Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Jim Smith, Bob Brinton and Z. Jasitas, August 1936
Page Views: 28,507 total · 190/month
Shared By: mschlocker on Sep 17, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The first route up Tahquitz, and one of the easiest. Three long pitches of cracks and chimneys. Belay 1 near end of rope at decent stance. Belays 2 and 3 are from large trees. The last pitch is a short friction pitch up to the top. A great climb to get into the multi-pitch groove.

A few other climbs start from Pine Tree Ledge (Belay #2).


Head straight above Lunch Rock (around left side) to the base of the cliff. Head left onto ledges. The obvious break between the West Face Bulge and the West Face is the climb. Rope up at the ledge and head up and left to gain The Trough. Climb then diagonals up and right.


Mostly medium gear. Lots of stuff in the 1-3 Camalot range. Slings for trees. A competent climber can get away with a minimal rack.
Mar' Himmerich
Santa Fe, NM
Mar' Himmerich   Santa Fe, NM
My first route on the Big Stone. In the winter, this is a great ice climb! Bring a couple baby angles and LAs for the pitch after the tree. Aug 25, 2008
Pat C
Pat C   Honolulu
First lead ever. May 3, 2009
Steve W Smith
Groveland, CA
Steve W Smith   Groveland, CA
This is a great first lead route.
For it's rating it's fun enough with a few challenges to keep your interest. The friction descent is common sense route finding to get you back down. I was concerned until I saw and did it. Jul 1, 2010
For a bit of historical perspective,

This climb was the original definition of 5.0 Jul 1, 2010
Dean Olson
Dean Olson  
So it was my first trip up there and I was looking for the shoes that were still on my feet. I finally realized this after a few minutes and the guy doing Jam Crack right next to us, with a glint of knowing in his eye, says, "Sounds like it's gonna be a REALLY good adventure."

Fun climb, anyone could do it high. Jul 13, 2011
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   California
I remember climbing this several years back and I'm sitting at the first belay and I see Michael Reardon soloing Piton Pooper. He made it look like a walk in the park. About five minutes later I'm still at the first belay and he's downclimbing The Trough. We talked for a couple minutes (I gave him the whole "Oh my gosh, your Michael Reardon!" treatment) and when I leaned to the side to let him by he told me to stay put because he was in my way! He downclimbed past me again at the second belay and we talked some more. He had such a humble and mellow manner about him. He was truly inspiring, not just for how he climbed but for how he treated a guy who was using gear to climb UP what he was soloing down. Jul 17, 2011
Rack: I was fine with a set of nuts and 6 cams between 0.3 and 4. Also long slings to reduce ropedrag and belay of trees.

Communication on pitch 3 is hard/impossible if you go the full 50 meters to the big tree (start of 4th class). Jul 31, 2011
soloing is such a personal experience, i just don't get how one can recommend any climb as a great first freesolo. pretty slow times you posted too... just trying to figure out how any of this free solo info is relevent. forums are great place to spray... Sep 23, 2011
Jim Dover
Idyllwild, CA
Jim Dover   Idyllwild, CA
First multi-pitch a year ago and first lead with a less experienced climber today. The second pitch seems...awkward and harder in places than I remembered. Maybe the pressure of the day today. Still a stellar day and a stellar climb. Sep 24, 2011
Easier than 5.4 and never exposed, it would be an excellent first lead. It should be mentioned that the final pitch goes up behind the big pine tree. Oct 22, 2011
Art Tom
Valencia, CA
  5.4 PG13
Art Tom   Valencia, CA
  5.4 PG13
This was my first lead as well, did it way back in 88. Very enjoyable and clean. Oct 25, 2011
Encinitas, CA
RockyR   Encinitas, CA
First time on this route. Led the 1st 2 pitches on 4.10.12. There were snow and some areas on the 2nd pitch was wet. Super fun!! vimeo.com/40387742 May 25, 2012
david doucette  
Just climbed this today, 5.12.13 (did it a couple of time a few years ago). Route is nice and dry with a couple of wet spots deep in some of the cracks. Great intro for tahquitz. There are a couple of challenging moves for its rating;

1. Second Pitch - coming out of the 1st belay. protectable but awkward. takes gear well.
2. Third pitch - offwidth midway thru. difficult first move to get in the offwidth.
3. Fourth Pitch - going above of pine tree ledge (perfect place for lunch BTW), some face moves with minimal protection. One or two committing moves here but then protectable.

