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Tahquitz Rock Climbing Notes

Important Note!

East and Far East

EAST CRACK 5.10a

First climbed this one pitch crack in early eighties with Rich Grigsby and have done it several times since. If it's known by another name I'm not aware of it.

East Crack

EAST CRACK is on a small north facing buttress a short way down from the Notches on the east side of the north gully. Two dead pine trees and several small firs are found near the start of the route. You'll know you're in the right place if the trees are near the end of a shelf that runs along the gully. From the end of the shelf/ledge the climber does an exposed step around a corner onto a large foothold on the face and then steps left again into a left diagonaling finger crack. This crack is followed for a pitch to its end.

The extended move into the crack is "tricky-difficult" and somewhat exposed. I protected it with a small wired brass nut. The initial moves up the crack are an interesting combination of finger jams, liebacks, and toe smears and jams. Lichen on the rock adds a special "flavor" to the moves. Above, challenging sections alternate with easier climbing.

About 3/4 of the way through the pitch the crack thins into a small arch/flake. I usually climb this section using small wires for pro. Phil Warrender bypassed this section by stepping left on difficult friction to access another finger crack that rejoins the original line a few feet above.

Above this, the crack opens up again, with easier climbing leading to a belay.

Difficult to rate...probably about 5.10a. Would be better quality if it were climbed more often.

CHOCKSTONE GULLY Snow Climb

During a ski ascent of Tahquitz Peak Phil Warrender and I spied two promising ice gullies on the north facing cliffs between Tahquitz Rock and Tahquitz Peak. From our vantage point they appeared quite steep and we were very excited about climbing them.

A week or two later we were working our way up the drainage bordering the north face of Tahquitz Rock. Warmer temperatures earlier in the week had resulted in a very fluid and very long avalanche. Debris continued for several hundred yards up the basin.

Eventually we reached the gullies and were disappointed to learn that they were embarrassingly low angle. We climbed CHOCKSTONE GULLY and descended along the south side of the Tahquitz Peak, checking out the short buttresses and faces along the ridge for climbing opportunities. Even if the climb wasn't the classic ice we had hoped for, it was a fun and adventurous day.


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