Woah, Calaveras Dome looks sweet!

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jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 26, 2009 - 02:55am PT
I just noticed a few of these routes in the Beta section. This whole area has always been off my radar for some reason.

No longer! Come, my fellow gumbies, let's swarm this place like it's the Nutcracker ledge. Next weekend anybody?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 26, 2009 - 03:09am PT
Justin,

You can read more about it here:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/caldomes/index.htm
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2009 - 03:30am PT
Thanks, Clint. I should have thought to check your website. :) Maybe I'll go poking around there next weekend if the weather is good. Do you think it's melted out enough right now?

 Justin
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Apr 26, 2009 - 04:38am PT
It's a....... Mad World
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Apr 26, 2009 - 10:55am PT
Ellis Rd is still closed for snow, as of yesterday. We went in from Buckhorn Village.

Nice down in the canyon. Its at about 3000 so it gets HOT down in there in summer.

Brutus recently reposted a Cal Dome aid route TR on summitpost... here:

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=44888

We were admiring that route yesterday from the cozy comfort of Hammer Dome.

DMT
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 26, 2009 - 02:27pm PT
Justin,

I haven't gone there in early season, so I don't know how much Calavaras Dome is affected by snowmelt from the top. I've always gone in via Ellis Road. Some friends are planning a weekend there later in May if you are interested. Of course you can go there anytime, but it would be nice to have dry conditions on the shady side.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Apr 26, 2009 - 08:18pm PT
Lots of water streaks persist on Cal Dome proper. Some routes appeared deasible from a distance though. War of the Walls up to the slabby part looked OK. Hidden Dome at least appeared dry.

Hammer Done had one streak we could see, coming out of the Wings Stings roof.

DMT
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2009 - 08:26pm PT
Thanks Dingus and Clint. Maybe I'll wait a bit before heading out there.
Lisa Apprill

Trad climber
Cincinnati
Apr 28, 2009 - 03:06am PT
Can anyone help me with driving directions since Ellis is closed? I'm trying to figure things out from this link: http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/caldomes/roadmap.gif

I'd be grateful for any info.
Chris2

Trad climber
Apr 28, 2009 - 09:26am PT
If it is your first time, don't try the drive down in the dark.












It can be confusing!
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Apr 28, 2009 - 09:33am PT
At Buckhorn Village, as you drive UP the hill on Hwy 88 from Jackson there is a small grocery store. Just after this is a paved right hand turn, going down hill immediately. This road goes through a wooded residental area. Keep following it down hill - avoid any turns onto other streets, esp. a street that heads up hill.

Go down that road till you get to the river. Just before you get to the 'water works' (the purpose of all these roads is access to the dams, penstocks, generation plants, etc. on the Mokolumne.

Just before the road does the final dip down to the generation plant? There is a worker's residential area with a few houses, on the left. A paved driveway-looking road branches left to access these houses on their uphill side. Take that road.

This IS the road that eventually leads to Ellis. You will encounter at least one significant intersection - go straight through that one.

Eventually, after many miles (half hour driving, estimated) of both paved and fairly decent dirt roads? You get to the intersection of Ellis Rd - I don't recall a sign for 'Ellis" though there is a sign for Salt Spring Reservoir. Go that way... and 10 minutes later? You're there.

I'd factor in an hour, from Buckhorn - to Caldome, coming in this way.

Hope this helps.

DMT
Aaron Johnson

climber
Bear Valley, CA
Apr 28, 2009 - 02:18pm PT
Here are some photos to wet your appetite:

http://mtadventure.com/images/Albums/Rock_Climbing/Calaveras_Dome/index.htm


Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
Apr 28, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
Take Panther Creek Rd in, it's open and is surely the fastest way in this time of year. Panther Creek Rd is off HWY 88 after Ham Station. Follow the road to the three way intersection and take a left. That will eventually turn into Ellis Rd which will take you directly to the Domes. Make sure you don't pass Panther Creek Rd on the way back out.

Cal Dome was pretty dry and nice on Sunday. Climbed Beacons to Mars and not a water streak in site. The camping round them parts is fantastic.



