Monday, May 28, 2012

Tahquitz

Our first major trad climbing stop on this trip was Tahquitz, a spectacular thousand foot granite spire in the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California.


Interesting trivia note of the day: Tahquitz is where the Yosemite decimal system started.

Anyways, on day one we chose a route on the west face called Traitor Horn, which promised “ a wild and exposed crux”. It lived up to the promise. After two pitches of moderate crack climbing the route traversed under a head wall and forced you to mount up onto a narrow horn of rock that dangles two hundred feet above the ground. It was ridiculous and way too scary for us to think of taking pictures. Sorry.  However, here’s a picture of it from the top of the second pitch.


As we returned to the base of the climb to pick up our packs, we started chatting with Kevin and Ben, two climbers from Idaho and Arizona. Here they are rapping down Open Book.


Five minutes later, our old friend Faith, who we had met two years ago while climbing in Joshua tree, came around the corner with her boyfriend Dirk. It was great to see her again!

Later, we hiked back down to the parking lot, set our packs down, and ran back up to get the car from where we had it parked. We were still super stoked about the awesome climb, meeting Faith again and hung out in the shady parking lot for half an hour chatting. Then, of all the stupid things, we entirely forgot to put our packs back in the car. I’m certain we wouldn’t have remembered until the next day, but Kevin and Ben saved our butts and returned them an hour later. Thanks guys!

On our second day, we decided we were ready to commit to Whodunit, a super classic 5.9 that follows a crack system through the tallest part of the spire.


It was long, awesome, and somewhat exhausting. After nine hours of hiking, climbing, and scrambling, we decided a couple of rest days were in order.



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