Type: Trad, 160 ft
FA: Rob Muir and Mike Graham, October '72
Page Views: 30,814 total · 191/month
Shared By: Andy Laakmann on Jan 20, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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The classic moderate crack at Suicide. You'll never tire of repeating this gem.

The climb is located where the Northeast Face becomes the North face and is easily identified by the tree (the flower?) growing right in the middle of the crack about 70 feet up. The tree is historically littered with slings to help identify it. The climb is just to the left of a huge (undesirable looking) right facing corner.. and you actually start up this corner to get to the main crack.

I prefer to do this climb in one long pitch, usually scrambling up to the base of the main crack for the first belay (some might want to rope this bit - and you'll need to build an anchor). With a 200' rope you could belay from the ground, but there's enough rope drag already so why add more. You can do the climb in two pitches and belay at the tree, but it is kind of a pain in the butt.

Once climbing you'll enjoy some quality jamming/stemming in the first section heading to the tree. Sustained moves from fingers to off-fingers to thin-hands will get you to the tree and a nice comfy rest. Want a 10a variety... don't use the left wall - my friend accidently did this and bitched his way up....

From the tree there are two cracks, one heading straight up and the other trending out a wild looking face to the right. The right crack has your name on it. Spectacular, exposed climbing up this arching crack leads to the route's final crux at the roof. The roof goes at 5.9, but take your time to figure it out... many a flailing here.

Some 5.7 jamming finishes the journey.

What a climb!


Standard rack including nuts, and 2x each cam from small ones to a #3

(I did this from five year old memory, so feel free to add more specific gear requirements)


C Miller
C Miller   CA  
An area classic that goes at an easier grade than appearances might suggest. Easily done with a 60 meter rope, as mentioned, by starting at the top of the ramp crack. Both variations above the tree are good but the one on the right is the one you'll remember. Expect to take a number on a crowded weekend. Jan 27, 2006
Adam Stackhouse    
D. Haugelstine trying to get us to solo this route before we led it had us psyched! Grade A++ route Feb 4, 2006
Portland, OR
Obi   Portland, OR
Take the right crack for sure after the tree. I took the left crack when I lead this and now I feel like I've been robbed of a great experience. Regardless, this is one of my favorites at Suicide. Feb 22, 2006
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Good rope management is required at the roof; be careful not to get it jammed. I've seen more than one team do this. Apr 19, 2006
Oakland Park, Florida
Floridaputz   Oakland Park, Florida
We did this in 2 pitches. The tree belay is a little uncomfortable. Great way to finish off the day. Aug 21, 2006
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
Great climb. This can be done in one pitch from the bottom with a 60m rope, but the belay at the top of the ramp crack is shaded from the sun, and makes rope management easier, so is probably the better option. Jul 1, 2007
Bruce Diffenbaugh
Bruce Diffenbaugh   Cheyenne,Wyoming
I'm with the others do the right crack a bit harder if I remember but a better finish. Feb 11, 2008
I stumbled across this classic the first time there. Had no idea what it was until my partner Wendell said it's THE CLASSIC of Suicide Rock. At that point I could not wait to get on it.
Great climbing with a technical start and fantasically exposed finish. After hanging from the top crack I realized it's best to climb above the crack until about half way at which point you can actually crack climb the thing. Pull the roof and your home free.
Don't rob yourself by taking the right crack. Go right you'll thank yourself later. A great experience to have!!!!:) I give it four stars. Sep 6, 2008
Robin like the bird
Philomath, or
  5.9 PG13
Robin like the bird   Philomath, or
  5.9 PG13
just climb this route and it was great, but you don't need me to tell you this. I bet I bet I Hung out under the roof for about 10 minutes, before committing to the move. It was almost like cocaine, once I was done climbing I wanted to do it again.

I am blown away by the picture of Clark Jacobs free soloing this in the guide book.

Anybody else get sapped in the left crack right underneath the tree. I wonder if it made me stick better? Sep 7, 2009
I have to disagree with the PG-13 rating. This is a well protectable climb. I've done it many times and the pro opportunities are adequate or better. The climb is sustained in some sections but there are rests where you need them. Sep 11, 2009
i thought the crux was the first ten feet and then pulling the roof. there is plenty of places to put gear so i definitely wouldn't give it a pg rating but compared to open book i felt it was considerably harder. the move just above the tree which i was expecting to be the crux seemed very solid and easy, looks hard in the photos and the whole route looks much harder than it really is. i was initially intimated but im glad i didn't wuss out. May 16, 2011
RADTASTIC route. Route can be done in one single pitch, but I onsight lead it in two because I needed my gear for the sections after the belay tree. Its nice having to do it in two pitches because you can cleanly place multi-directional nuts as pro on the right crack at the tree belay.

