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Tahquitz Ice Climbing


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Alex Nelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

I've seen some pictures of ice climbing on Tahquitz peak. Can you ice climb on it most winters? Does it regularly get enough ice? Or is it only during the big winter years like 2010? I am just getting into ice climbing, and live in SoCal so I would love to ice climb it this winter. Thanks!

master gumby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 152

In the same boat as you. I was planning on checking out the gullies in the others and the north side of San Jacinto when we get some snow (if at all).

I wouldn't rely on there being ice at TZ to climb tho, prolly only if we get some big storms.

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,408

Alex...the ice climbing at Tahquitz is very condition dependent. First, you need a good snowpack. Preferably, a series of storms to dump enough snow to form sufficent ice from the thaw/freeze cycle. Next, we'll need warm days and cold nights to melt the snow and set up the ice. Typically, this doesn't happen annually. When it does it's often in late January or February. Keep your fingers crossed and watch the weather.
A better bet is Lee Vining, east of Tuolumne or Ouray, Colorado.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

TZ?  That sound like a guy I met once who called the Valley "Yo".  Glad that never caught on.

Ice at Tahquitz is REALLY ephemeral.  Like Benjamin said, you need a good amount of melt and then freezing conditions.  For many years I had always hoped to tick the Trough or the North Face in decent conditions but have never timed it right, though others have clearly gotten lucky.  It's either been mostly rock or pretty soft snow on top of rock.  Global warming and drought aren't helping either. Still an adventure, sometimes even just getting to the base, but lousy climbing unless the conditions are right.  I wish you better luck that I've had.  

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460

Never seen any legit ice up there but "yes" to "alpine conditions" in good snow years.

Piotr Andrzejczak · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 101

Altar of Algoot has some ice lines.  

Caped Baldy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 110

Was this last year Piotr, and how long did that ice last?  Kick ass pictures you have there, and thanks for sharing the page!

Piotr Andrzejczak · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 101

Feb2017. Conditions vary year to year. But,with a good snow pack the ice should be there.  May the ice be with you!  

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60
Piotr wrote: Feb2017. Conditions vary year to year. But,with a good snow pack the ice should be there.  May the ice be with you!  

I'm guessing that it depends in large part on the condition, but how long does the approach take in the winter?  

master gumby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 152

Let's hope for a few more storms like this one! 

Johann Schrell · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I have not personally Ice climbed there but s buddy has and I try to get up there for couloirs. Reality is conditions are rarely right but great to have the socal option when available. Watch weather and go for it. If nothing else you can get a nice recon hike in.  

x15x15 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 205

This is an interesting discussion, and quite hilarious too. Let's get everyone excited about Idyllwild ice! Yes, it's a blast. Not quite your normal waterfall ice, but good adventures are to be had.
Good luck folks. May the disappointment not ring too loudly as you make that drive and hike to only discover that the ice on the Larks, or Trough, or backcountry smears, is just snow covered rock... or a thin layer of verglas that just doesn't quite cut it for ice, but makes for some good, terrifying fun.

Or just maybe, just maybe you'll get lucky enough to  use your screws the way they were meant to be used. Maybe you'll sing for joy when you actually sink your shortest stubby all the way!!!

I have climbed ice in Idyllwild every year since the late 90's, minus a season here and there, and it's great.  I even climbed the trough in early May, and it was the best ice ever. Weird!

And, take the split boards or you AT setup when going to the backcountry. The ice may not be in, but sometimes those gullies are sweet and deep! It does help if you live very close.

yeah, time to ride. all down from here...

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60
x15x15 wrote: I have climbed ice in Idyllwild every year since the late 90's, minus a season here and there, and it's great.  I even climbed the trough in early May, and it was the best ice ever. Weird!

Let's not rub it in please, especially for us poor saps who have only encountered those lame conditions you described.  

master gumby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 152

Current snow Creek conditions. Not exactly ideal but plenty of adventure to be had! Get on it!

Alejandro Alpine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

I’m from SoCal too and into ice climbing! We should all get together and make a trip to Ouray this season! Or do anything local or in Ca

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
Alejandro Alpine wrote: I’m from SoCal too and into ice climbing! We should all get together and make a trip to Ouray this season! Or do anything local or in Ca

Save your money. Ouray is just a climbing gym you freeze your ass off in.

master gumby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 152
Alejandro Alpine wrote: I’m from SoCal too and into ice climbing! We should all get together and make a trip to Ouray this season! Or do anything local or in Ca

Plenty of stuff to mess around on the North face of San Jacinto locally. Just be prepared for a gnar day or two. 


I'd rather be in the Sierra's doing Alpine shit vs. single pitch ice climbing personally. 
Alejandro Alpine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
master gumby wrote:

Plenty of stuff to mess around on the North face of San Jacinto locally. Just be prepared for a gnar day or two. 


I'd rather be in the Sierra's doing Alpine shit vs. single pitch ice climbing personally. 

I’m always game for the Sierra, let me know if you guys do anything, are you guys on Instagram? 

Alejandro Alpine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote:

Save your money. Ouray is just a climbing gym you freeze your ass off in.

Lol I’m sure it is fun though!

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 510
Alejandro Alpine wrote:

Lol I’m sure it is fun though!

Ice climbing isn't supposed to be fun


master gumby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 152
Alejandro Alpine wrote:

I’m always game for the Sierra, let me know if you guys do anything, are you guys on Instagram? 

MP is about as social media as I get. More of an email phone type of bro dude.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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