Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Mark Powell & Beverly Powell, 1964, FFA: Rick Accomazzo, John Long & Tobin Sorenson, 1975
Page Views: 11,047 total · 86/month
Shared By: Brad G on May 12, 2008
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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The Green Arch is one of Tahquiz's greatest climbs. It follows a striking corner to the right of the Open Book (5.9). An amazing climb you don’t want to miss. And yes, it's sandbagged.

Pitch one: Start about 100 feet below were the arch begins and climb past a few pitons and one bolt to a small ledge where the arch begins (5.10+).

Pitch two: The crux. Stem your way up the smooth corner for about 100 feet. Except for the occasional pin scar there is no crack in the corner to help you out. Use the many fixed pitons for pro. Look for the rest on the outside of the corner about sixty feet up the pitch. The crux is when the corner starts arching right. Follow three bolts up to the belay after the corner ends (5.11c).

Pitch three: Climb the easy gully to the right all the way to the top.


To the right of Open book


Lots of quick draws and small TCU cams. Bring a few larger pieces up to #2 as well.


Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
nice Jun 4, 2008
Jordan Ramey
Calgary, Alberta
Jordan Ramey   Calgary, Alberta
To TR this route easily, lead Mechanic's Route (5.8 R) and with a single cord you can lower the climber to the base clipping directionals, then belay them up both P1 and P2. Make sure and clip the bolts or risk swinging way around the arete if you "F" the crux. An absolutely amazing climb that I aspire to lead. Interesting moves throughout and the crux isn't too hard in-and-of itself, but coming at the end of the enduro fest is burly. My favorite climb I've (almost) done at Tahquitz. Aug 17, 2009
Andy Bennett
Tucson, AZ
Andy Bennett   Tucson, AZ
Hey all in Californialand. Anybody know if you can get some micro-cams or offsets in those new pin scars up in the crux??? Thanks a lot. May 30, 2010
Not likely... I believe the placements that pulled are near the apex of the arch and therefore hammered upward into the seam. Additionally, they're knifeblades small enough that they'd likely require the smallest Wild Country Zero (purple one that looks like it belongs on a keychain) to fit.

That said, I base that opinion solely on having looked at the pins sitting at the base of the route, not from first-hand inspection of placement options. Without additional information, I'd suggest NOT leading it without pre-inspection, or being willing to whip big-time. Jun 1, 2010
Define "apex of the arch"... When I led it, the last pin was well below the last big hold. After that hold is where the climb goes almost directly right, and there is no gear, nor (when I did it) any pins. Jun 1, 2010
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
Jon Clark   Philadelphia, PA
led it on 6/12. The lack of pins according to addicted2alpine is not an issue. You can get small nuts and micros before heading out the arch. The pin at the end of the arch is there. Jun 20, 2010
Pins?? Back in the day we used butter knives. Jul 2, 2010
Climbed the Green Arch on October 10th 2010. Route appeared to be fine, felt comfortable with the available pins and gear placements. Some good BD C3 placement are possible through the traverse (Red + Green). Oct 11, 2010
Brad G
Brad G  
Got back on this thing after four years and I'm not going to lie, this thing was still a little scary. A fall in the beginning of the corner will result in the leader falling on the belayer. Also three of the six fixed pins are loose, one of which you can easily pull out with your hand. I would only recommend this route to a solid 5.11 climber. May 8, 2011
Talked to a pair that had climbed this route a few days ago (April 2012). They whipped and pulled the first 3? fixed pieces, falling past and onto the anchor. Very likely 11c R now. They said they couldn't even aid it with micro offset cams and stoppers and had to bail. Good luck to any onsighters;) May 2, 2012
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
I can verify, as I was belaying Jack when he fell and pulled the three pieces. One was a offset DMM brass nut, one was an offset master cam (00/0), and one was a piton. He landed almost on top of me after all three pieces of gear came out. The top anchor piece (orange metolius master cam) stopped his fall - was good thinking to clip it on his way up. Of course he went back up it again and tried to put some better gear in, but to no avail. Almost got a DMM offset nut to stay, but it simply wouldn't hold his weight. I left a purple Metolius ultralight nut and two biners at the belay and bailed off.

