Mountain Project Logo

Help with Tahoe Area Climbing


Original Post
Elvis Kucevic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 45

My wife and I will be road tripping and will be staying in Tahoe for a week at the end of May.  We will only be sport climbing and looking for  some crags that have a range of climbs from 12- to 13+.
Any suggestions on what areas would be ok during that time? Or would it be easier to buy a guide and which one?

Thanks guys!

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

If the road to Big Chief (FS06) is open you should check out that zone. Just call the Truckee FS Office and ask when that time gets nearer. Star Wall at Donner will fit the bill, Space Wall as well.

North Tahoe: A Rock Climbers Guide by Josh Horniak has the best info for the region. And I think it’s well worth the purchase.

Josh Cameron · · California · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,120

I second Big Chief. Donner is good and further south Sugarloaf has limited (read limited) climbs in that range, but a few good ones.

Ben Horowitz · · Tokyo, JP · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 121

SOUTH STAR WALL! Awesomely impressive wall with lots in that range...

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105929296/south-star-wall

Sugarloaf doesn't really have many quality sport climbs in that range, and will probably be pretty hot by late May.

Elvis Kucevic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 45

This has been extremely helpful. Thanks guys.  

It look like I will def spending a couple of days at south star wall for sure.

What about the Mayhem cover area? That place looks like it has so good rock as well?

Ellis L · · Chico, CA · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 71

Mayhem cove is worth checking out. close proximity to the road and In a beautiful location. Also, Check out B-word Wall in Bowman Valley, good quality steep granite going 11+ to 13- with great camping and swimming holes nearby. Both of these spots get afternoon shade. Happy climbing! 

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Elvis Kucevic wrote: This has been extremely helpful. Thanks guys.  

It look like I will def spending a couple of days at south star wall for sure.

What about the Mayhem cover area? That place looks like it has so good rock as well?

Mayhem is worth checking out just for the location alone if you haven’t been down the West Shore. If it’s the weekend you might want to get there early as parking can be a clusterfuck at Emerald Bay.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 617

I never managed to make it into the Emeralds when I lived in Northern California.  I often wondered what the best season/temps were for that place.  From North Lake, that's not too far.  Would that be worth a day trip for Elvis?

Alyssa K · · South Lake Tahoe · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 35
  1. Tapawingo Markey wrote:

Mayhem is worth checking out just for the location alone if you haven’t been down the West Shore. If it’s the weekend you might want to get there early as parking can be a clusterfuck at Emerald Bay.

Ditto on the early arrival, especially since the Eagle Falls parking lot is closed for another month. Also Mayhem stays very wet until late in the season, so you may want to have a back-up plan. 

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 15

phylp, The Emeralds are good in May, but most of the climbing I know of is easier than 5.12. Steel Monkey and a couple routes on that wall, and Kudos are the only 12s I can think of. But maybe I am wrong...

Elvis Kucevic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 45

So after some research based on your recommendations, it looks like we will spend most of our time at South Star Wall and B-word.  

Any one have any camping beta for that area? Seems like a lot of the spots at some of the other sites are pretty booked up already.  Any open/free camping areas nearby?

And again thanks for all of those that responded, this has been super helpful. 

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

All the free camping you want at Bowman just pick a spot that tickles ur fancy.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
Post a Reply to "Help with Tahoe Area Climbing"

Log In to Reply