New Routes at Eagle Creek Cliff in South Lake Tahoe


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 34 of total 34 in this topic
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 22, 2007 - 02:34pm PT
I put up these routes a few summers ago. About an hour approach but puts you in an amazing location. Morning shade the sun all afternoon (can be really hot in summer...)

See approach for Eagle Creek Cliff on page 159 of "South Lake Tahoe Climbing"

These routes are described left to right starting just right of Bad Perception (route C in the guidebook)

The ratings are just guesses at this point. I need to climb these routes with more people before I can confirm them.

All of the following routes can be toproped with a 60m rope.

1. (not shown on photo). 5.9. Starts behind a giant block/flake. Climbs about 10 feet right of Bad Perception. Has its own two bolt anchor. Might be a little dirty, especially at the start.

2. (not shown on photo). 5.10+. Same anchor as route 1. Starts just right of 1. Some tricky bouldery cruxes. A little contrived because at some points you could just reach left to route 1 to get around cruxes.

To the right of route 2 is a vegetated wide crack

3. 5.8. Start in a chimney and stem up a little until you can get in crack on the left. Maybe a 5.9 move to get in the crack depending on how you climb it. Some fun climbing and a fun adventurous lead. Two bolt anchor. bring long slings to toprope.

3.b direct start is 10a. start 10 feet left of regular start. first 30 feet take 4-6 inch gear to protect. 10a bulge then you put in a piece with a long runner and make a blind traverse out right to join with the regular route.

4. 5.10 Not the greatest route. Bouldery short cruxes. Can either start on the right or left. You need long slings in order to toprope.

5. 5.7. Great hand crack. Good first lead. Two-bolt anchor.

6. 5.7 A bunch of different toprope options. All 5.7ish. The start is tricky to protect on lead. Two-bolt anchor.

7. 5.8. A fun toprope. Not a good lead for 5.8 leader because some sections at the start and end are hard to protect. Two-bolt anchor.

8. 5.9 Bouldery and wandery toprope. Sling tree for anchor.

9. 5.9 Crack with fun and steep face moves. Two-bolt anchor on right.

10. 5.7 Great hand crack. Great first lead. Two-bolt anchor.

11. 5.10c Steep hand crack right and stemming about 60 feet right of 10. two bolt anchor on the left after 100' is hard to see.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2007 - 02:38pm PT
oh, and feel free to suggest route names. Eagle/bird them names are preferred...

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jun 22, 2007 - 02:43pm PT
We climbed a few 5.10's(10.a, 10.b and 10.c in the book) on the far left side of this cliff last weekend. It doesn't look super inspiring from deck level but we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the climbing. Nice stuff! Going back tomorrow.
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
Jun 22, 2007 - 05:52pm PT
Need for Speed
Spread your wings and crap
Old Eagle Eye
Flippin' the Bird
Madder than a wet hen
Shake your tail feather
Endangered Species
Gone Fishin'
Skinny Dippin'
Claw your eyes out
Eagles do it higher
Mr. D

Trad climber
West Coast
Jun 22, 2007 - 07:07pm PT
The Falconer


Baby Eaglets

Sh*t in the Nest

Pecking Order


Eagle Droppings

The Colbert Report
Joe Metz

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 22, 2007 - 08:22pm PT
Fly like an Eagle
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
Jun 22, 2007 - 08:28pm PT
Wind beneath my wings
Wish I was light as a feather
Feather tickle
French tickler
Eating Nemo
Sharp Eyed Nemesis
Can't See Sh#t
I wish I was a bird, so I could fly, far, far away
Feathered Fart
Tether of Feathers

(I'll admit that one has nothing to do with eagles if you admit that it's still funny as hell)

Gym climber
the ground up
Jun 23, 2007 - 10:41am PT
Might be a little obscure in terms of eagles or feathers,
but how about "The Gift". I'd recommend a natural line no bolts.
Still, I wouldn't want to offend anyone or cause access issues. Todd Gordon have any insight?

Kind of reminded me of a video I saw of Ben Moon, an eagle, a
photographer and another climber.

Trad climber
Jun 24, 2007 - 07:11pm PT
How about, "all these routes were climbed in the 80's"

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jun 24, 2007 - 10:58pm PT
Just did all of these yesterday. They're fun.

re."How about, "all these routes were climbed in the 80's"

Doubt it. Looked to dirty, overgrown and untouched. Could be wrong. Your saying you did them in the 80s?

Ice climber
Jun 27, 2007 - 12:20pm PT
Do these routes look like they are to the left of this ?

