Type: Trad, 600 ft, 6 pitches
FA: Royal Robbins and Don Wilson May 1952
Page Views: 29,121 total · 183/month
Shared By: Dpurf on Feb 21, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The far right side of the Northwest Recess are two parallel cracks that merge about 200 ft up. The climb start with the right of the 2 cracks. But 99% of the climbers take the left crack which is the Wong Climb. This is a better crack. Pitch 1 - take the wider right crack to a nice ledge with a 2 bolt anchor. Pitch 2 - move to the left crack (The Mummy Crack) to a wide sloping ledge. Pitch 3 - up and right over a small roof to a Mohagany. Belay here. Pitch 4 - friction up and left across a slab then back right over a flake to a fir tree. Pitch 5 - Above a downpointing flake is passedon the left then up a thin corner (5.8), traverse right to an easy crack, belay above the notch. Pitch 6 is up and right to the top.


Pro up to 3.5 inches
When you get to the base its obvious why everyone does the Wong start - its much prettier. The mummy isnt bad, and protect nicely with small/med cams. We linked 3&4, 3 has lots of chong-a-bong rocks, but good gear exists. The mahogany is dead. Above the fir is the crux, and the pin has been broken off (somewhat protectable with rp's). This is solid 5.8 for 10-15 feet. May 28, 2007
San Diego, CA
mschlocker   San Diego, CA
I second linking pitches 3 and 4. You can also take the downward pointing flake pitch to a good belay ledge about 170 feet up past the steep 5.7 jamming section. The downward pointing flake was more than the one move wonder I was expecting - I threw in a couple of aliens (yellow then blue I think) that I felt good about. Jul 23, 2007
Be ready for an incredible adventure. Felt more satisfied after this climb than Whodunnit. The first 2 pitches are some of the best moderate pitches around.

We were a bit confused on the third pitch. Maybe we are just dumb but I don't think we ended up going the right way.

The downward pointed flake was an unexpected smack in the face. But what a beautiful feature. It protected just fine with TCU's of similar. The last part was a bit confuing as well but we found what seemed like the path of least resistance. But man-o-man the whole climb is great. I put it up there with the other must do's of the rock. Feb 23, 2009
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
Great route.

If I climb this route again, I'd refrain from linking pitches 3 and 4. The 180 foot link-up is a little zig-zaggy and care must be taken not to run the rope through bushes. We had a lot of rope drag.

The crux was awesome, and pretty tricky. TCUs below the moves work okay but the Ballnutz really helped mid-way through the crux. May 22, 2009
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Wow, awesome climb! The first and second pitches are pure fun, great jams with a frequently appearing "cheater" crack to assist you. The downward pointing flake on P5 looks pretty intimidating, but it's all there. Save a couple of your smallest nuts (BD #4 or 5), and you'll find that it protects surprisingly well too. Jun 7, 2009
Simon H
Oakland, CA
Simon H   Oakland, CA
You don't need a #4 for this climb, although I used one once because I had it. Linking 3-4 was smooth, but communication with the 2nd suffers.

The p5 crux is insecure, and the piton that traditionally protects it is destroyed, but it will protect with small nuts and TCU's.

I brought doubles of hand sized pieces, (.75-2 C4) but would have probably gotten more use out of double smaller cams (.4-.75C4)

Belay ledges are comfortable and well spaced, I'd highly recommend doing P1 of Wong Climb before transitioning into Long Climb, as it was the highlight of the route. May 6, 2011
Jason Partin
San Diego, CA
Jason Partin   San Diego, CA
Started on The Wong Climb. I vote that combing P1 of The Wong with P2+ of The Long be designated as a new route called The Long Wong. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

The crux is the downward-pointing flake, a giant arrow-shaped feature. As other posters mentioned, the old piton is broken and no longer offers protection. Also, there was a flake broken off that probably once held a small cam, and I tried using another small flake that broke off. With these pieces missing I became nervous and my mind made the move harder than it should have been. After a few "reach up and look" moves, I protected with two micro nuts, one in the right side crack with the broken piton, the other on top of the "arrow" in a tiny crack that I couldn't see until standing up and searching. These cracks wouldn't hold even the tiniest of cams, so if you're not a strong 5.8/9 climber I'd suggest bringing micro nuts and taking your time at this spot.

