Psychedelic Tree, Lover's Leap, East Wall 5.9

 
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Lake Tahoe, California, USA

  • Currently 2.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
12 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (4)
4 star: 42%  (5)
3 star: 17%  (2)
2 star: 8%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Darryl Eaton

Intermediate climber
Oct 7, 2002 - 12:03pm
 
Definitely some loose blocks. Not great hand holds, but you can usually step on them. As for the first half of the climb - the 5.8 is very sustained. We ignored our book's suggestion to set up a belay halfway to the ledge, and used our 60m rope to make it clear up to the ledge. After doing this though, we'd recommend setting up that 1st belay (even if it seems a bit early) since we were both pretty tired when we finally reached the ledge.

Great climb though, despite the loose rocks. Fun problems on the top section!
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Caddy

Trad climber
Folsom, CA
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   Jun 30, 2003 - 11:42am
John Robinson and I repeated this route in June 2003. I lead the whole thing because John was intent on pruning it so it could reach its potential as McNamara suggests. John set me up with his typical ultra light rack and had me link the 1st 2 pitches w/ his 60 meter. I reached the 2nd bely ledge with just 1 cam and no slings. Fun route but to link the pitches bring a little extra gear.

Curt "Cadillac" Taras
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boo-boo --

Trad climber
Reno Nv.
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   Jun 7, 2005 - 10:03pm
This is my favorite 5.9 route at the leap, and never has a wait. The climbing is varied, making it like a 5.9 Bears Reach. The loose and dirty reputaion keeps most climbers away. Most of the people who spread that rep. never climbed it. It gets a little dirt dusting on a couple hand holds lower down, yet not on anything you are frantic to grab. There is less dust later in the summer after a little traffic. The only loose blocks I remember are at the main ledge. The blocks are part of the dirt and tree roots on the ledge. Just be careful like you would on any ledge that you crawl onto. We've never had any problem with the loose stuff. We have climbed it both ways, in two pitches and in three. I like it better in three. That way the one that gets the sustained 5.8 start gets to lead the dramatic finish. This is the best top out, for a climb of this level, anywhere. If you put in a piece in the corner before moving left to the overhang, you will have tremendous rope drag. . . which will feel like it is pulling you backwards. The ending move is incredable. Standing on a sloping stance, you lean back and while ballancing, reach over an overhanging lip to grab what you can. At the same time you have the whole route exposed below you. Even with the route memorized, I still dig the ballancy final move. I usually leave the corner piece out so I can move better. A fall wouldn't be good though. My son's variation is to put the piece in and then take it back out as he moves around. Probably what it needs is just a long sling, then you could be safe and move more freely. If you wear a matching climbing outfit with shiny gear, the route might not be for you. If you like being off the beaten path with an alpine feel, and like climbing a route that isn't scrubed every day, you'll enjoy the sustained solitude and top-out exposure.
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casey

climber
oakland
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   Jun 16, 2005 - 05:15pm
since we were in line for the line (ha) we did this one.. really fun. i linked p1 and p2, then p3 and p4 without any trouble (60m rope). the first pitch to the ledge is a little loose, but the climbing is all easy and there are holds everywhere. it was easier for me to protect in the left cracks. i would call this 5.8ish.

the 2nd pitch (or 3rd & 4th according to super tacos) was super fun due to the mantel roof moves- yeah! cool exposure and everything. i slotted a .75 in a crack above the mantel, so i was on tr pretty much.

if there's a line on the line, do this climb- totally worth it for the roof moves at the top.
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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
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   Aug 21, 2006 - 04:39pm
I have heard people say this is not a good route, but I disagree. It is actually a very fine one for the reasonably confident 5.9 leader. There is no fist jamming required and Supertopo suggests too large of gear. Instead it is lots of 5.8 climbing with an occasional 5.9 move or two.

The best way to climb it is in two pitches with a 60 meter rope. The straight line means rope drag is no problem even with the full length first pitch. Climbed this way, you belay only on the big comfortable ledge half way up. (Save a 0.5 Camalot or red Alien for this anchor.)

There is one large hollow block low on the first pitch that has an unclear attachment to the wall. This block is hard to pass without weighting, but the chalk shows that it is often pulled on. After that, the occasional dubious bit can be readily climbed around. The rock is not dirty or grungy (at least this time of year). The climbing just gets better and better as you go up. The pitch from the big ledge to the top is very good with the fun, and basically 5.8, roofs at the end. Great finish.

The pro is solid, varied, and has just a few short runouts. A double set of cams up to the blue Friend or blue Camalot should suffice even if you climb in just two long pitches. There is no need and little use for anything larger. Add a few more mid-size pieces if you want more gear.
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Ken Zemach

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
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   Jun 20, 2007 - 11:46am
This route is one of my all-time favorites. Climbed it three times, once with the traditional finish, and twice with the tree finish. Yes, there is some loose stuff... perhaps someday someone will get rid of that stuff. But the consistent difficulty combined with the varied techniques makes it really, really fun.

As for my rating, if climbed the "traditional" way, it's 3-4 stars. But for total obscurity/weirdness/improbable wackiness, climbing the tree finish gets it 5 stars in my book.

Doing the first two pitches as one requires extra gear, or a cool head as you run it out a bit. Doubles of everything up to #2 Camalot, and one #3 can help.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Jul 26, 2007 - 09:08am
Great route. As mentioned below supertopo suggest too much big gear.

Loose rocks and dirt, so just be careful.

A good amount of 5.8 and 5.9 moves seperated by easier but still fun moves, so I think the climbing is possibly better than the Line.
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caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Sep 3, 2007 - 07:09pm
 
The first pitch is a FESTERING PILE OF CHOSS. Tons of loose rock, lots of hollow flakes, and that one large flake everyone pulls on and I'm not even sure how it is attached to the wall. Lots of wiggling holds. I gave up knuckletapping flakes becase they're all hollow.

