Stories, fables, and photos from Tahquitz Rock

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TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 3, 2014 - 06:01pm PT
Yeah,

Never quite got how the first 5.9 shares the hardest move with the first 5.8 (Booksellers Route, AKA Mechanics)

I guess the "Joshua Tree Rule" (First 15' don't count) predates any Joshua Tree activity.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 3, 2014 - 07:20pm PT
TGT, that is an interesting point.

It appears that the YDS is more complicated than first assumed.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 3, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
Tobin showed me the Friction Route descent tree swing, but decades later I found out from Woody that it was done regularly in the early 60's and probably dates to the 40's.


Never noticed that rope in the background before. Wasn't ours?

Woody leading out off of Lunch Ledge.(looking for the most difficult way of course)

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 8, 2014 - 07:10pm PT
The Friction Route has several tricks and short cuts.

The tree move was classic.
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Aug 8, 2014 - 08:56pm PT
Hammock bivy winter ascent

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Aug 8, 2014 - 11:20pm PT

I first climbed at Tahquitz in the fall of 1965. I was 14 years old and a proud member of Post 4 Mountaineering a scout group from LaCrescenta/Montrose area. Our scout leaders were Sierra Club’s Rock Climbing Section members, some were involved with the Montrose Search and Rescue Team. There was only one of them there that day and unbeknownst to us his young bride had told him, "there will be no more climbing for you!" They had two toddlers and true to his order he became involved only in our evacuation from the face and the descent. It was to be his last outting with Post 4.

Like so many search and rescue groups of that era we spent a fair amount of those first few years having mishaps and often rescuing ourselves. This first multi-pitch route was no exception and like most epics was a result of compounding circumstances the first of which was weather, it had just snowed. Given the cold conditions and our youthfulness we got a late start up to Lunch Rock.

Our objective was the Trough, a hideous deep gash and obvious weakness up the fortress; there were maybe 6 or 8 of us with two or three ropes, all 120 foot gold lines. The lengths of rope were further reduced by tying in with a bowlin on a coil effectively yielding 100 foot pitches. The lower reaches of the Trough were filled with snow so we climbed out lookers left and came back into the route higher up, indeed "From Bad to Worse". Of course all this resulted in considerable delay as one would expect compounded with repeated failed rope tosses to the line up of frozen scouts on ledges with each pitch.

To make, as they say a long story short the last of the scouts arrived at Pine Tree Ledge at sundown. I fortunately was in the forward party and found myself heading down the Friction Route as the last of the sun dropped below the horizon. The one headlamp in our group was carbide (you can't make this sh*t up) which nearly resulting in a forest fire on the warmer and dryer south side, the rest of us held flashlights if we had them at all in our teeth.

We of course had all read about poor Joe Fitchen who becames lost on an early retreat thus "discovering a new route" in his epic body trundling descent years before. This naturally added to the horror of my young friends behind us who had the unfortunate fate of descending the slabs blind in pitch darkness resulting in years of nighmares and/or abandoning climbing all together.

Stumbling cold, exhausted into Humber Park a beautiful "older" women appeared before me from the warmth of her interior lite up VW van. Illuminated like a goddesss in the darkness of the trail head she quickly assessed our deprived state and gathered our small party into the van amongst her puffy down bags. She made us hot chocolate while we told the epic tale of our winter ascent of the Trough!!!

Her soft smile and gentle affect reduced us all into sleepy puppies until her husband (boy friend?) arrived. He quickly fired off questions as to where the rest of us were and talked back and forth to his partner trying to piece together our situation. They had just come off of the Vampire and we sat there in absolute stunned awe having watched them that day from the depths of the Trough. The man was Charlie Raymond and I knew right then and there my journey in the mountains had just begun.

I can't wait to return to Tahquitz which I hope will be this fall with my oldest son and his wife. I haven't climbed there since the mid 80's. Unbelievable it's been nearly 50 years since Post 4 Mountaineering had it first epic (and not its last) on good old Tahquitz. These places we love are haunted.


Berg Heil,

Charlie D.


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 16, 2014 - 08:26pm PT
Hacking some sack at Humber Park!
StahlBro in the hat. To his left Raker's head, to his right Watusi's six pack, Dr. F ... a.k.a. "Guns" in white shorts, Dave Stahl, DE, Kelly Carignan behind Dave. Circa 1984/5.


*Thanks Rob ... Couldn't remember who we came up with last time I posted this photo.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Aug 16, 2014 - 08:31pm PT
Bob Roback to the left of Raker and the mystery man behind him
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 16, 2014 - 08:37pm PT
Doug Munoz, first pitch of Green Arch, 1983

... And Munoz a.k.a. "Mooney" On The Flakes, same year, probably same weekend:
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Aug 16, 2014 - 08:37pm PT
only one more to ID Roy. Still searching the memory banks

Jamesthomsen

Social climber
Mammoth Lakes, California
Aug 18, 2014 - 02:03pm PT
The Trough was my first real winter climb. In 1969 we hiked to the base, my experience being mostly from classic mountaineering books. I must have slept on my arms because I woke up with both hands and arms a sleep and was absolutely sure I had frostbite and would lose my hands.
The climb went ok, but looking back it is amazing we lived through the stupid things we did. 120 feet of gold line and a nice axe from Don's West Ridge.
What a great area to learn to climb.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Aug 18, 2014 - 07:13pm PT
Charlie D. This one is for you..
The Raymonds in 2011 visiting Idyllwild.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Aug 18, 2014 - 07:29pm PT
I have a few old pictures from climbing on Tahquitz in winter. Some go back as far as 1986 and most of them are not of the greatest quality. But ice climbing on Tahquitz can be your most unusual California climbing experience, so here they are:





This is a 1980 photo Of 19 year old Miguel Carmona climbing the Green Arch before his incredible fall off the upper traverse. After he pulled several pieces and fell about 40 feet he went up there and climbed the crux.


Those Tahquitz Dinner Climbs were great fun. Here are Tom Brogan, Pat Oriis, MIchael Reardon and me in 2006. Photo: Penelope May-Smrz


You must know some of these folks.









Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Aug 18, 2014 - 08:17pm PT
Ha! Pure gold thanks Alois.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Aug 19, 2014 - 05:57am PT
Couple more scenics


Johnny K.

climber
Sep 4, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
.....up
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 28, 2018 - 03:58pm PT
Rainy day bump
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 28, 2018 - 05:02pm PT
BITD—if one regularly climbed in Idyllwild three days per week—there was a compelling need to take a break…

Back then, Pete Stears, a.k.a., Indian Pete, was into his barefoot phase—anyone else remember that? Dresden was all the rage in the climbing press.

At any rate, we decided to go for a hike up Devil's Slide and over to Strawberry Cienega. It may have been that we included San Jacinto Peak, too, but I honestly don't remember… I do remember it being a long-ass hike.

Pete, against all reason, thought it'd be a fine idea to do the hike, barefoot. Not even a pair of TSs in the daypack. Whew.

We did a complete loop that day and descended via Suicide Rock. By that time, Pete had confronted the error of his ways.

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Nov 28, 2018 - 06:00pm PT
Ha Robs! I do indeed remember Pete’s barefoot phase....I ran into him bare foot at Lunch Rock long after our high school days, he was by then in a different league altogether. I do miss those days laughing in he sun. Hope to return to Tahquitz this spring, what a magical place of our youth.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 29, 2018 - 10:59am PT

Here's one for Alois from that 2011 get together in Idyllwild
Messages 41 - 60 of total 60 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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