Route-finding after the downward pointing flake on was a nightmare for our first time, but this is typical of Tahquitz and other blocky, crumbling alpine routes. Plan for longer than you think you need, bring more runners than you think you need, and take water and snacks regardless of how in shape you are and things should remain fun. As a hint... the belay spot after the downward pointing flake is closer than you think... it's easy to pass, then you're stuck meandering through blocks. Pass the crux, traverse right, look for the belay nearby. Jul 17, 2011
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
I think that the above description for the belay above the downward-pointing flake (looks more like a wedge of cheese than a flake) is off a bit. If you climb it according to Vogel's guide, after you pass the flake on the left, then go up the short corner, traverse right a little then climb an "easy crack" which is obvious, splitting steep broken rock and ending in a V-notch that can be seen from the belay at the start of the pitch. I'd guess it's at least 40 feet above the downward flake, maybe more. From above the notch, there's an easy ramp that goes up, to the right, and tops out just below the true summit. In this photo, belay 5 is the belay at the pine tree atop p4, and the rest of the route drawn in is correct, I believe. Ignore the stuff below that...we were wandering.

We did this today, and it was great! I think that's the correct finish, since we were paying close attention to the route description after wandering all over P3-4. The flake may be the psychological crux, but definitely not the most technical. If you trust your feet and are okay with a slightly balancey no-hands move, it's all there, and really not much harder than the step-around on the ski tracks.

If you haven't been on the Northwest Recess routes over there before, there's a couple of ways to get to the starts, but it looks like the most popular way is to stay close to maiden buttress rather than do what we did (scramble up third class stuff just to the left of the base of the routes) but that worked fine too. Sep 3, 2011
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
I hope Chris D doesn't mind but I used his photo as an example of the line I did for this route...

My partner and I did this route on Saturday in 6 pitches vs the 7 pitches Chris D drew on his link.


Our line follows the first two pitches of the photo described then with slight variations. The first two pitches were pretty obvious to do via Wong Long climb. After the mummy pitch into the huge ledge for the start of the 3rd pitch, the yellow dotted line for pitch 3 started to traverse right then up and headed right pass the roof above to the 4th pitch. I started the 3rd pitch straight up via crack that felt like 5.7 into a depression. Once I got to the roof I stayed left and pulled over the roof and stayed left and went right over a dead tree to a left facing corner. This belay is the same as Chris D for pitch 5. In his description they traverse right then up to a tall tree. My partner angled up and left on 5.6 slab then went back out right to the tall tree for pitch 6. At the downward pointing flake my partner headed straight up over the bulge/slab immediate left of the downward pointing flake by the broken fix pin. I felt that the movement felt harder then 5.8 and instead saw a fix nut under the bulge to my left. I went left here for about 8 feet using the roof to undercling to easier climbing and followed the rest of the pitch as described. The last pitch described to angle up and right to the top. My partner instead veered off right for a few feet then headed straight up to a left facing corner. The last moved involved pulling over a boulder that felt like v2 to me to the top.

Has anyone else followed my line as shown via red arrows?