Cool TR Dingus, I soloed that route last year and found that has sprouted several dozen new bolts. The third pitch (the A2+/A4 pitch) is basically a bolt ladder now. There are also several wandering free (sport bolted)variations about. I thing it goes free at around 12+, mostly mid to low .10 with a bit of .11 though.

The lichen on that route is the kind that floats up and strait into your eyes. Horrific!
sneville

climber
Apr 28, 2009 - 04:14pm PT
Does anyone know how to get ahold of Will Cottrell? I tried his email on clint's website and it got sent back to me.
thanks
sean
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Apr 28, 2009 - 04:19pm PT
I used to have Will Cottrell's number. I bought his topos a few years ago, but never got a plan together to climb there, oops.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 28, 2009 - 04:22pm PT
Will Cottrell's 2003 guidebook has that same email address, plus:

el dorado publishing
Post Office Box 840
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-8448

and a web search suggests:

Contact Information for Dr. William (H.) Cottrell
A. 1139 3rd Street
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-3100
B. 3581 Palmer Drive Suite 201
Cameron Park, CA 95682
(530) 672-6220

or (same as B. but with different city name):

3581 Palmer Dr
Osteoporosis Medical Center
Suite 201
Shingle Springs, CA 95682

If someone finds a current email address for him, please let me know, so I can update my page.
t is for trad

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Apr 28, 2009 - 05:25pm PT
i know that the anchor bolts on sands of time (or high times as Jay Smith called it when he did the FA, if i have my facts straight) have all been replaced up to karakoum towers. when i rappelled the route in summer '07 after doing sands of time the rap anchors were horrific. but a friend of mine replaced them this past summer('08) so it should be good to go. there were also some lead bolts on pitch 5 (i think) that were replaced but not all of them are new yet. but at least its safe to lead. there are a lot of other routes that could use a bit of fixin up but all in all cal dome is a great place to climb.

EDIT: i was wrong about all the anchors being replaced. two bolts on the 5.11 face pitch (which is actually like number 7)have been replaced and one anchor bolt was added at the base of the dihedral pitch above. I guess I'll have to go replaced those other anchors myself.
mikeyb

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 5, 2009 - 07:05pm PT
So it's been a week or so since the last post in this thread - anyone have any info if Ellis Rd is open yet? Thinking about heading out to the domes this weekend...
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
May 5, 2009 - 08:54pm PT
Ellis rd wont be open until mid June. Likewise, Mormon Immigrant trail Rd wont be open until July 1st... if anyone cares.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
May 5, 2009 - 08:56pm PT
I can't believe that in a, "Wow Calaveras DOme looks sweet" thread there isn't one f*#king pic of it. WTF!!!

What's the matter with you people?
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2009 - 11:48pm PT
Maybe I can work on getting some photos for this thread this weekend! ... assuming I can find this crazy place. Lots of info on the web about the climbs, but not much info on how to approach them.

Is this the best way when Ellis Road is closed?
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=san+jose,+ca&daddr=38.479798,-120.209999&hl=en&geocode=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&sll=38.477916,-120.206738&sspn=0.057248,0.11055&ie=UTF8&ll=38.43369,-120.287933&spn=0.229132,0.4422&z=11

Also, anybody know how much of a hike is it to the Calaveras Dome and Hammer dome once you find a good place to park? Thanks in advance.

 justin
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
May 8, 2009 - 12:04am PT


Hammer Dome


Gemini Cracks






rapping off
slobmonster

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
May 8, 2009 - 12:07am PT
jsb: your map looks like it (might?) get you to the TOP of Cal Dome...

try this one:

Link: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=san+jose,+ca&daddr=38.244652,-120.739746+to:Tiger+Creek+Rd+to:Salt+Springs+Res+Rd+to:Salt+Springs+Res+Rd&geocode=%3B%3BFQCfSgIdMjHR-A%3BFURJSwIdPBbV-A%3BFb9hSwIdVpPV-A&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=10&via=1,2,3&sll=38.386881,-120.680695&sspn=0.446717,0.997009&ie=UTF8&ll=38.450362,-120.457535&spn=0.446324,0.997009&z=10

Hike to both Hammer Dome and Cal Dome proper is short. Some of the more obscure/smaller crags require a small slog...
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
May 8, 2009 - 12:10am PT
Jsb, That is to the top of Cal Dame and the roads are closed, you want to drop in from 88.
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2009 - 12:13am PT
Ah, that's too bad... driving to the top would be sweet. Can't wait until the roads open! :)

Thanks for the info. We'll try going the tiger creek way. Is it tricky to do this at night?
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
May 8, 2009 - 12:46am PT
jsb...

