Seldom Climbed Idyllwild Classics

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Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 21, 2006 - 02:03pm PT
I'd be interested in hearing stories (epics??) about the following seldom done and all but forgotten routes:

Suicide:

Wild Gazongas
Obscured by Clouds
Drain Pipe
Iron Cross
Sugar Magnolia
Godzilla's Revenge

Tahquitz:

Frightful Fright
The Sham
The Flakes
Stairway to Heaven
Direct start to the Vampire (5.12 crack--The Pharoah??)

And any other route that has been lost in time . . .

JL
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:23pm PT
"Direct start to the Vampire (5.12 crack--can't remember the name)"

Isn't that The Pharoah? I have never seen anyone on that thing. And as far as the upper part of Stairway to Heaven goes, mostly when you see someone up there it's because they missed a turn on Vampire. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire...

Iron Cross is a personal fave of mine. I do recall one time my old bud Charlie was leading the 1st pitch and fell on a pin which pulled. He scared us as he dropped into the slot behind that giant flake/pinnacle. He spoiled a new shirt but was otherwise ok.

You'll still see someone do Obscured by Clouds every once in a while, but how about that Tangled up in Blue just left. That was a one timer for me. Yikes.
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:26pm PT
John...most of those climbs get done all the time...sort of.

Charlie Christ (sp?) The worlds tallest climber, fell on the first pitch of Iron Cross, pulling the manky fixed pins. He went down behind the big flake! The partners just sat there in silence.....after a while they herd...heay! I'am OK - help me outa here.

The Flakes...one of the best, IMHO. If I can get Kris to lead the overhang, I am always down to run the 5.8 flake pitch.

John...with the advent of sport climbing T/S is sort of a back water climbing spot. You get lines at the base of Open Book, Finger trip, Angeles Fright and Whodoneit? Gram Crackers and Surprise but that is about it. Somebody made a comment to me: "with williamson closed I bet Taquitz will be packed this summer"....LMFAO...only if trad climbing comes back into style and looking at most of the sh#t I see at the sport spots, I figure this will never happen.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:41pm PT
I remember pairing a couple nice leads one afternoon with Mari and others: Chisolm Trail and Obscured by Clouds. Neat stuff, did the pair a couple times. Can't remember much about Obscured, except that it had a bit of a rep when first done. Chisolm had an enhanced edge after the crack...
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 21, 2006 - 02:52pm PT
Yeah, the reason I thought those routes never get done is that nobody every goes to T/S anymore. I don't. But I rememvber those climbs I mentioned as being pretty good stuff at the time. I suspect someone will someday "rediscover" how good they are.

I'm surprised no one has ever been seriously injured on that first pitch of Iron Cross. That's a very weird and inobvious lyback on the first pitch and how you don't fall onto that flake is bewildering.

JL
Murf

climber
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:56pm PT
I've done the Flakes a number of times, mostly 'cause it took me 3 times to get the 1st pitch. Funny, but the 3rd pitch never seems too bad.

I've toproped the 1st pitch of Stairway. Funky, tenous, and scary climbing is had on that thing.

If Godzilla's Revenge is that .10+ face to roof thing, I've done that a couple of times. Or maybe not, I've always headed left after the roof, skipping the unprotected groove. Offhand, I'm not sure which is the "official way".

I had a buddy toss on the first pitch of IC. Landed flat on his back on the boulder below ( or so the story goes ), completely unhurt.

Murf
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 03:15pm PT
"Chisolm had an enhanced edge after the crack..."

You mightbe thinking of "Man Who Fell To Earth," right next door..?

LOWERme

Trad climber
Santa Fe N.M.
Mar 21, 2006 - 03:21pm PT
Back in the 80's I watched a guy from a distsnce one day on godzilla's. Every time I looked over, he was still frozen beneath the crux, the only thing moving were his hands, trading in and out of his chalkbag. After a 1/2 an hour of this, I looked up and he was gone..hopefully up!

Did obscured twice, and seem to remember a teetery bolt stance after the crux overlap that felt worse the 2nd time. Fun route!

Only did the 1st pitch of stairway. The thing I remember most was that rusty old spinner below the crux.

fareastclimber

Trad climber
Hong Kong & Wales
Mar 21, 2006 - 04:04pm PT
Just curious, what is the origin of the name Idyllwild? There is a small valley of rock up in North Wales called Idwal and I wondered if maybe there is some relation?
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 05:58pm PT
For obscurities, how about Black Harlot's Layaway. At least I think that's what it's called. I wish it wasn't so reachy - I spent a whole day falling off that thing once. And I wasn't alone...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 06:18pm PT
Ksolem: Man who fell to Earth, correct. So much for my memory.
Chisolm and Man Who Fell.

