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Rebolting Development

5.11a R, Trad, 350 ft, 3 pitches,  Avg: 3.3 from 17 votes
FA: D. Wert, Mike Kaeser, and Greg Bender, October 1971
California > Tahquitz & Suic… > Suicide Rock > (n) Rebolting Face


This is a quality three pitch face route. Pitch 1 (5.10D) has a long runout above the second bolt, with ground fall potential. There is a 15 foot runout for the crux move on the second pitch, unless you can stop half way through the move to clip a bolt.


bolts plus a few small to medium pieces of gear

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Here's a page from my 1985 Vogel Guidebook for this arena. The info is current as of change, right?!
[Hide Photo] Here's a page from my 1985 Vogel Guidebook for this arena. The info is current as of change, right?!

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

C Miller
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] An area classic, but you better be solid at the grade before trying this one on lead. Bolted anchors are now atop every pitch making it possible to rap the route with a single 60 meter rope. Quickdraws are the only gear needed for this route.

Rated 5.11b in the current guidebook. Feb 2, 2006
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] Years ago, on my first attempt I took a long fall on the second pitch trying to clip the bolt at the crux - had a sporty belay and ended up practically back at the anchors! Cracked a couple of ribs with my harness belt. Mar 4, 2006
[Hide Comment] May 78 Followed Eric P1&2 Lead P3. Thought it was the hardest 5.10 I would ever do. What a noob I had holes in the toes of my EB's and was trying to wear them on the wrong feet. Eric yelled down just put your shoes on the right feet. Doh Nov 11, 2007
Bruce Diffenbaugh
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] I led all 3 pitches back in 80's it was one of my early 5.11 climbs and I remember the flying clip well,no falls but this climb screwed me up for bit after, didn't think I was ready for routes 5.11 or above if the pro was going to be like this.Never could figure out what he was standing on when he was drilling that bolt hole? Feb 7, 2008
Visalia, Ca.
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] Darrell and I had it worked out so the belayer could take a quick run down the hill if you took a fall trying for the third bolt. Scary up on second but felt relieved not to have gound fall looming... May 5, 2008
Brandon R
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] I only TR'ed the first two pitches in one long pitch from the top. I think this route is much more sustained, and the crux harder, than Valhalla. The third bolt was looking a little old and should probably be replaced considering how vital it is. An amazing route though. May 19, 2008
[Hide Comment] The third bolt is 3/8" and it should still be adequate for awhile. Unfortunately, it was not stainless and consequently it appears older than it is. When it does get replaced that would be a great spot for a stainless 1/2" bolt, given it's crucial location.

Another extra value combining of pitches can be done on this route. For a little extra challenge combine the first two pitches as a single pitch lead. Skip the 4th bolt on the first pitch (or unclip it after doing the move, or simply use a very long runner) to avoid bad rope drag when doing the climbing on the crux sections of the second pitch. Use a 60m or 70m rope. A 165' rope may reach if you keep it running straight enough. Jul 9, 2008
Northern NM
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] 11a tops in my opinion but the psychological weight added a few pounds to my 154# frame when I led this route. I was told some fellow had just broken a leg leading know where. Feb 7, 2010
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] You just succeeded in freaking me out. I was thinking "why aren't there any photos posted? Maybe I'll go back and take a few"....never mind. Dec 16, 2012
[Hide Comment] Greg Bender, part of the FA team, was a real burly dude who was funny as hell. I was never in his circle of friends (I was about ten years younger), but I have one distinct memory of him pulling moves on the back of Rock One at Stoney Point, getting slandered by his posse while balancing a full beer can on his head as he climbed. That was when chalk was a white cube you left on the ground, and hated it when someone stepped on 1970-1. Apr 12, 2015
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
  5.11b R
[Hide Comment] Not sure where everyone is getting 11a from. If it is, then it's by far the hardest 11a I've climbed at the cliff. I found it much harder than Valhalla, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Etude, etc. Are people traversing left to the knob at the crux and bypassing the hardest part? Oct 17, 2015
Alex Shainman
Rifle, CO
[Hide Comment] I just did this route for my first time a couple days ago. It's an interesting and varied line with cool pockets and unique moves but on sometimes flakey rock and with lots of excitement! The first pitch is intense! It blew my mind for sure considering the year of the FA, comparisons to other similar graded routes of the same year and of course and as always the footwear! I read the preceding comments and even though I went straight up at the crux I was also asking myself how they drilled that bolt as in what did that stance look like!?!? I was also thinking, if I was doing the FA I most likely would've instinctually moved left (easier variation) to those obvious pockets and chicken heads which follow the logical weakness...Wild! For the first pitch, I had my girlfriend assume the "Edwin Moses belay stance" (as coined by a departed slab master friend of mine) and be ready to sprint away from the rock if I pitched!

Anyways, the reason I'm posting is I have some curiosities and questions for anyone who knows the history here...

What does the name Rebolting Developement mean??? How did the route get that name?

I found myself clipping a bolt and contemplating the drill stance and wondering how super tall the guy was but then I saw a chopped 1/4" stud a few inches below the current bolt. When this route was "re-bolted" with upgrades, the new bolts were placed higher than the FA bolts originally were? Also, on pitch 1, I thought it was odd to see a chopped 1/4" stud between the ground and the current first bolt. What's the story with that one?

Thanks in advance for the history answers and happy climbing! Nov 24, 2015
[Hide Comment] Not having put the route up I can only surmise on the meaning of the name. Seems like it could be a play on words (revolting development) while at the same time alluding to the future need relative to the horrendous spinner bolt they drilled on pitch two (3rd bolt.) Then again, I may be totally off base with my SWAG(s) about the name.

That bolt was really bad, only half way in and then, to top it off, it had a funky old aluminum hanger. Given the shoes of the day I guess it isn't all that surprising they gave up halfway through and just kept going. Regardless, pretty impressive bolt for the day.

You used to get to pull the moves into the stance, clip that piece of garbage, and then run for the 4th. It almost felt like you were going from the 2nd all the way to the 4th because the 3rd was so bad you didn't even want to think about falling on it. We did watch a friend take a good sized fall onto it once, when he came off we thought for sure the bolt was going to rip. The fall catch pulled the hanger all the way out to the end of bolt, creating a nasty torque on the half drilled bolt. Still surprised that thing didn't fail.

The stance for the 3rd bolt on P2 used to be a little better than it is now. Part of the edge broke off late 70's/ early 80's. Not enough to make it all that much harder, but it has changed a bit.

I don't know about the chopped studs. The one on the first pitch has been there forever and I don't know anyone who has a clue what the story behind it is. I did the original replacement of bolts, upgrading to 3/8 and I'm pretty sure I drilled in the same holes. I think there has been some replacement following mine. Who knows. I still have the original P2 crux bolt as well as the original Valhalla crux bolt, the spinner off Caliente, and a few other notable ones - one of the perks of doing replacement work I guess. Since I have the bolt I'm sure I pulled the original.

Certainly a great classic route. Given when and how it was done it really stands out. I'd have to say it was one of my favorite Suicide routes, enough so that I did it a ton (or two) of times. Dec 4, 2015
Alex Shainman
Rifle, CO
[Hide Comment] Thanks for the responses Darrell, I enjoyed the read! Dec 23, 2015
[Hide Comment] No harder than 10c if you take the crux bypass. I found the R to the 3rd bolt not too bad, eases up just in time. Hardest move was over the 1st bolt on P2, I had to dead point to a pocket. The crux on P2 is described at "scary" but also "PG" in the new guidebook (shrugs).

Overall great climbing on good edges and cool pockets the whole way. Nov 14, 2016