Fantasia, Lover's Leap, East Wall 5.9 R
Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Avg time to climb route: 3 hours
Approach time: 15 minutes
Descent time: 15 minutes
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 400'
OverviewDescribed as first ascentionist Ken Wilson as “more bold than hard,” Fantasia is the most popular runout face climb at Lover’s Leap. While the terms “popular” and “runout” rarely appear together, Fantasia is unique. Unlike a Tuolumne or Yosemite runout on low-angle delicate smears, the runouts on Fantasia are on a steep wall studded with large positive holds. If you lead 5.10 confidently and don’t mind 5.9 moves 30 feet above your gear, then you may be ok. With few large cracks or bolts, routefinding is difficult and gets more difficult the higher you climb. This is one of the rare climbs at Lover’s Leap that has bolted anchors. You can rap the route on these anchors with two 50m ropes.
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StrategyOn the first pitch, sling every piece and watch rope drag. An unprotected 5.6 move 40 feet off the deck leads to the first gear placement. The 5.9 reachy crux comes 15 feet below the anchors and 15 feet above your last gear.
Ten feet up the second pitch, tie off a mediocre knob and continue up and left on steep dikes. Eventually move back right to a 5.8 bulge and leaning corner. Don’t go too far left and join Fear No Evil (5.9 R) or Haystack.
The devious last pitch has many options. The easiest way steps left and to a fixed pin. Continue up and right underclinging a leaning corner to the routefinding crux. Decently protected 5.10b goes straight over the roof. For more moderate 5.9 moves, pull the roof further right. From here, generally go straight up and pull roofs left of the big green lichen-covered roof. Break the last pitch into two if you have bad rope drag or poor communication with your belayer.
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