So, Mikes Books and the Bong is a good pairing as well...
haha.

John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 21, 2006 - 06:23pm PT
A little history from the ether:

"George B. Hannahs and his wife, Sarah came to Strawberry Valley in 1889 and built a sawmill on upper Dutch Flat. In the summer of the next year, 1890, they opened a 'resort' on a forested bench west of Strawberry Creek. The name they chose was Camp Idylwilde. The location of this tent resort was about where the Idyllwild tree monument now stands in the middle of town. Now long afterward, George, never content to be idle, opened a general store in the lower Strawberry valley. March 3rd, 1893, saw the opening of a post office in Idyllwild. It was at the Hannah's store. George was the first postmaster. George and Sarah decided to name the store and the post office Rayneta. Their young son was named Raymond.

"Dr. Walter Lindley, a physician from Los Angeles, and several other doctors announced plans to build a sanatorium here. They built a large, two story building and called it the Idyllwild Sanatorium. It opened in June 1901. Ralph Lowe was manager and Charles Rutledge as bookkeeper and secretary. At some point, probably around the time of the post office change in June of 1901, the name of the Rayneta post office was changed to Idyllwild. The e was dropped from the name of Idyllwild. Some people believe the town was named by Laura Rutledge in 1901 when the name change occurred, but facts show that the Hannahs used the name first in the summer of 1890."

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 08:29pm PT
Thanks for that John.
mtwoodsonguide

Big Wall climber
San Diego
Mar 21, 2006 - 10:13pm PT
Can't speak for Suicide since it's alot hotter so I don't go there as much, Done The Drain Pipe, and Know Iron Cross gets Done.

Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable". The others neally never get done.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:07am PT
Stairway to Heaven gets done a lot?

Like in who's dreams?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2006 - 12:26am PT
Woodsonguide wrote: "Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable"."

Who's adding bolts to 50 year old Tahquitz routes? Do folks have no pride at all? More accessable? Huh? Pretty soon The Edge will be sport bolted for accessability purposes? I mean, hey--why shouldn't anyone be able to enjoy it?

JL
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:29am PT
Here's Doug Munoz.
The Flakes, '82.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:35am PT
1st Pitch of Green Arch.
Munoz, '82
I popped once on the crux corner above,
pulled the rope and lead clean to the top.
I had these early Fires, a size too big,
so I stuffed foam behind my heels.

The bit of edging up high felt weird.
todd-gordon

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:43am PT
Obscure for a reason( But THAT is what makes then appealing....)....Wild Gozongas;....over where all the ants, poisen oak, and bushes are. Obscured by Clouds;...lots don't dig that run out top....( Most do the better protected "new" var.) Drain Pipe;....bolt ladder section is a turn off. Iron Cross; Fixed pin is gone???... still one of the best climbs at Suicide. Sugar Magnolia;....aren't the bolts in wierd spots? Godzilla; climb up that gully for that scary climb? Frightful Fright... that one move is too hard. Sham;.....aid section? Flakes;...that gets done, I believe? Stairway......hard rating, tricky wide lay-back at start, Pharoah.... WAY too hard.................Hell;... these climbs Rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What you talking about, Willis?
Loosemonkee

Trad climber
sthlm, SWE
Mar 22, 2006 - 09:12am PT
Woodsonguide wrote: "Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable"."

I hate to be a lurker but this thread was too interesting for me to pass up. I did the Flakes 3 times and the first time was like 9 years ago, and my memory is slipping, but not that fast; there was a bolt at the crux even then. So has there been more bolts added to it, or have they just replaced the one bolt that was there when I first climbed it? BTW, liked the route but found it wasn't really worth the hype for a 1 move boulder problem to get 11c grading (which can't explain why I did it 3 times. . .), but the part that always scared the bejeezus out of me was the runout upper pitches after the crux.

Second question, Largo said something about the direct start to Vampire was 12-? You mean to tell me that I've been climbing 12's all these years and never knew it? Damn. Unless I'm totally off, I thought the direct start to the Vamp was like 10d or something? Because I climbed that route from the bottom about 5 times, and it still rates as one of my favorite routes ever.
So as not to confuse anyone, I'm talking about the crack that starts after you solo up 50m+ of approach ledges until you come to the last ledge that has the tree and there you rack up. Then you skirt up some slabby thing for 3m or so, pull up on a good size flake and start jamming your way up the crack/right facing diehedral until you meet up with the bottom of the V. which most folk start on top of the big ledge boulder and traverse right into. We are talking about the same spot right? I hate to sound uniformed but I haven't been back to taqhuitz in 5yrs and left all my US guidebooks in the US., so it's a little hard to double check for me, but I think that's what your talking about.
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