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Calaveras Dome - Status?


Original Post
brooks munyer · · Reno, NV · Joined May 2012 · Points: 60

Anyone been over to Calaveras Dome since the last snow/rain a couple weeks ago? I am wondering if it's dry over there or if the road blew out again. 

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 727

I might go by Ellis road tomorrow. I went by right before the last snow and the gate was halfway open and the snow was packed down where people had been driving thru. I am a about the same elevation as the domes and all the snow is gone here so if you could get down there you should be able to climb a lot of routes.

brooks munyer · · Reno, NV · Joined May 2012 · Points: 60

I'm kind of wondering if War of the Worlds and Sands of Time would be dry. I know those routes don't really see sun this time of the year and could take longer to dry than things like Sugarloaf, but I'm not confident about how long those shady routes dry out. Thanks for the info

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 727

I'll drive by tomorrow and let you know what I think. 

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 727

So Ellis road is free of snow but the gate is closed. You might be able to get down one of the other roads. 

GizzardJones · · Rancho Cordova,CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 385

thanks for the update bobby, strange.. wonder why? was hoping to get out there as well...

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,791
GizzardJones wrote:

thanks for the update bobby, strange.. wonder why? was hoping to get out there as well...

Its closed because typically the FS closes/opens the gate once per season. They don't have the time or resources to open and close a gate every time the road is passable or not.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

What is it like to take the Panther Creek Rd to Salt Springs Res. Rd? It looks like it adds about 20 minutes but Panther Creek looks paved and then becomes gravel at Salt Springs.. Never been up there but hoping to check it out sometime soon!

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 727

I haven't been down Panther Creek Road, but it was clear of snow at Highway 88 yesterday. My guess is the route down from Bear River Reservoir is clear of snow as well, but I do not know if either roads are gated. I really doubt there would be washouts on any of those roads based on the rain and snow that we have had so far in this area this winter.  

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
Bobby Hutton wrote:

I haven't been down Panther Creek Road, but it was clear of snow at Highway 88 yesterday. My guess is the route down from Bear River Reservoir is clear of snow as well, but I do not know if either roads are gated. I really doubt there would be washouts on any of those roads based on the rain and snow that we have had so far in this area this winter.  

Oh nice, thank you. I didn't realize there was even another option for getting down there. That looks a lot shorter than Panther Creek as well. 

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 727

Yeah Spur 19. It is paved all the way. I just found about this road this summer when the other roads were closed. 

Ryan Hill · · Oakland, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 30

Just spoke with the Amador Ranger District Office.  Tiger and Ellis are open and there is access to Salt Springs Reservoir Road through those.  They also said that Ellis is steep and likely has ice on it at this time.  

Tiger Road looks like a long drive in.  Anyone have any experience on Ellis Road?  Looking to do a trip up there the first weekend of March if the weather is warm enough.

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,791
Ryan Hill wrote:

Just spoke with the Amador Ranger District Office.  Tiger and Ellis are open and there is access to Salt Springs Reservoir Road through those.  They also said that Ellis is steep and likely has ice on it at this time.  

Tiger Road looks like a long drive in.  Anyone have any experience on Ellis Road?  Looking to do a trip up there the first weekend of March if the weather is warm enough.

Careful on Ellis if there is snow, it can be deceivingly difficult to navigate if you don't have chains. Case in point, I nearly got stuck driving out from a late fall weekend at Cal Dome with a 4wd 4Runner. I didn't have my chains in the truck because it was fall and we got stuck going uphill on a very mild slope because of ice and snow (less than 6 inches I might add). We got the truck turned around, but even in 4wd simply could not get the truck to move down the mildly sloped hill. It just spun and spun. No amount of rocking or pushing could budge it more than a few feet because even if you got the truck to move a few feet, the 6 inches of crust would slow the momentum of the truck enough to stop it and it would start spinning again. I barely got the truck unstuck by using the trenching shovel I always keep in the truck and using it to dig a long enough downhill trench in the snow so that we could drive enough distance to get the needed momentum to overcome the crust. Once the vehicle was moving we just never let the vehicle stop moving again. We then drove Tiger Creek out anyway.

Tiger Creek is indeed a bit longer (and certainly rougher) but its no big deal. Moreover I have never experienced issues getting in or out on Tiger Creek because it stays lower in elevation and doesn't go up over the ridge to get out of the valley.

Ryan Hill · · Oakland, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 30
J. Albers wrote:

Careful on Ellis if there is snow, it can be deceivingly difficult to navigate if you don't have chains. Case in point, I nearly got stuck driving out from a late fall weekend at Cal Dome with a 4wd 4Runner. I didn't have my chains in the truck because it was fall and we got stuck going uphill on a very mild slope because of ice and snow (less than 6 inches I might add). We got the truck turned around, but even in 4wd simply could not get the truck to move down the mildly sloped hill. It just spun and spun. No amount of rocking or pushing could budge it more than a few feet because even if you got the truck to move a few feet, the 6 inches of crust would slow the momentum of the truck enough to stop it and it would start spinning again. I barely got the truck unstuck by using the trenching shovel I always keep in the truck and using it to dig a long enough downhill trench in the snow so that we could drive enough distance to get the needed momentum to overcome the crust. Once the vehicle was moving we just never let the vehicle stop moving again. We then drove Tiger Creek out anyway.

Tiger Creek is indeed a bit longer (and certainly rougher) but its no big deal. Moreover I have never experienced issues getting in or out on Tiger Creek because it stays lower in elevation and doesn't go up over the ridge to get out of the valley.

Thanks J!  I've got a fair amount of off road driving experience, enough to take your advice and keep my Forester off that road in those conditions.  Sounds like we'll be going up Tiger Creek if we do end up heading that direction.  

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 8,815

On a related note... I'm curious about the lengthy and convoluted drive to the top (to approach Hidden Dome)... Typically, is 4WD required or is high clearance 2WD adequate?

brooks munyer · · Reno, NV · Joined May 2012 · Points: 60

I found a google doc Chris McNamara put together for the Tahoe area's climbing conditions, if you're interested in other Tahoe crags' conditions. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ak6jQhQ0yHpZaepD88UczuEOsmyHDrx5g4L8gpAVLfM/edit#gid=0 



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