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West Lark T 

West Lark 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 600'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Roy Gorin, J. Hudson, William Dixon, and Ellen Wilts, 1954
Page Views: 5,117
Submitted By: Roger Linfield on Feb 24, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: The view of West Lark from just below the talus fi...


This is the most obvious of the three “Lark” climbs, and the least sustained. It follows well-defined crack systems. Start about ten feet to the left of the North Buttress and climb a crack for two pitches. Traverse a few feet right to another crack system and follow that for several pitches to its end. It becomes a prominent right-facing corner, with some well-protected small overhangs being the crux of the route. At the top of the crack system, continue up a chute to the top.


standard rack

Photos of West Lark Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at pitch 4 of West Lark
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at pitch 4 of West Lark
Rock Climbing Photo: The Vogel guide start for West Lark.
BETA PHOTO: The Vogel guide start for West Lark.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at pitch 5 of West Lark.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at pitch 5 of West Lark.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing topo of West Lark at Tahquitz.
BETA PHOTO: Climbing topo of West Lark at Tahquitz.

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By Brian Hench
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Jun 25, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

We did this route in 5 and a half pitches using 60 meter half ropes. We took the gap at the left up top because it looked a lot cleaner, and it was.

All and all, it was a fun and easy route.
By Chris D
From: the couch
Jul 18, 2010

A fun easy route. Sunny until 4pm today, so don't expect shade just because it faces north.

Attempting to link pitches on this wasn't much of a success (for us anyway); easy, comfortable belays are not plentiful on this route, so probably best to stop at the decent spots and take your time. It's a nice route with a few pleasant surprises.
By Climb To Safety
From: california
Jul 4, 2013

Did the climb on july 3, 2013, had the entire route, and possibly even the rock to ourselves. Great route, but we climbed some sort of variation, none of the pictures or beta i see on mountain project or elsewhere looks like the climb we did. Forget the guide book on this one, just pick a route and go for it, the climbing is easy.
By Donno
From: Newport Beach
Sep 6, 2014

Do not climb P1 to the bail slings 100' up at the top of a left facing dihedral: this is not the route. You should be 10' left of the dihedral.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Jul 11, 2016
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Climb to Safety...really bad beta. No offense, but learn to read a topo. While the Vogel description is vague, the topo is quite accurate. Chris D is quite right that reasonably comfortable belays are possible, but stop where you find them and don't try to link pitches.
By Ben Crowell
Jun 6, 2017
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

I added an image showing a topo and a route description. Comments and corrections would be welcome. On the final pitch, it seems much better to climb the right side of the gendarme.
By BrianAustin
From: San Diego, CA
Jun 11, 2017

Did West Lark yesterday and finished on the right side of the gendarme. For getting through that overhang, the pro was good and the moves fit the grade. Like much of this route and as mentioned on the topo posted by Ben, a fall here, like many other places on the route, could be unpleasant. Take your time and investigate for the holds. They are there.

The Topo that Ben posted looks good through P3. Near the end of P3, we did a variation that took us right of the route.

Rack: Doubles from BD C3 #0 through BD C4 #3 plus a set of stoppers that included a set of DMM offwidths. That was plenty. We had a #4 too, and it was used every pitch. It wasn't necessary though.

Thoughts on the route:
  • I found the route worthwhile and fun with some good climbing.
  • Good practice for an intermediate trad leader who climbs solidly a few grades higher than 5.5 (variety of climbing, route finding, building gear anchors, evaluating rock quality).
  • I would not climb this route or any other in this area below another party. Experienced trad climbers will have no issues with the loose rock found on this face of Tahquitz. But a fair amount of loose rock is there. With the low grade of the routes in this area, it is bound to attract inexperienced climbers.
  • As mentioned by Chris D above, sun all day. High temp the day we climbed it was 70, and we were slightly warmer than we would have liked.
  • Climbing with a party of three sounds wildly uncomfortable when thinking about the belays.

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