The 1st pitch before the tree belay station was amazing clean splitter hand jams (im a female with smaller hands so i got a full jam in every move). There was a sling with two metal rings wrapped around the tree that was meant to be a permanent anchor to wrap off of but was recently taken and stolen. But very easy to girth hitch the tree with a long sling for a bomber anchor.

2nd pitch i mainly used two #3 in the 5.9 section right after the tree belay. I thought I could place a #4BD in that section but its just a smidgen too small for it to fit in any section, so I wouldnt bother bringing it up.
then a #1 & #2 right on the roof.

There is no bolts or wrap rings on any route on the north face so there are two options for anchors. You can either create a anchor with cams on the splitter crack when it bulges over after the 5.7 secction, or there is a tree wayyyy further back after topping out that you can create as an anchor with a couple cams and girth hitch the tree trunk. If you belay at the tree you might have trouble hearing your partner unless you scream at eachother.

Defiantly a must do. Especially in the summer because this route is completely hidden from the sun all day long. Climber & Belayer is shaded. Aug 21, 2011
Randy in Ridgecrest
Inyokern, CA
Randy in Ridgecrest   Inyokern, CA
Did this first time 1980 with Todd Tremble. He insisted we belay in the tree and smoke a joint. As the next pitch was mine I really wanted to hold off on that, but style is style. The pitch (right crack, of course!) went swimmingly.
Have done it several times since, always as one pitch. May 22, 2012
Classic. Sucks gear in all the way.
Belay in the left crack (if facing the rock) at the top to avoid the rope pushing a cam too deep or cutting up the rope in the event of a follower fall. Jun 12, 2012
Jim Dover
Idyllwild, CA
Jim Dover   Idyllwild, CA
PG13? Hardly. I watched a guy place a .75 Camelot just under the roof and a 3 Camelot just before that. Once you have those two pieces, the roof is just a matter of pulling through it. The proudest lead I've done.

A 70 meter rope gets you to the tree for a shaded belay.

Also, there is a stuck Metolius Supercam in the crack to the right near the bottom crux. The sling is in good shape and the thing is NEVER coming out, so I clipped it to prevent an upward zipper if I fell higher up and pulled my belayer up and into the base. Anyone with more experience than I want to weigh in on this as a good idea? Jul 2, 2012
ciotti   CA
OK, this sunday (4-21) my partner and i decided to climb the epic classic "FLOWER OF A HIGH RANK" once again and it got a whole new meaning to me. Baby RATTLESNAKE inside the crack just above the low crux moves, right where the crack get little wider (about 20' below the flower) Holy crap! Are you kidding me! Please beware. No Joke! Apr 22, 2013
ciotti   CA
Jim Dover
Idyllwild, CA
Jim Dover   Idyllwild, CA
Did it yesterday--nothing rattled except my knees. Apr 29, 2013
Gavin Bridgeman
Orange County, CA
Gavin Bridgeman   Orange County, CA
Gear friendly. I found the first pitch strenuous, but not as bad as El Camino. Oct 12, 2013
Broomfield, CO
pkeds   Broomfield, CO
spectacular route. going straight up after the tree is for wussies! stay low and go into the right one! pulling the roof is cake if you take time to figure it out. you can also rest there for days figuring it out. you'll often find a hoard of people at the base eyeing it up saying 'looks awesome, but looks hard! i dunno man'. step up and show them up! Dec 13, 2013
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
double rack .4-3 with nut (save at least 1 #2 for anchor up top if not belaying from tree

Using a 70 meter I didn't belay from the shaded tree way in the back on the top of the pitch. I built a belay halfway from the edge to the tree so I can go back and hear my partner (wife). Crack needs .5-2 for anchor Jun 20, 2014
This is one of the finest short moderate crack climb anywhere, and it deserves all the stars it gets.I led it back in '73 (right after it went in) with nothing but a pile of Hexes, and it was as stellar then as it is now. If anything, it is a lot easier to lead due to camming devices and sticky rubber, but that 5.9 grade is spot on, especially if you compare it to other benchmark 5.10a routes, like Sacherer Cracker (in Yosemite) or El Camino Real (just across the way at Tahquitz). I always preferred to Belay at the tree because of the better shared experience with my partner. I'd just anchor to that that pine, swing out to the lower side and take in the place by running the rope through a sling I'd put in high. Good times, and its fun to watch your second in the lower crack, a place that where someone might just need a little beta, especially if they are learning the nuances of jamming.
News flash...the trick to the roof is to pay close attention to the foot holds that avail themselves on the rib to the left...they are sharp and key to the exit...just sayin'... Aug 11, 2014
Obviously a classic. When I lived in LA I did it many times, and watched many others do it. Twice I saw leaders pop-off on the first 5.9 section just off the 5.2 gully and injure their ankles. Many belay from the ground, and there is often slack in the rope system, because of distance and little gear is placed in the easy gully. The first few moves off the gully are finger locks, and the stances are not too secure. It is easy to just pop-off while trying to place gear around where the rattlesnake was found (in post above photo). Slack belays sometimes allow the leader to hit the gully before their rope catches them. Just something to be aware of while planning protection and belaying the leader. Dec 29, 2014
Eric "Pig" Varley
Nipomo, CA
Eric "Pig" Varley   Nipomo, CA
I'll add to what jay2718 highlights about belaying at the beginning of this route. We had a friend take a fall this weekend a few feet below the tree. He popped off, then swung around right, landing hard (heels first) on the ramp/gully. He heavily bruised his heels, and may have even broken a bone. His belayer was at the bottom of the gulley and had a little slack in the system (not a lot, but apparently enough). The rope caught just before he hit, but not enough to slow him down much due to rope stretch. Worst of all, this was his first route of our 3-day trip, and he couldn't climb at all for the rest of the time.

