Return to Taquitz for a weekend of climbing after the last attempt was aborted by late season snow and bad weather.
Warm weather and clear skies this time around made for 2 days of great climbing at a new location. Less than 3 hours drive is something of a rarity in Socal so happy to check out a promising new crag near San Jacinto peak.
First day we returned to the route we had tried before but as before there were many parties who had arrived earlier to climb the same one. We waited patiently and after a couple pitches found that the leading parties were faster than us so there was no waiting at anchors. Andre did the trad leading and I did the cldeaning as usual. Broke my record with 7 pitches on this route, which took most of the day. There were a few scary sections, but nothing too crazy (for me - probably much scarier for Andre.) Once at the peak, we spotted some pros who had setup a double-rope rappel and not wanting to find the "Friction Descent" route we asked if we could use their rope. They were a group of 4 and to keep the time to a minimum were 'simul-rappeling' which meant 2 descended at the same time, each on one strand of the rope. Quite dangerous since if one were to take the weight off the rope, the other would drop rapidly, with both climbers losing control of the rappel. So Andre talked me through it and we simul-rappelled 2 pitches down to where we could hike out.
Found a camping site outside of town and got some good pasta back in Idyllwild before crashing for the night. Weather was warm enough for me to be comfortable in my hammock.
Next day we had a relaxing start with breakfast in town then found the base of the day's route, Fingertip Traverse (5.5). Lots of cool climbing, even using a tree at one point (filled with biting ants). The namesake traverse was a bit scary for me - involving fingertips and a scary exposed drop that I'm not sure I would evef be comfortable leading.. A girl from acouple who were climbing a more difficult route nearby sounded very scared and seemed to be crying a bit. She eventually found somewhere to anchor safely, but I thought she was likely to fall to great injury at any moment and there was nothing I could do! About 30 mins later her boyfriend was leading and took a pretty big fall. He seemed OK, but it made me realize this rock is def. not for amateurs. After than an even more exposed slab climb to reach the peak. Even this was too much for Andre & he waited for the assistance of some climbers below to make the last pitch safely. Another rappel down to the v steep trail back to the parking lot. A nice dinner in Idyllwild before returning home.
All in all a great experience.