s42.photobucket.com/albums/… May 14, 2012
Sherman oaks, ca
BrendanC   Sherman oaks, ca
Stellar route. We did the route as described here on MP and felt it very straight forward. Big comfy ledges for each belay. Great pro the whole way. Some 5.8 on almost every pitch so stays interesting. Notes:
P1 -- obvious and great. Bolt anchor.
P2 -- Mummy Cracks. The highlight for me (and crux). Very steep, but great pro and probably easy for anyone with OW technique. I have none so exciting and strenuous. Pull a nice airy roof move, exit left to the belay.
P3 -- go straight up the crack system for some more nice steep 5.7/8 into the small chimney and exit left out another fun airy roof move. Belay just past the mahogany on huge comfy ledge.
P4 -- straight up the L facing dihedral you're belaying in. Over a little roof and into another short dihedral with slab for feet, couple good spots for pro right where you need it. 5.6. Pull out and do a simple traverse to the obvious pine tree to the right. Short pitch.
P5 -- "Downward pointing flake" is directly overhead 40'. Easy to there. Not sure why all the discussion about pro here. There is plenty and it isn't micro. Bomber nuts through this section in the small to med range. Pro is A+ and the moves are 5.8- at best and the climbing is fantastic. So left around the flake and up the short dihedral (10 ft), easy traverse right to the obvious 5.7 crack system leading to the big V notch. Belay in the notch.
P6 -- Right to the top.
Classic route. Jun 11, 2012
Nathan Scherneck
Portland, OR
Nathan Scherneck   Portland, OR
Please be conscious of loose blocks on this and other NW Recess routes. We were almost pummeled at the base of The Consolation by a very large block released by a party who was above the Mummy Crack (6/28/2012). Jun 30, 2012
Ryan Kempf
Boulder, CO
Ryan Kempf   Boulder, CO
Agree with Brendan and Nathan. Be really careful of lose blocks. There are always people below you on these routes and even a fist size rock would kill a person. All BS aside, go straight up the left facing corner after p4. its direct and really good, maybe .9 for 2 moves, other than that solid and way better than the other finish. The piton on p4 has a broken eye and needs to be replaced or removed. Sep 19, 2012
Chris Norwood
San Diego, CA
Chris Norwood   San Diego, CA
SCARY loose block resting in the crack on P3... We "x"ed it with chalk (that won't last long though), but please be careful! It could definitely hurt somebody Oct 1, 2012
Eric "Pig" Varley
Nipomo, CA
Eric "Pig" Varley   Nipomo, CA
This route has a bit of 5.8 climbing on every pitch, except for the 6th and final pitch. My partner and I climbed the first pitch of Wong (amazing hand crack) then kept going up through the Mummy Crack (way more secure than it looks).

Pitch 5 (downward pointing flake) is serious mental business. We were both knackered from the previous day's adventure and had little juice left for this crux. I agree with BrendanC, there is plenty of solid pro here. The moves are balancey, the holds are kind of crappy, and the exposure is incredible.

All in all, this was a great route. Please note that pretty much every pitch is in the shade all day. Dress appropriately for lower temps. Apr 8, 2013

Above the belay there are two parallel cracks: a rampy corner crack on the right and an overhung handcrack on the left. Where the two cracks converge, before you enter the chimney, there is a shard of rock about 2 or 3 feet long that seems to be just resting in the crack and ready to plunge onto your belayer with the slightest touch. Take caution to avoid it and place some gear out right to keep your rope from brushing against this time bomb. Sep 16, 2013
Newport Beach
Donno   Newport Beach
Please delete the photo showing where to place gear: this is too much beta. Oct 6, 2013
Justin Tomlinson
Monrovia, CA
Justin Tomlinson   Monrovia, CA
I pretty much agree with Donno. It's a nice photo showing one of the prominent features of the route, but the gear beta is too much. My 2 cents. Oct 12, 2013
Trad Princess
Not That Into Climbing
Trad Princess   Not That Into Climbing
Climbed this Jan 20, was relatively warm in the shade. 1st pitch of Wong to 2+ of Long - really nice climb. Mummy crack looks worse than it is, but facing the proper direction can make or break your pitch. I made the start of the 3rd harder than it needed to be, the exit to the left of the chimney/gulley has some nice moves on fairly stable rock - pops you out under the dead Mahogany.

