Tragedy at Tahquitz

6:22 p.m. on May 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Tahquitz Rock in Southern California is the location where a huge number of famous climbers got their start, where what is now called the Yosemite Decimal System originated, where the basic ideas and techniques of testing gear originated with Chuck Wilts, an engineering professor at CalTech not so far from Tahquitz, and still a wonderful place to climb.

It has seen accidents over the years as skills, gear, and techniques have developed. But a really serious and fatal accident happened a few days ago.

I climbed many of the routes at Tahquitz along with Barb and many many friends over the years. It is not clear, even with the write-up linked above, what actually happened, other than maybe the loose rock that came down may have precipitated the accident.

A sad day for all.

Add to this the fatal accident recently on the Muir Wall route on El Capitan in Yosemite, and the missing 5 climbers on Kangchenjunga.


Be careful out there!

7:11 a.m. on May 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Tahquitz has several routes that resemble bowling alleys.  Falling rock, particularly experienced during at Tahquitz, is the primary reason I scaled back my own climbing, and usually opt for the easiest way to the top nowadays.  Nothing unnerves like fist sized cobbles buzzing by your head, sounding like ricocheting bullets.  The last time I climbed Tahquitz I was buzzed (again) by falling choss.  Later a bunch of EMS vehicles appeared.  I found out when I got back down to the parking lot that a woman had her arm almost completely severed by a block that fell off a ledge on a route known as the Trough.  She died of her injuries before her boyfriend or anyone else could do anything to help.

Ed

6:40 p.m. on June 5, 2013 (EDT)
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July 28, 2014
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