Charlotte Dome


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Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 13, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Credit: Todd Gordon

I'm going up to do Charlotte Dome in a few weeks......any beta, helpful hints, etc...I need to know. There is a real lot of info out there....I've heard everything from the thing is hard and scary to the climb is piss easy and you can run up it in a few hours......what is the REAL beta....from the experts at supertopo who REALLY know...
Thanks in advance. Pics too please, if you got them..

I've been I am with (right) john konigh (U.C. Irvine track alumni), and (left) Steve Scott (138 sub-4 min. miles...American Mile record holder for 20 years...).....

Mountain climber
Jul 13, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
i heard you were climbing it with an old jarhead and a 20 yr old girl.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
Correct.....a grizzled old ex-Marine and a beautiful young co-ed......I'm just along for the ride....

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 13, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
'nuthin wrong with that.

Nosirree....not one bit.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 13, 2013 - 03:51pm PT (same day as above!)

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 13, 2013 - 03:52pm PT

You will dig it. Did it with T Burke. "The Furrows" pitch is excellent.

Watch out for the super aggressive deer, and bears can be a bother.


Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Jul 13, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
The hike in will have you wishing that you could hire one of those mules to carry your pack, but it brings you to a very wild area with some great scenery. The climb is way easy--very fun on high quality rock. Three days is fine, but you'll wish you could spend a few more days back there!

Here's a Bob, a Buck, and a Big Boulder...

Mr. Bolton and Charlotte's Dome.
Mr. Bolton and Charlotte's Dome.
Credit: rmuir

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 13, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Agree with rmuir!
One of the most beautiful and memorable climbs I've done.

Trad climber
Central Coast
Jul 13, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
From what I can remember, it is solid 5.8, but just 5.8. You can wander quite a bit, no real "route" so I think if you just sort of start in the right vicinity and follow your nose, you'll be fine. I don't remember any bolts. We walked off. Don't bother to estimate time on the rock... that varies SO much and there are too many factors. People are gonna tell you everything from 3 hours to 9. Take the day and enjoy it.

I remember my buddy Brandon Thau and I hiked in (half day hike from west side approach, not a big deal), climbed it the next day, then hiked back out right after the climb (all down hill... we ran actually...) and were on the road to Wyoming for more climbing the next few days.

Have fun!


Trad climber
Jul 13, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Don't forget your shoes to hike in with like I did

Kmart tennis shoes were terrible

Have fun

Santa Cruz
Jul 13, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
Follow what Croft has to say in his book. Just enough info but not too much.

Jul 13, 2013 - 07:42pm PT
If your a 5.6 climber it will be scary and hard. If your a 5.8 climber it will do doable and take most of the day. If your a 5.10 climber it will be a fun cruise. The rock is bullet and the hike in isn't that bad. The descent is pretty straight forward but I've heard of more than one person going way to low. It's a great route. Enjoy it.
Bad Climber

Jul 13, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Klaus'bro on the dome--sweet!
Klaus'bro on the dome--sweet!
Credit: Bad Climber

Did it back in '08 with Klaus' bro. We got tooled for not having a bear canister, but we were kinda planning on staying at Charlotte Lake anyway where there is a bear box. Then got up pre-dawn and hiked in light to do the climb. Seemed a good way to do it. It is for sure one of the best Sierra back country routes--or anywhere. We found one pitch that had some 5.9 face, but not a lot of it. Having some long slings is a must. If yer a party of three, I'd get an early start. It's not that hard, but it is long. And some of the best granite anywhere. Have a blast.


Oh, we stashed our approach shoes at the point where we started down along the dome and did that part in rock shoes to lighten the load. The descent back to the shoes wasn't too bad. No need for any super tight footwear.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
Lots of good suggestions and ideas....I'm will be a blast!..thanks...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jul 13, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
AWESOME climb. I would say it is pretty chill and enjoyable. Just super fun on original rock. Least enjoyable was some bushwhaking to get across the creek. When we did it, we did it from the West and views on the hike in were great. Have fun, be safe!

Oh, and if you find a broken Canon camera somewhere at the bottom, PM me! I dropped it, went back up to find it but was unsuccessful...

Trad climber
Oregon--formerly DC area
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
So... Was there water at the climbers camp on the shoulder? I'm heading there next week and I heard its has been dry up there the last couple of years.

Social climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
There is a good deal of beta around that warns you about staying left to avoid some run out 5.10. You might realize this beta is to be heeded once you're run out too far to down climb.
craig mo

Trad climber
L.A. Ca.
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
The spring was running last fall. For me it was a two day deal from the west and three from the east.
Though better views from the east approach.
view from climbers camp
view from climbers camp
Credit: craig mo
Bob Harrington

Bishop, California
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
It's a wonderful route! Pretty mellow runout easy climbing, only a little 5.8. You would probably have time to walk out after doing the route, but three days is most leisurely.

If you come in from the east over Kearsarge, there's nice camp with water near the dome. The approach is then downhill from the camp, maybe twenty-thirty minutes (?), and the descent puts you right back at camp. Some folks stay at Charlotte Lake so they don't have to carry their camping gear as far, but the camp right at the dome is sweet - I'd recommend it.

The route is more or less the skyline.
The route is more or less the skyline.
Credit: Bob Harrington

Furrows pitch, the steepest part of that skyline.
Furrows pitch, the steepest part of that skyline.
Credit: Bob Harrington
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
Todd, it is no big deal but just a dick wrenching mega-classic, clean, a sweet back country outing 7/83, 10 pitches, 3.5 hours (the records speak).

Some people say there is a lack of pro in some spots but not for people of your experience level trained in the old school ways.

What Rob says about the deer is a serious concern. I had a life altering experience with a deer licking my face at midnight that I will never forget.

Did it with JA. We ran into "the Driver," Robert "the artist" and posse in Lone Pine. It was actually them that invited us. They let us go first. We partied on the summit, a perfect diving board where we waited for their party of 3 to catch up. I had been blown off by an older woman that I thought I was in love with(we were to meet in Lone Pine), beeeeeotch.

It ended up as a memorable outing.


Greg, Robert, the guy I can't remember and JA.
Or should I say the Driver, Mims, Mystery man and the Flange Man?

Looks like Jim has some newish EBs!

ps. We stayed at Charlotte Lake.

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