Don't go Tiger Creek, it's alot of extra driveing and time. Take Panther Creek Rd instead. It's further up HWY88 just after the Ham Station building. Follow Panther Ck until it T's with another road (dirt) and go left. That will take you to the base of Cal Domes.
slobmonster

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
May 8, 2009 - 12:59am PT
try this instead: Panther Crk

Driving Directions
Link: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=san+jose,+ca&daddr=CA-26+to:Tiger+Creek+Rd+to:38.536216,-120.354881+to:Salt+Springs+Res+Rd+to:Salt+Springs+Res+Rd&hl=en&geocode=%3BFcScRwIdKmrN-A%3BFQCfSgIdMjHR-A%3B%3BFURJSwIdPBbV-A%3BFb9hSwIdVpPV-A&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=3&sz=13&via=1,2,3,4&sll=38.514728,-120.347672&sspn=0.055741,0.124626&ie=UTF8&ll=38.510833,-120.304756&spn=0.111488,0.249252&z=12
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
May 8, 2009 - 01:09am PT
Dick Richardson and I did the f.a. of Mad World 5.11b r/x in early spring of '85. The route follows the black streak to the right of the wider black streak of Shakin' all over. Ten pitches ground up in a day and a half. Gorgeous face climbing that deserves repeats. Only 1 so far that I know of by Todd Worsfold who led every pitch in '88.
chumbawumba

climber
SF, CA
May 8, 2009 - 03:42am PT
I'm not sure what email address you guys have but this one was good as of May 2007.

William Cottrell - whc@innercite.com
towerofpower

Trad climber
sacramento, ca
May 8, 2009 - 11:34am PT
climbed Hammer Dome yesterday, looked like calaveras dome was kind of wet, and the creek that normally runs into the mokelumne near cal dome was raging. wings and stings was too wet. A lot more water than when I was back there 2 weeks ago.

But Gemini Cracks was fine, and did a pitch of wings+stings and a face climb (3rd over from wings and stings). Not trying to scare you with the water comments. And it was badass when the sherriffs helicopter flew below us up the canyon.
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - May 12, 2009 - 02:16am PT

From the weekend... a re-enactment of a photo we had seen on the web. :)



Gemini Cracks on Hammer Dome.




Wings and Stings P1 on Hammer Dome.


P2.


Another view of P2.


Cal Dome as seen from Hammer Dome.


A climber on P1 of War of the Walls on Sunday morning. We had planned on climbing this, but after a tweaked finger from Saturday we decided to just check out the approach, do some swimming (cold!) and then head back early.


On the way back out, we were lured into taking Ellis Rd because it looked so much better than Panther Creek Rd. After a long while, we ran into some patches of snow and found this poor SUV stranded there all alone. We turned around. :)

Sweet place, indeed. We'll definitely have to do some climbing on Calaveras Dome itself next time. Thanks to everybody for the info.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
May 12, 2009 - 02:36am PT
I ment to warn you about entering Ellis Rd from the back side. More than one fool has been lured into that trap. It's never passable until late June to early July. Glad you turned around, it's like 10 miles of deep snow from where it starts to where it ends at the gate. If it's more than small patches, you're fukked.

Glad you found the place and had a good time.
TrevorJ

Trad climber
Aberdeen Scotland
May 12, 2009 - 06:20am PT
Climbing did an artile on the place around 2000. There were some great photos and route descritions. I still have it so I could copy it and send it to you.
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - May 12, 2009 - 11:12am PT
That'd be great, Trevor. Can you email a copy to me?