Definitely rated R now. It would be nice if we could add a bolt to the R section, as the pitons are prone to pulling out. I guess someone could hammer another one in if they took a piton and a hammer up. I would almost rather see a bolt put in to avoid additional scaring of the pin scar crack that runs up the dihedral and further damage to the rock. Maybe we can contact John Long and see if we can get approval? I believe he was part of the first free ascent team. The first pitch was fun. Would be great to be able to lead (safely) the second pitch again.

Note: there was another piton scar above the one that pulled, and a sheared off piton above that. The next piton is about 15 feet off of the belay. Even if you clip it, will it actually hold? Falling on your belayer isn't nice! (although it is a LITTLE funny!) May 2, 2012
although it is not often done, it is a smart idea to give all pins a good hammering before falling on them. those on tahquitz go through tremendous temperature/ weather changes throughout the year and tend to need a good beating, especially after winter.

if planning on doing routes like this, or etude, its a good idea to carry a hammer up the hill...

not sure on the bolting idea. green arch should definitely retain as much of its original flavor as possible. no riff-raff should be climbing this route... May 3, 2012
Ball nutz possible? It would be a shame to throw a bolt on such a historic test piece. May 4, 2012
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
Jon Clark   Philadelphia, PA

Assuming you're not trolling regarding the placement of a bolt;

The crack in the dihedral can be adequately protected with micros and small stoppers as well as small cams. This is a head's up route, particularly right off the belay and heading out right under the arch. This route isn't R (with or without pitons), but you should be solid at the grade before attempting it. This includes fiddling in hard to place albeit very necessary gear from difficult and tenous positions. Jul 9, 2012
Roger Suen
Los Angeles, CA
Roger Suen   Los Angeles, CA
Wear a shirt, or you'll scrape you're back up! Sep 24, 2012
Jack Ziegler
San Luis Obispo, CA
Jack Ziegler   San Luis Obispo, CA
Looked at the route yesterday. Two new pitons at the start of pitch two. Hammering them in tighter on lead sounds like a good idea. When I tried the route last year I did not have the right type of nuts. You want micros, the flat ones, not offsets. May 10, 2013
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
Led this thing on 8/24/13. It really is excellent. The pitons were in good shape, but I backed most of them up with gear. DMM offset nuts were great, as well as small cams (C3's, aliens). I brought the BD micro nuts (the steel nuts) but didn't place any. Super high quality route, and very sustained. The topo in the new Bob Gains book is a little misconceiving. I left the arch about 8 feet too early and ended up somewhere one on of the mechanics route pitches? Stopped at a really good finger crack (out of gear, off route, etc). The topo in the old book shows the route clearly. Should have looked at that before I led up the arch... We ended up traversing straight climber's right about 40 feet from where I built an impromptu anchor and getting to the rap anchors. Aug 26, 2013
When I did this route in '91 Steve Sutton was at the base, and he told me that if you really want to "style" the rig, then STEM it all the way. I was seconding the crux pitch, and I did stem pretty much the entire thing, and I must say that I felt pretty secure doing it that way. There were flakes and features on both faces, and it may just be easier to sink the pro from a stem...but it would be scarier....maybe. I got a little tunnel visioned up in the crux and missed the really positive holds on the arete, so I botched the clean send...never did return. Try that stem next time... Mar 29, 2015
Crimper E6
cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Crimper E6   cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
P1 easy, P2 E56a/b. Not as pure as it looks as was easy to step off to the arete for a welcome rest in a couple of spots 2/3rds of the way along. Bizarrely I managed to chimney the 1st 1/3rd on the onsight.. Moves thru the arch not that bad, although bold as no pegs/gear for the entirety of the horizontal section so keep a lid on it..

the 5 pegs were solid, and easy to back up. Bolts??? Have u no respect for Tobin? On the contrary, We should consider improving on style and perhaps not adding any more fixed gear when those pegs fall out. May 25, 2015
Jordan Cannon
Bishop, CA
Jordan Cannon   Bishop, CA
Stemming is definitely the way to go. I lead it yesterday and there were 6 pins that looked pretty good, but you can back them up with micro cams and small nuts. Keep traversing through the arch until you see the bolts far out right or risk questing up into no-mans-land like Tobin and taking the whip! May 23, 2016