Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Carl Jensen, Jim Smith and Don McDonald, Aug 1938
Page Views: 11,990 total · 74/month
Shared By: Dpurf on Feb 24, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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This route is located on the far right side of the West face. Just before the Open Book area.
P1 - Head up easy blocks of rock until you hit a prominent crack. Belay at the base of this crack.
P2 - Continue up this crack / corner and belay just below the roofs.
P3 Climb an offwith crack that can be awkward around the left side of the overhanges, then up the corner to a ledge.
P4 - Continue up the corner system or climb out right onthe upper slabs.


Up to 3 or 4 inches.


Mark L  
A worthy route for a 5.6 leader.

There are 2 ways to start - either start scrambling up the 3rd/4th class from beneath the tree under Coffin Nail and traverse up and right until you are about 100' up (I think) Once you are starting to definitely do 5th class moves you can set up the belay - or alternatively just belay from the ground and do 2 shorter pitches to the traitor horn headwall. The other way to start is to follow the climbers trail past all the west face routes until you pass a corner on your left and see the Open Book to your left. Break out the rope and just start climbing the easy 5th class rock just to your left when you look at the open book after you turn the corner.

The pitch(es) up to the traitor horn belay area are pretty weird - there are several different sections to it that make it interesting. Hand crack, lieback flake, jug holds, good feet, poorer feet... That's the best pitch on the route. Pro can occasionally be challenging perhaps especailly mid and higher up as it gets pretty wide but there are often incut holds behind the flakes.

Essentially the pitch up to the belay near Traitor Horn goes up to and stays on the right side of a huge rock flake that is maybe 100' high and 15' wide.

The second pitch (about 100') starts with a slight upclimb up and slightly left of the belay (small cams) maybe 20' up from the top of the flake you just stayed on the right of. The first real move makes an exciting (if your not good with using your feet yet) 5.5/5.6 traverse for 6 feet or so until you can get onto a slab runway (5.2 maybe) that follows and offwidth crack up for 60' or so until getting to some bushes - go through these and belay at the highest one if you have a 60 meter rope otherwise go higher if you ahve a 50 or your second wont make it to the top on the next lead. This pitch has maybe 15' of moves more than 5.3, but that traverse still makes it special for newer leaders.

Last pitch is nice slabby climbing with some meandering cracks that you weave back and forth to get handholds and place pro in. Just try to keep within 30' or so of the right wall/dihedral the whole time. After about 160' you should see a offwidth crack where the dihedral on the right meets a headwall. You can take this (5.9 lieback I've heard), take a mantle problem to its right about 10' (you don't want to fall, its a reachy move, probably 5.8/5.9) or just go left along the headwall for 20' and around it and your at the same belay as the Lunch Ledge routes end at. Jun 3, 2007
Temecula, CA
TNT92592   Temecula, CA
Third pitch around the corner be sure to bring a #4 (BD) cam. It is quite a drop off deserving protection Nov 29, 2009
Nate M
San Diego, CA
Nate M   San Diego, CA
Not a big fan. Found every pitch either akward or bland. Would only do it again as a linkup for something else(Traitor horn). Jun 23, 2011
Justin Tomlinson
Monrovia, CA
Justin Tomlinson   Monrovia, CA
A good climb. I liked the second half of pitch one, and the whole of pitch two on very good rock with very good pro.

Moving around the corner on the third pitch offers exposure where you can place a large cam. As the second, after pulling this cam, you then have to make the akward move that involved some sand in the crack on which i almost slipped.

Take care to protect your second here, if possible, with a second piece after the awkward move. Third pitch didn't offer much to enjoy.

We went out to the slab on the right for the forth pitch. While the protection down low the was slim before reaching the better cracks above, I liked the position on the rock and found the climbing fun and easy.

A good climb! Jul 3, 2011
Josh C
Somewhere out West
Josh C   Somewhere out West
The 3rd pitch is one of the best on this route. The most exposure you'll get on this route is stepping up to the crack. True, the second half of the pitch is somewhat mundane, but the first half is one of the reasons to climb this route. And, yes, it is awkward, but fun. Ahh, Tahquitz. Aug 31, 2011
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
Took a number 5 camalot with me on this one today, sort of as a joke. By the time I was ready to lead out the fourth, normally easy, pitch, it was pouring rain and windy. Not only was I able to use the #5 at the belay at the top of P2, but it was a real comfort to have it to stuff under the dihedral that is most of P4. Without it, it would have probably been much more tense, as water was running down the slab and pouring off the dihedral in little trickles and waterfalls.

So if you don't mind carrying the club around, you can use a #5 liberally on this route. It's definitely unnecessary. There are gear placements of just about all sizes literally everywhere on this climb, except portions of the dihedral, where the #5 works and small placements would be devious. But the climbing here is usually very easy.

A photoset with a mini-TR here. Sep 5, 2011
Jeff Scofield
Yorba Linda, CA
Jeff Scofield   Yorba Linda, CA
@ChrisD man great photos thanks for sharing!!! Great job climbing in the rain...Checking out your pics your buddy should invest in some approach shoes I'd hate walking all that way on wet dirt in my climbing shoes....
Jeff May 2, 2012
The Ruin-er
The Ruin-er   CA
did this in three pitches, fun just short ;-( the ow pitch is rad and exposed Jun 8, 2012
Will P.  
Bring a #4, and watch out for all the loose junk after the OW. Very fun 5.6. Nov 4, 2012
Eric "Pig" Varley
Nipomo, CA
Eric "Pig" Varley   Nipomo, CA
After climbing this and Left Ski Track, I'm convinced that 5.6 is the mentally hardest grade to climb at Tahquitz.

This was a fun route, with some very exciting moves. Nothing is that hard physically, but if you're limit is 5.6 you will have a mentally difficult time with this route. Apr 8, 2013
Definitely a fun one, I linked p2 and 3 with a 70m just barely. A #4 C4 will be very helpful for the airy step around. DO IT! May 20, 2013
chance hawkins
san diego, ca
chance hawkins   san diego, ca
Climbed it this last Friday and its a very fun route. Definitely a committing "around the corner" 3rd pitch move with great exposure - bring a BD #4 to protect it after getting around the corner, then the awkward squeeze crack past it I placed a BD #3 (I jammed left hand with body facing to the right to toe/heel shuffle up). That is certainly the crux on this route.

For any beginner trad leader you need to keep in mind this is a 1938 5.6. But if you are familiar with Tahquitz at all the climb doesn't come as a surprise. Jun 5, 2017
Left a red size #2, DMM Torque Nut at the top of pitch 2 while climbing Traitor Horn. Please contact me if you were able to free the lodged piece, I'll pay you in beer. Location: Los Angeles. Thanks! Jul 10, 2017
Cole D
Los Angeles
Cole D   Los Angeles
I found this step around crux at early part of p3 to be harder than the step around on left ski track. the #4 is clutch there but i think i placed it too low after the step around and it took the spot i needed for jams. in any case glad i placed it because when i stepped up into the crack i took a big ole whip. agree with most of the comments below, it had some great parts and plenty of awkwardness. Jun 16, 2018
Ben Crowell
Ben Crowell  
I've posted a topo. Comments and corrections would be welcome. Jun 27, 2018
master gumby  
Linked to traitor horn with a buddy for his first outdoor climb and my first time on the route. Pretty sick, good variety of face moves and crack. Dec 29, 2018