(edit: yeah, posting it here would be even better!)
NotIt

Trad climber
Malaga Cove
May 12, 2009 - 11:14am PT
@ TrevorJ:

Can you scan it and post here?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 12, 2009 - 01:40pm PT
Nice, Justin. Sorry to hear about the finger injury.
clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
May 12, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
Awesome!!
How would it be to climb here at the end of May?
Blitzo

Social climber
Earth
May 12, 2009 - 06:30pm PT
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/california/sierra_foothills/calaveras_dome_area/105876771
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 14, 2009 - 03:10am PT
You don't need to scan the article from Climbing #194, if you just want the text of the feature story. You can read it at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20020808091646/www.climbing.com/Pages/feature_stories/feature194.html
That Darn French Guy

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 29, 2009 - 02:11am PT
Anyone knows if Ellis rd. would be passable by now (may 28)?

Would we be able to tell from the turnoff on the highway if it's clear to the bottom? I remember the other road following the river takes a super long time to drive.

After all, Tuolomne was open last weekend, and it's about the same altitude (6000ft), and there were only few patches of snow in the forest.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
May 29, 2009 - 03:57pm PT
Ellis Rd is open and clear.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:58pm PT
So I am thinking of breaking out of my usual habbit of going down to Yosemite (I hear it is going to the birds ;-) and instead heading to Calaveras, which I have only done a few times and only in the fall.

From Sacramento (say the hyw 50/80 split) how long is it going to take driving in Tiger road (2wd Taco and I am not an aggressive driver on bumpy dirt roads). If a previous post about 2 hours on the dirt road is correct that means it is going to be the same ~3.5 hours it would take to get to the Valley?

Last time I was there I did the Gemini cracks on Hammer dome. Is there likely to be any other moderates that are dry or is everything going to be shut down with snow melt.

Cheers
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Apr 4, 2011 - 06:01pm PT
some of the burliest routes around Blue! LOVE hammer dome and the chunk!
j-tree

Big Wall climber
bay area, ca
Apr 4, 2011 - 06:18pm PT
Is the road open yet - clear of snow? (the main road, not the 4X4 road)
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Apr 4, 2011 - 08:54pm PT
Ellis road (main road) never opens until late May to early June.

With all the snow this year I'd suspect it will be closed until early to mid June. Panther Creek rd will probably open several weeks before Ellis. I'd start watching for the road to open sometime around the second week in May.

Cal Domes is probably high and dry by now. Or at least drying out quickly.
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Apr 4, 2011 - 09:14pm PT
Still wet and snowy at the top of Cal Dome- will be for a couple of weeks..
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Apr 4, 2011 - 09:28pm PT
i really hope the new routes going in keep the flavor of that place. Great feeling of accomplishment to be had toping on some of those bad boyz. Does anyone else think "set the controls" is a bit under rated - i know it lost some key nubbins...
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Apr 5, 2011 - 09:27pm PT
I think the place has really kept it's flavor Ron. I know Cottrell and friends rap bolted the sh#t out of the place years back, but most of those routes even seem to keep a bit of that spicy flavor... bolts where you need em' not want em' sort of thing. Accept for he all out retro bolting of Bonsai for a "free" ascent, it's still a place where you go to accomplish a goal, not practice.


Set the Controls is one of the most striking face climbs around. As for it's popularity, yeah way under rated. As for it's grade, can't say. When I climbed it the only thing I was thinking about was maintaining static movement. I got so focused I almost skipped a bolt at the crux.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
bay area, ca
Apr 5, 2011 - 10:38pm PT
Ares there still any heads up aid lines up the dome, or was Bonsai the jewel in the crown?
jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2011 - 10:40pm PT
This is wonderful.

It is my dream to someday author a Supertopo climbing-related thread that reaches 100 posts. Keep it coming! :)

(50 post mark)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Apr 5, 2011 - 10:46pm PT
Sal, WHICH CRUX! the first pitch -relentless just finding the next bolt was sporty. Took me two diff attempts to get up it. But it is a stand out route in the mind, as are the others ive done there. seems hella-hard for the rating though! Ive only seen one other party out of the times i was there..it was spectacular.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Apr 6, 2011 - 04:46pm PT
Anyone done the Green Sponge?

Fox and I freed it back in the the late 90's some super fun stuff maybe 11b at the most.
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Apr 6, 2011 - 04:55pm PT
Ron wich "Fox" did you free it with?
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Apr 6, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
J. Fox the man the myth the legend of low sierra low ball bouldering problems no one wants to do.

