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tahquitz and suicide approach


Original Post
neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20

what is the approximate distance and elevation gain for the approach to tahquitz vs suicide?  I am going there next month - I just wanted to be prepared.  any info appreciated - I checked around but couldn't find the specifics.

Jason Kim · · Encinitas, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 255

Off the top of my head, I'd guess that tahquitz is just under 1,000 feet and suicide about 5-600 feet, both roughly the same distance. Suicide is a bit quicker and less strenuous. It takes me close to an hour to get to the base of tahquitz (at a very relaxed pace).  

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20
Jason Kim wrote: Off the top of my head, I'd guess that tahquitz is just under 1,000 feet and suicide about 5-600 feet, both roughly the same distance. Suicide is a bit quicker and less strenuous. It takes me close to an hour to get to the base of tahquitz (at a very relaxed pace).  

thanks  -thats what I thought - I thought Tahquitz was about a mile and about 1000 ft gain.  

Jason Kim · · Encinitas, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 255

Yeah it's in that ballpark.  It's just the right distance to serve as a good warm up for whatever climbing you have planned, without being too time consuming or exhausting.  

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20
Jason Kim wrote: Yeah it's in that ballpark.  It's just the right distance to serve as a good warm up for whatever climbing you have planned, without being too time consuming or exhausting.  

thanks - i was told - make sure you are in good shape - the approach is a killer - i was kind of like umm...i hike a lot - what are we actually talking about here?  thanks for the clarity

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
neils wrote:

thanks - i was told - make sure you are in good shape - the approach is a killer - i was kind of like umm...i hike a lot - what are we actually talking about here?  thanks for the clarity

It is only a mile but it's a really strenuous mile if one is imagining it to be a gentle hike. I agree that the elevation gain is probably close to 800 feet from Humber Park to Lunch Rock. If you hike a lot and are cool with loose trails and tree roots you'll find it totally easy.

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Also, the Suicide approach IS easier but there's a lot of potential to get off course. It depends a lot on what part of Suicide you're aiming for. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

The Lunch Rock trail is steeper than the North trail, but both will take about 45 minutes. Which one of those trails you use depends on which climb you are doing. Great climbing area - have fun! Do you have the guidebook?

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20
FrankPS wrote: The Lunch Rock trail is steeper than the North trail, but both will take about 45 minutes. Which one of those trails you use depends on which climb you are doing. Great climbing area - have fun! Do you have the guidebook?

thanks Frank.  I thought about getting the Gaines guidebook but I am actually going out with one of Bob's guides for 2 days.  I have never been there, in my third year of climbing.  When I go to a new area for the first time, if I can swing it (financially) I get a guide.  My brother recently got a place in Idylwild and I am going out for a visit.  Really looking forward to it.  I was eying up White Maidens Walkway, Left Ski Track, Fingertrip, The Trough.  Just looking to get out for two fun days on some easy/moderate multi pitch routes.


I may get the book just to read cause I like to, but my sense was most of what is in there is routes that are out of my current league - above 5.8ish.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
neils wrote:

thanks Frank.  I thought about getting the Gaines guidebook but I am actually going out with one of Bob's guides for 2 days.  I have never been there, in my third year of climbing.  When I go to a new area for the first time, if I can swing it (financially) I get a guide.  My brother recently got a place in Idylwild and I am going out for a visit.  Really looking forward to it.  I was eying up White Maidens Walkway, Left Ski Track, Fingertrip, The Trough.  Just looking to get out for two fun days on some easy/moderate multi pitch routes.


I may get the book just to read cause I like to, but my sense was most of what is in there is routes that are out of my current league - above 5.8ish.

I got a guide for my first time there, too. I think one of the most valuable things a guide can do for you there is show you the Friction Descent. Based on the routes you will be doing, you'll go down it. Commit it to memory for your next time. Fingertrip is an outstanding climb.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 135
neils wrote:

thanks Frank.  I thought about getting the Gaines guidebook but I am actually going out with one of Bob's guides for 2 days.  I have never been there, in my third year of climbing.  When I go to a new area for the first time, if I can swing it (financially) I get a guide.  My brother recently got a place in Idylwild and I am going out for a visit.  Really looking forward to it.  I was eying up White Maidens Walkway, Left Ski Track, Fingertrip, The Trough.  Just looking to get out for two fun days on some easy/moderate multi pitch routes.


I may get the book just to read cause I like to, but my sense was most of what is in there is routes that are out of my current league - above 5.8ish.

Of the ones you mentioned, I have only done Fingertrip, and it was a lot of fun.  The Trough might be too easy if you are comfortable on Fingertrip.  Also consider Traitor Horn.  there is only a short section of anything remotely challenging, but the exposure is awesome.

Jason Kim · · Encinitas, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 255

Jensen's Jaunt is one of my favorites at the grade, check it out.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15,545

I thought the approach to Taquitz is much more strenuous than Suicide....steeper, more "gravelly" and longer.  Both a great crags.  A guidebook is always good to have, but there's lots of info in MtnProjct,, especially if you're just looking for some of the moderate classics. Be aware, most ratings are pretty "old school".

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

I prefer to hike up the middle approach, up the talus. It’s not to dusty and once one gets on the talus it’s like a stair master.... you head out of Humber going upstream for about 300 yards, cross stream and point uphill... this puts you at the Northwest Recess about 200 yards left of Lunch Rock.

One of my all time favorite climb is Angels Flight.... it was put up in the late thirties. It will give you an appreciation of just what 5.6 is. Also when the guide gets you to Pine Tree Ledge and your feeling it and want to try some 5.9..... go up,
Gallwas’s Gallop Have fun.

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Matt Himmelstein wrote:

Of the ones you mentioned, I have only done Fingertrip, and it was a lot of fun.  The Trough might be too easy if you are comfortable on Fingertrip.  Also consider Traitor Horn.  there is only a short section of anything remotely challenging, but the exposure is awesome.

The Trough is easy in terms of the climbing but it's a great route, still. The upper part is probably the biggest exposure you can find at that grade, anywhere. 

Kyle Edmondson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 40

Since you will have a guide, if you can follow 5.9, Serpentine at Suicide is outstanding, if you still want recommendations.  Also, I usually assume an hour to Tahquitz and 40 min to Suicide as comfortable times.  With a guide keeping you on route and hustling it can be cut down significantly.

steven dumaresq · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5

I just mapped out the hike on my Watch and the hike for Tahquitz from about the start of the climbers trail is about a half mile with about 800 feet elevation gain. 

JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 1,001

Don't forget that Idyllwild is more than a mile up in altitude, so your lungs may not want to be hustled.  

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20

thanks all - great info here - thank you

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20

I put this list of options together :)

  1. White maidens walkway 5.4
  2. The Trough 5.4
  3. Jensen’s jaunt 5.6
  4. Fingertrip 5.7
  5. Left ski track 5.6
  6. Traitor Horn 5.8
  7. Angels Fright 5.6
  8. El whampo 5.7
  9. The uneventful 5.6
  10. Northeast face west 5.7
  11. Sahara Terror 5.7
I am so psyched - I'll be climbing for 2 days. Hoping to get in as much as I can :)
Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I'd do WMW or the Trough. Not both. WMW, in particular, is LONG and will eat up most of a day. You could do the Trough and then go to Left Ski Track because it's right at the bottom of the Friction Descent. Oh, I forgot, you'll be with a guide. They'll know what's what.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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