It's Wong To Do The Long....Or Is It?Use the same approach for 'Whodunnit' (5.9) to access the Northeast Recess. Once there, locate two parallel cracks, one of which is in the corner of the left facing dihedral of The Maiden Buttress. The crack next to the buttress is the start of the Long Climb. However, most folks take the crack of the Wong Climb (5.8...25' to the left). This crack is a beautiful soaring hand crack that leads to a chimney/off-width above on a green lichen covered headwall. Once the start is located, scramble to the right (3rd/4th class) up along the Maiden Buttress and work back left above to a ledge with small trees, which are located at the beginning of the crack for the Wong Climb's first pitch. Either stash your gear here on the ledge or down in the shade of the woods.
Just How Long Is It?The following is a pitch-by-pitch description of the 'Long Climb' (with the Wong Climb 1st pitch variation included):
Pitch #1 (5.8):
From the ledge, climb the obvious hand crack located 25' feet left of the left facing dihedral to a spacious ledge with an anchor (one fixed pin and one bolt with rings) just left of where the hand crack finishes and just before the headwall above. Or move up and right 10' past the ledge, up to the right of the chimney/off-width to a pair of bolts with rings. The left anchor is the ideal choice for a straight view up the next pitch (150')
Pitch #2 (5.7+):
At the headwall, begin by climbing the chimney/off-width (5.7+), also known as 'The Mummy Crack', for 40 feet using good holds inside. The chimney yields solid pro (to 1"). Once at the end of the chimney/OW, climb up and right then back left, working an exposed step across then up to a sloping ledge with a left facing corner. Belay here. *Note: if you're carrying a pack, its best to short haul it above the chimney/OW or you'll be wishing you had!(140')
Pitch #3 (5.7):
From right of the corner, choose your poison by either climbing up a narrow corner with solid pro (sustained 5.7) or start further out to the right around the corner, climbing a crack to a steepening slab. Either choices merges to a slot corridor directly above the belay. Climb straight up the corridor to a point where it closes out. Move up and left, passing a weak section of a small roof to a dead mahogany tree. Belay here. (140', pro to 3.5")
Pitch #4 (5.6R):
Climb out to the left and onto an exposed slab (5.6R) and then friction up to an upward slanting crack (pro to 1/2"). Climb back right and up, passing a short steep corner. Continue up right to a small sugar pine. Once past the pine, locate a 4" crack and climb straight up another 15'to a smaller scrub pine next to the crack. Belay here. (145', pro to 3")
Pitch #5 (5.8):
Directly above the belay is a downward pointing flake with a distinct left facing corner. Climb up to the flake, climb out left then up the corner (5.8). There is broken baby angle piton in the corner (#3 nut helpful to protect the initial moves up the corner). Continue climbing the corner to a small ledge above on the right. (80')
NOTE: There are options to consider once at this point, a) continue upward to a 5.7 jam crack and belay at a large blocky ledge (140') OR b) set a belay just above the flake that was just climbed (80'). From this point, there are options to climb up and right on easy 5th, eventually topping out near the same exit as 'White Maiden'. Or one can continue straight up and eventually reach a sloping ledge leading up and left. This option leads to a 5.9/.10 left facing corner, which eventually leads to the top.
Pitch #6 (5.6/5.7):
If belaying from the small ledge above the flake just climbed, start by climbing out right, traversing to a series of broken ledges (5.5) and up to a blocky ledge leading to a upward curving "notch". Climbing this notch is 5.7 and is an enjoyable finish to the climb (130', pro to 2")
The DescentEither take the North Gully down to the base of the northern end of Tahquitz or head to the southern shoulder by downclimbing the 'Friction Descent' (see main Tahquitz page). Either choice is equal distance to the base of the route.
Essential Gear- 60 meter rope
- (12) 2' slings w/biners
- Pro to 3.5": small to medium nuts, cams ranging from #0 to #10 Metolius or #3.5 Camelot
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