Seldom Climbed Idyllwild Classics

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Levy

Big Wall climber
So Calif
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:21am PT
The Pharoah is the curving crack that starts to the left of the "Direct" start(which is much more popular). It is a thin flake/crack that sits right on the rounded buttress seperating the From Bad Traverse start & the afore-mentioned "direct" start. I did it W/ EE a few years ago and was I ever glad that he led it. Thin jams & liebacks with poor feet make up the crux but it's protected by tiny RP's and stoppers. I would say it's kind of a cross between "Tar & Feathers" and "Pirate". Great stuff but I've never seen anybody else on it.

I have a friend Bill Lebens who fell on the 1st pitch of Iron Cross and whipped behind the flake. Like Kris said, down on the ground we all looked at each other, fearing the worst, then a sound emerged and we realized he was alright but shaken up a bit. Ho- Man!

I did Sugar Magnolia with Mike Paul in 1989 or so and we moved left at the 2nd or 3rd bolt and it was much easier(5.11 b). We also climbed a line that had been bolted by the Chongo brothers across the gully from S.M. that had not been free climbed yet. I believe we called it "Steal Your Face" (5.12b)in keeping with the Grateful Dead themed names.

Another route I rarely see traffic on is "Double Exposure", which is a scary route for its grade of 5.10b(after the A1 start). The direct start was led by Terry Ayers at 5.12 but is a pretty serious proposition as you can hit the ground from several places if you fall, Yikes!

Levy

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:33am PT
LooseMonkee:
You are refering, I believe, to the "Bat Crack", which is a 5.10 extension start...
Murf

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:43am PT

I got suckered onto that Double Exposure by a buddy. He couldn't commit to getting onto the arete and bailed on the gear. I commited to getting onto the arete and wished I hadn't.

An obscure link up is the Z Crack to Zeno's Paradox. The Z crack doesn't get a ton of traffic and can be dirty, but is a good pitch. Zeno's Paradox has some fun laybacking, to some face climbing. Have to admit, never did the face ( crux ) of ZP cause the bolts look so shitty. Kris, did you ever replace them?

Murf
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:52am PT
The first time I did Iron Cross (or was it Drainpipe?) was with Mike ands Mari, on one of there first vists to Idlewild in 76'(?).
A classic south Suicide day.

Randy and I did the odd, but classic My Pink Half of the Drainpipe on Tahquitz (mid 5.10). I think that route involved technical liebacking and some thin jamming on the north side of the wall.

Then around the same year, Kevin Powell and I did the very cool Zeno's Paradox on the central part of Tahquitz. That route had a really cool and long wide hang crack way up on the wall. What do you remember Kev?
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:08pm PT
I was doin' Zeno's back in about '84 or so with Warren Egbert, and while I was leading up the layback section I hear someone yell "rooock!!" from up high. Looking up I watched a chunk the size of one of those six pack coolers come sailing down. It must have taken a bounce from a sloping ledge 'cause it was in the clear all the way down to the belay ledge at the top of pitch 1 of the Long Climb, where it impacted like an artillery shell right next to some guy who never saw it coming. He was freaked, just sat there screaming, and sucking for air and screaming some more.

Ho man!

Yeah Murf - it would be nice to know there were new bolts on that thing (but my lazy ass hasn't done anything about it.. let me know if you want to do that this summer..)
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:41pm PT
Largo asks: "Who's adding bolts to 50 year old Tahquitz routes?"

My guess would be Bob Gaines, or another guide. The pin under the overlap on Blanketty Blank was replaced by a bolt too. And there's a bolt on Sahara Terror that wasn't there in the old days, close to a crack, that looks like a convenience anchor.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:56pm PT
Hey John. I hope you're still out there climbing the classics at Tahquitz and Suicide.
bsmith

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:08pm PT
Done the 1st pitch of obscured by clouds a couple times in the last few years. Nice climb. There weren't no chalk.

TR'd the 1st pitch of Frightful Fright numerous times as an end-of-the-day-last-climb. Have been meaning to give that a go on lead.

Done the Flakes 3x in the last 10 yrs. That one does get done. Had some severe problems with rope drag once on the last 5.7 pitch. The direct finish which climbs out of the corner on to the slab to the left is a better finish. The Price of Fear at .10c.

Followed Iron Cross back when the pins were there. I won't touch it until the pins go back in. I'm surprised that they didn't get replaced with bolts a few years ago when the 2 pins at the start of The Blank were replaced with bolts, and the 2 pins at the start of Man Who Fell To Earth were replaced with bolts. Now I'm not suggesting that it be bolted, but I bet some pins were used on the FFA. Anyone out there think the gear placements, as an alternative to the pins, are good? You can't tell from below.

Man Who Fell to Earth is a classic that I've never seen anyone else on, and there weren't no chalk when I did it.

Double Exposure: nice climb but kinda scary leaving the aid bolt to get on the arete. no chalk.

Z-crack/Zeno's: don't remember the bolts being bad, but then again, I didn't lead that pitch. I've wanted to go back up there for the lead, but maybe I'll wait for the bolt replacement.

Some good climbs for the diehard crack addict that also don't get done much, but ought to are: Munge Dihedral, Miscalculation, BCs Ouch Chimney and Wet Dreams.

I'm happy to say I can't tell you of any epic I would have been involved in. You'll probably find a lot of epics for Angel's Fright, Maiden's Walkway, etc. I did have a guy who bailed on Maiden's Walkway ask me the best way to tie into his anchors. Apparently he was having trouble reaching and seeing the tie-in loop on the back of his harness???
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:14pm PT
Greg,
I've had to adjust my goals and expectations a tad down the scale. When Largo said unappreciated classics at T/S, what came to my mind was The Swallow, Illegitimate, The Pearly Gate, and Right Ski Track. Most of the stuff on JL's list I couldn't do even when I was a Woptown Hardman. But I did manage a no-falls lead of Valhalla at 40-something, and a wall in Mexico in '99. I've got a few hard .10s at Mission Gorge ruthlessly wired.

