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Tahoe Vicinity

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Tahoe Vicinity  


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Location: 39, -120.05 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,720,729
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Orphaned on Feb 18, 2006
Forecast:
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Chance of a Thunderstorm
63° | 37°
Chance of Rain
57° | 35°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
60° | 36°
Chance of Rain
54° | 32°
Partly Cloudy
59° | 35°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Description 

Beautiful, spacious, and often daunting, the Sierra Nevada in the Lake Tahoe area contains some of the best summer climbing in California. The area is almost entirely covered in climbable rock, and route setters will delight at the bounty of untouched potential.

Consisting mostly of granite, with a few basaltic exceptions, you will find climbs off all types, from the long traditional and sport routes at Lover's Leap, to the pumpy tall bouldering found everywhere, but most notably Donner and Pack Saddle Passes.

Climbing is year round in some places, though most areas are covered in snow from the first snow (usually in October or November) until March - June depending on altitude and direction of the rock.

Access is at most of the region's crags, especially in the public lands of the Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests. The Desolation and Granite Chief Wilderness areas have regulations you should learn about before visiting, but for day use, you can self-register for free at the major trail heads leading into them.

Also note that about a third of the Tahoe area and climbing is in Nevada, right across the unnatural straight state lines. See the Reno - Carson City area for the Tahoe vicinity's Nevada crags.

Places to stay are plentiful, from BLM camping, organized campgrounds, lodges, cheap hotels, to even four star hotels in Reno and South Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Ice

Is a fleeting thing! And discussed on some threads inside and outside this site. Some flows form every year, others rarely so, all over the region. While no routes are documented here yet (ahem), at least one area has been created to track them: Eagle Creek Canyon Ice Climbs.

Getting There 

From the Bay Area, head up Highway 80 to Sacramento, where you will either head up into the hills either on 80, 50, or 89, depending on where you're going.

From Reno, head up Highway 80 to go to North Lake destinations, or down highway 395 , and then West on highway 89 into South Lake Tahoe.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.8 miles from here

1,596 Total Routes

['4 Stars',127],['3 Stars',619],['2 Stars',605],['1 Star',204],['Bomb',7]
['<=5.6',79],['5.7',70],['5.8',139],['5.9',206],['5.10',441],['5.11',291],['5.12',114],['5.13',14],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',51],['V2-3',112],['V4-5',44],['V6-7',20],['V8-9',9],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',3],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Tahoe Vicinity:
Surrealistic Pillar   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 270'   Lover's Leap : Lower Buttress
Corrugation Corner   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Lover's Leap : Main Wall
Bear's Reach   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Lover's Leap : East Wall
The Perfect Lie Back   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 60'   The Fortress : Sun Wall Area
Haystack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Lover's Leap : East Wall
Nova Express   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad   Donner Summit : Snowshed Wall
Black September   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Donner Summit : Black Wall
One Hand Clapping   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Donner Summit : Black Wall
The Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Lover's Leap : East Wall
Traveler Buttress   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Lover's Leap : Main Wall
Fear of Flying   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   Phantom Spires : Upper Spire
Hospital Corner   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 240'   Lover's Leap : West Wall
Surrealistic Pillar Direct   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Lover's Leap : Lower Buttress
One Of These Days   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   Cloudburst Canyon : One Of These Days Buttress
Candyland   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad   Phantom Spires : Middle Spire
The Fracture   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad   Sugarloaf : Sugarloaf, East Face
Boot Hill   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Lover's Leap : Main Wall
The Hand of God   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   The Fortress : Wood Hood
Space Walk   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch   Eagle Creek Canyon : Eagle Lake Cliff
Bat Karma   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Auburn Cliffs : Horsepoo Canyon
Browse More Classics in Tahoe Vicinity

Featured Route For Tahoe Vicinity
One Of These Days, 5.10c

One Of These Days 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : One Of These Days Buttress
The crux: It's probably the sustained climbing esp after pulling the roof. What's good: (a) it's well protected, (b) it's varied- from finger cracks to roof to hand jambs to overhang to chimney- a little (or a lot) of everything for 115', (c) it's got an anchor with chains so you can top rope it with a 70m. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Tahoe Vicinity Slideshow Add Photo
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe
Desolation Wilderness. Photo by Blitzo.
Desolation Wilderness. Photo by Blitzo.
December sunset from just south of Sand Harbor. No...
December sunset from just south of Sand Harbor. No...
Speaks for itself  January 2011
Speaks for itself January 2011
Tahoe Glass
Tahoe Glass
Brett making friends with the locals on Mt. Tallac...
Brett making friends with the locals on Mt. Tallac...
An Osprey perched high above Fallen leaf lake
An Osprey perched high above Fallen leaf lake
Hand Crack on the way to Chimney Beach, photo take...
Hand Crack on the way to Chimney Beach, photo take...
Fanette Island, Emerald Bay. Photo by Blitzo.
Fanette Island, Emerald Bay. Photo by Blitzo.
Tahoe East Shore. Photo by Blitzo.
Tahoe East Shore. Photo by Blitzo.
lovin tahoe
lovin tahoe
Tahoe keys from the summit of Mt. Tallac
Tahoe keys from the summit of Mt. Tallac
Alpine lilies. Photo by Blitzo.
Alpine lilies. Photo by Blitzo.
Busy day on the summit of Mt. Tallac
Busy day on the summit of Mt. Tallac
20 minute crag
20 minute crag
welcome to the lake
welcome to the lake
Beginning the hike to Mt. Tallac with fallen leaf ...
Beginning the hike to Mt. Tallac with fallen leaf ...
Tahoe Beer conetop can, 1940s.
Tahoe Beer conetop can, 1940s.
Shawn Watson's stunning photo of the fabulous Stee...
Shawn Watson's stunning photo of the fabulous Stee...
The Desolation wilderness from Mt. Tallac
The Desolation wilderness from Mt. Tallac
Geese. Photo by Blitzo.
Geese. Photo by Blitzo.
Lake Tahoe from "The Cave", 1987. Cave R...
Lake Tahoe from "The Cave", 1987. Cave R...
Tahoe climbing pioneer Paul Crawford, his dog Call...
Tahoe climbing pioneer Paul Crawford, his dog Call...
Tahoe Beer.
Tahoe Beer.

Show All 31 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Tahoe Vicinity Add Comment
Show which comments
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 26, 2010
With regard to the weather link at the top of the page (or any of the Tahoe Vicinity pages): I would ALWAYS use noaa.gov vs underground.com when researching the Tahoe area forecasts. Much more accurate!!
By Andrew Cassidy
Jul 2, 2014
Knowing nothing about the area... I'm going to be there in August. What are the best places to escape the summer heat? I'm mostly interested in bouldering, but as well I climb trad and sport. In regards to bouldering, I noticed 3 different bouldering guidebooks. Which one would be best for summer spots. Thanks!
By Brian S
Dec 3, 2014
I would check out the high country during summer. My favorite is Summit Lake area near Donner Pass. Bouldering Lake Tahoe-North/West covers that area.
By Daniel Siegel
From: Portola, CA
Feb 16, 2015
I just moved to the area and I'm psyched about all of the opportunities out here! It seems like winter is kind of a joke this year and the climbing might be better than the skiing. However, I'm not sure on how to access some of the crags because of road closures. Can anyone give some advice? What is the best and/or easiest accessed crag or bouldering area for the next few months? Also, I'm on the hunt for partners!
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