Did you do it as well with a Fox?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Apr 6, 2011 - 05:31pm PT
Fox?? nahhh ist attempt was with "426" on here- we logged some nice skid time! 2nd was with T.S. Meloncalf!

anyone know what that newer 10 plus varaition on sea of holes is?? (four bolts i think)
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Apr 6, 2011 - 08:09pm PT
Climbed Green Sponge a year or two ago. Still a bit dirty but the crux is clean and way exposed. Good route, thought it was like 5.10c maybe d at most.

Variation to Sea of Holes? You're not talking about Stone Heart (.10a/b) are you??? Just to the right of Sea of Holes 1st pitch.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Apr 7, 2011 - 03:56am PT
Sea of Holes... One of my first 10a face leads, and it was a little spicy. The next day, one of the guys I learned to climb from whipped on it and burned a big hole in his pants. I felt like Grasshopper: it was time for me to go.

OK, let's have some stories and get this thread to the 100 post count. I still have one or 2 Cal Dome stories.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 7, 2011 - 04:01am PT
> Ares there still any heads up aid lines up the dome, or was Bonsai the jewel in the crown?

130. The Great Gig in the Sky p4? A2?

62. Banzai V 5.10 A3

59. King of Fools 5.8 A4
65. War Lord (full) 5.10b A4
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 7, 2011 - 12:16pm PT
So has anyone following this thread come in the long way on tiger road? Does 2 hours of bouncing on a dirt road sound about right? I've seen several references to this being a 4WD road. Is this just a matter of clearance or will I be hating it n a 2WD truck?
Aaron Johnson

climber
Bear Valley, CA
Apr 7, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
August ... the Tiger Road is maybe only 1 hour of bouncing down a dirt road but it feels like 2 hours. 4WD is not necessary.
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Apr 7, 2011 - 12:51pm PT
My first multipitch experiences.
Real.
me and my buddy Jim had the place to ourselves.

awoke one morning to two juvi bobcats playing in the bluffs nearby.

Special experience for me, planted the seed for climbing adventures to come.

That was 15 years ago... doubt the area has changed much.

Always wanted to go back.... and finish ... "wall of the worlds?"

A.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Apr 7, 2011 - 01:17pm PT
Salimazer cool glad to hear its geting done it is a fun route and when we did it was a lichen fest and very much in need of more cleaning. We cleaned it as we rapped but all in all it needed at least a couple of more trips with the wire brush.

Ron 426, and Fox and I are all good friends thats [erhaps where Fox got the fever to clean and send that route. I was just called upon one day for an adventure.

Funny story about the climb I was hiking up behind Fox on the trail and he disturbed a bee's nest ina log on the trail. He walked past it just fine and I being behind him got the stinger from the first bee out of the log.
It got me in the ankle and I just ran. We did the climb and on the way down i'm thinking where is that bee log and bingo I get it again int he same ankle.

I could not put a shoe on for 3 days my ankle looked like a soft ball. Fox and I were just talking about that not to long ago and how we need to go back and do some of more time in there.

426 I miss that guy on the eastside. Come back to us 426 we miss you here man.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 8, 2011 - 05:08pm PT
August ... the Tiger Road is maybe only 1 hour of bouncing down a dirt road but it feels like 2 hours. 4WD is not necessary.

Thanks!
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 14, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
So from the time I left hyw 88, it took me 90 minutes to get to the dome at a not terribly blazing speed. High clearance is not needed at all. There was one pretty soft, muddy spot right where panther road comes in. It was downhill on the way in and, annoyingly, uphill on the way out. Didn't have any major problems, but it would have been a little stressful driving in without chains. It is probably already even more dried out and less of a problem by now then when I drove it. But a note to anyone reading this for some future winter trip, if it has been wet and you only have 2WD, having chains in the car might be nice.

The main dome was wet, although less snow on top then I expected. The approach slabs are very snowy. The south facing climbs on the north side of the river were great. Checked out some of the cliffs to the west of Hammer dome.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Apr 14, 2011 - 01:54pm PT
Is't there some kind of mythical monster around Calaveras Dome? I thought I read about some kind of Bogfoot or something that was scaring the poop out of climbers camped in that area.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Apr 14, 2011 - 01:56pm PT
nah,, thats just Pual Crawford!!;-) (JK PUAL!)
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