Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arrow Head S 
Captain Cheese Dog S 
Flatus S 
Grizzly Crack T 
Indian Springs S 
Out of the Blue TR 
RP 4 Me T,S 
Sundaze S 
Super Thin T 
Zephyr S 

Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.3281, -120.5654 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,543
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Paul Rezucha on Jul 25, 2005
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]


The Lower Tier is mostly face climbing with climbs ranging from 5.9 to 5.10c/d. Several of the 8 climbs make excellent sport leads but bolts may be a little far apart in places. Trad gear helps to protect the sparse areas. Since this is the first rock face you come to as you approach the area and has many great face climbs, most people would start climbing here. All routes have anchors and some have rappel rings. This lower tier is around 50' tall at the highest point. Great routes on the lower tier include Indian Springs and Zephyr. The rock is solid granite with many features and characteristics. Very good place for moderate level climbers to practice face climbing!

Getting There 

From the parking lot you would head straight in towards the cliffs following a small trail that leads right to a low angle slab to the right. Hike to the top of the slab and then head straight towards the left side of the lower tier. Approach time is only 10-15 minutes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.6 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier:
Grizzly Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 140'   
Flatus   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
RP 4 Me   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Indian Springs   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Super Thin   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   
Sundaze   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Zephyr   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier

Featured Route For Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad at first bolt of Captain Cheese Dog.

Captain Cheese Dog 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier
Captain Cheeze Dog is just left of the obvious thin crack (Super Thin 5.9) on the left side of Lower Tier and follows the face straight up to the top. Easier face climbing leads to consistently smaller holds from second bolt up which is where you will find the crux. Although the second bolt is quite a ways up there past the first bolt, the climbing is moderate and the clipping stance fairly secure. If by chance you fall clipping the second bolt you probably would hit the ground. Double ropes ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo shows right side of Lower Tier.  Rope is on ...
BETA PHOTO: Photo shows right side of Lower Tier. Rope is on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo shows left side of Lower Tier.  The toprope ...
BETA PHOTO: Photo shows left side of Lower Tier. The toprope ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing Indian Springs
Climbing Indian Springs
Rock Climbing Photo: A full view of Lower Tier.  Easy scramble up left ...
BETA PHOTO: A full view of Lower Tier. Easy scramble up left ...

Comments on Lower Cliffs, Lower Tier Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Aug 1, 2005
My apologies to Rocco Spina and friends who were the developers of this area in 1990. I just learned this information and wanted to pass it on to all. Rocco Spina pretty much did all the FA at Indian Springs.
By Alex Curtis
From: Rexburg, ID
Jul 30, 2008
This is a great area because it is fairly accessible and still has the feeling of being remote. The routes are challenging, but not so tough that they become a chore, or frustrating. I think that it is important to note that all the routes (that I know of) on the lower tier can be Top Roped. There is a fairly easy class IV scramble to the left of the routes. It is fairly obvious when you see it. (Sorry I didn't get a picture). You can simply climb to the top, set up the rope and rappel down to your buddies and begin climbing.

Great for practicing and very fun routes.
By Alden
Aug 16, 2010
I just went climbing this past weekend (August 2010). Zephyr was a fun climb, but when I got to the top I found the anchor bolts to be loose. Needing to reclaim my gear I walked over to the bolts on the left, set up an anchor, and redirected it by a quickdraw running off the 3rd and middle bolt of Zephyr. We had to walk around to reclaim the anchor. You can lead this, but shouldn't top-rope it, as the anchors at the top are not secure. You'll have to jury-rig something to reclaim your quickdraws.
By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 22, 2013
Lower Tier route sorting left to right:

Out of the Blue
Captain Cheese Dog
Super Thin
Indian Springs
RP 4 Me
Arrow Head
Grizzly Crack

Johnny Wall is a separate area, not part of the Lower Tier at all. Any way to convert that without breaking johnnyrocks' content? I'd be glad to create it, but don't want him to lose credit for adding this helpful content.

If we can't transfer the Johnny Wall route to an area, then it should be sorted as the farthest left "route" under Lower Tier, to match the physical location.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 22, 2013
By Justin Johnsen
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 23, 2013
Danke Mike!

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!