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Tahquitz ice season thread...

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby x15x15 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:41 pm

on sunday, wallspeck and i got to within 80ft or so to the top on the north face before we hit a deadend and i was not willing to run it out with zero gear on slabs covered with the thinnest of thin coatings.

still, we had close to 700ft of fun, but real serious climbing. it is very technical, but doable. both of us felt this was the most fun we have ever had on an ice/ mixed route. EVER! and that is a statement coming from wallspeck.

i have been playing around at the base the last week or so. lots of good ice bouldering and exploring to be had. but, it aint hero ice so be very, very careful.

we almost went saturday, wish we did so we could have run into miguel.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby wallspeck » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:37 am

We climbed the NE Face (West Var) for 5 pitches, then a pitch and a half up the NE Farce (through the overhangs) and onto the final slabs. 6 and 1/2 pitches total.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby Dave Daly » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:13 am

Boys.....it was that bad that you couldn't top out?? Dry tooling through the big gully cracks (exit for El Whampo/NE Face etc) near the top was out of the question Rapped down? Or am I reading it wrong?

I imagine that stuff will thin out or simply go away with the rising temps this week.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby wallspeck » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:38 am

There were no cracks that last 70-80 feet. It was a featureless slab partly covered with a thin bit of ice.
We climbed through that series of overhangs just below the top (the exit pitches to NW Farce, El Whampo, and El Dorado). I would say "it takes a man to turn around 80 feet from the top" but maybe it just takes a chicken. But chicken or not, we are still alive and we sure had fun.
I don't know what will happen this week. The warmer temps might actually melt the snow and create MORE ice. So Cal is a strange place.
By the way... it looked like the left side of weeping wall was iced up. "Clam Chowder" out toward "Duck Soup". Anyone go take a look?
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby x15x15 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 pm

or maybe i am just a sackless city slicker weekend warrior! in reality i am a wannabe climber that can be found most days wanting to climb. truth be told, i suck and i never should have been up there in the first place. shit, i feel like a big wussy thinking back on it... strung out 15ft above my pro with my crampons smearing featureless rock. everywhere i excavted revealed nothing but seams that would take only bashies, but behold we did not bring any. but heck, what do i know? i am just a sackless city slicker weekend warrior; not an armchair critic...

not too thick
Image

not too thin (photo credit: wallspeck)
Image
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby fatdad » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:42 pm

Oh man that looks awesome. Doesn't look too thick but certainly thick enough.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby asmrz » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:20 pm

Image

Pen took this picture last March. It illustrates the difference in conditions quite clearly. Look at x15x15 and wallspeck pictures and compare! What a balls out climb! You guys rock (well ice?) !
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby JJBrunner » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:52 pm

How is the road to Humber park during this season? No problem? Problem during storms? Sorry if it's a newb question but I've never been there in the winter!
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby jackalak » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:18 am

Yeah I'm wondering too. I've been to Tahquitz dozens of times when its warm but not yet in the winter. Will i need chains for my sports car?
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby asmrz » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:46 am

The road is plowed to just below Humber Park. There are homes below Tahquitz Rock so the road gets plowed. After a storm, you will need chains for your sports car from about 4,ooo' up. Most people living up here have 4x4s. But it is all manageable.

The climbing might be a different story. Check out the recent pictures. That's totally balls out climbing on thin mixed terrain and going out on the Larks would be even worse in present conditions. Certainely not a training ground, you better believe it! This is not Lee Vining.

In fat conditions, it's more reasonable, but following x15x15 and wallspeck's trip this week or the next, you better be ready for some serious climbing. Guys I'm really impressed, excellent climbing you two!!!
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby jackalak » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:57 am

thanks for the heads up. And don't worry, I'll make my friends do the the leading for me...
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby JJBrunner » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:13 am

asmrz wrote:The road is plowed to just below Humber Park. There are homes below Tahquitz Rock so the road gets plowed. After a storm, you will need chains for your sports car from about 4,ooo' up. Most people living up here have 4x4s. But it is all manageable.

The climbing might be a different story. Check out the recent pictures. That's totally balls out climbing on thin mixed terrain and going out on the Larks would be even worse in present conditions. Certainely not a training ground, you better believe it! This is not Lee Vining.

In fat conditions, it's more reasonable, but following x15x15 and wallspeck's trip this week or the next, you better be ready for some serious climbing. Guys I'm really impressed, excellent climbing you two!!!


I'm thinking more along the lines of doing the Trough!
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby wallspeck » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:51 am

Alois, you are too kind in your compliments. It was not that difficult or scary. Kind of similar feeling to a run-out rock climb. But cold. And my fingers froze and hurt like hell as they thawed.
I did have a run-out of at least 50 feet at one point and Phil did one of at least 50 feet also. So those were kind of dangerous I suppose. But you just stay calm and well, it's all mental I suppose. Not really hard, just mental.
Problem is, on these thin routes, seconding the pitch often is harder than leading because the ice has shattered and entire sections fallen out. But you've got a top-rope belay so who cares. It's all fun.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby asmrz » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:13 pm

Jack, I know you guys are cool customers and can handle the terrain. Remembering what it's like up there when the ice is thin, looking at the pictures etc. yours was one fine climb. There is a difference between running out easy fifth and .10+, you don't mention that. The thin ice in that dihedral and the run-outs are much more like the .10+ than the easy stuff. I bet it was a good mental exercise and a good feeling at the end of the day. Also, good example to set for those who might be guessing what it is like up there. Thanks for the post, it made my day and maybe a few others too.
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Re: Tahquitz ice season thread...

Postby Deb » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:27 pm

wallspeck wrote:Alois, you are too kind in your compliments. It was not that difficult or scary. Kind of similar feeling to a run-out rock climb. But cold. And my fingers froze and hurt like hell as they thawed.
I did have a run-out of at least 50 feet at one point and Phil did one of at least 50 feet also. So those were kind of dangerous I suppose. But you just stay calm and well, it's all mental I suppose. Not really hard, just mental.
Problem is, on these thin routes, seconding the pitch often is harder than leading because the ice has shattered and entire sections fallen out. But you've got a top-rope belay so who cares. It's all fun.


Insane! I can only aspire. You two are some tuff dudes!
BTW, there's a 57cm Venom adze with a tech pick on the way to the store. :) ... just in case you need to climb some crazy shit in Alaska this year.
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