Woodfords Canyon offers year-round climbing. The south-facing side of Highway 88 allows comfortable climbing conditions during the winter months. When the mercury climbs into the 40's in Reno, the temperatures at Woodford's can allow for surprisingly comfortable climbing, assuming there are clear skies and light winds. In summer, the shady walls lying on the south side create perfect conditions during the hotter summer months. The area is relatively unknown, usually only receiving the attention of a few parties on weekends. The climbing is generally traditional and although there are routes up to four pitches in length, the majority of the climbs are a half rope long, with a 70m rope being extremely useful. The granite on the winter side is generally excellent with some areas of coarse rock. The summer areas have finer grained granite and less coarse rock but more dirt and munge; these climbs required extensive cleaning on their first ascents. These climbs offer some of the purist crack climbing in the Tahoe area and is a great training area for Yosemite and the High Sierra.
Woodford's Canyon is located in Alpine Co., Ca. along Highway 88, 20 minutes from South Lake Tahoe. There are quite a few different parking areas and trail heads. Take Highway 50 west from South Lake Tahoe. Drive through the town of Meyers, go left on Highway 89 (south), drive several miles to the junction of Highways 88 and 89. Turn left onto Highway 88 (east), drive down the valley which follows the steep East Fork of the Carson River. Towards the bottom of the canyon the road becomes less steep and to the left is an obvious south facing treeless mountain side. The golden rock formations above the bushy slope is known as The Fortress. Park on the north-side of the road next to rotating road condition sign, where a small stream runs along the shoulder of the road. This parking area is on the left after passing Crystal Springs Campground. Pull a u-turn after passing over the bridge and park in front of the aforementioned road sign. Follow the well beaten trail that goes upstream (west) towards a tree covered rocky ridge. From the ridge follow a decent climber's trail that is marked by cairns through a line of trees that lead to the base or The Fortress. The wall lying directly above the approach trail is known as the Donnie G and can be identified by a prominent "stalactite". Allow 30-45 minutes for the approach.
With a combination of thin, balancy crack climbing, featured slab and exposed knob pulling O.U.L.D. is a climb not to be missed. The fun, bolted 5.9 slab warms you up and leads to the shallow corner that makes for the crux of the climb. Utilizing small cams and wires (RP's helpful but not necessary) carefully work your way up the beautiful tips/finger crack to a rest. Shake out and continue straight up the finger crack past some small bushes. Move left to a left trending flake peppered with kno...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
Woodsford is an awsome canyon,,,It prolly has about twelve thousand quality routes still waiting.... Over the years there has been many passers through like Harding, Robbins Tm and Tommy Herbert there...Quite alot of history and eing so close, is one of the most over looked areas there is.. Thank god for steep approaches!!LOL....
I think some of the route organization here for this area is already confusing and not in the right grouping.
According to my topo, The Fortress should be listed as an area, and within that area should be the 2nd Alcove (and its routes therein). The Perfect Lieback should also be a route listed within a sub-area of The Fortress, aka The Liebacks Area.
Can we re-organize in this way? Also, is it possible to actually make such "sub-crag" area divisions within an area on mtnprjct? (It doesn't necessarily look like it.)
People don't climb at Woodsfords much so do the area a favor and bring a wire brush with you. When you are done leading do a TR lap with your brush and on the way down clean all the lichen off the routes. Also thank Ryan and Dan for all their hard work putting up new routes and anchors!!
Hey Milt, I heard you're putting together a climbing guide for Woodford's Canyon it's about time that a current one is done by someone who really knows the area!! I also heard you need a publisher. I will let you know if i find one. Keep up the good work! Sasha
The areas that have been posted all lie on the north-side of the road.. the were submitted during the winter months... so the summer stuff hasn't been included. I'm considering posting some more information on the south-side of the road, but I've been working on a complete guide for both sides of the road, and haven't had time to add anymore info. Milt M.