Seldom Climbed Idyllwild Classics


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Mar 24, 2006 - 01:22am PT
Did the Chin Strap with The Troll and the late Kenny Black (AKA Psycho Kenny) in 1983. We, and everyone else , had been eye-balling the Chin Strap for quite some time..... you can see the thing perfectly from lunch rock and all over the West Face. It looks WAY harder and scarier than it really is....all wide, slanting, a slick looking. I think it had an ancient bail sling hanging from a bolt on the O W section....flapping and all sun-bleached like a pirates flag on a pirate's ship....daring climbers to try their luck. Once we decided to hop on the thing, it actually turned out to be sort of a paper tiger....a bit of grinding/grunting, but definately no horror story. We were curious about ALL climbs on Tahquitz, and wanted to eventually do all the climbs that we could.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 24, 2006 - 01:27am PT

No gear needed on Spoodge these days. There's a bolt and a pin.

JL and KS:

If the FFA of Ironcross was pinless, and there's gear to be had, I'm game.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Climbed The Flakes this morning. Fell on the first pitch right before the roof when I leaned too far over to look at the placement and just freakin fell botched move or sequence, no pumped out.

Took many, many attempts to pull the crux on p3, which my partner followed with different beta and made it actually look 5.11 (and he wasn't tall enough just to reach for it either).

As for me, I did a ridiculously hard boulder problem, off possibly the smallest foothold I've ever attempted to use for anything in 20 years of climbing, with an off balance dyno to get through it, and thought is was significantly harder than all the V6s I did in the Valley last weekend...but in the end I was able to climb it that way. Might actually write up a TR on this one...great route.

Sep 8, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
Grace Slick, at only 10.b I don't think it gets many sends. What is your opinion of this old school classic?.

Largo, chime in?

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 02:54am PT
My friend Mark Wagner and I climbed the Reach on Taquitz. Had heard Eric Erickson had put it up. The bolts were home made aluminum angle iron with steel button heads. They were so bad that Wagner told me not to fall seconding the thing. I later saw and met Eric at Mickey's Beach and mentioned the climb. He looked at me sideways and couldn't believe anyone had done it.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 9, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
You want obscure? How 'bout "Cause for Alarm," "Bitchen Litchen," or the "Chronic Dislocator?"

OK, I might be biased.

Social climber
So Cal
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
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.

The bolt is there because the crack it's next to is really a big perched block that is slowly loosening.

You shouldn't place gear there lest the routes alternate name "Farewell to Arms" proves itself apropos once more.

Speaking of obscurities in the sub nosebleed ratings category, has anyone done The Rack? (just right and part way up the Trough)

That's one of only a handful of 10a's I never ticked.

Couldn't ever find the first bolt.

Did do Grace Slick with "Andy the Pakistani"

I got off route on the first pitch following a berm that goes left and got to where I couldn't clip the last bolt and ended up making a big dyno for the wad of old slings on the anchors after what seemed like hours of contemplating my fate if I missed.

There was a father and son team below that must have figured it looked like fun and started up the route after us. Andy led the second pitch and about half way up as my nerves began to recover I noticed that pa and scion were no longer below. The reply from Andy complete with the Pak sing song intonation was,

"I think he fell off."

The kid took a 50-60 ft winger.


Never follow sucker chalk!

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
I never thought the Flakes was all that obscure. I've done probably three times, though admittedly most of the time because there was someone on the Vampire. That third pitch feels impossible until you figure it out, then it's pretty solid.

I've done Godzilla's, which I thought was great, though I can't say I've ever seen anyone on it, ever. The last time I did it, a hold on the first pitch seemed to have crumbled some, leaving it feeling harder. I didn't do the direct .10d on the second pitch though but chose the runout 5.9 on the left.

I remember Grace Slick being good. Last time I did it was probably 20 yrs. ago though. I'm surprise to hear it doesn't get done often.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
Scanning some old slides and came across this one of the late Paul Gleason, which is labeled "Flakes-Pitch one" 1972. Our goal was to be the first to free climb the route and we had some limited success. We also wanted to make the climb longer so we started in a right facing dihedral on a 150' buttress between the "Trough" and "White Maiden".

As I recall the route turned 3-4 small roofs, one of which could be tunneled under (visible above Paul?). Maybe 5.8 but it's been a while since we did it. Can anyone confirm this, or has anyone done this variation? I think it took us to "From Bad Traverse" and where the 5.11 crack begins (Wilts says 5.10 in my old guide).
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Has the Innominate been mentioned? I could not find it mentioned here. Seems like it was a tester BITD. Wasn't it rated 5.9 back then? It was probably my first real pump on a lead. I remember sitting at the top having to wait till my forearms calmed down to bring my partner up. That was probably about 1968 or 69 ( I would have been 17 in 69 ) and was a game changer for me as far as commitment went. I hadn't followed it before leading it.

Gold Canyon, AZ
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
What about Magical Mystery Tour? Does that thing see much activity these days?

Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
McHale - RE: Inominate...Another puzzler for me has been this photo by Larry Reynolds of the Inominate which appeared in the early guides. According to Harrell, I think Phil Gleason and I got about the 3rd or 4th ascent in 1967-68. Before we started up the route, we talked briefly to Reynolds on the trail, and I recall him later saying he got some good photos of us. Sure looks like us that day. I could be wrong. Anyone know?

Later, while having dinner at the "Black Forest"-I think it was called-It was either Kamps or Powell who mentioned they thought it should be rated 5.7! Ha! I have an original print which I found at a yard sale in Venice in the '80s.
Johnny K.

Nov 15, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Direct original finish to the vampire?

It seems the climbs like iron cross,etude,green arch etc.All those climbs which were once originally protected with pins are protected safely with tiny cams of today.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Keith, That's probably not my team. Isn't there a lower belay position? I guess that just looks like a belayer in the middle of the photo? I don't remember the climb being technically difficult, but it's probably best to not rate it 5.7! It was more or less a double-overhanging corner as it was described. That photo doesn't really show that aspect of it. If I recall, it was overhanging lower down and the upper section straightened out.

Here's a shot Larry Reynolds got of me following Traitor Horn in those same years.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Kieth, that picture looks a lot like Super Pooper, well above From Bad Traverse, just left of the Flakes.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Kris, Yeah, the dihedral looks like this pitch on 'Super Pooper'. But...
Here's Paul again on the pitch above the 5.11 crack/roof on the same day. Part of 'Stairway to Heaven' too, I believe. Thanks for the input. Helps jog the memory. I think we climbed around the 15 foot tunnel part on the 3rd roof mentioned on the previous page.

Kris, Just found a photo that shows it could either be a lower pitch to 'Super Pooper' as well as 'Flakes'. The pitch goes through the three consecutively larger, evenly spaced roofs in the dihedral-middle of the picture. Thanks.

Dan, I agree that 'Inominate' is 5.9. That would be me on top of the pedestal belaying Phil. I thought getting up to the top of the pedestal from the left side was just as hard as the book above. Nice photo on 'Traitor Horn'. Wonder where Reynolds is these days?

Good pic below, Craig.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Yeah, that first section; the leaning corner thing was deceptive because the hands end up overhanging the feet because the ramp drops in and under? I can't remember what the pro was at the point where the route went straight up. Seems like the crux was getting some pro in there. Seems like it may have been a big nut but Hexentrics weren't even on the market yet - maybe a 2" bong? Seems like there were large angle pitons at the very beginning with a good finger/hand crack.

Somebody here must know the whereabouts of Larry Reynolds.

What's the sanitation situation like up at the rock these days?
craig morris

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
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