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San Jacinto Mountains, Taquitz Rock

San Jacinto Mountains, Taquitz Rock—On June 19, 1954, Joe Fitscher (16) and a companion, Kodis, visited Taquitz Rock on a scheduled Sierra Club climb. They first climbed the horn route using one piton. This is a difficult rock climb and more conservative climbers agree four pitons should be used for minimum protection. After completing the climb, Fitscher and his companion walked around the side of the rock to get onto the friction route, the usual route of descent. Rather than climb up a short distance and reach this friction route by walking, Fitscher traversed around the edge of the rock and came across difficulties with steep, short, exposed faces. He said, “this looks like a run across.” He ran but did not make it, and slipped, bounced, and fell approximately 200 ft. down steep slabs and short steep pitches. He received extensive cuts and bruises and a blood clot in the optic nerve which later cleared.

Source: Charles Wilts present at the time of the accident; James Bonner.