I may have another charge left in me. BVB is inspirational, pullin' down Woodson "hard .11s" for 30 years.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:48pm PT
I think it would be a shame if the first pitch of Iron Cross were to sprout bolts. I've done that thing a fair number of times with and without the fixed pins. Patience and a good selection of small wires make it safe. It certainly is the kind of climb where getting the protection right is a big part of the difficulty. Bolts would reduce the challenge ...
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:11pm PT
Though not in Idlewild (sorry about the thread violation) Agony Arch, near Mt Roubidoux is a steep Yosemite-like crack on an obscure crag in the town of Roubidoux. I believe Jim Wilson and Chris Robins pioneered the mid 11 route in the 70s, which is very reminiscent of Leaning Meanie and Orangatan Arch.
todd-gordon

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:46pm PT
Looking Backward to Zenos is one of the best links on the stone...
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 23, 2006 - 12:09am PT
Done Man Who Fell to Earth several times, a total classic (notwithstanding the chipped handholds).

Looking Backward to Zeno's is a great combo. The bolts on Zeno's are still original 1/4 inch jobs, but so what? While they should be replaced, they aren't even 30 years old. Any fall would be short, and coming near the end of the pitch, the force generated would be small. Pretty unlikely they would fail... jeez, get a life.

The pin(s) on the 1st pitch of Iron Cross have come and gone several times over the years. But as Kris points out, you can get good thin gear a bit below where the pins are (were). No need to place a bolt.

But, in general, I'm not against replacing old fixed pin placements with bolts, provided the pins are/were the only pro available. Its all fixed gear and the pins nearly always work loose after a while. The replacement of the two pins on the first pitch of Blankety Blank hasn't changed the character of the pitch at all (except the 2nd bolt is in a poor location -- should be up and over to prevent rope drag).

Unlike days of yore, The Vampire sees a lot of traffic, and for good reason... probably the best few pitches of climbing in So Cal.

BTW: I find it highly unlikely that many people are doing Stairway to Heaven.
Murf

climber
Mar 23, 2006 - 11:16am PT
Hashbro-- Agony Arch is indeed now surrounded by "The Quarry", Riverside's premier nature conservatory and sport crag. This piccy shows it in part.

Edited to say: According to comments I've read, the bolt line is a .13a variation and is supposed to be 25' away. Obviously, fish-eye lens or not, the last bolt is substantially closer than that.


Kris -- I'm in, we'll set something up.

Sketchy -- I'm a not so well known candy ass, scared easily ( insert some sort of grimacey thing here ).

Haven't done the Looking Backwards pitch, now on my list.


Murf
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 23, 2006 - 11:59am PT
Wow, Agony Arch looks pretty good. Certainly was a bit more awesome without bolts though.

Jim, you sandbagged me into doing the first lead on it after you and Chris had "equipped" it. I apologize to E for "stealing" the FA
of Man Who Fell to Earth.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 23, 2006 - 01:20pm PT
Agony Arch: a surprisingly good little side show.
E had that thing too wired, I was leading it one day and E was calling out every move and placement as I progressed.

Randy: I remember the day you and Grandstaff "put up" Looking Backwards. Grandstaff, at that time, was pretty psyched on all of us coming out to play in the Red Rocks. He said "Yeah, Cali Boyz go Sandstone!". (I think I referenced this way early in the SMasters Thread...)

My only ascent of Zenos was with DE and Lechinski: Mike used mostly big hexes on the fist crack, which we laybacked on the follow and I had the face bit on the next pitch.

Hey what about "Rosetta Stone?". Never got around to it, but that looked to be a stiff side show...
itso

climber
Mar 23, 2006 - 09:19pm PT
bsmith, ditto for Wet Dreams. I love this climb. Never seen anyone on it although the flower is the most traveled route in the area. Best if done in one pich. Another rarely climbed gem at Suicide is Low Pressure.
Frightful Fright is awesome climb. Some of the best moves on granite I've seen!
I tried Agony Arch last Sunday. There were at least 10 swallows in wide section...

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 23, 2006 - 09:26pm PT
itso:
Ya babee,
Wet Dreams.

But fer serious obscurity: The Spooge.
Olden' Days Mandatory #1 Stopper Pro.
Dimes

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 23, 2006 - 10:07pm PT
Want obscure and desperate-Chin Strap Crack-way bad bolts atop a way loose flake with funky liebacking and some off width thrown in to really mess up your mind. Another funk one-Big Daddy-just plain weird and done originally back in the 60's. No need for bolts on 1st pitch of Iron Cross. Goes with gear. Second pitch has had 2 bolts added up in the dihedral. One next to a good cam placement. If you wanna sport climb go elsewhere!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2006 - 12:25am PT
Dimes wrote: "Want obscure and desperate-Chin Strap Crack-way bad bolts atop a way loose flake with funky liebacking and some off width thrown in to really mess up your mind. Another funk one-Big Daddy-just plain weird and done originally back in the 60's. No need for bolts on 1st pitch of Iron Cross. Goes with gear. Second pitch has had 2 bolts added up in the dihedral. One next to a good cam placement. If you wanna sport climb go elsewhere!"

Now what the hell was anyone thinking by installing bolts on a route (Iron Cross) first done in the 60s and freed in '73 (with no pins in the first pitch). The corner's like 5.9. Jesus.

Big Daddy is plain weird alright. First led free by T. Fronst in 1959 and repeated two years later by Kamps and Higgins.

JL
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