Ann and I meet Wes in Truckee, hoping for cooler temperatures at Big Chief. It’s just about right, even climbing in the sun. The blooming bitterbrush smells like cinnamon and a breeze ruffles the ponderosas. Climbing season is definitely open!
Sun, 12 May 2013
Sat, 11 May 2013
Most of our first trip to the Phantom Spires is spent thrashing through the steep underbrush between crags, exploring the area and climbing a few routes before we return to our campsite. It’s a great place, but surprisingly already pretty hot. Luckily there’s always a few routes in the shade.
Sat, 20 Oct 2012
Maybe not, but Ann and I go up to Big Chief with our friend Wes just in case.
Wed, 26 Sep 2012
Mike and his dad John propose an after work session at River Rock on the Truckee. We’re hoping the days are still long enough if we get going at 4pm. We arrive before 5 and Mike jumps straight onto Karl’s crack 5.10a (see dirty talk). After we follow that there’s still time for me to try Africa Flake 5.10a, which I scrabble up with a couple of easy falls and plenty of extra gear. Probably my last climb for a while!
Sun, 09 Sep 2012
Ann and I finally made it up to the Big Chief crag for a little climbing. This place has a great out-of-the-way feel, and though I’ve read that the rock is basalt it feels very different from other basalt cliffs in the area, almost like it was made of molten aluminum dribbled into a great pile and cooled. It’s fun climbing, and we meet some other friendly climbers. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going on here, though:
Fri, 07 Sep 2012
Wes joins Ann and I for an early work departure for Thomas creek crag, verifying that this is a viable workday climbing destination, and the climbing here is fun enough to bear repeated visits. Whoop!
Thu, 30 Aug 2012
We’ve been scheming for over a year now climb at 90 foot wall. This little collection of easily toproped cracks is an easy hike from the most popular trailhead on lake Tahoe at Eagle Creek. The first few times we came here, we didn’t even get parked. The first time it took us 20 minutes just to escape the packed-full parking lot. Later we get parked successfully and hiked in to see the rock covered in ropes and climbers.
Today we finally do it right, and we have the crag to ourselves for our first route. Woohoo! Late in the summer the crowds are dwindling, it’s a weekday, and fairly early. We nailed it. The climbs here are steeper than what we’ve been climbing, which is a fun change. Even when a few groups join us, there are plenty of routes for all. Even if we never manage it again, now we know how.
Sat, 18 Aug 2012
One strange thing about living and working from a camper for a year is that we knew of several other couples doing the same thing, but we were always in different places. Now that we’ve stayed in one place for a while one of them finally came within range and we finally get to meet in person! Jenn and Johnny of hitekhomeless.net are also the developers behind freecampsites.net and rvdumpsites.net. We enjoy trading stories and take them up the nearby Luther Spires climbing area for a little climbing.
Despite a grunt of an approach, this is a good place for a little group climbing. Clouds keep us cool right up until my last pitch when they cover me in a little rain.
My favorite is See Through – a fairly steep crack with lots of variety.
Sun, 06 May 2012
Just looking to get on some rock we find good conditions at Dinosaur Rock. I manage my first lead of the season on The Left Seam, which is rated 5.10a but is easily cheated down to about 5.7. We run laps on that and Color Me Gone 5.9 until spent, then go home happy. We have so many other things we want to do this summer that we’re uncertain how much climbing we should pursue, but little outings like this are leaving us wanting more.
Sun, 15 Apr 2012
The high crags are still snowed under, so Ann and I try a little cliff along the the east Carson river called Book of the Red. We find a warm and peaceful 40-foot corner to enjoy while listening to the river amble by. Until hordes of drunken partying teens show up. Their yells, especially “angry running!” while sucking air and stumbling up the canyon are just amusing, but the broken glass and trundling annoy us. Still, it’s a fine spot to ease into the season.