Two years later, I returned with my friend Pavel and a new climbing buddy Justin. Spent the night before in Kirkwood at a timeshare condo that Pavel & his wife own, and drove over Carson Pass early. Around dawn in Hope Valley the car thermometer read 0F, and there was even one reading of -1F ! But as we crested Luther Pass and headed into South Lake Tahoe it warmed up.
Still, it seemed rather chilly as we hiked into the still-shadowed Eagle Lake Canyon on snowshoes. There were tracks for most of the way, around the south end of the lake, but we had to break trail up to Sunny Falls. By 9am or so the sun was baking the ice.
Pavel led up the one line that looked good.
We took some laps toproping the line into submission. Soon we were joined by Doug, who was breaking in some new nomics. The ice was getting slushy, so we headed to the south side of the canyon to look at the still-shady north-facing climbs.
Cutty Sark (some background here) was looking good, though a bit thin. With all the snow at the base it seemed to be in WI4-ish condition.
Pavel was again up to the challenge and led it.
We all took a few laps.
By mid-afternoon a skier came through the valley and watched. As the sun rose higher, the base of the climb got warm. I felt a little drowsy even. It was a nice day, spent with good people.
We hiked out and went for pizza in Meyers at Bob Dog, then continued on to Lee Vining Canyon for the weekend.