Charlotte Dome questions


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Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jun 15, 2009 - 09:03pm PT
Teaching to French Kiss.....constant dancing, spanking, tossing of stones, whacking with sticks......sounds like a night with Skully!
ec knows what he's talking about out there. Not elitist, just knowledgable. Have a nice trip.

Jun 15, 2009 - 09:20pm PT
'just stating the facts. Man...that didn't make me feel any better, Les. I see your point, through your explanation, thx.

Charlito, a sub-dome of Charlotte has some friction much different than on the Rowell/Beckey route, smooth and really runnout...80'

Yogi is always very aggressive there. Beware!


Trad climber
Jun 16, 2009 - 10:16am PT
thanks, all, for the great information, especially about the bears!! Hilarious about remembering more about them than the climb! Reminds me of when my buddy and I were camping at "Leigh Lake 14c" the night before we climbed the DSB on Mt. Moran. Didn't sleep for sh#t that night, right in grizzly country (and we were too cheap to buy any bear spray!). We hear activity outside the tent all night, and finally, my buddy says, "I gotta flash my headlamp out there and see what it is." I was like, "You serious?" So, as he's getting ready to switch his light on, I casually began to unzip the exit on my side, which faced the lake, envisioning myself flinging myself into the lake to escape a ravenous grizzly! Turns out it was a mule deer. :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Jun 16, 2009 - 10:36am PT
You've done the DSB you will have not likely have problems in Charlotte Dome.

Its more remote than Moran though...

We came in from the West. Quite a elevation gain to get to the base of the dome.

Outr strategy for the approach - we got to Road's End about 6:30 PM after labor day. No rangers in the kiosk. There were two cars in the parking lot on a Fri evening.

We started hiking by 7 PM.

A mile or two up the trail is a formal camp site with a bear box. We threw down there when we arrived and stashed our bivi gear and extra food in the bear box (I know, we are not good citizens but there were literally no other people about).

Were hiking again by 4 am. We reached the confluence of Charlotte Creek just after sunup.

From the mouth of Charlotte Creek to the base of the rock, expect continuously steep mostly off trail hiking. Once piece of advice - there IS a climber's use trail up that slope. If you can find it it will make your morning a lot easier.

Route starts toward the leftern side of the dome, as it were, as you come up that drainage of Charlotte Creek.

We simuled the route and did it in about 5 pitches. We got back to our car an hour after dark, that night. About a 27 hour round trip with sleep included.


Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Jun 16, 2009 - 11:45am PT
Les -

Too bad you're ignorance clouds who you're trying to downgrade. E.C. Joe is the principal of "Old Skool High" in these neck of the woods. Heed his words and have an ounce of humility!

Jun 16, 2009 - 08:22pm PT
One of the best climbs I've done. Wanted a bit more adventure, and so left topo behind. Did some 4th class ~100' to the left of start shown in pic above, then back towards the right up higher. Ended up way run out below the steep and easy final wall, at one point face climbing at least 50' above gear. Moves there were hard enough to temporarily illuminate me.

After that, went up left margin of swiss cheese type headwall--easy and spectacular. Had started late that day, and with all of the fretting on the long runout section, topped out at last light. Was expecting a nice rounded top. Where I finished leading was basically a ridge.

On the way down, tried to hook around to the start too early and ended up rapping steep slabs (as some others had done).


Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 16, 2009 - 09:04pm PT
Back to the real question, to fully clarify for Les: the upper part of Charlotte is not remotely like friction as in White Horse Ledge. It's covered with holds and scoops and grippy rock. Sliding Board is WAY harder and freakier than even the crux pitch on Charlotte (about pitch 3 or 4, wherever it is).
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Back of beyond
Jun 16, 2009 - 10:23pm PT
you got lots of feed back already, but my experience in about '80 was the following:

-hiked in from the east.
-interesting night watching from my bivy sack while bears tried to access our food hung from the camp's steel cables.
-excellent back country climb.
-freakiest moment was when, high on the climb, I was belaying from a #7 stopper wedged sideways in a shallow groove and my partner was leading above, without a clear sense of where the route went. Lots of grooves and ways one might go. oh yeah, and it was sprinkling. That smooth polish takes on a whole 'nother character when wet. Didn't help when my partner, 50' above the belay, without finding any where to place pro, yelled down to me that he didn't know whether he could make the traverse over to the next crack system without falling.

needless to say, we lived to tell the story.


Trad climber
Jun 17, 2009 - 09:44am PT
mongrel - now THAT'S real helpful - putting it in context of something I'm very familiar with! I think a couple trips up Sliding Board, The Wedge, and Sea of Holes should get my head in the right frame of mind for Charlotte. Thanks again!
Russ S.

