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Traitor Horn 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 400'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Jim Smith, Auther Johnson and M. Holton August 1938
Page Views: 17,979
Submitted By: Dpurf on Feb 23, 2006

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Tony Tennessee on the True Horn at the crux. (c) C...

Description 

Traitor Horn is an area classic, and has a great exposed crux when you pull on to the 'True Horn'!

P1 & 2 - Climb the first 2 pitches of Jensen's Jaunt (5.6) until you can head right just below the headwall to a protruding horn of rock. This is the 'Traitor Horn'. Traverse up and right to a small niche and belay. Try to protect this traverse well for your second, as the traversing moves can be delicate.

P3 - Climb up and over to the right. There will be 2 pitons just before the move onto the 'True Horn' (crux). The crack directly above with the pitons is a different route, and instead move to the right onto the horn. Then up, up, and over to a good belay spot with a tree growing out of a crack. If your second is not strong or is scared to move to the horn, make sure the rope is in the crack and not out away from it. I know this sounds wrong, but if your 2nd falls they will be hanging in air and will be hard to get them back onto the rock.

P4 is long up a low angle slab to the top.

You can also start the climb with Coffin Nail (5.8) or On the Road (5.10c). Also El Camino Real (5.10a) is another do way to go.


Protection 

Thin to 2.5 inches



Photos of Traitor Horn Slideshow Add Photo
DANIEL GONZALEZ
DANIEL GONZALEZ
Chris Owen posing on the Traitor Horn (c) Mark Goss 1989
Chris Owen posing on the Traitor Horn (c) Mark Gos...
Traitor Horn; the true horn seen in the background.
Traitor Horn; the true horn seen in the ...
HANG DOG!
HANG DOG!
Davis gettin' on it
Davis gettin' on it
Traitor Horn <br />Cooper Hanging out enjoying the view and a nice stretch
Traitor Horn
Cooper Hanging out enjoying the view ...
Sorry Chris M.
Sorry Chris M.
Looking up at Traitor Horn and company on the SW face of Tahquitz
Looking up at Traitor Horn and company on the SW f...
My buddy on Traitor Horn.  The Traitor is in the foreground.
My buddy on Traitor Horn. The Traitor is in the f...
Nathan Fitzhugh belaying Agina Sedler as she starts onto the horn.
Nathan Fitzhugh belaying Agina Sedler as she start...
The two horns
BETA PHOTO: The two horns
Starting the traverse from Coffin Nail under the "Traitor Horn".
Starting the traverse from Coffin Nail under the "...
A picture says a thousand words.  <br /> <br />(Jonny leading the Traitor Horn on 4/06/08)
A picture says a thousand words.

(Jonny leading ...
The Traitor Horn as seen from Mechanic's Route
The Traitor Horn as seen from Mechanic's Route
Pulling the horn.
Pulling the horn.
Getting on the horn.  Photo by Dave Daly at the belay.
Getting on the horn. Photo by Dave Daly at the be...
Tina Tip-toeing around the corner on Pitch #2 of 'Traitor Horn'.
Tina Tip-toeing around the corner on Pitch #...
Good place to belay if linking from Coffin Nail.
BETA PHOTO: Good place to belay if linking from Coffin Nail.
Chris gets down to business on the true horn.
Chris gets down to business on the true horn.
Traitor Horn.
Traitor Horn.
Belaying from the Traitor Horn.
Belaying from the Traitor Horn.
Looking down from atop the true horn.
Looking down from atop the true horn.
Comments on Traitor Horn Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 13, 2014
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 12, 2006

Name is a pun on the 1931 movie "Trader Horn".

By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 12, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

One of the wildest, most exposed 5.8's I've ever done. The traverse onto the horn and standing up on the horn were exciting and memorable. The crux move off the horn had me sweating too.

My partner was too scared to traverse onto the horn, so she climbed straight up the crack in the back of the alcove. Harder, but a lot more secure!

By Mark Allen
Sep 29, 2006

Followed this route yesterday with my friend Tom who turns sixty on Wednesday. Fell making the move onto the horn the first time, fell twice making the move off the horn. What a kick! Hats off to the fellows who first did this route along time ago!

By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Mar 9, 2007

This is pretty "airy" for it's grade. I was gripped. Awesome!

By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 12, 2007

Finally got up the nerve to lead this one. Passed the P2/3 niche belay and anchored higher up so my partner could anchor in the niche for my run at the crux. Both traverses are delicate and have very few options for pro. Clipped the lost arrow just so I could be on something, anything while I set a cam higher up because the overhanging dihedral really spits you out! The crux was no issue but the exposure!!! I think the true crux is just protecting the horn. And standing up on the horn - my legs were weak! This is a must do for anyone who loves Tahquitz. Traitor Horn is an awesome climb!

By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Aug 14, 2007

Fantastic! A must do. Nice introduction to exposed climbing. Test your self on this route if you want to know how well you will react to exposure. The exposed moves are amazing and quickly over.

By Ryan Kelly
From: work.
Aug 4, 2008

The exposure is awesome, the moves onto and off of the horn are fun, and it makes for a great photo op... that said, I was a bit disappointed given the four-star rating and hype. There’s only about 20 feet of climbing on the route, albeit a really fun 20 feet, a bit of a traverse before, and 4th class afterwards. Definitely worth doing, but not four-star compared to other routes at Tahquitz.

By The Gray Tradster
Sep 27, 2008

This climb often produces epic events for the second. (have seen this happen often over the years much to the entertainment of those below) The leader needs to make sure the rope management takes care of the second.


Make sure the rope runs on the horn side of the crack and can't slide back into it. Belaying shortly after the horn is a good idea.

If it runs in the crack or to climbers left of it a fall by the second will result in either a slam into the corner or a big air swing, lowering, reclimbing and much whining.

Yeah, it's a one move wonder, but premier among them. Do the Coffin Nail approach for full value.

By Jesse Davidson
From: san diego, ca
Mar 17, 2009

coffin nail approach is nice, but the route itself is nothing special. the horn is cool, sure, but then its over.

By PumpkinEater
From: Sacramento
Mar 21, 2009

Great "pucker" factor for the grade. One of my first leads and still memorable.

By scottydo
From: ventura, ca
Oct 10, 2009

Had a blast on this climb. Just remember to place your pro well so your second doesn't have some crazy swinging fall if he takes one. If exposure doesn't bother you then this is a lot of fun. Didn't think that any of the moves onto or off the horn were too bad. Kind of bouldery type moves. Fun stuff!

By Tradoholic
Jan 14, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

It's a little tricky to make the moves right and onto the horn. Biffing it might be ugly. Linking from Coffin Nail is classic.

By Jack Mullen
From: Oceanside CA
May 5, 2013

Bring an extra pair of pants... Even following it I felt like I'd shit mine.

By alleyehave
From: San Diego, CA
Apr 13, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Coffin Nail to Traitor Horn Linkup on Tahquitz, Idyllwild, CA

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