have taken a Single Pitch Instructor course it doesnt mean you are a "guide" and should pack the crag with gumby climbers. There are climbing areas for you to take these people until they gain the necessary experience. Michael Reardon told me when I began climbing at Tahquitz not to bring people there who dont CRUSH 5.7 on lead at the minimum. I think he is right.


Even though there over 20 routes well under 5.7? Do you expect people to stick single pitch climbing until they can "CRUSH 5.7"? If someone is climbing at their 5.5 onsight limit, why should you have any say where they climb? Dropped gear and falling rocks have nothing to do with how hard you climb.


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By B-Real
From Southern California
Apr 30, 2012

I thought it was surfers who were protective of their territory.


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By Jeff Chrisler
From Boulder, CO
Apr 30, 2012

I have no idea where Tahquitz is, but I can tell you that most people I know can climb 5.7 comfortably and would hardly call them experienced climbers. Most fit people can follow 5.7 easily on their first outing. I would, in fact, never use the words crush and 5.7 together in a sentence as you have.

You sir, sounds like you are not following rule numero uno.


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By Muff
Apr 30, 2012
.

My favorite all time experience at Tahquitz was watching two elderly fellows on the first pitch of Jensen's Jaunt using walkie-talkies. The incident went something like this:

Leader:"I don't have this man. I am going to build and anchor and lower off."
The belayer kept radio'ing back: "What? Can you please repeat?"

Meanwhile I am standing on the trail and can hear both of them clear as day. Apparently, I could hear both of them better than they could hear each other. Attempting a straight face, I walk up to the belayer and tell him that his leader is building an anchor and lowering off.

I solo up to the "anchor" which comprised of a slung bush and a cam. I downclimbed their gear to them and proceeded about my day.

It was hard to imagine that this was the highlight of my day as I had an amazing day climbing but I can't help but laugh and smile every time I think back to it. I'm laughing right now...

Climb safe peeps!

Muff


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 30, 2012
El Chorro

alexdavis wrote:
Even though there over 20 routes well under 5.7? Do you expect people to stick single pitch climbing until they can "CRUSH 5.7"? If someone is climbing at their 5.5 onsight limit, why should you have any say where they climb? Dropped gear and falling rocks have nothing to do with how hard you climb.


Yes, but dropped gear and (sometimes) falling rocks DO have a lot to do with how experienced you are. Not to say that experienced climbers don't fumble gear or unknowingly shower parties below with debris, but they are usually more careful about it than beginners. Experienced climbers usually climb a bit harder than 5.5 as well. While I agree that the grade a person can onsight (or chooses to climb) shouldn't matter, it is definitely one of many indicators of how experienced they are.


Jeff Chrisler wrote:
I have no idea where Tahquitz is, but I can tell you that most people I know can climb 5.7 comfortably and would hardly call them experienced climbers. Most fit people can follow 5.7 easily on their first outing.


Really? I've seen plenty of "5.10 climbers" from out your way come to NC and shit their pants on 5.7. I know you have areas with grades that are similar to where I climb, and from what I've heard, Taquitz is no different. 5.7 is real climbing if it's graded right. 5.7 sport climbs that were bolted in 2001 are a different story.

Whatever you meant by your comment, it came off as sort of elitist and a bit uninformed.


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By rich magner
From cathedral city, ca
Apr 30, 2012

Amen.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Apr 30, 2012

Get real. Tahquitz is a great area for ridiculously easy multipitch and as such will draw many relative beginners.

Simple solution? If you're "experienced", then get off the 5.n00b routes and climb something harder. I doubt you'll be dealing with many n00bclusters on the Vampire.

What's next, telling the 8 year olds to stay off the little league fields?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Apr 30, 2012

Jeff Chrisler wrote:
I have no idea where Tahquitz is.



????!!! Please tell me you're joking? YDS? Royal Robbins? First 5.9?


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By randy88fj62
Apr 30, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

mountainlion wrote:
Please spread the word that Tahquitz isnt for inexperienced climbers. Recently I have noticed a lot of people bringing inexperienced climbers here. They are easy to spot because of the dropped gear/falling rocks and the fact that it takes an hour to do a 5.6 pitch. In addition just because you have taken a Single Pitch Instructor course it doesnt mean you are a "guide" and should pack the crag with gumby climbers. There are climbing areas for you to take these people until they gain the necessary experience. Michael Reardon told me when I began climbing at Tahquitz not to bring people there who dont CRUSH 5.7 on lead at the minimum. I think he is right.


