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Truckee Area Climbing (and Ski Touring) Right Now
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By Fred 4
From San Diego, CA
Dec 28, 2013

Hey guys,

My friends and I are in Truckee until past New Year, and lo, no snow! Oh no!

We're wondering about climbing in the area. I've been told of Sugarloaf, but that's pretty damn far.

Is the Donner Pass stuff accessible right now? What direction does it face?

I think I'll try to get a guide tomorrow. I was only able to find the South Lake Super Topo book at REI in San Jose. The Backcountry would have one, right?

Thanks for any info,

Fred

PS - Anyone know if there's any descent ski touring open right now? I know there's that persistent facet layer going on right now, and even so it's only like a foot and a half deep at best. If not, maybe there's a good area to go sledding and dig a couple snow pits and practice beacon drills in the Truckee area that you know of?


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By Paul Zander
From Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 28, 2013
echo lake

Climbed sugarloaf a couple times in the past week. Conditions were perfect. I'm not familiar with donner, but in general with the weather we've been having, anything sunny is climbable, you just might want to bring a tarp for the base to keep things off the snow


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By Mike McL
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 28, 2013

I imagine Black Wall should be good to go. It gets a lot of sun. You'll have some snow on the approach but the climbing should be good.

Touring is pretty grim right now. I'd stick to climbing. Sorry, can't help you out much with north shore ski beta.

Sugar Bowl does allow uphill traffic if you want to get some exercise in.

The Backcountry should have the north Tahoe guide.


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By Rude Boy
From San Francisco, CA
Dec 28, 2013
Scouting

Talk to people at The Backcountry. There are local guides about that know everything.


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By Schwisow
From Incline Village, NV
Dec 28, 2013

grouse slab area is free of snow, further west past at eagle lakes turn off is the indian springs slabs, doyle north of reno is a mini jtree bouldering spot


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By ze_dirtbag
From TBD
Dec 28, 2013
cottonmouth

woodfords canyon is worth the drive


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By Mike McL
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 28, 2013

Sugarloaf is worth the drive too IMO. It's got some rad climbing and really solid rock. I'd head there before Woodfords.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Dec 28, 2013

You'll be able to do plenty at donner. +1 on going to the backcountry. Also there is some stuff on i80 before donner that is fun and without snow.


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By Tahoeguy
Dec 28, 2013

These are probably the warmest places for climbing near Truckee (on a sunny day)

Indian Springs (off of I 80 near Cisco Grove)
River Rock. Warm even when everything else is to cold to climb. (off of I 80 in the Truckee River Canyon on the way to Reno)
Twin Crags (above Hwy 89 near Tahoe City)

Donner Summit has climbable stuff but it will be colder there.

Sugar Loaf would be great, but it would probably take about two hours to get there from Truckee (with the holiday traffic this week) and the approach is longer than the other crags mentioned.

Report back if you get out climbing in Tahoe, it'll be a lot less crowded than the, few open, slopes this week.


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By Fred 4
From San Diego, CA
Dec 28, 2013

Thanks for all the responses guys. Useful stuff. We picked up the guide (although MP looks like it might be a better resource in this instance), and I think we're gunna head out somewhere on Monday. We'll see what everyone wants to do.

Personally, I'd love to go to Sugarloaf, but we've only got one rack (mine) and a bunch of people who don't climb often.


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By coreylee
From Sacramento, CA
Dec 29, 2013

Do you all boulder? Should be plenty of good boulders dry. Check out the new north lake tahoe book.


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By Fred 4
From San Diego, CA
Dec 29, 2013

Not looking to do bouldering really. I saw how thick the Tahoe Bouldering guide was though.

Anyone have an recommendations for good places to set a top rope at Donner Pass? We have one rack and a bunch of newer people, so I wanna keep them occupied while my girlfriend and I maybe go hit a multipitch.


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By Tahoeguy
Dec 29, 2013

What range of route ratings for the top ropers? One or multiple ropes for them?

For you and the gf: Multi pitch at Donner Summit would mean Blackwall (lots of great routes to choose from, if they're dry.) See the recommended route listing in the front of the guidebook for recommendations, and look for Blackwall routes with multi pitch designations. Keep in mind that Blackwall is in the shade in the afternoon.


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By Fred 4
From San Diego, CA
Dec 29, 2013

TR to probably 5.9 or 10 for the others. Less would be fine.


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By Evan Riley
From San Francisco, CA
Dec 29, 2013
A lovely chimney

Twin Crags is your place then. It's warm, easy approach, almost everything is TRable and it's mostly 5.8-5.10


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By Tahoeguy
Dec 29, 2013

Indian Springs would probably be my first recommendation. 35-40 minutes from Truckee. Four "tiers" of climbing with each being 65"-120' tall. (Plus some outlying cliffs) Quick approach. Nice granite and MUCH warmer than Donner.

40-50 topropable routes in the 10a and under range. (Very easy multiple TR setups on the "Lower Tier")
15-20 routes in the .10b-.11b range. Link the first three tiers for a "multi pitch" type experience, (or climb one of the fun single pitch routes at the, steeper, left end of the upper tier) and then hike several hundred yards to the base of the 100'+ "upper, upper" 4th tier.
Average route heights are 65'-100' per tier.

The best classic multi pitch routes at Black Wall are better than anything at Indian Springs, but given all of the parameters Indian Springs might be a good choice (unless you have to climb, established, routes in the .11+ and harder range.)

If you decide on Black Wall there are many cliffs nearby with very nice 5.9 and easier routes. Unfortunately most of the cliffs that will be enjoyable (sunny) this time of year typically only have a couple of toprope routes at those grades, surrounded by predominately .10 to .11+ routes. The Perch is a nice little TR cliff near Blackwall with a handful of routes in that range with easy TR access. Not sure if the approach would be to snowy or not though.


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By Fred 4
From San Diego, CA
Jan 1, 2014

We did Grouse Slabs the other day and today and it was just beautiful out. Did not even need a shirt. Today we spent all day at the Greener Pastures area, and that worked out real well. Lots of options there. Weather was absolutely amazing; we felt like it was June. The other day we were around Insidious Crack and it was less than ideal, but fun none the less.

We're here for a few more days yet, so maybe we will check out Twin Crags and Indian Springs. Both of those sound good.

Thanks again guys


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