For a new leader, this is not a cakewalk but very protectable and enjoyable. May 12, 2013
Chase Leoncini
San Diego, California
Chase Leoncini   San Diego, California
Easily 3 pitches by combining pitches 3 and 4 but it becomes very difficult to hear. Jul 9, 2013
Mat Kelliher
Van Nuys, CA
Mat Kelliher   Van Nuys, CA
My first multi-pitch trad climb!! Jun 25, 2014
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
Did this 2 yrs ago. At one point (3rd, 4th P ??) I remember getting into "V" groove type move with a 2" crack at the top that I thought was harder than 5.3-5.4; but later someone told me that there you are supposed to LEAVE the "GOOOVE" and climb the face to the right, something I never thought to do (so much for guidebooks!), I mean you've been cruising up this groove for several hundred feet. Perhaps the folk rating it 5.6 did the same as I did. ??? Aug 26, 2014
Eric Holden
Temecula, CA
  5.4 PG13
Eric Holden   Temecula, CA
  5.4 PG13
First Multipitch Trad climb! Lead pitches 1 and 3 while my partner did pitch 2. Our first time climbing on Tahquitz. Rock was still wet from the rains a few days ago which made for some slippery moss covered fun. Great times! No webbing on any of the trees so please make sure you bring your own for anchor building. Dec 9, 2014
Gary Schenk
Gary Schenk  
Saw a copy of the original mimeographed guide to Tahquitz. The Trough was rated third class! Jan 22, 2015
Allison Boyle
Allison Boyle  
Really great route for someone learning to alpine trad lead. I'm not sure I'd call the whole route 5.4, felt like there were a couple "crux" 5.6 moves, but nothing bad. We had a great time on this. It was our first time at Tahquitz and we waited at the top to follow someone down the "friction slab" descent, and that wasn't too bad either, but I could see how someone could get off on the wrong spot. Jun 29, 2015
Anybody have an ACTUAL proposed rack for this route, instead of saying "lots of stuff" in a certain range? Jul 12, 2015
San Diego, CA
mschlocker   San Diego, CA
Michael, you will see a term around called a "standard rack" and you will want more beta but alas, this is all you get. For most it is a set of nuts, a set of cams from very small to #3 or so with doubles for the ones you think you will want extras of. In this case, as with many routes, it is from #1-#3. Also included in that are 6-10 quickdraws/alpine draws and maybe some slings for trees. On such a long and easy route it's not needed or even possible to give a play by play of the gear. If you don't have a piece that fits then you can usually safely climb a little higher and then place something else. When I am nervous I tend to bring extras of the recommended size. Consider triples of #1 and #2 cams if you want to be extra safe. I learned the opposite way because I thought the guy at the store was just trying to make extra money off of me by telling me I might want doubles of some of my cams. It all worked out, I just ran it out and also did shorter pitches. Then I went and bought more cams. Jul 12, 2015
Wei Hu
San Diego, CA
Wei Hu   San Diego, CA
Did this April 17th, 2016 in 3 pitches with a 60m rope. Station1 is just below a piton at a crack going right. Station 2 is a tree that is on a ledge going right. P2 has a stuck BD 0.3 Camalot, its pretty deep in the crack. Station 3 is a much larger tree at the top. We finished the route with a slab scramble to the top. Fun route! Apr 19, 2016
Sean Maher
Santa Barbara, CA
Sean Maher   Santa Barbara, CA
CBF to hike to the standard start after the approach to Lunch Rock so we added a 70 m approach pitch from the toe of the buttress. It didn't seem any harder than the rest of the route and was certainly more fun than carrying a pack up talus and across ledges! Starts in a right-facing corner/trough directly below the true start of the route; I can add a photo if anyone is interested. Jul 19, 2016
Forever Outside
Los Angeles, CA
Forever Outside   Los Angeles, CA
Protects super well, easily done in 3 pitches, linking pitch 2 and 3 for about a 58m climb. Use plenty of runners and it's easy to avoid rope drag.Belay each pitch from the obvious trees, fun climb! Apr 4, 2017
Megin Olson
Megin Olson   SoCal
You don't belay from a tree on P1 (if you're following the topo); it's a gear anchor. I've seen parties go off left to the pine tree that you can see from the start of the route -- this is off route.
I've also seen people start climbing from below the route (which is probably harder terrain than 5.4). Not sure where Sean Maher (comment 7/19/2016) saw talus... there is a use trail up to the base of the West Face (Angel's Fright area) and then you chimney or scramble up and left (north) to the start. Jul 18, 2017
MariaZ Zimmerman
San Diego, CA
MariaZ Zimmerman   San Diego, CA
I had fun at the third pitch where you had to awkward turtle over the bulge. I didn't feel sketch doing it on lead.

I used a standard rack + a set of nuts. A 4 might have come in handy but a single set of BD .5 to 3 will get you home. Nuts slotted in well on this route. Aug 7, 2017
Cole D
Los Angeles
Cole D   Los Angeles
follow up on what's been previously mentioned; this route takes nuts very well. went with a buddy and we only had single BD C4s .5-3. we saved them the whole route thinking we'd need them for belay anchors and never ended up placing a cam more than like twice.

-nut placements available often
-tree to belay from at end of pitch two and end of climb
-upper third of climb will also have several mini shrub trees to sling along the pitch
-great adventure if you are new to trad leading
-got to pine tree legde for belay station 2, very obvious route finding up to that point. after pine tee ledge seems to make sense to just take it all the way to the top at that point for 3 pitches. Oct 16, 2017
Anthony Colunga
Torrance, CA
Anthony Colunga   Torrance, CA
I just rope soloed the trough in two pitches. If you are careful about your placements,and extensions, the rope drag isn’t horrific. I used a 70m rope Oct 27, 2018
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
Of course there was no rope drag if you were rope soloing Oct 28, 2018
PLEASE DO NOT ROPE.SOLO THE TROUGH! It's the busiest route on the mountain. Try one of the Larks instead or any other 5.easy. Nov 2, 2018
To the forums!


But seriously, regarding rope drag, have you tried the backpack method? Rope drag shouldn't be a problem but on vert route backfeeding is! Nov 3, 2018
Trad Princess
Not That Into Climbing
Trad Princess   Not That Into Climbing
This rope soloing stuff would never happen at south woodsen nawmean?! Nov 3, 2018
Jeffrey Constine
Los Angeles, CA
Jeffrey Constine   Los Angeles, CA
Downclimbing it many times in the early 80s as a fast way down, sometimes people would be leading up we just climbed around them. With Tommy Grimes and Dave Kats about 50 times. never went up the thing. The hardest part was the step down near the bottom. Nov 6, 2018