Inexperienced people don't hang out on this forum educating themselves about the sport of trad climbing. This post isn't going to help anyone. Leave the easy routes to the newbies (like Angel's Fright) and go do Open Book. As long as they are safe I don't see the problem. If they are slow, pass them. How are newbies supposed to cut their teeth on stiff granite routes unless they struggle through easy climbs at Taquitz?

My first two "hard" climbs were graak and nutcracker. Those were scary in the past but ended up making me a better climber.

I lead all 5 pitches of Angel's Fright this past Saturday. Because it took me 45 min per pitch am I a newbie? I suppose since I carry a few hexes I am a newbie too?


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 30, 2012
Dow Williams, 2011

Will S wrote:
Get real. Tahquitz is a great area for ridiculously easy multipitch and as such will draw many relative beginners. Simple solution? If you're "experienced", then get off the 5.n00b routes and climb something harder. I doubt you'll be dealing with many n00bclusters on the Vampire. What's next, telling the 8 year olds to stay off the little league fields?


well stated Will


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By Chris D
From the couch
Apr 30, 2012
Sign near the Third Flatiron

I thought this was going to be a thread about new leaders getting lost on the wandering 5.easies at Tahquitz and was prepared to make a counterpoint.

I don't even know what to say about the OP's actual argument.

Edit: I have to admit, for the first and only contribution of a brand new member, this is a pretty awesome post. Managed to namedrop Reardon and start and "mine's bigger than yours" flame war. Nice.


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By Aaron O
From Seattle, WA
Apr 30, 2012
Angel's Crest

I would have to disagree with you. I think Tahquitz is definitely a place that has some dangerous multipitch climbs that require experience to get up safely. That being said, what about the White Maiden's walkway, or the Trough? I have take some of my friends up to do these climbs who have almost no climbing experience at all and it was totally chill. Sure, you probably shouldn't be leading a lot of the routes if you are an unexperienced trad leader, however, if you are following, Tahquitz is one of the better places I've been to get your multi-pitch-trad on.


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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Apr 30, 2012
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.

Jeff Chrisler wrote:
Most fit people can follow 5.7 easily on their first outing.


Clearly, you've never been to the Gunks.


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 30, 2012
Russ

Michael Reardon told me when I began climbing at Tahquitz not to bring people
there who dont CRUSH 5.7 on lead at the minimum. I think he is right


hahaha... Got to be true then....


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By Josh Kornish
Apr 30, 2012
The Roach

Will S wrote:
Get real. Tahquitz is a great area for ridiculously easy multipitch and as such will draw many relative beginners. Simple solution? If you're "experienced", then get off the 5.n00b routes and climb something harder. I doubt you'll be dealing with many n00bclusters on the Vampire. What's next, telling the 8 year olds to stay off the little league fields?


+1 climb harder and stop bitchin'


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By Adam Fernandez
From Matawan NJ
Apr 30, 2012
Pinnacle Gully in the background

cjdrover wrote:
Clearly, you've never been to the Gunks.


Amen


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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 30, 2012

God people who climb the gunks LOVE to spray how sandbagged their routes are. You are all such bad asses and the climbing world bows down to you!

I hope I am some day hardcore enough to climb a gunks 5.6 which is really like a modern day 5.13 sport climb, right? Sigh.... Anyone else sick of hearing gunks climbers constantly spray about how tough their climbs are? Guess its one way to make yourself feel good about climbing 5.7.....


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By Pepe
From Raleigh, North Carolina
Apr 30, 2012

DexterRutecki wrote:
Sigh.... Anyone else sick of hearing gunks climbers constantly spray about how tough their climbs are? Guess its one way to make yourself feel good about climbing 5.7.....

Keep fishing. That worm almost looks juicy enough to bite.


