Tahquitz Rockfall


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Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 30, 2017 - 06:32pm PT
So what was with the big rockfall at the NEB Tahquitz today? Cause? I hope everyone was OK!

We saw it come down from Suicide Rock and it looked big...

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 30, 2017 - 06:37pm PT
Feels like with all the extra water this year we have not seen the last of the big rock falls.

Hope all are ok.

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Apr 30, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
Heard and saw the rock fall as well....lots of helicopter action and heard some ambulances as well. We are still waiting to hear anything.

Social climber
Apr 30, 2017 - 08:17pm PT
North East buttress? Along the North gully, or over towards El Whampo? And here I was worried about the Northwest recess.

Apr 30, 2017 - 08:19pm PT
Happened below us, either Long Climb or Constellation.

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2017 - 08:41pm PT
Clarifying with my partners who were at different vantage points, we think it fell more like in the NW Recess.

Social climber
Apr 30, 2017 - 09:25pm PT
Whodunit is a pretty obvious reference line if that helps any. Either way, thanks for the clarification you guys. Hope everyone in the vicinity came away in one piece.

Apr 30, 2017 - 09:37pm PT
There were a lot of people still on the sloping ledge above pitch 2 of Constellation/Long Climb over an hour after. Emergency service people in the parking lot said they were re-rigging the helicopter to try to do a hoist. The parties on whodunit all seemed fine.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Apr 30, 2017 - 10:10pm PT
While there are a lot of great easy climbs over there, I have a rule that I don't climb to the left of Whodunnit and recommend the same to my friends. When people ask why, I say, "I choose life." Rockfall is way to dangerous over there.


Social climber
Apr 30, 2017 - 11:26pm PT
Yikes. Scrambled around some random sh!t on the north buttress on saturday. Hope everyone made it out OK.

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 1, 2017 - 06:35am PT
My rule is never climb at Tahquitz until June. Hope everyone is OK.

Alta Loma, CA
May 1, 2017 - 09:02am PT
Scary stuff.

That is my favorite area to climb at on Tahquitz.

Bump for some more information...

Trad climber
Westminster, CA
May 1, 2017 - 10:21am PT
What times was this at? My buddy and I got down to the parking lot around 3pm and did not notice any sort of Search and Rescue action. It was a gorgeous day (a tad bit breezy) to be up there.


May 1, 2017 - 10:37am PT
My guess would be around 3:30 or 4.

Mountain climber
Apple Valley, CA
May 1, 2017 - 11:43am PT
I was there yesterday climbing. Our friend was next to the belayer of the injured climber when it happened and rapped down with him after his partner was airlifted out. She says he was trying to build an anchor at pitch 3 of Consolation when the rock he was feeling around broke off. Car-sized. They think he broke his collar bone and has a concussion (as of yesterday). There were 4 parties on that section of the wall. Two parties on Whodunnit finished the climb after the fall, while our friend and her partner rapped down with the belayer of the injured climber.

Trad climber
May 1, 2017 - 12:00pm PT
I was on whodunit immediately adjacent to the rock fall incident. A climber was searching around at the top of the third pitch of consolation for anchor placements when a golf cart/ mini cooper sized block gave way. The climber and a dozen or so rocks of various size fell. No parties were climbing below on consolation; they surely would have been wiped off the face due to the sheer size of rock fall. A party below us on whodunit at the first belay was spared by maybe 15 feet. I witnessed the fallen climber tumbling down amongst the rocks and caught by his last piece of pro that was about 15 feet below him (~40 foot fall). He hang limp, spinning in free space, and unconscious for a minute or so. His belayer was able to lower the climber about 10 feet back to the second belay anchor ledge where he was secured. Injuries seemed to be concussion, facial bruising/ lacerations, and broken collar bone, upon initial assessment.

Another party above on the long climb fixed their line and rapped down to assist. Due to potential head/ neck trauma, it was advised not to attempt the double rope raps needed to get to ground with the injured climber and so they waited for rescue. After a few hours and a few helicopter passes later, a hoist was performed to extract the climber.

Anyone heading up consolation in the near future be aware that the stability of the rock in that area is unknown and the route may have been somewhat altered.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
May 1, 2017 - 12:15pm PT
WOW, that's a big chunk.
Glad the accident wasn't worse,
heal up dude and respect to the first responders.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
May 1, 2017 - 12:51pm PT
Best wishes to the injured climber. Glad to hear that no one was very seriously injured (or worse), particularly given the size of the block. Props to the party who assisted.

Social climber
joshua tree
May 1, 2017 - 01:05pm PT

So glad the belayer wasn't hit🙏

Sport climber
May 1, 2017 - 01:59pm PT
I was on The Long Climb, at the top of pitch 3 or so when the rockfall happened. I fixed my line and went down to assist. The guy seemed in decent condition when they performed the hoist.

A harsh wakeup call to practice those rescue techniques and make sure you have all relevant rescue gear!

I second everything that csjamieson said, especially regarding loose rocks on all climbs between The Long Climb and Whodunit.
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