(also from Eagle Creek Canyon, last Jan - bolts up at the top)

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jun 27, 2007 - 05:11pm PT
"left"? Sort of. They're south/east of that flow and farther down the creek towards the main Eagle Lake crag. You would have walked past them on the way to that ice and yes they would have been on your left.

Trad climber
Jun 27, 2007 - 11:25pm PT
I just want to add that those routes are pretty fun. Of the group, Route 9 (5.9), Route 7 (5.8) and Route 10 (5.7) seem to be the best out of the ones we did. We didn't get on 3 and 4.

Route 9 has great face moves off of an arching finger crack. I'd name it "Out on a Limb", kind of a bird name and is fairly descriptive of the route.

Route 7 needs to be cleaned a bit and the gear could be better. There is a move where you have to lunge to a horizontal crack off of a nut or small cam. It'd be tricky but very satisfying for a 5.8 leader. I'd dub the route "Out of Reach".

Route 10 would be a great first lead. The gear is perfect and it's hands all the way up on broken cracks. I'd call it "Tweety bird".

Trad climber
Davis, CA
Jun 28, 2007 - 01:05am PT
what about phoenix type names for the fire
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
Jun 28, 2007 - 11:29am PT
bird on a fire

hot wings

burning beak
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 29, 2007 - 11:18am PT
thanks for all those route name ideas!

coiler, if you know any of the names of the fa's of those routes let me know so i can find out the names of the climbs.

the ice route photo above is Bird Turd (route g) in the south lake tahoe climbing guide. not a great route. and this route was for sure climbed before I did it. the route to the right will be a mega classic once it gets climbed more. 5.11 overhanging hand crack with a roof... first document ascent (so far) by eric volz
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 29, 2007 - 12:54pm PT
oh, and i just realized, i bolted a face route to the right of the climber. I bet you could rap dow, remove the ice around the bolts...then have a really wild but well protected thin ice climb

Monument Manor
Jun 29, 2007 - 12:59pm PT
Where's Shyboy? Blitzo......?

Ice climber
Jun 29, 2007 - 01:08pm PT
Thanks for the info Chris. My partner led the route after those guys tr'd it. Some locals we talked to at Sunny Falls said it was about WI4+ ... it was a fun, though pumpy climb, especially with the free-hanging pillar at the bottom -

(click for hi-res version)

He lassoed the pillar at the bottom, placed two cams, then screws and I recall cleaning another lassoed ice feature. The one to the right does look like fun (probably a hang-fest for me though) ...
Brian Biega

Truckee, CA
Jul 3, 2007 - 01:49am PT
The routes noted, most of them anyway, are not new routes. Cutty Sark is the name of the route (ice route/rock route) in the two pictures above. Cutty Sark like most of the routes on the "Whiskey Cliffs" has many variations and can be climbed with ice and/or without ice.

Freequently, climbers have referred to these routes

Route 1: Patron (starts behind a giant block/flake)
Route 5 - 8: Kentucky Moonshine (climb to ledge, rap from tree or continue to top and walk off left)
Route 9 - 10: Hyrum Walker (rap from tree or continue to top and walk off left)

Going right (not pictured above)

Blue Ribbon
Cutty Sark
Crown Royal

*Note: not all whiskey but the theme has always been a constant whether "on the rocks" or "no ice"

To give a new name to a cliff with routes that people have climbed for years would be in bad taste. Unlike the Whiskey.

Edit: as noted by the coiler "How about, "all these routes were climbed in the 80's""

Monument Manor
Jul 3, 2007 - 03:23am PT
Brian.......Snowshed - tomorrow ***

Ice climber
Jul 3, 2007 - 12:52pm PT
Cutty Sark is the name of the route (ice route/rock route) in the two pictures above.

That matches up with what the folks at Sunny Falls told us. I noted that Carville's guide mentioned an ice climb named Cutty Sark over by the Echo Lakes, but I guess this is either more evidence that Carville's guide isn't that good ... or there are just two ice climbs named Cutty Sark in the south lake tahoe area :)

Social climber
N. lake Tahoe
Jul 3, 2007 - 01:07pm PT

Thanks for the post on this.
I knew that these were not new routes but was not sure of the names.
In all reality there is not much new in Tahoe. You can hike of "into the wilderness" and find chains dangling where you thought no one has been before.

Tahoe is no climbing mecca on the scale of the valley, but there is one heck of allot of history as far as climbing goes in the region.
I hope it does not get lost by people finding "new" routes and claiming them as their own. It would be similar to me going to the valley, running up the Salthe and stating "I did the great new route. One heck of an FA!"

