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New sport climbs, Slick Rock Dome, Hwy 50

Original Post
Ney Grant · · Pollock Pines, CA · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 1,010

Slick Rock Dome off Hwy 50 on the way to Tahoe now sports some new shorter, well protected sports climbs.  This is moderate slab climbing up to 5.10.  There is a new trail for a good approach, though the 8.5 mile dirt road in is kind of a beater (no low clearance vehicles).

You can read the info on MP, but here is a quick guide to showing up with a 70M rope and 10 quickdraws.

When hiking in you first hit the dome at the Slick Rock Slab area, which because it isn't that tall became a 100 foot sport climbing area with well-bolted climbs. There are two 5.6s, a 5.7, two 5.8s and one 5.10 sport climbs ending at sport anchors. The best sport climb of the dome however is 1/4 mile up the dome base trail to the other end of the dome: Crystal Crescent, a sustained 5.10 climb up truly fantastic granite.  If that is in your grade, you really should make the hike - its worth it.  On the way, the first pitch of Independence Wall, 5.8 can also be done with one 70M rope with a lower-off.

If you bring two ropes (still only quickdraws) you can also do longer one-pitch climbs like Under My Skin 5.7, Urethra 5.8, first pitch of Ice House Roof 5.8 or 5.10, and the stellar old-school Crystal Wall Route 5.9R.   Of course if you want to trad climb there are other choices.

It does get hot in the sun with no shade, so best to plan on morning climbing or often there is a nice breeze up on the dome.  The road, the mostly slab climbing, the lack of hard climbs, and the relative obscurity means most days you'll have the dome to yourself.  Enjoy!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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