Seattle, WA
Jun 17, 2009 - 02:17pm PT
I always warning people about my failing memory.... But, at the dished out area where the hole is,(friction, up & right) you can also go leftish. It goes up the left side of an arete in front of you, then pop back right to regain the route....

Warning - as I remember this was fairly easy, but I've always regreted missing that "friction" pitch...

Trad climber
Jun 17, 2009 - 04:13pm PT
FYI, Chris Mac has linked this thread to the "Climber Beta on South Face" section of the "Climbing Routes" tab, so I deleted my posts that did not contribute directly to this purpose (i.e., providing useful beta)

Trad climber
Jun 17, 2009 - 05:28pm PT
FWIW here's my TR from 2005:

We had quite an adventure on Charlotte Dome, July 20-21, 2005. We left Stanford 4:30am on Wed, drove 6 hours and hiked in (came very close to a rattler and a mountain kingsnake on he trail). The NPS was requiring bear containers there at the time, even though there is a metal food storage container at Bubbs Creek campground. The Roads End station was closed when we got there, but you can rent bear containers from the Cedar Grove market.

We initially thought we would sleep at Bubb's creek campground, but when we arrived with 2 hours of daylight left, the mosquitoes were so bad that we couldn't bear to be still and decided to bivy higher up. We were very glad we did! From the main trail it is maybe 2 hrs of steep uphill to the climb. We bivied after about an hour (with packs) at a tree with a big flat rock not too far from where the trail cuts away from the creek. This turned out to be a good spot because when we came back down we hit it without having to go back uphill.

The forecast had small chance of Tstorms in the afternoon, and there was a bit of that hiking in on Wed. so we decided to try and be early. We were up by 4:30, left our campsite at 5:30 and were on the climb by 7am. The 1200ft face is more imposing than I had expected and although the climbing was easy, I was very concerned with staying on route the whole time. We did OK in that respect. There was only one part around the 4th pitch where I got decidedly off-route into harder slabs. And we remain kind of confused about some of the markers on the supertopo that we're not sure we saw.

We got our first rain on pitch 6 a bit before 1pm, I think. We saw what looked like some major booty above a crack slightly left. Perhaps a party had bailed in the thunderstorms the day before, but the darkening sky made me completely uninterested in booty retrieval. The wind dried the rock off pretty quickly; we were well above the retreat anchors shown on the topo so we continued. There was no thunder or lightening at the time. The wind changed and the system that looked to be moving past came right at us. We got a bit more sprinkles. Then...At 3:30 on pitch 10 of 12 (on the supertopo) the sky opened with rain, hail and bolts of lightening in the canyon immediately in front of us. The simultaneously cracks of thunder let us know we were in the thick of it. Luckily, that belay offers the biggest ledge of the climb. We girth hitched ourselves to a dead tree (that's probably been struck by lightening before), stashed all our metal a bit away from us, donned rain gear and huddled. In minutes water was gushing down the rock 2 ft. to our right.

The rain/hail stopped after a few minutes. So much was going on in the sky we weren't sure if we'd be in for more. After 45 minutes or so we decided to head up. Leading a wet thin 5.7 crack that involved stepping across on wet slab to another wet thin crack was the most harrowing part of the climb for me. Luckily, the rubber stuck enough. Seth led the last bit and we topped out at 7 pm. The topo has 13 pitches if you stay roped up for the 3rd class to the top, like we did. We actually did it all in 11 long pitches. We roped up just below and to the left of where the first belay is on the supertopo.

We had a few moments of sunshine before more thunder and hail amidst a beautiful sunset, which was kind of surreal. We decided the walk off would be dangerously slippery and decided to use the inviting slings on a tree to our right, understanding that it might commit us to a series of raps on steeper terrain, which it did. 3- 200ft rappels off existing stations (with some knot problems with our doubles and Seth ascending once with both ends in our grasp to free a stuck knot) left Seth stranded on steep slab. He found a decent horn where he strung a rap ring on cord. The next rappell got us to the ground by midnight. A moonlit (full moon) walk and bushwacking through manzenita got us back to our bivy a little after 2am.

We were sore, tired and happy on the way out the next day. We descended from our bivy on a trail we hadn't been on for much of the ascent. *Beta: There are actually 2 streams prior to Bubb's Creek campground. A good trail to Charlotte Dome, which we missed on the way in, but walked out on, is immediately prior to the first stream you hit at a bend in the trail. There is a chest-high boulder on the right and a cairm on the left, although ferns sort of hide the trail right at the outset.

So, that is our trip report. Kings Canyon is amazingly beautiful!
del cross

Jun 17, 2009 - 05:45pm PT
> Driving times from the bay area are a wash.


Trad climber
Jul 28, 2009 - 08:12am PT
bump - anyone been in to Charlotte Dome recently? Heading in there next week so just looking for some stoke, e.g., recent TRs, pics, etc. Can't wait.
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