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Northwest Recess
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Consolation, The T 
Constellation T 
Edgehogs T 
Error, The T 
Farewell Horizontal T,S 
Gulp, The T 
Incision, The T 
Long Climb, The T 
Magical Mystery Tour T 
Sahara Terror T 
Snakes on Everything T 
Souvenir, The T 
Swallow, The T 
Whodunit T 
Wong Climb T 

The Long Climb 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Royal Robbins and Don Wilson May 1952
Season: Late Spring to early Fall
Page Views: 14,239
Submitted By: Dpurf on Feb 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (107)
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The last pitch of The Long Climb.

Description 

The far right side of the Northwest Recess are two parallel cracks that merge about 200 ft up. The climb start with the right of the 2 cracks. But 99% of the climbers take the left crack which is the Wong Climb. This is a better crack. Pitch 1 - take the wider right crack to a nice ledge with a 2 bolt anchor. Pitch 2 - move to the left crack (The Mummy Crack) to a wide sloping ledge. Pitch 3 - up and right over a small roof to a Mohagany. Belay here. Pitch 4 - friction up and left across a slab then back right over a flake to a fir tree. Pitch 5 - Above a downpointing flake is passedon the left then up a thin corner (5.8), traverse right to an easy crack, belay above the notch. Pitch 6 is up and right to the top.

Protection 

Pro up to 3.5 inches


Photos of The Long Climb Slideshow Add Photo
A climbing artifact on The Long Climb.
A climbing artifact on The Long Climb.
Chuck nearing the top of the infamous p2 mummy crack
Chuck nearing the top of the infamous p2 mummy cra...
The highly recommended (**) start for The Long Climb is indicated by the Yellow arrow (p1 of The Wong Climb).  The Red arrow indicates p2 of The Long Climb (the mummy crack)
BETA PHOTO: The highly recommended (**) start for The Long Cli...
Jonny running up the wong climb on the long climb.  <br /> <br />We got a little rain on this climb.  <br /> <br />Taken 5/09
Jonny running up the wong climb on the long climb....
another photo of the Wong variation
BETA PHOTO: another photo of the Wong variation
Looking up at the 5th pitch crux. You can get a small cam (Yellow Alien I believe) just above the broken pin as seen in one of the previous pics. Then the next piece you can place is a Black Alien right in a thin crack as you step up protecting the crux fairly well.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the 5th pitch crux. You can get a sm...
Getting ready to send!!
Getting ready to send!!

Comments on The Long Climb Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 30, 2014
By shad O'Neel
May 28, 2007

When you get to the base its obvious why everyone does the Wong start - its much prettier. The mummy isnt bad, and protect nicely with small/med cams. We linked 3&4, 3 has lots of chong-a-bong rocks, but good gear exists. The mahogany is dead. Above the fir is the crux, and the pin has been broken off (somewhat protectable with rp's). This is solid 5.8 for 10-15 feet.
By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Jul 23, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I second linking pitches 3 and 4. You can also take the downward pointing flake pitch to a good belay ledge about 170 feet up past the steep 5.7 jamming section. The downward pointing flake was more than the one move wonder I was expecting - I threw in a couple of aliens (yellow then blue I think) that I felt good about.
By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Feb 23, 2009

Be ready for an incredible adventure. Felt more satisfied after this climb than Whodunnit. The first 2 pitches are some of the best moderate pitches around.

We were a bit confused on the third pitch. Maybe we are just dumb but I don't think we ended up going the right way.

The downward pointed flake was an unexpected smack in the face. But what a beautiful feature. It protected just fine with TCU's of similar. The last part was a bit confuing as well but we found what seemed like the path of least resistance. But man-o-man the whole climb is great. I put it up there with the other must do's of the rock.
By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 22, 2009

Great route.

If I climb this route again, I'd refrain from linking pitches 3 and 4. The 180 foot link-up is a little zig-zaggy and care must be taken not to run the rope through bushes. We had a lot of rope drag.

The crux was awesome, and pretty tricky. TCUs below the moves work okay but the Ballnutz really helped mid-way through the crux.
By Cory
From: Boise, ID
Jun 7, 2009

Wow, awesome climb! The first and second pitches are pure fun, great jams with a frequently appearing "cheater" crack to assist you. The downward pointing flake on P5 looks pretty intimidating, but it's all there. Save a couple of your smallest nuts (BD #4 or 5), and you'll find that it protects surprisingly well too.
By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
May 6, 2011

You don't need a #4 for this climb, although I used one once because I had it. Linking 3-4 was smooth, but communication with the 2nd suffers.

The p5 crux is insecure, and the piton that traditionally protects it is destroyed, but it will protect with small nuts and TCU's.