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By Gilles
From Arcata,CA
Apr 30, 2012
Suicide Rock

Before this turns into a West Coast vs. East Coast forum, could I get a clarification on the meaning of "inexperienced". I'm curious because, I started trad climbing about a year ago, and since then I have done several Joshua Tree 5.4 - 5.6 routes, a 5.6 in Smith Rock, a 5.7 in southern Oregon, and then the two pitch climb at Suicide mentioned above. This summer I plan on heading back down to Tahquitz and getting on Left Ski Track (3 pitch 5.6). Am I too "inexperienced" for this climb/area?

P.S.
My anchoring skills are good...so I'm told

www.mountainproject.com/v/please-critique/107523621


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By Chris D
From the couch
Apr 30, 2012
Sign near the Third Flatiron

DexterRutecki wrote:
God people who climb the gunks LOVE to spray how sandbagged their routes are.


Clearly you missed the earlier comment about how soft ratings in Colorado are compared to North Carolina crags.

I guess you don't hear much about sandbagging at Tahquitz since it's hard to sandbag at the crag where the rating system standards originated.

Gilles wrote:
This summer I plan on heading back down to Tahquitz and getting on Left Ski Track (3 pitch 5.6). Am I too "inexperienced" for this climb/area? P.S. My anchoring skills are good...


You'll fire the ski tracks. Route finding is simple, climbing is easy, and as for anchor skills, you can pretty much leave them at home. P1 ends in a pair of chains, P2 a big ledge with lots of gear options, P3 you belay from a tree.


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By Aaron O
From Seattle, WA
Apr 30, 2012
Angel's Crest

Gilles wrote:
Before this turns into a West Coast vs. East Coast forum, could I get a clarification on the meaning of "inexperienced". I'm curious because, I started trad climbing about a year ago, and since then I have done several Joshua Tree 5.4 - 5.6 routes, a 5.6 in Smith Rock, a 5.7 in southern Oregon, and then the two pitch climb at Suicide mentioned above. This summer I plan on heading back down to Tahquitz and getting on Left Ski Track (3 pitch 5.6). Am I too "inexperienced" for this climb/area? P.S. My anchoring skills are good...so I'm told www.mountainproject.com/v/please-critique/107523621



Hell no! You should do Left Ski track for sure. If that goes well check out Finger Trip 5.7. It is a really fun and classic route at Tahquitz.


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By Gilles
From Arcata,CA
Apr 30, 2012
Suicide Rock

Great thanks guys. Good motivation. I guess I'll wait till I can "crush" Valhalla or the Vampire until I take a trip to the gunks


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By alleyehave
From San Diego, CA
May 1, 2012
Start of Pitch 3

This thread is pure gold, and for so many reasons.


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By Maureen Aldridge
May 1, 2012

I always assumed I was too much of a newbie to contribute anything of value to these cool forums, but this thread motivated me to post... I thought, 'hey, there talking about newbies... maybe a newbie should weigh-in?' After my girlfriend spent two months leading in Yosemite, she convinced me we were competent enough to tackle some of Tahquitz's classics, swing-leading Open Book, Whoodonit, and the Wong Long. Were we slow? Probably. Did we let other fast parties pass or climb before us? Of course! If some amazing team of buff testosterone charged hulks begged to avoid a spectacular perspective of our butts for the next 4-8 hours, we obliged. Did we ever drop gear? Uuhhh.... not yet! But I don't want to jinx us.

Was the initial forum poster in Tahquitz over this last weekend? If so, I believe I may have a little insight to his frustration. There were more relative 'newbies' waiting in line at 5.8 and under routes then possibly ever before in Tahquitz history! At least 3x parties I knew from Mesa Rim. Most I thought of as 'sport leaders,' boasting of 12a+ or harder from what I'd seen at the gym. Maybe they are closeted trad climbers? Who am I to judge? But, as one poster keenly pointed out, there wasn't a single party in line for Open Book, 5.9. So for those ready for a 5.6 R rated traverse (which friends who climbed the route on Sat. mentioned was wet and slippery, yikes!), more power to you! For the rest of us, on a perfect, balmy Saturday, if all your hearts desire is to lead your fav., semi-easy but still Tahquitz-serious 5.7-5.8, you either have to be creative or wait in line. In the end, we decided to go find another route, and avoid dealing with disneyline joy.


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