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Castle Peak Bouldering Conditions

Original Post
Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

I checked the Boreal webcams and a few other cams for the areas and noticed a lot of snow still on the ground- the rock is probably dry but will the surrounding parts be pretty covered still?

Julian Ludewigt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Up here on Donner Summit almost everything south facing below 7,500 is melted out, north aspects are retaining snow well. Castle peak looks in similar shape from here, but i haven't been to the bouldering area so not sure of the specifics. 

Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

By "melted out" do you mean bare ground, or super soggy/muddy?

William Brown · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I haven't been to the bouldering areas at CP but could skin from the trailhead to the summit if that helps at all. Still plenty of snow on the ground. That was our experience over the weekend. 

Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

Thanks! Sounds like I might need to wait then.

JAMJAM · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Any updates on the conditions? Hoping to go take a friend to see the nose

Julian Ludewigt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Totally dry now, good to go.

Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

Gate isn't open. Trails are not well traveled yet. BUT, everything is fine but it might be hard to find things if you don't know the area use GPS coordinates.

JAMJAM · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Went up two weeks ago, yeah, super fun. When does that gate open? Probably once it gets buggy, huh?

Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

Is the gate still open?

MacksWhineturd · · Squaw · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Gate was open 1/1/18.

K K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 9 days ago · Points: 0

Can anyone tell me if these boulders are accessible currently? Thank you!

Todd Berlier · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

Probably not unless you got snowshoes or backcountry skiis. What I do is check the traffic cams: cwwp2.dot.ca.gov/vm/iframem… The ones at the pass show snow still covering the ground.... 

Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

The gate doesnt usually open until June, but who knows with this year.

Reese Stanley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 90

I'm just going to give this thread a bump, would it be possible to head up there this weekend?  I was considering going tomorrow but based on the CCTV, it looks like there was a bit more snow.  Can anyone confirm if its possible to get up there without snowshoes?  

Lurker · · Truckee, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 4,071

Without snowshoes? No. There's quite a bit more snow above 7000' than there is at lake level or in Truckee.

Split Rock/Donner Memorial State Park is probably fine. D.L. Bliss could be dry-ish. Grouse Slab boulders might be dry as well, although there would likely be some post-holing involved to get to them.

Look up Stress Management boulders - those could be another option. Never been personally.

Reese Stanley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 90
Lurker wrote: Without snowshoes? No. There's quite a bit more snow above 7000' than there is at lake level or in Truckee.

Split Rock/Donner Memorial State Park is probably fine. D.L. Bliss could be dry-ish. Grouse Slab boulders might be dry as well, although there would likely be some post-holing involved to get to them.

Look up Stress Management boulders - those could be another option. Never been personally.

That's what I was thinking, it looked a bit clearer earlier this week but, after checking the cams again it looked a bit snowed out.  Shame, the temps are perfect.

I'm most likely going to end up going to Bliss or something like that, thanks for the tip, I really appreciate it.
Karl Walters · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 20

Bliss is garbage as is Pie Shop. Rainbow might be good and the Highway 20 stuff is open. 

Reese Stanley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 90
Karl Walters wrote: Bliss is garbage as is Pie Shop. Rainbow might be good and the Highway 20 stuff is open. 

Garbage in terms of conditions or climbing?  Thanks for the tip about highway 20 though.

Bouldiban TK · · Reno, NV · Joined Sep 2019 · Points: 0
Reese Stanley wrote:

Garbage in terms of conditions or climbing?  Thanks for the tip about highway 20 though.

I assume that Karl is referring to the relatively lower rock quality at both of those crags. Personally I wouldn't call the areas (I have never climbed at Bliss, tho, tbh), "garbage" there are some classic lines at both places, but it is more grainy, harder on your skin and brittle then most other areas I've been to in Tahoe. The Pie Shop is certainly the worst quality of rock that I have climbed on in Tahoe, but I would also say its only slightly worse then the buttermilks. But it is also very variable--the boulder that has amercian gladiator on it is of the highest quality, but even the well traveled, Pimp Juice, 100 yards from it has holds breaking routinely on the bottom sections. For me, living in Reno, Bliss is just a longer drive, so I haven't been there, yet. If there is a problem at either that your psyched on, go for it. 

I really think that snowshoes are the way to go as when you get to the crags the landings are more flat and the falls not as far and the snow keeps the boulders in primo temps. 

Reese Stanley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 90
Bouldiban TK wrote:

I assume that Karl is referring to the relatively lower rock quality at both of those crags. Personally I wouldn't call the areas (I have never climbed at Bliss, tho, tbh), "garbage" there are some classic lines at both places, but it is more grainy, harder on your skin and brittle then most other areas I've been to in Tahoe. The Pie Shop is certainly the worst quality of rock that I have climbed on in Tahoe, but I would also say its only slightly worse then the buttermilks. But it is also very variable--the boulder that has amercian gladiator on it is of the highest quality, but even the well traveled, Pimp Juice, 100 yards from it has holds breaking routinely on the bottom sections. For me, living in Reno, Bliss is just a longer drive, so I haven't been there, yet. If there is a problem at either that your psyched on, go for it. 

I really think that snowshoes are the way to go as when you get to the crags the landings are more flat and the falls not as far and the snow keeps the boulders in primo temps. 

Honestly, I'd totally go if I had snow shoes.  I live in the bay so, I don't have quite as much of a need for them here.  Though, now that I'm back in the state (went to TX for school), I might invest in some since I go climbing almost every weekend and Tahoe is my favorite place.  


Thanks for the insight into the areas, I can't say I'm a huge fan of crumbling granite though, Pimp Juice is something I've wanted to hop on for a second.  Any areas with higher quality rock that you'd recommend?  

I have all the guidebooks but, I'm still working on exploring different areas of Tahoe.  Thus far, I've done the Saddle Boulders, White Lines Area, Girls on Film Area, Rainbow, The Emeralds and Castle Peak.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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