I brought doubles of hand sized pieces, (.75-2 C4) but would have probably gotten more use out of double smaller cams (.4-.75C4)

Belay ledges are comfortable and well spaced, I'd highly recommend doing P1 of Wong Climb before transitioning into Long Climb, as it was the highlight of the route.
By Jason Partin
From: San Diego, CA
Jul 17, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Started on The Wong Climb. I vote that combing P1 of The Wong with P2+ of The Long be designated as a new route called The Long Wong. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

The crux is the downward-pointing flake, a giant arrow-shaped feature. As other posters mentioned, the old piton is broken and no longer offers protection. Also, there was a flake broken off that probably once held a small cam, and I tried using another small flake that broke off. With these pieces missing I became nervous and my mind made the move harder than it should have been. After a few "reach up and look" moves, I protected with two micro nuts, one in the right side crack with the broken piton, the other on top of the "arrow" in a tiny crack that I couldn't see until standing up and searching. These cracks wouldn't hold even the tiniest of cams, so if you're not a strong 5.8/9 climber I'd suggest bringing micro nuts and taking your time at this spot.

Route-finding after the downward pointing flake on was a nightmare for our first time, but this is typical of Tahquitz and other blocky, crumbling alpine routes. Plan for longer than you think you need, bring more runners than you think you need, and take water and snacks regardless of how in shape you are and things should remain fun. As a hint... the belay spot after the downward pointing flake is closer than you think... it's easy to pass, then you're stuck meandering through blocks. Pass the crux, traverse right, look for the belay nearby.
By Chris D
From: the couch
Sep 3, 2011

I think that the above description for the belay above the downward-pointing flake (looks more like a wedge of cheese than a flake) is off a bit. If you climb it according to Vogel's guide, after you pass the flake on the left, then go up the short corner, traverse right a little then climb an "easy crack" which is obvious, splitting steep broken rock and ending in a V-notch that can be seen from the belay at the start of the pitch. I'd guess it's at least 40 feet above the downward flake, maybe more. From above the notch, there's an easy ramp that goes up, to the right, and tops out just below the true summit. In this photo, belay 5 is the belay at the pine tree atop p4, and the rest of the route drawn in is correct, I believe. Ignore the stuff below that...we were wandering.

We did this today, and it was great! I think that's the correct finish, since we were paying close attention to the route description after wandering all over P3-4. The flake may be the psychological crux, but definitely not the most technical. If you trust your feet and are okay with a slightly balancey no-hands move, it's all there, and really not much harder than the step-around on the ski tracks.

If you haven't been on the Northwest Recess routes over there before, there's a couple of ways to get to the starts, but it looks like the most popular way is to stay close to maiden buttress rather than do what we did (scramble up third class stuff just to the left of the base of the routes) but that worked fine too.
By RNclimber
From: Riverside, Ca
May 14, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I hope Chris D doesn't mind but I used his photo as an example of the line I did for this route...

My partner and I did this route on Saturday in 6 pitches vs the 7 pitches Chris D drew on his link.

s42.photobucket.com/albums/e31...

Our line follows the first two pitches of the photo described then with slight variations. The first two pitches were pretty obvious to do via Wong Long climb. After the mummy pitch into the huge ledge for the start of the 3rd pitch, the yellow dotted line for pitch 3 started to traverse right then up and headed right pass the roof above to the 4th pitch. I started the 3rd pitch straight up via crack that felt like 5.7 into a depression. Once I got to the roof I stayed left and pulled over the roof and stayed left and went right over a dead tree to a left facing corner. This belay is the same as Chris D for pitch 5. In his description they traverse right then up to a tall tree. My partner angled up and left on 5.6 slab then went back out right to the tall tree for pitch 6. At the downward pointing flake my partner headed straight up over the bulge/slab immediate left of the downward pointing flake by the broken fix pin. I felt that the movement felt harder then 5.8 and instead saw a fix nut under the bulge to my left. I went left here for about 8 feet using the roof to undercling to easier climbing and followed the rest of the pitch as described. The last pitch described to angle up and right to the top. My partner instead veered off right for a few feet then headed straight up to a left facing corner. The last moved involved pulling over a boulder that felt like v2 to me to the top.

Has anyone else followed my line as shown via red arrows?

