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West Lark 

Northeast Face West 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V British: S 4b

   
Type: Trad, 5 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Chuck and Ellen Wilts
Page Views: 4,044
Submitted By: Roger Linfield on Feb 24, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Ice climbing NE Face W, Tahquitz, February 2010

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Description 

This route is easy to find a huge right-facing corner just to the left of the Larks. There are multiple overhangs on the route, and you need to move out away from the main crack in one or two places. It is a sustained, quality route. The belay ledges are quite small, making this a poor choice for a party of more than two people.


Protection 

standard rack



Photos of Northeast Face West Slideshow Add Photo
A view from the top of the first belay ledge (approx 60 feet from the start).  This belay is large and comfy with a tree and some slings.
BETA PHOTO: A view from the top of the first belay ledge (appr...
Looking down NE Face W, Tahquitz, in ice conditions
Looking down NE Face W, Tahquitz, in ice condition...
Following the proper route 1 pitch from the top.
Following the proper route 1 pitch from the top.
A quick self snap while leading the 2nd pitch.
A quick self snap while leading the 2nd pitch.
Nathan Fitzhugh on pitch 2. 9-17-11
Nathan Fitzhugh on pitch 2. 9-17-11
A view looking down from the top of the 3rd pitch.
A view looking down from the top of the 3rd pitch.
If I recall Vogel's book describes finding it as "just left of the obvious tree" - gotta love that.  Well, here's what the obvious corner looks like from under the obvious tree. Route is pretty straightforward - or I should say WAS pretty straightforward (when I was younger and lighter!).
BETA PHOTO: If I recall Vogel's book describes finding it as "...
Nathan Fitzhugh on pitch 2. 9-17-11 <br />Good pro which was nice since it was a bit wet under the small roof.
Nathan Fitzhugh on pitch 2. 9-17-11
Good pro which...
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
normal conditions... sort of...
normal conditions... sort of...
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
Agina Sedler on the first pitch. 9-17-11
really fun climbing.
really fun climbing.
Comments on Northeast Face West Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 4, 2013
By The Gray Tradster
Feb 25, 2006

If you have a 60M rope and do a short, (about 60 Ft) first pitch, you end up with comfortable belays with good anchors at the end of each pitch. Go up and a little left after the summit overhang (where El Wampo, etc. join) for a better finish.

By shad O'Neel
Aug 17, 2007

This route was excellent. Very sustained climbing, i would not hesitate to say its sandbagged at 5.6. The topo has a 5.7 section drawn on it in the latest book, which i guess you can skirt to the left. Not sure what you are supposed to do near the top, we followed the corner straight up, which was good, but didnt seem very traveled. We tried this idea of a 60' P1, belayed atop the dihedral wall just before the climbing gets really interesting. THis allowed tree belays for the rest of the route, although they were still not spacious. I was so surprised by wht this route offered, probably the best 5.6 Ive done at Tahquitz (i am pretty new here, so maybe there are better ones) - and while not as stunning as El Whampo, I found it better and more challenging overall due to the sustained quality moves. I thought a #3 camalot was nice to have along. My experience may have been heightened due to the dense blanket of pine needles that cover the crack in many places!! Exciting!

By Dan Costello
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

I enjoyed this quite a bit, more than el Whampo in fact, and was surprised by the variety and challenge present on this 5.6. I will second the Gray Tradster's recco for a very short 1st pitch -- I had pretty comfortable belays on pitches 2, 4, and 6 using a 60m rope.

By Hamik Mukelyan
From: Pasadena, CA
Oct 25, 2011

In a high snow year, NE Face W is a 5 pitch ice climb! The first three 60m pitches are AI3-, the fourth is WI3, and the fifth is AI3-. See pictures above.

By x15x15
Oct 28, 2011

if you dont mind thin conditions, and more rock than ice, this climb is fun most winters.

By The Ruin-er
From: CA
May 24, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

first 4 pitches are so fun!!!

By Dave Kos
Jul 21, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Quality route, sustained, and sandbagged at 5.6. I'm surprised this route doesn't get more stars in the guidebook, as I think it is as good as any 5.7 at Tahquitz.

There really aren't any belay ledges big enough to stand on comfortably, so be prepared to hang in your harness a bit. We had trouble route-finding after the 4th pitch or so, at the headwall, and had a bit of an adventure figuring the way up. The Vogel/Gaines book isn't really clear which way to go and we found ourselves on some loose/dirty stuff that was certainly off route (we also found more than one piece of "bail" gear, so we weren't the first to go this way.) Eventually we managed to get to the easier terrain near the end of Northeast Farce, but never did figure out where the route actually went.

By Michael Bartosek
From: Los Angeles
Apr 23, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

I've done this route a couple of times, once with a two man team and once with three people. We found all the belay spots to be quite spacious, enough for three people to hangout comfortably. We typically ventured 15-20 to the right of the diehedral to set-up belays but they were always great. I think 3 of them were near/under trees using the crack system.

By Tradoholic
May 20, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

Straight forward and worth doing. Finishes the same as NW Farce in a notch with a small overhang.

By Anouk Erni
Sep 16, 2013

Really enjoyed this climb - worth doing, but know it's not a 5.6. Definitely sandbagged. The quality of the route though is great - pitch 3 was my favorite. I agree that there are good tree belays if you keep the first pitch short. Small gear (sometimes not very well protected), but I could have used a 3 up there. Finished in 6 pitches. The 5th pitch was interesting and we realized at that point that the route had become harder than 5.6. We had climbed Sahara Terror the day before and this was the harder climb for sure. Sustained but fun if you know what you're getting yourself into.

By Climb To Safety
From: california
Oct 4, 2013

We were supposed to go to Joshua tree yesterday but due to the govt shutdown, we headed to tahquitz instead. I'd like to be the first one to thank the govt because if they had been working, we never would have gotten on this route. Great route, very underrated, not sure why this doesn't get any stars in the guidebook. As a complete cIimb I enjoyed it more than the west lark and el whampo. We got a bit off route beginning on pitch 5, but it only made things more interesting and fun. Climbed in the shade all day, didn't see one person on the rock, fantastic day.