Rock Climbing Around Tahoe, CA

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Kim and I recently took a trip out to San Francisco to visit our friend Brent and see his new place. We didn’t really have any plans to do any rock climbing, but inevitably it’s what we always end up doing.

After spending a few days in the city riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and handing out with friends, we loaded up the car and drove up to North Tahoe to a climbing place called The Emeralds. This place is beautiful, filled with rolling granite hills and large pines. The climbing is unique because it is granite, but it is mostly sport climbing. Granite is generally known for its cracks which allow for trad climbing, but the area we were at was mostly overhanging, featured with face holds, and bolted. We got on a few of the classics and it was some of the best climbing I have ever experienced.

That evening, we packed up and drove to the south side of Lake Tahoe to a camp spot near Lover’s Leap. This place was very cool as well. A small road with a lodge and a store sat below a 700 foot granite wall. We woke up and grabbed breakfast at the lodge before wandering up a trail to the base of the cliff. We climbed a route called Surrealistic Pillar. We walked from the top of this route on a small ledge to a route called Corrugation Corner.

We were stuck behind a few slow parties which made us unsure of whether we would be able to finish the route, but we topped out and hiked back down, reaching car just as it was getting dark.

This trip to Tahoe made me seriously consider moving there. It has great access to really, really good climbing in a beautiful setting. It has decent skiing in the winter as well. The only downside is if there is a possibility to find work. I guess we’ll see, but in the mean time, I can’t wait to get back to this area.

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