June 2014 Highlights, New Routes & Updates

Griffin Whiteside showed up in June and made quick ascents of many of the hardest lines around Tahoe. On the north shore he sent “Drawing of the Three” V11, which is a classic new highball arête by School Rock on Donner Summit, put up by Joel Zerr just before he moved to Boulder. He also did “Boys in the Hood” v12 very quick. At the Sierra Buttes Griffin sent “Dark Matter” v11/12 and he did the FA of “Delinquent Minor” v12 which was a long standing project. While in south lake he visied Erratica and did many lines between v10-v12, either via flash or on his 2nd try. This is only a partial list of his many sick sends. Dam this kid is strong! It was OK conditions when he was here, but it was starting to get hot. Imagine what Griffin could do here in October!
New Routes:
Early in the month Kevin Jones, Dave Schwisow and I took a few trips to Bear Valley to map it for the Outlying Areas guide and have some fun. We were really impressed with the climbing here and after repeating many classics we added several cool new lines, mainly down Spicer Road. Some stuff has been climbed in this area, but there is room for a lot more. After that, on a friends tip we went in search of boulders up in Blackwood Canyon on Tahoe’s west shore. His tip paid off and we found a really fun new zone. By months end we did about 40 new problems ranging from Vb-v6. Most of the climbing is on terraced mini cliffs split by seams and cracks, with face lines in between. The lines turned out to be mostly moderate, but the rock quailty is top notch clean white/gold granite. This area will be featured in the 2nd edition of the NW guide. At the end of the month we pushed from Sugar Pine 1 to Sugar Pine 2, following the melting snow line. Along the way we stopped at this beautiful gold erratic just of the trail that you can see as you approach Sugar Pine 2. I’ve always wanted to climb on this thing, but always seemed to have other plans. Fred Nicole’s friend, Eric Talmadage joined us for this adventure and he did some great lines, including a v10. On the main face that faces the trail we did an exciting line that starts on perfect edges and finishes with a scary v5 friction traverse pretty high off the ground. I had to dig deep to sack up and send this one! Around to the right of the main face we did a fun v3 corner and a v5 arête that were less dangerous and fun for the whole family. We called this boulder the “Alien Egg.” They mostly come out at night, mostly…..
We spent some time confirming grades/info at Burnside Lake and this is what we have so far:
In the beta box on the driving directions to the “Whale Shark” there is a typo. It says to go 5.5 miles then turn right on road “025b.” The road number is actaully “205b”
On the “House Boulder”-“Victim of Circumstance” is more like V8-not v6. On the “Lucky 13 Boulder” “Lucky 13” is v5-not v7. Even if you force the silly start to the right that is descibed in the book, it’s still v5ish. Every person I took there opted to do the more obvious direct sit start from the sidpull, which is the better, non forced line. On the “Ack Crack Boulder” “Opus” is v6-not v3. It’s a only a few moves, but dam they are powerful! On the “Two Faced Boulder” the only way to make “The Boxer” v3 is to go imedialty to the arête. If you climb it direct liked it’s descibed in the book let me know. Im guessing v7ish-not v3! Ok, I need some serious help with the “Dendrophobia” boulder. The info on the line “Dendrophobia” v5 came from a reliable source and it should be about that grade. The lines to the right are a different story.”Hylophobia” v3, “Xylophobia” V2, “Ylophobia” v3 and “Don’t be Afraid” v4 are all highley suspect. I went there on 2 occasions with other climbers and noboby could do any of these lines. They seemed dirty, unclimbed and way off from the given grades, especially “Ylophobia.” Maybe it was hot, maybe we were botching it, but for gods sake I sent other problems the same day that are graded twice as hard. These problems all kinda suck anyways, but if anyone sends please let me know. Sorry for the botced info in the Burnside Lake Chapter. Most of the info came from a second hand source and we were not able to confirm the info before going to print. The good news is that most of the info is good enough to guide you to the climbs and the only thing that you will have problems with is grades being off. Nonetheless, I spent some time tuning up route descripions, etc and the chapter should be 100 percent soild in the 2nd edition.


  1. wes

    #7 of House Boulder feels harder than v6, more like v8?

    Tons of easy kiddy slabs and 3 move probs for the wee ones.

    • Thanks Wes. I agree, I tried that thing a while back and could not send. Seemed way harder than v6. I will adjust grade for 2nd edition.