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West Face - Left Side
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Blank, The T 
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Legends of the Fall T 
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Piton Pooper T 
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Spiders From Mars/Lower Royals Arch/Ziggy Stardust T 
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Upper Royal's Arch T 
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Upper Royal's Arch 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Royal Robbins, Jerry Gallwas, and Chuck Wilts, 1953
Page Views: 6,742
Submitted By: Roger Linfield on Feb 24, 2006  with updates from Ryan Strickland

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (64)
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Aaron Cassebeer on Upper Royal's Arch. Photo: Vick...


Getting to the base of this route is more difficult than climbing it.

Move off the ledge and follow the arch up. When staying in the arch becomes too difficult, move left onto the face and up before moving back to the arch. Surmount the arch at the obvious weakness then move up and over a final headwall. Pull over the improbable steep face on good holds and belay off a tree or on gear under large boulders.


Easiest access to Upper Royals Arch is from Piton Pooper. After climbing the first 20 meters of Piton Pooper, start looking to move up and left to a pine tree. Some adventurous climbing up and left behind a bushy ledge eventually leads you to the pine tree at the base of the arch. Belay on a small ledge left of the pine tree on a gear anchor. 50 meters from Pine Tree Ledge.


Gear to 3", one 4" piece useful but not required.

Photos of Upper Royal's Arch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The route wanders out left of the arch for some pr...
BETA PHOTO: The route wanders out left of the arch for some pr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the arch.
Looking up at the arch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper Royal's arch
Upper Royal's arch
Rock Climbing Photo: I believe this team was going from Piton Pooper to...
I believe this team was going from Piton Pooper to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff pulling the roof of Upper Royal's Arch
Jeff pulling the roof of Upper Royal's Arch

Comments on Upper Royal's Arch Add Comment
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By Randy
Mar 2, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Actually, this route is usually done as an excellent way to finish off Piton Pooper. Instead of doing the easy second pitch (or upper part) of Piton Pooper, head up and left to a belay ledge. Then climb this fun, clean and quite exposed pitch which heads over the upper headwall.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Mar 7, 2006

Yes - The Jam Crack (or better but a little harder, Dave's Deviation) combined with Piton Pooper and Upper Royal's Arch is a classic combo IMHO. I highly recommend it.
By David Wang
From: San Francisco, CA
May 22, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

liebacking the arch becomes difficult as the crack thins to mere finger tips. The easier way is to leave the crack as it thins and wander left onto the face. There are actually gear placements on the face.

5.8 as long as the leader is competent at finding the right path across the slab. Should you get overwhelmed by the exposure (like I did), look to the left and be thankful that you are not on the Vampire!
By Tommy G.
From: Killeen, Texas
Jun 3, 2012

Great finish for several link up variations. You can stay in the crack the whole way (a couple of PG moves @ 5.10). Good fun.
By Thomas Laursen
From: Huntington Beach, CA
Jun 10, 2014

Wander left to the face (easy) once the crack becomes fingertips, but wander back as soon as the crack becomes fingers/hands again. Otherwise, straight up the face is runout on shity, hollow gear.

Sweet exposure and a suprisingly fun second overhang to finish!
By Ryan-G Gittins
From: San Diego
Aug 12, 2014

I thought this was one of the best moderate pitches on Tahquitz - thoughtful, great position, good rock, etc..I also thought it was pretty in your face. The last climbs I led were El Camino and Open Book, and I didn't find the cruxes more secure, nor much harder...maybe its the intervening fatherhood, or lack of topi, but I think most 5.8 leaders we'll be in for a ride..and hopefully not into the dihedral if you protected high before moving down and out onto the face. Great pitch!
By alleyehave
From: San Diego, CA
May 14, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Tread carefully when pulling the roof/overlap move. The flake you yard on is a time bomb.
By steverett
From: San Diego, CA
Apr 4, 2016
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

For me the crux was the chimney/offwidth start to the arch, rest of the climb felt like 5.7 once I got out of that.
By Ryan Strickland
From: Idyllwild, CA
Apr 23, 2016

I think this route has the best top out moves of any route on Tahquitz. Go do it and see what you think! While no one move is all that difficult, the position makes the route feel challenging for the grade.

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