BETA PHOTO: Loon Lake Area Looney Tunes/ Rubicon Dome Overview
Amazing granite climbing and bouldering in a beautiful Sierra setting. The area has 400 boulder problems and several cliff faces, many that are virtually roadside that have great potential for trad climbing. Come here to escape the lines at nearby Lover's Leap and Sugarloaf.
Also some excellent quality welded tuff that is roadside. Some good boulder problems have been established here but there is potential to bolt some excellent looking overhanging sport climbing routes also.
Dave Nunley and friends, after being shown this area by some others, first developed the bouldering here during 2004-2007. This was mostly restricted to the glacier-carved slab areas around the Rubicon Trail starting point, coined the "Loonies". Dave produced a guide with 150 problems and projects outlined, this was modified by Chris Summit and 100 problems published in the Supertopo NorCal bouldering guide.
Further development occurred between 2009-2011 led by myself and friends, establishing three main new areas: the Outer Loonies (found 15 min hike from the Loonies), the Northshore areas including Seaside boulders and campground boulders, the Southshore areas including the Lookout and the volcanic outcrop Chipmunk Bluff which Dave and Jesse Bonin had visited twice earlier and cleaned and sent the classic Shipwrecked problem. In total these efforts brought the number of problems to around 400, all within 30 mins hiking of parking.
Take a look at the center 'dome' in the background of the "Offwidth/chimney splitter" photo (Shoreline Cliffband section of this). In the 1980s Don Garrett, Kristi Stouffer and I put up 3 routes on the upper slabs and 3 routes on the smaller cliff below the slabs, just above the lake. We called the area Rubicon Dome. I'll dig out the Crystal Basin guide I used to publish and post up the topos here.
We used to boulder around up there but can't really remember anything specific about that. Something to do with what we'd been ingesting.
Went here to see what was going on after checking it out in the SuperTopo book. Saw that it had a lot of what looked to be good problems. After driving way out there, almost all good problems were on private property, and there were maybe 4 or 5 lines worth doing. This refers to bouldering however, roped climbing could be particularly different.
Forest, climbing is allowed in all of loon lake. There are two small sections of private property. The getaways is private land and the bowl area where the church area is private. The former is owned by an individual who allows climbing but not camping. The latter is owned by the rubicon trail partnership, ie. the 4wheelers, who also allow climbing. There are around 400 documented boulder problems which will be appearing in dave hatchetts tahoe bouldering guide www.laketahoebouldering.com/.
Sorry you had a disappointing time hopefully the new guide should improve your experience over the ST guide!
EDIT: In case you didnt realise it, most of the land in the vicinity of Loon Lake is Forest Service, and open access. I documented the boulders out here for the new guide and I would estimate that 300 out of 400 of the problems are found on FS land. Of the supertopo guides problems, probably about 60 our of 100 are on FS land.