Fall from Tahquitz (Lily) Rock

General Palm Springs area.

Fall from Tahquitz (Lily) Rock

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:17 am

Have you seen this report of a climber who died?

http://idyllwildtowncrier.com/2017/07/1 ... a-climber/

I am not a climber. Still, this death is close to home for me. I have been up the back side of Lily Rock.

Any climbers here?
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Re: Fall from Tahquitz (Lily) Rock

Postby Ed » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:33 pm

When I was rock climbing, the Trough was rated 5.0, and considered the easiest route on Tahquitz Rock. So easy you did not want to be seen on it, and I never climbed it. Since then, it seems to have been upgraded to 5.4. Perhaps there has been a change in the route, e.g. a chockstone in the chute that was not there before, or perhaps it is simply another example of the rating inflation that seems to have widely occurred. A 5.0 route does not require any great skill, and is quite suitable for beginners, providing someone else is leading so the beginner has an upper belay. Fifth class means that a rope is normally employed for protection. However, though I don't think I ever voluntarily climbed a fifth class route without a rope, solo climbing a 5.0 route you are familiar with is not wild and wacky, nor does it require you to be a highly skilled climber. Merely a confident one.

I never viewed myself as a rock climber, I was a mountaineer who had basic rock climbing skills. I climbed on Tahquitz in Pivetta hiking boots, and the highest rated climb I did was Ski Tracks, which was 5.5 or 5.6. The descent route, which you walk down unroped with a few dodgy steps on some exposed ledges, bothered me more than the climbs. I read a few years ago in Royal Robbin's autobiography that when he was young a friend of his fell on the descent route. Fortunately, he survived, and recovered after a few weeks of hospitalization. The opinion expressed by some that Wu fell on a third-class slab, rather than in the Trough, seems plausible enough to me.

Today I look up at Tahquitz and wonder what the hell I was doing up there.
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