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Home Trip Reports Climbing Trip Report: Winter Storm Warning in Idyllwild... Who wants to go to Tahquitz???

Trip Report: Winter Storm Warning in Idyllwild... Who wants to go to Tahquitz???

Following up on Greg and Doug's relatively successful Tahquitz trip a week ago, Doug, Greg, Robb, and I checked the weather every day this past week in hopes of a repeat performance.  We knew a storm was coming, and the mid-week storm (albeit a weak one) that rolled through encouraged us even more.  For decent ice to form at Tahquitz, it needs to be unusually wet and cold and these storms gave us some hope.  And wet it was.  Our only concern was the temperature.

 

A final check of the weather on Friday showed temps around freezing, but maybe not low enough.  Still, it seemed worth a shot. I mean, how often do us San Diegans get the chance to climb ice?  On top of that, the NOAA forecast popped up a winter storm warning for the San Bernardino Mountains.  That should surely mean everything would freeze up solid, right?

Riiiight...

You're forgetting that we're in Southern California.  Despite the dismal temp forecast we went for it anyway.  Indeed, it was the best coverage of ice I'd ever seen up there, but it was just too soft for screws to be trustworthy, yet thick enough that it was nearly impossible to get good rock pro in.  A couple of attempts sent Doug and Robb on adventures up the crag on some fun climbing that basically amounted to soloing with a rack and a rope for training weight.  The lack of any suitable anchor opportunities forced a downclimbing retreat each time.

It rained on and off between stints of freezing rain, hail, and even a few snowflakes.  Spindrift constantly showered down on us each time a big gust of wind blew.  Generally, it was just miserable up there.  It's amazing how temps 10 degrees colder makes it feel so much warmer.

With little hope of the conditions improving anytime soon, we bailed to town and broke Robb of his Antarctica induced 3+ month burrito fast at La Casita.  It must have hit the spot because he was passed out for 90% of the ride home.  If only I'd had the video camera handy to catch him drooling on himself...