TR: Two days at Woodsfords - Cloudburst Canyon


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Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 12, 2009 - 10:00pm PT

Over the last few weeks, I've been checking out this cool area near South Lake Tahoe called Woodsfords. It is an obscure area, with not much of a guidebook, except an old old one that you can download here:

That old guide lists about 90 routes. According to Dan (modern route developer and all around cool dude), there are now more than 225 routes spread across many crags, with year round climbing.

Some recent discussions on Supertopo got me interested in checking it out. I have to say, that this place is a worthy destination. Since it's not very popular, most of the lines are a little dirty, but not exceptionally so. On top of that, there are just lines everywhere awaiting development.

Here's some overview pics with routes sketched in, most of which I have climbed:

One of These Days / King Diamond cliff. Routes from left to right:

 (unmarked) Unknown (5.??) -- I saw bolts going up the left-hand arete, but didn't ask about it
 (unmarked) Unknown (5.12b) (didn't climb this, but it looked cool) -- Bolted face just left of One of These Days.
 (red) One of These Days (5.10c) (onsight) -- sweet 5 star route. Great moves. Fingers and hands. 120 feet.
 (unmarked) King Diamond (P1: 5.11b, P2: 5.9+) (didn't climb this) -- I think this one goes up into the low angle corner and then up the diagonal crack splitting the sunlit face
 (yellow) Pictures of Me (5.10c) (TR)
 (purple) Bush League (5.10a) (onsight)
 (green) Little Mrs. Manners (5.11d) (TR - 1 hang)
 (blue) Dan's Unnamed FA (5.10b?) (put up on 2009-08-10) (I didn't climb this but watched him put it up)

Next up is ___ cliff (I forgot the name). We did two routes on this cliff, both of which I would consider 4 star routes at any other cliff. These climbs were my introduction to Woodfords and Cloudburst canyon. We used a 70m rope, and were able to lower off. I don't think a 60m would be long enough.

Routes left to right:

 D-Cup (5.10c) (onsight)
 Offwidth Your Panties (5.8) (onsight)

Another great crag, no real name, other than "Cloudburst Canyon - West Side - Second Tier". This one is on the bottom left side of the canyon, up on the 2nd tier of cliffs above the valley floor. You hike up just past where the trail to King Diamond / One of These Days cliff splits off left, and then head off right, cross the creek, and scramble up some slabs. The trail is well marked.

The first four climbs share an anchor. There is a low anchor without chains, and a high anchor up in the corner with rap rings. Skip the lower anchor and just use the upper one. A 70m rope gets you down, not sure about a 60m.

Left to Right, the marked climbs are

 Unnamed - Left Arete (5.10d) (TR)
 Cartwheel (5.10b/c) (TR)
 Numb Bunion (5.10d?) (didn't climb)
 Groove Tube (5.11a) (TR) -- can't see most of this in the photo, it starts on the right arete in this photo and works up the face and the next arete to the right. Don't get sucked into the lichen covered face right of the hidden arete -- the climb finishes on the face itself, with some fun, hard slab moves.
 Dan's project (5.11-something)
 Ativan Grin (5.10b) (onsight) -- fun, balancy moves, slightly tricky pro.
 Halcion Hallucination (5.9) (unmarked, didn't climb) -- anchors under the little roof right of Ativan Grin

If you're interested in photos, I've got more on my blog: Scroll down to the bottom of the posting (since you just read it here) and click on any photo to start a slideshow from that point. Most of the pics have captions.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Aug 13, 2009 - 01:49am PT
I can't believe I just pulled this off the SECOND PAGE!

Man what a day that must have been, Cool Rock and you guys looked like you were the only ones enjoying it!

Thanks for the Topo's and your time for the write up, can't wait till I can check that place out!

So was it as good as Toooombstone?

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2009 - 01:59am PT

Hah -- I literally just responded to you on the One of These Days vs. Tombstone Terror thread.

Seems I should have jumped on TT on Sunday when I was staring up at it. I thought it looked familiar, and now I know why! I'm smacking myself now for not getting on it. I might have to make another trip there just to climb it for comparison.

BTW, yeah, on Monday we were the only ones there all day. Beautiful rock, and no crowds. Yeah.


Social climber
Jtree, now in Alaska
Aug 13, 2009 - 04:14am PT
very cool, i miss cali!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Aug 13, 2009 - 12:00pm PT
Tahoe Bump

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 13, 2009 - 12:12pm PT

I'm going to have to check this place out. Looks really cool.

Thanks for posting it up!

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:06pm PT
very cool Thanks
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:37pm PT
Very nice photo overlays, Tad - thanks for sharing.

South of Black Rock City
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:44pm PT
On the "west wall of cloudburst" the route to the right is called "ativan grin" (definately tricky pro...) and there is another route to the right of it with anchors under the little roof called "halcion hallucination" 5.9 ish. Put those two up about 3 years ago. Thanks for posting up the photos.
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Aug 13, 2009 - 06:19pm PT
Good stuff Tad!

Trad climber
Aug 13, 2009 - 06:22pm PT
Man o man...this makes me miss the Tahoe region - especially as I listen to the rain fall outside my house. Aaarrggghh!!!

Great TR, and great pics. Thanks!!

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
Thanks for the feedback guys! This area is really a lot of fun, especially if you dislike crowds and enjoy great climbing. There is even free camping nearby. I highly recommend you take Chim-Chim up on his offer to show you around. It's a great place.

BurnRockBurn: Cool! I updated the post with the route info. No more "unknown" route names. I really enjoyed Ativan Grin.

Clint: This is my first try at photo overlays. I've still got a lot to learn, yours are orders of magnitude better! Don't know if you can tell, but in the first pic (One of These Days cliff), I tried to write the route names directly on the photo -- but when rescaling it for web viewing, they got too small to read!


South of Black Rock City
Aug 15, 2009 - 11:35am PT
wap wap my friend
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