By contrast, the second pitch was really good! One or two loose bits but no life threatening ginsu flake chop your leg nonsense like on the first. Better climbing and the great roof finish.

I'm not sure I'd repeat this one. I'd be tempted to try the Deviate as an alternate P1, and finish on P2 of P Tree instead.
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Trad

Trad climber
northern CA
Sep 10, 2007 - 09:57am
 
Agreed that the 2nd pitch of Psychedelic Tree is great (although I don't think the 1st pitch is THAT bad!). An alternate way to get to that 2nd pitch is to climb the first pitch of Fandango, then do an ~easy (and protectable) traverse back left along a narrow ledge system over to Psychedelic Tree. I tried this for the 2nd time this past Friday and was pleasantly surprised to find a shiny new rap anchor at the Fandango 1st pitch belay, too.

I asked George Connor (one of the FAs) about the new anchor on Fandango. He knew about it - apparently it was added earlier this year by someone thinking they were doing a first ascent - and said it's actually pretty convenient because you can rap off with a 70 m rope plus ~10 feet of easy downclimbing. (The 2nd pitch of Fandango gets a little chossy towards the top.)

If you're not sure where to start Fandango, there's a picture here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=24178
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Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
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   May 11, 2008 - 07:20pm
Happy to report, the Line's Ugly Sibling had a facejob. No more loose blocks with "unclear attachment" or potential "life threatening ginsu flake chop" on the first pitch. All gone. In its place a lovely section of stemming opportunity that protects bomber. Now your beloved belayer can stand directly below you with greater peace of mind. Now nothing prevents this route from becoming as popular if not more popular than the Line. P.S. Definitely two pitches, in my opinion, not three, first all the way to the ledge, second to the top.
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treddy

Trad climber
On the road
Jun 2, 2008 - 09:44am
 
Having heard the route had been cleaned up (thanks footloose), we gave it a go this weekend. We had a blast...first pitch was a bit mossy and damp, but otherwise felt secure and tons of fun stemming. We did "The line" the next day and definitely felt this route was at least as good. We did it as 3 pitches, linking 2 and 3 from the supertopo guide.
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Knave

Trad climber
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   Sep 14, 2008 - 12:36pm
Please stay away from this route it is loose and dangerous and I want to myself. I try, when I can, to avoid the leap on weekends. This secluded little corner made it tolerable for this climbing hermit. Another top down trundle on the first pitch might be warranted for this climb to be a little safer. If it wasn't so crowded on this day I would have tossed a few shoe boxes myself. When did the big rectangular flake come off the first pitch?
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Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
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   May 14, 2009 - 11:21am
Good news. Psychedelic Tree's had another cleaning. Now it's the Line's "adventurous and fiesty" sibling. Give her a go, she's waitin for ya.
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benbro

Social climber
San Francisco/South Lake Tahoe
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   Jul 17, 2010 - 04:17pm
One of the raddest (and hardest?) 5.9s at the leap...sustained super enjoyable climbing with tons of places for gear and one of the coolest exit moves i've seen on a trad climb.

Its not that dirty (probably due to the recent cleaning), but it is definitely a bit dangerous, a lot of flakes and loose blocks in obvious hand placements that are going to pop any minute.

So worth doing anyway, just dont yard off everything you see like a punter and you'll be fine.
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jsb

Trad climber
Bay area
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   Sep 25, 2011 - 03:31pm
Don't believe the hype! I've done this route twice now and won't be back. :)

The first half of the climb is just dirty and awkward. In my opinion, the only redeeming quality of Psychedelic Tree is that no one else is climbing it. Although, I will admit that the last 20 feet is really fun. There is a mantle/roof combo that puts you in a delicate position you probably won't find anywhere else.
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Stonedeaf

Social climber
misreading rock everywhere
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   May 15, 2012 - 09:40am
Partner and I climbed this on 5/12/12. We didn't have any trouble with rock quality. Neither one of us found a single piece of rock ready to come off. We didn't run across any water on the route either.There is vegetation growing in places. About 120' up there was a 10 foot crack section with vegatation that from below didn't look like I could use the crack. I went left onto face and climbed some perfect dikes and a flake. When I peeked around the corner and looked at the crack,there were gaps in the vegetation. I reached around placed a piece, climbed a bit higher and got back to the crack. My partner continued stemming through this section. The climbing is sustained.
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nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
May 15, 2012 - 05:20pm
 
No PT trip reports here, sorry! I just did The Line a few days ago, and looked over at Psychedelic Tree from below and from the top. I've never done it but highly inspired to check it out on my next visit.
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msiddens

Trad climber
May 15, 2012 - 05:59pm
 
Nutjob- I've done it and want to again. Fun.
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harmonydoc

Trad climber
Rohnert Park, CA
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   Aug 10, 2012 - 04:13pm
Climbed this today (following) in 2 pitches, really fun! Found it not too strenuous, a lot of stemming potential, and decent rests in between moves. Cool top out! Some dirt and cobwebs, but nothing that bad. Rock quality seemed reasonable to me, some small loose blocks but nothing scary.
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Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
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   Aug 30, 2012 - 08:56am
First pitch now has a pin at a crux.

This seems unnecessary - if not sacrilegious - as area already protects well.

Credit: Footloose

The traditional finish, wild.
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msiddens

Trad climber
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:07am
 
Get 'er done Bill! Pull it!!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 08:04am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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Lover's Leap, East Wall - Psychedelic Tree 5.9 - Lake Tahoe, California, USA. Click to Enlarge
A view from the approach.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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