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jul 3, 2007 - 01:18pm PT
I'm still having a difficult time matching the photos of the ice routes to the first photo in this thread that Chris posted. They look much different. However, I'm happy to accept the fact that they've been climbed before if that's the consensus. To me, the fact that there are some fun climbs there is much more important than who did them or what they are called. As a peon who's just looking for something different to climb I really could care less who wants to "claim" the rock.

The fact that Chris only refers to the area with the generic term "Eagle Creek" and didn't bother to name anything makes me suspect that he wasn't really sure. All he did was throw in a couple of anchors and let other people know about some routes that haven't been climbed in a decade or so. For that I thank him.

Comparing this scenario to renaming the Salathe and claiming an FA is a pretty wild stretch at best.

Social climber
N. lake Tahoe
Jul 3, 2007 - 01:40pm PT

I believe "we" my business partner and I, go into it with you a bit when the Tahoe Guide was published.

I'm sorry if this has you in a defensive posture here, but I don't think my statement is a stretch, at all.
So by your standard it would be cool for me to "claim" all the routes I've done "as my own" and publish a book featuring these routes with my own names and my own history to it regardless of the real history of the climb or area. Right?
Since I'm not a valley local, the history should not matter to me?

Just because Tahoe is not the big ditch does not lessen the history behind an area. I don't think the sun will rise in the west if something is missnamed, but in this case since money is being made from guide books in the area, a little tact(i.e. ask "hey has anyone ever climbed this before" instead of saying "hey, I found new climbs!") and thorough research on the history of the area is in order.

Ice climber
Jul 3, 2007 - 01:56pm PT
I'm still having a difficult time matching the photos of the ice routes to the first photo in this thread that Chris posted. They look much different.

I believe that is because the ice route (singular) is to the right of the routes in the first photo in this thread .. I went and looked up Bird Turd in the south lake tahoe supertopo guide, and it looks at least plausible (I should go look at it during the summer sometime too).

Seems as though there is precedent for an ice climb which forms over an existing rock route to have a different name ... no worries either way - I was just curious about the area.

Social climber
Jul 3, 2007 - 02:03pm PT
Coiler's right. Those were done in the 80s!

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jul 3, 2007 - 04:04pm PT
Uncle Doug, I'm not interested in arguing about it. You make good points.

I had a fun morning climbing the routes in question with a friend. There are some easy routes that will be a good place to take my young daughter in a couple more years. That's my only interest in this subject.


Trad climber
Jul 3, 2007 - 04:31pm PT
Foghorn Leghorn....although he was a rooster not an eagle
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 4, 2007 - 11:12am PT
hey brian

thanks for all the route names. if there are any more... or any good history, please post them here.

Sport climber
Jul 4, 2007 - 01:25pm PT
Biega, dude, you are like MasterCard: Everywhere I want to be.

How are those stairs going for you? I'll buy you a shot of whiskey when you are done building them, deal?

Jan 17, 2011 - 12:21pm PT
A couple weeks ago I went back with some friends, one of whom led a route to the right of Cutty Sark -

Looked kinda thin & mixed towards the top, and he used a tree at the top as an anchor. Do you suppose this one is called Crown Royal ?

(I hear it got pretty warm in south tahoe over the weekend)

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 17, 2011 - 12:40pm PT
Looks more like a Maker's Mark.

Cool pics!~

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Feb 2, 2011 - 03:27pm PT
Maker's mark would be a good name. Except that Maker's Mark was the name I gave to a seldom formed route I put up after the 1997 flood/freeze cycle. Alot of ice FAs happened that month all around the Tahoe region and eastern Sierra. The thing I call Maker's Mark is ~another 100 feet right of the Cutty Sark variation he's shown on here. Starts below an iced up squeeze chimney, then proceeds up then up and right to finish on mixed/dry tooling in a dihedral top out. WI4 M3. I don't know if anybody's named the right variant to cutty sark he's shown on in the pics above.
But yes, truly, many, many lines have been climbed on the Whiskey wall, dating at least back to the early 80s (Bridwell should be asked about this, cause I suspect he's the guy who would have climbed some of these as ice lines as far back as the mid 70s) and some of these old lines are indeed the lines that McNamara climbed as rock routes, especially #s 5 thru 9. We've been ice climbing and or dry tooling them for decades now. I would second Brian's statement that you should show deference to our local historical names, rather than giving these routes new names. To do otherwise would show some pretty profound disrespect.
Messages 1 - 34 of total 34 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews