Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekly Pile #1 - White Maiden's Walkway

White Maidens Walkway 5.4, Idyllwild CA

Why its a pile

Trees. And Bushes. And loose crap. Not to mention its a 5.4 on a route where guys like Glen Dawson were climbing 5.8's. It was hardly a milestone of the era, and most climbers on the Ernie Maxwell trail that are heading that way are reluctant to mention it to other people. With climbs like The Open Book, The Vampire, Sahara Terror and Whodunnit around the corner it hardly seems like a place to spend some some time. Or any time.

Why you should climb it

The sweeping buttress that wraps around the Northwest Recess provides a beautiful line of direction, and the route follows a very obvious line of best fit weaving around some very beautiful and exposed territory while remaining a very easy and fast day out. A great climb to do after you've finished your goal, you get the luxury of large ledges for belays and a large, comfy belay ledge near the top to crack a beer (or four) and enjoy one of the better views on Tahquitz, gazing up to the hinterlands as well as down the valley out the scenic route 74. If you take a 5.6 variation down on the second pitch you get a real classic hand crack, and there's some pretty fun traverse on cruddy-ish rock that puts you up at the steeper business of Long Climb and Constellation with much less difficult climbing. Also, of course, a great first lead. If you don't mind getting stuck. Which you will. Because its Tahquitz. And your only guide is the Vogel guide.

Start in the obvious corner system.

They're ALL obvious corner systems.



  1. Nice post! I took my fiancee up WMW back in '79, got off route on a long runout slab at about 5.9 (I could you get off route on WMW?), she followed galliantly, and fell--taking probably a 40' swing. Scared her to death, and she still wakes up with night sweats! (Well...she did for a little while, anyway!).

    Fun to reminisce. Keep up the site! It's a great idea.

    Tom Patterson - Seattle

  2. Enjoying the site as well. Love the "obvious corner" comment! Haha!

    C'girl from the Taco

  3. haha yeah, I've never figured out which "obvious corner" it is.... that being said, the true toe of the butress start is better anyway.... it's way easy and gives you a true line up the butress from ground to summit.

  4. i always wanna climb on rock.

  5. I think those really daring moves! I hope you stay safe on your climbs. Don’t forget to make sure all the safety precautions are met. I would hate to see any accidents happening on those trips. Looks tricky as hell.