We went up and right there for a short pitch to the fir. The crux protects fairly well, there are plenty of feet to work up on, I was able to lean and reach up to place pro on the left side of the flake before going for it, and you can get gear in by the old piton/etc below that as well. Slung poorly and paid for it beyond that point in rope drag - watch for loose rock in spots on the way up to the V-notch belay. Final pitch was mellow and had some nice moves on the exit. Overall a great day out. Jan 21, 2014
Lynn S
Lynn S  
Very fun route, Mummy Crack was a blast and the flake on pitch 5 is really fun movement. Great day with Tobin! May 31, 2014
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
Never saw "the" loose block on P3, even though we were looking for it. This might be because P3 and P4 are really littered with loose rocks. Plenty of large and small rocks to trundle, but with even reasonably conscientiousness climbing it shouldn't be a problem. None struck me as rocks that could be dislodged by poor rope management.

Just be careful, and think long and hard about climbing below another party. Jun 1, 2014
Jeff Scofield
Yorba Linda, CA
Jeff Scofield   Yorba Linda, CA
Pretty funny when people start saying too much Beta on a photo that says Beta Photo.....that's like the dudes back in the day looking at all of us with guide books and who troll on MP looking for what? oh ya beta! Jul 30, 2014
Nick Thurston
Nick Thurston  
Climbed this yesterday after Whodunit and want to throw my voice in the mix to add extra caution for loose rock. The entire NW Recess is very active, and people have died here (recently) from rockfall. I'm thinking specifically of last year's tragedy on Sahara Terror. If it looks loose, dont pull on it. If people are climbing above you (or below!), consider this area with the same caution you'd use on any alpine route! With that said, great climb... though that 2nd pitch... *Cringe* Jun 1, 2015
Justin. S
Monrovia, CA
Justin. S   Monrovia, CA
We did this climb in a party of three yesterday 07/10/2015, and had an epic adventure for my first trad multi pitch. Loved every second, except for when the unsafe and careless party to the right of us dropped multiple blocks and an atc with one faint warning and nothing for the rest. Thanks for that. As far as the route goes great consistent jams, with each pitch bringing something special to the climb. around pitch 3/4, and 5 there are some extremely large and extremely loose blocks so be careful. At the pine tree on the third belay watch out someone took a huge crap in the crack and by the tree thanks for that one, you could've went right a little where you don't sit and belay, or bagged it. And the climbers left on Edge Hogs, Bravo for making an intense climb look so easy! Jul 11, 2015
Chad Parker
Ventura, California
Chad Parker   Ventura, California
Pitch 2 is the true crux of this climb but pitch 3 is harder if not done correctly and is difficult to figure out. Do not belay at the top of the sloping ledge in the corner. The climb and the crux of this pitch starts here. PROTECT THIS CRUX, if gear pops you will hit the ledge. Refrain from going up the slanting dihedral to the right of the sloping ledge, that's not the route and goes at about a 5.9.

Pitch 3 starts in the slightly overhanging left facing corner with a 3 inch crack. A solid fist jam (possibly lieback) allows you to move your feet up so you can get the v-notch above the 3 inch crack. Lying back off the v-notch step up with a right foot and reach high right over a block to a huge jug then you can throw your right foot up on the slanting eret and left foot up to a good ledge above the 3 inch crack.

Really fun moves and great fist jams. Be safe!

