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Field of Dreams

5.12a, Trad, 90 ft (27 m),  Avg: 3.5 from 13 votes
FA: Bob Gaines & Charlie Peterson, August 1996
California > Tahquitz & Suic… > Tahquitz Rock > (f) W Face Bulg… > Upper Bulge Routes

Description

This amazingly blank and exposed section of rock heads roughly straight up from the anchor where Crucifix and The Bat finish. Climb roughly 50-60' of some intensely tenuous friction to easier ground above. The improbable climbing is very well protected except one move near the 2nd to the last bolt. A couple of the bolts are older, or have bizarre hangers, but will probably do the job. This route was originally graded 11b in the Tahquitz guidebook, but I've heard rumor others think it's harder as well...

Location

Approach via the Bat Crack and Crucifix or The Bat. Finish by moving left toward The Vampire. Walk off via the friction descent.

Protection

Roughly 8 bolts, 1-3" gear for an anchor in the arch above.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Bob Gaines and Tommy Romero, 1995.
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Photo by Sam Roberts.
[Hide Photo] Bob Gaines and Tommy Romero, 1995. Photo by Sam Roberts.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Jon Clark
Planet Earth
 
[Hide Comment] I approached this pitch a year or so ago via The Crucifix (11b/c) and thought it was WAY harder than that route. I'd vote for the stiff side of 11d. Oct 18, 2012
Josh Higgins
San Diego, CA
  5.12a
[Hide Comment] This thing requires time, creativity, and commitment if you aren't a slab master. Most people I know bail and rappel leaving a carabiner, including myself the first time. I've since redpointed it, but it took honest to go WORK! It's a fun learning experience, and unique even for Tahquitz.

The guidebook said 11b, and I didn't want to uprate this thing by more than 2 letter grades, but after redpointing it and talking to many friends who are good/competent climbers who have been completely shutdown on this thing I think it's in the easy 5.12 range. It's completely safe though, so go give it a try! Sep 19, 2013
Thomas Claiborne
Flagstaff
 
[Hide Comment] Can someone tell me what the deal is with the ugly bolt ladder coming up underneath the anchor to climbers left? The top of the count? It's such a blemish on an otherwise gorgeous chunk of stone. Nov 19, 2018
Josh Higgins
San Diego, CA
  5.12a
[Hide Comment] Thomas, I believe what you're looking at are the last few bolts of "The Bat." The Bat goes up or left from the previous belay, and is to the left of The Crucifix, meeting again at that anchor. You have to remember that this is an old aid area. Those junk bolts look close enough, and the climbing is hard enough, that I'm relatively positive that was initially an aid line. Now it goes free, but the bolts are close and old. The old guidebook showed 11b? (I don't own any of the new ones), and last time I was up there the bolts hadn't been replaced. I would not be surprised if the rating was sandbagged.

I hope that anyone who goes out there to replace the bolts uses good judgement and ponders reducing the number of them since it goes free and it does not require aid spacing. I hope that helps. Nov 19, 2018
Bob Gaines
Joshua Tree, CA
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] Hey Thomas, Check out my route post on The Bat. In the old black and white photo those two climbers are on the original bolt ladder! The free version of The Bat only uses the first bolt on the ladder, then moves up and right.

The original bolt ladder line has been toproped free (12a) but never led. Nov 21, 2018
Thomas Claiborne
Flagstaff
 
[Hide Comment] Josh and Bob, I appreciate the history lesson on the bolt ladder. I knew that it was a ladder used for aid but was unsure as to the purpose -- whether it was for the FA of The Bat, Crucifix, etc.

I have no intention of pulling, replacing, or altering the original bolts but would love to see the work done by a person or party up to the task. I'm starting to work through the routes and grades on the upper bulge and would love for these routes to get the attention and hardware they deserve. Thanks for everything you both do! Nov 22, 2018
Bob Gaines
Joshua Tree, CA
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] Thanks Thomas, the original bolts on Vampire and Stairway to Heaven were replaced some years ago...The Bat/Crucifix/Field of Dreams is next on the to do list. Nov 23, 2018
[Hide Comment] First bolt is an old 1/4, not for whipping. The rest are ok looking hex heads, last one with a funky hanger.

Hard to find the right path on this one but high quality slab the whole way. Aug 19, 2019
Gabriel Kerbs
Lander, Yeehaw!
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] 1st bolt (the “not for whipping” quarter-incher) is now upgraded to a stainless 3/8“ 5-piece courtesy of the ASCA. Jun 9, 2023
Bob Gaines
Joshua Tree, CA
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] Nice work Gabe. Thanks for the upgrade! Jun 12, 2023