s42.photobucket.com/albums/e31...
By BrendanC
From: Sherman oaks, ca
Jun 11, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Stellar route. We did the route as described here on MP and felt it very straight forward. Big comfy ledges for each belay. Great pro the whole way. Some 5.8 on almost every pitch so stays interesting. Notes:
P1 -- obvious and great. Bolt anchor.
P2 -- Mummy Cracks. The highlight for me (and crux). Very steep, but great pro and probably easy for anyone with OW technique. I have none so exciting and strenuous. Pull a nice airy roof move, exit left to the belay.
P3 -- go straight up the crack system for some more nice steep 5.7/8 into the small chimney and exit left out another fun airy roof move. Belay just past the mahogany on huge comfy ledge.
P4 -- straight up the L facing dihedral you're belaying in. Over a little roof and into another short dihedral with slab for feet, couple good spots for pro right where you need it. 5.6. Pull out and do a simple traverse to the obvious pine tree to the right. Short pitch.
P5 -- "Downward pointing flake" is directly overhead 40'. Easy to there. Not sure why all the discussion about pro here. There is plenty and it isn't micro. Bomber nuts through this section in the small to med range. Pro is A+ and the moves are 5.8- at best and the climbing is fantastic. So left around the flake and up the short dihedral (10 ft), easy traverse right to the obvious 5.7 crack system leading to the big V notch. Belay in the notch.
P6 -- Right to the top.
Classic route.
By Nathan Scherneck
From: Portland, OR
Jun 30, 2012

Please be conscious of loose blocks on this and other NW Recess routes. We were almost pummeled at the base of The Consolation by a very large block released by a party who was above the Mummy Crack (6/28/2012).
By Ryan Kempf
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 19, 2012

Agree with Brendan and Nathan. Be really careful of lose blocks. There are always people below you on these routes and even a fist size rock would kill a person. All BS aside, go straight up the left facing corner after p4. its direct and really good, maybe .9 for 2 moves, other than that solid and way better than the other finish. The piton on p4 has a broken eye and needs to be replaced or removed.
By Chris Norwood
From: San Diego, CA
Oct 1, 2012

SCARY loose block resting in the crack on P3... We "x"ed it with chalk (that won't last long though), but please be careful! It could definitely hurt somebody
By Eric "Pig" Varley
Apr 8, 2013

This route has a bit of 5.8 climbing on every pitch, except for the 6th and final pitch. My partner and I climbed the first pitch of Wong (amazing hand crack) then kept going up through the Mummy Crack (way more secure than it looks).

Pitch 5 (downward pointing flake) is serious mental business. We were both knackered from the previous day's adventure and had little juice left for this crux. BrendanC is correct, there is plenty of pro here. Small nuts below the roof, a blue BD #9 nut fits perfectly into the slot with the broken piton, and small nuts (used purple BD #5 and purple DMM #1) in the slots next to the flake. The moves are balancey, the holds are kind of crappy, and the exposure is outrageous.

All in all, this was a great route. Please note that pretty much every pitch is in the shade all day. Dress appropriately for lower temps.
By Crotch Robbins
Sep 16, 2013

CAUTION: PITCH 3 LOOSE ROCK.

Above the belay there are two parallel cracks: a rampy corner crack on the right and an overhung handcrack on the left. Where the two cracks converge, before you enter the chimney, there is a shard of rock about 2 or 3 feet long that seems to be just resting in the crack and ready to plunge onto your belayer with the slightest touch. Take caution to avoid it and place some gear out right to keep your rope from brushing against this time bomb.
By Donno
From: Newport Beach
Oct 6, 2013

Please delete the photo showing where to place gear: this is too much beta.
By Justin Tomlinson
From: Monrovia, CA
Oct 12, 2013

I pretty much agree with Donno. It's a nice photo showing one of the prominent features of the route, but the gear beta is too much. My 2 cents.
By Adam Burch
From: San Dieger
Jan 21, 2014

Climbed this Jan 20, was relatively warm in the shade. 1st pitch of Wong to 2+ of Long - really nice climb. Mummy crack looks worse than it is, but facing the proper direction can make or break your pitch. I made the start of the 3rd harder than it needed to be, the exit to the left of the chimney/gulley has some nice moves on fairly stable rock - pops you out under the dead Mahogany.

We went up and right there for a short pitch to the fir. The crux protects fairly well, there are plenty of feet to work up on, I was able to lean and reach up to place pro on the left side of the flake before going for it, and you can get gear in by the old piton/etc below that as well. Slung poorly and paid for it beyond that point in rope drag - watch for loose rock in spots on the way up to the V-notch belay. Final pitch was mellow and had some nice moves on the exit. Overall a great day out.
By Lynn S
May 31, 2014

Very fun route, Mummy Crack was a blast and the flake on pitch 5 is really fun movement. Great day with Tobin!
By Chris D
From: the couch
Jun 1, 2014

Never saw "the" loose block on P3, even though we were looking for it. This might be because P3 and P4 are really littered with loose rocks. Plenty of large and small rocks to trundle, but with even reasonably conscientiousness climbing it shouldn't be a problem. None struck me as rocks that could be dislodged by poor rope management.

Just be careful, and think long and hard about climbing below another party.
By Jeff Scofield
From: Yorba Linda, CA
Jul 30, 2014

Pretty funny when people start saying too much Beta on a photo that says Beta Photo.....that's like the dudes back in the day looking at all of us with guide books and who troll on MP looking for what? oh ya beta!