That said, this is a great route that should not be missed. I found it stiff for the grade, but no totally sand bagged. Just be mindful of the fall potential and take steps to avoid excessive fall distances. Mar 30, 2015
Jason Kim
Encinitas, CA
Jason Kim   Encinitas, CA
Finally got on the Flower, and it lived up to expectations. Very intimidating when you see it from afar, but less so once you're under it. I felt it was fairly stout for the grade, but eats pro and has key rests where you need them. I used most of my double rack of C4's, and a few nuts. Saved a #2 and #3 up top for the anchor, along with a big nut. My partner belayed at the top of the gulley, anchoring by slinging two horns and placing a lower cam to prevent an upwards pull - this saves most your gear for the climb, which you'll need if you're pushing your limit on this. It's a decent stance and not terribly uncomfortable, and I encountered zero rope drag even though I sewed the route up.

The crux was down low for me, on so-so feet and fingers. The upper crack is easily jammed as long as you aren't too pumped, and pulling the roof wasn't nearly as bad as expected. Do it as one pitch! Seems like a shame to split this one in half at the tree. Jun 2, 2015
Ryan Strickland
Idyllwild, CA
Ryan Strickland   Idyllwild, CA
Regarding the alleged rattlesnake:

Does it make sense for a cold blooded reptile to hang out 60 feet up in a cold crack that almost never sees sunlight? What is it eating up there? How does it digest that food in such a cold place?

I climbed the route a couple of weeks ago and there was definitely something hissing in the crack. Not a rattler though, a bat. I can see how it could be confused for a snake. Once, while downclimbing the Trough, I accidentally touched a bat in a crack. Scared the shit out of me. His head looked a bit like a snakes head at first glance because of the teeth. Of course, once I saw the ears and fur it was obvious that it wasn't a snake. Apr 14, 2016
Dan Stringer
Eugene, OR
Dan Stringer   Eugene, OR
For the latest style beta, fast forward to about 36 minutes in on this John Long video.

youtu.be/58m_BpbL6_Q Jun 5, 2016
Colin Parker
Idyllwild, CA
Colin Parker   Idyllwild, CA  
I love how the video cuts to a massive waterfall at 38:06. I've lived in Idyllwild for almost 4 years and somehow it's evaded me. Sep 12, 2016
Trad Princess
Not That Into Climbing
Trad Princess   Not That Into Climbing
Bees Nov 20, 2016
John D  
today the route had a swarm of bees in the second pitch crux. Directly where you turn the roof move. I have never seen them there before today. Oct 29, 2017
Rod William Young
Los Angeles, CA
Rod William Young   Los Angeles, CA
The Flower lived up to it's reputation: excellent jams from skinny fingers to fat hands and rests where you need them. The low crux made a menacing sound like air letting out of a tire but no creature would show its teeth. At the tree you pull yourself together before stepping out on the face and hanging off that amazing armrest of a crack so good you could lose your virginity in it. Turn the roof and look for the foot edges on the arete while stabbing for the left crack to gain the easier terrain. May 16, 2018
San Diego, CA
steverett   San Diego, CA
Finger crack was buzzing at everyone this weekend, yet no one could identify the source. Sounded insect-y in nature. Bees? Cicada? Bat? In any case, doesn't seem to be a danger, since it/they have never shown their face! Oh, the joys of nature.

Oh, and the climb was a lot of fun. Definitely not as scary/burly as it looked from the ground. May 17, 2018
nathan winicki  
Bees are still there, but if you don’t bother them they won’t bother you. Otherwise it was certainly the best 5.9 pitch I’ve done in Idyllwild. Save a #3 for the leaning crack and reach out left for the hidden jug to pull the roof. Oct 29, 2018