Pitch 1 - 5.5 (Wong variation) 5.8
Pitch 2 - 5.8
Pitch 3 - 5.8
Pitch 4 - 5.6
Pitch 5 - 5.8
Pitch 6 - 5.6 Sep 19, 2016
Safty Third
San Diego, CA
Safty Third   San Diego, CA
Pitch one of Wong + two of Long are the money pitches. Linked pitch two and three with a 70m (220ft) to the dead tree. Ignore the beta and just go on an adventure. May 28, 2017
Great route; led it this past weekend. There is now a bomber, stuck nut right above the broken pin on pitch 5. Honestly pitch 5 was not as difficult as people make it out to be. It definitely is a bit of a puzzle to figure out the moves but it's all there and really fun. The first pitch was the hardest in my opinion - I'm not a very good crack climber though and 100+ feet of it started to tire me out. Jul 31, 2017
Andrea Campanella
Andrea Campanella   Idyllwild
Great Route. Swapped lead with Diana. We had to pass another party and I climbed the chimney to the right of the 2nd pitch. It was hard also because my foot got really stuck in the crack. We combined pitch #3-4 and #5-6. We finished in 4 pitches. Oct 1, 2017
Professor Snax
Professor Snax   Atlanta
Pitch 1: Find yourself at the base of Wong climb, the left of the two long parallel cracks. Climb a nice continuous crack, varying from hands to fist, with the help of generous foot jibs. Arrive at a sloping ledge. And older anchor will be at left (piton, shut, & chains) but on some blocks up and right will be a two bolt anchor with rap rings.

Pitch 2: The “mummy crack” looms obvious ahead, a left-ish facing corner crack with an abundance of cracks therein. Climb the crack till topping out on some flakes/blocks out right. Above is a large block creating a small roof, pull the roof or skirt around right and top out. Arrive at a large sloping ledge. Belay here, 1-2” and small gear anchor options.

Pitch 3: Climb the cracks up and right. Follow the weakness in the rock to a gully/trough, be wary of loose blocks. Exit the gully up and left, topping out on some lichen covered blocks; again, be very careful on what you pull on here. Belay at the smooth mahogany. Small gear to 2” for anchor options.

Pitch 4: From the mahogany, a short runout slab immediately left gains a rightward slanting crack flare to easier ground. Work up and trend right to large upward flakes that flank a fir tree. Either belay at the fur tree or go further up the large crack to a smaller belay just below the V-shaped block. The most fun part of the route in my opinion: work up to the V-block and make delicate move around the left side, gaining better holds on top. A black Alien will make you cozy with the move but there’s pro in crack below. After this, a short trend right and you’ll see a less cleaner crack system, rife with face holds. Climb this to the V-notch.

Pitch 5: Probably possible to link with 4 but a lot of drag. Above the v-notch, continue right on a ramp with a crack, keep trending right and easy but loose/blocky climbing will get you to the top. Apr 24, 2018
nathan winicki  
Definitely take the Wong start. The Mummy crack IMO is one of the best pitches on the route, as there are many sweet finger cracks on the inside that take bomber gear and provide super solid finger-locks. May 9, 2018
Cole D
Los Angeles
Cole D   Los Angeles
Pitch 1 (Wong) - so good
Pitch 2 Mummy - exhausting. did a bit of OW, lieback, and splitter hand jamming towards top of it. very sustained for grade if you are new to that type of climbing like myself.
Pitch 3 - starting that crack was hardest moves of whole climb for me. had to yard on cams. slight overhung flaring crack climbing right off the belay ledge. mellows out after a couple moves. stemming feet helped to start
Pitch 4 - followed on the corner option instead of slab, nothing of note, just fun
Pitch 5 - so good. agree pro is there for the crux. you just need good small stuff. got a totem and totem basic in, stepped up to do the move left, move felt straight forward but staying established there felt a bit insecure. Was able to get a purple ( I think ) small c3 cam in right there in the small left facing corner crack which was nice. Getting on top of that feature is a good feeling :)
Pitch 6 - Small slightly route findy type pitch. Also great. The v shaped notch to end pitch 5 and small belay stance is pretty obvious. The ramp that goes up and right is pretty obvious. Fun tiny roof and slab to finish up. Jul 16, 2018
Brian Steele
Denver, CO
Brian Steele   Denver, CO
Climbed this route on 11/14/18, amazing route with a little bit of everything, perfect hand crack, off width and some fun face climbing. Would highly recommend. Leave yourself a lot of time for the descent as it can be a little tricky to find especially in the dark.

LOOSE ROCK - near the top of p2 after you pull the roof watch out for loose rock and a fairly sizeable (2' x 1') loose block which is ready to fall with a light touch or step. Nov 18, 2018