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Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 12, 2010 - 02:41pm PT
jay smith.
paul crawford.

props to those artists.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 12, 2010 - 02:46pm PT
steve miller too.
love his routes.

North Carolina
Mar 12, 2010 - 02:47pm PT
dimitri barton as well.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 12, 2010 - 03:00pm PT
The Leap was where I did my first serious lead climbing. I really only knew what I had read in books as far as protection goes. Luckily, I had some climbing skills and I wasn't falling a heck of a lot. I remember running in to guys like Sumner and Cashner that gave me a few tips on things. If it wasn't for the fact that I was solid at bouldering they probably wouldn't have even talked to me. Those were the noob days.

Mountain climber
Mar 12, 2010 - 03:52pm PT
Tony Yaniro, Hiddetaka Suzuki, Richard Leversee

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 12, 2010 - 06:00pm PT
tm herbert put up a few classics in the area.


Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 12, 2010 - 06:09pm PT
I think I have that old Eric Beck guide kicking around. Was it for Donnar Summit area?
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
Mar 12, 2010 - 07:45pm PT
Nice post Ron. Hope others will continue to post up about the Golden Age (1970s) of Tahoe climbing.

I started climbing at Donner / Tahoe in 1982, just at the end of the Golden Age. Even then I still remember seeing many of the , now, classic cracks on Snowshed Wall packed with dirt and plants and there were large bushes along the base. Now the base looks like a park and it's hard to believe the same cracks that have been "scrubed clean as a new carabiner" from thousands of ascents were once dirty.

As for "Friends" being the new fangled thing at the end of the 70s/early 80s, most of the Tahoe "dirtbag" climbers I remember could barely afford a handful of nuts and hexes let alone "friends". And forget about placing any un-needed bolts (placed strictly ground up of course), could use that money for food or the one thing that you rarely found Tahoe climbers of the Golden Age without. (On Donner routes from the 70s you would be hard pressed to find a truly un-needed bolt) Definately not a yuppy crowd back then. Wasn't until the late 80s that most local climbers had friends on their rack. I couldn't justify spending money on those fancy things until the early 90s, lol. (heck, those old
"Golden Age" climbers didn't need them for the routes we were climbing)

Speaking of pioneer climbers from the "Golden Age" of Tahoe / Donner, a couple of prominent climbers are conspicously missing from the above lists:

John "The Pope of Donner Summit" Hoffman
Karl Hammer
And the "Fred Becky" Of Tahoe/Donner/Northern Nevada, Alvin McClain (RIP)

After the new guidebook comes out maybe the youngsters will have a new "Golden Age" as it's going to point the way to lots of new stuff and totally blow away the misconception that the Tahoe region is climbed out.

Keep this thread alive, as there are a bunch of worthy stories out there.

Mar 12, 2010 - 09:06pm PT
In the 60's a good friend kept telling me I had to go to Lover's Leap. I never went and never will go.

Do I wonder?

You get up in the morning and success consists of one and only one thing.

To be able to draw in a breath of cool fresh air.

Nothing else is as important.

Then or now.
Stewart Johnson

yo mama
Mar 12, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
gee ron,
tapestry is now crushed velvet with nine bolts...

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 12, 2010 - 11:32pm PT
There was also a short lived fad of SWAMI BELT ONLY

fad? short lived??
Ricardo Cabeza

All Over.
Mar 13, 2010 - 10:45am PT
Who's bouldered in Olympic Valley? I found some excellent problems in Shirley Canyon.

Tahoe is in no way climbed out.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Mar 13, 2010 - 11:07am PT
good thread. I grew up in tahoe and i have many fond memories.
Ken Ariza, Bob Baldwin, Tommy T (T2), Rick Lovelace and Dave Hatchett were my partners from 1979 and later years..

Dave still lives there and is putting up new bouldering areas every year.

Here are some memorable days of yore...
1982 karls over hang- swami belt anyone..

bouldering with kenny

first solo of manic depression- 1986- bachar took this photo and then soled it after one TR burn!



A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Mar 13, 2010 - 11:11am PT
My Folks were climbing at the Leap almost every weekend through the 70s. Wonder if any of you guys crossed paths with them and their climbing partners.

My dad tells me the good ol' stories about Lovers Leap back when it really kicked ass, no camp ground, drive up, find a place, talk to friends, everyone pitch in for dinner. The same small group all the time..

..Its a bigger community now for sure...Good stories thanks for sharing them.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Mar 13, 2010 - 11:22am PT
I first climbed at the Leap in 1972. There was not a soul around, bar my climbing partner and myself. Same thing with Castle Crags in 1974. I'd hate to see what those areas are like now, especially the Leap.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 13, 2010 - 01:03pm PT
We went up to the Leap and Sugarloaf pretty regularly in the mid-70's when I was at UC-Davis. I remember it was a big deal if you had done "The Line". I still have a copy of Gene Drake's guide to the area. I think it had about 20 or so routes.

We used to go up there in winter and climb the moderate routes at the Leap, like Bear's Reach, in mountain boots, ice axes, etc. to get a feel for the big climbs in the Alps.

Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Mar 13, 2010 - 04:45pm PT
A bit of trivia on the background of my Tahoe guide: My girlfriend of the time was director of the Tahoe City Parks and Recreation Department and had visions of founding a publishing empire. I had originally wanted to only do Donner Summit. I imagined 5 or 6 pages mimeoed (before xerox) and selling for enough to cover costs, maybe a quarter. She convinced me that I absolutely had to do the entire lake.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 13, 2010 - 06:41pm PT
Kurt, Bachar soloed Manic after having done it only once? Yikes! That's pretty impressive.

South of Black Rock City (CC,NV)
Mar 13, 2010 - 07:28pm PT
Keep the stories coming Ron....
There still is some "golden age" in Woodfords. Still has the feel that you describe from the early Tahoe days. We still need to grab a beer with Chim Chim some night and get a little more history from you.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 17, 2010 - 12:19pm PT
jeff lowe's contribution of surrealistic direct is a fine crack climb.

overhanging 10a hands with wild exposure! gosh thats purty.
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