John Reinig leading the 3rd & 4th pitch in one mon...
This route follows the first crack system to the right of the North Buttress, angling left after four or five pitches to the broken ledge system with two large trees on the North Buttress. From there, you can finish via either the North Buttress route or the Uneventful. A 150’ long 4th class pitch leads to a nice belay spot on a ledge. The second pitch is the crux, and the best pitch on the climb. It is well-protected, and involves underclinging right around a horn and then going over an overhang and up to a belay ledge. From the left end of this ledge, two pitches up a wide crack system (5.3 and 5.5) lead to the easy traverse that takes you left to the North Buttress/Uneventful routes.
I just did this route on 02-July-2006. We got caught in an afternoon thunderstorm that left us soaked to the bone, and all of the cracks were little rivers. I had never climbed wet stone before with wet hands and soaking wet shoes. It was pretty spooky. We were looking for the absolute fastest way out of there, and we got a little confused by the Vogel and Gaines "Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks" book, which I had with me. I was at the top of pitch 5, looking for a speedy exit. I pulled out the book, looked at the topo on page 53, and it shows a 5.0 pitch up and behind the L-shaped pine tree. It was NOT 5.0 ! especially with everything. Finally, after a couple of false starts (I went up 10 ft right, then up 50 ft left, and passed 2 sets of rap slings in 2 different areas ... indicates people bailed from were I was GOING). I got up to a right corner roof, all wet, still raining, and bailed, by CAREFULLY downclimbing back to the belay ledge at the pine trees. Pulling the book out AGAIN (it's still wet as I type this), I decided we HAD to go, and we had to go up above the L-shaped pine tree. About 45 feet up, the crack squeezes so you must exit it, fortunately there's some nice hands and feet when you get out (if you're DRY !), and below the obvious roof, there's a piton, good shape, and a happy clip if you ask me. Getting over the roof involves some sure footedness, grab the ridge horn on the right, and shimmy up to get your foot on that horn. Once done, you're as good as out. Whew ! To get to the belay spot, put a long sling around the corner to eliminate drag. Your partner will nt be able to hear you, so make sure your non-verbal communication is set straight. From there, P7 is more like a 5.2-5.3 (not 5.0 like the book). Also, we combined P4 and P5, and with a 60m rope, we were about 8 feet short, so we did an 8-ft simul climb.
Tim, sounds like you had a Tahquitz epic. For so-cal, such multi pitch commitments are rare, hence, the experience you had will certainly prepare you for other long climb specials in your future. Glad you made it out ok, and with a smile on my face, glad it wasn't me...Climb on!
Began climbing this route last Saturday. Set up a belay about 40-50 feet above the first big ledge and ran straight up the crack. About 100 ft above the belay, I got into a body-swallowing crack that narrowed as it went up. There was a nice juggy crack on the left side of the body swallower, but I couldn't figure out how to get out of the crack. I tried to go right, but it was slab without much to smear. I tried to go left, grabbing a downward-facing horn and trying to move out onto the face. Took an ankle-toasting fall there onto a red flex-cam jammed into a little crack at the top of the body-swallower. None of those moves seemed anywhere near 5.6-- more like 5.8-5.9 (I'm competent 5.10d on top-rope, so I don't think I'm too far off base, here). Only thing I can think was that I was clearly off route. Can anyone tell me where I might have gone wrong? After my partner took a whipper just above that spot, we backed off (thanks to Bob and Jillian from Vegas for the use of their rope and anchor to get us down on a longer rappel than we otherwise might have been able to do).
By C Miller Administrator Aug 9, 2013 rating: 5.64c14V12S 4b
This is a decent climb and despite the name plus other comments, pretty straight forward.
At the "body swallower" crack the climber needs to go left. I saw the gear left behind at the top of that crack. After getting to the large ledge with the crooked tree the topos say to do a 5.7 traverse to the larger right facing corner. Don't do it! As the ledge peters out head up the crack system it puts you into and pick your adventure to the top.