Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Loaf and the Leap

I spent the last three days climbing at Lover's Leap and Sugarloaf Rock near Tahoe, California. Needless to say, I was very tradly for the duration, but I also spent some time on heads-up sport routes. In the attached picture, I am leading a profoundly sustained 5.12a at Lover's Leap. The first bolt is too high for the picture—that should give you a general idea of the commitment level. The other picture is of me on Dominion, a mellow 5.10 at Sugarloaf. It was super fun to accrue tons of mileage on 5.10 and 5.11 trad, and was reminded that leading 5.12 sport doesn't mean you can lead 5.12 with gear. It should be noted that South Lake Tahoe area has absolutely stellar climbing, minus the crowds and hassle of Yosemite, and with lots of free camping.

Other routes of note:

--Bolee Gold, 5.10c, 3 pitches: slightly runout, totally exposed, utterly fun.
--Nirvana, 5.11c: raddest onsight of the trip. Insanely exposed arete climbing with very, very engaging cruxes.
--The Fracture, 5.10d: Sugarloaf's classic finger-crack. Elegant and fun.
--Taurus, 5.11b: in-your-face 5.11 finger crack that leads to super sustained 5.10d undercling/layback. I easily onsighted through the crux, cruised to the top moves, was about to celebrate by grabbing a jug when I slipped on lichen and took a 15 foot whipper on a yellow Metolius power cam—a good reminder to stay focused while leading, and to keep on placing good gear. Thank you Metolius!
--Hospital Corner, 5.10a: the best 5.10 in the galaxy. This route is mentally a 5.12 and physically a 5.10. Absolutely astonishingly good.

There was much, much more climbing on this trip, and 90% of it was world-class, but for now I'll just say Tahoe=rad.

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