Trip ReportLost and Found at the Leap (+ lots of photos)
(If you lost a jacket in the parking lot, Sat. evening, I picked it up. Give me the details, and I'll get it to you somehow.)
So, after living in the Tahoe/Truckee area for like, 100 years, I guess it's high time I made my way down to Lover's Leap. This weekend was my initiation. Dikes!!!!!
Despite the crowds, we started with an empty Haystack:
Good stuff, and we managed to score a few booty nuts and a biner on the route, true to Leap fashion. Back at the base, our luck seemed to be holding, as Bear's Reach was empty. Ah, but Luck was merely toying with us, and when we got there, I discovered that I'd managed to lose a shoe on the descent! I backtracked all the way to the top of Haystack, scouring the woods and chaparral I'd bushwacked, but no dice. Found A LOT of rattlesnakes however, including this beauty:
After burning up entirely too much time looking for my shoe, we headed back to the truck for the 18 year-old spares, figuring we'd look for the missing shoe on the next lap down. The spares are a little beat up, as you can see here:
By the time we got back to Bear's Reach, we had to wait for another party, but eventually we headed up. I got the 2nd pitch, and something about zero confidence in my feet, combined with 9 out of 10 placements being behind a hollow flake, caused me to savor it a little less than I'd expected. Bushy Ledge was a party, but there were cute girls and friendly folks, so it was alright. But it did mean more waiting.
Might as well take in the sights. Here my partner, Zach, scopes somebody getting their exposure, way over on Traveller's Buttress
From the top, we scoured the top slabs and chap once again, and amazingly I found the little bastard hidden on the ground down under some hucklberry oak. As suspected, my worn-out old pull tab had blown:
With just a little daylight left, we did Pop Bottle, scrambling to the top with no light to spare. By the time we got back to the parking lot, even the moon had gone around the corner, and it was good and dark.
That's when I found the jacket (~9:15). I had had a busy Friday, and was wholly unprepared to feed myself dinner, so we blitzed back to that pizza place just south of the S. Lake "Y", and got our order in by 9:50, ten minutes to spare. We split a large Gut Buster and a couple of S.N. Pale Ales. The Gut Buster, though tasty, was as advertised. For the next 12 hours or so I experienced horrible belches and the occasional vurp; I did not sleep well. Zach had to split mid-day on Sunday, so we got up pretty early and headed for Surrealistic Pillar
There was still a bit of snow at the base.
And Zach turned into a zombie.
Maybe he was just mesmerized at the size of the dikes I was pulling on. I'm still not sure how I feel about all this dike business. I guess it's nice to have something to grab onto, step onto, mantel onto, etc., but I kept thinking about breaking my ankles. Here Zach tiptoes out a dike on P2.
And sets up for a reachy mantel, far from gear.
All 5-foot, 7 and 3/4 -inches of me was content to have a toprope for a few of those moves. When I lead that pitch, I'm bringing a big cam or two and stickin' to the OW in the corner! More my style anyway. After we topped out Plan A was Corrugation Corner, but it was looking like a sh*t show expedition in progress. There was a party of three on the route with three ropes(!!), backpacks, etc., and another party was nearing the base. Plan B, Hospital Corner, but then we realized we lacked adequate cordage for the rappels. Plus, crowds seemed to be forming at the base of everything we could see. Time to head for some sun anyway, so we went to check out Better With Bacon. One party on route seemed to be worth waiting for, and before too long I was up there wishing I had some RPs or something useful. That seam is thin. I strung the 1st two pitches with rope to spare. But then Zach strung the next two pitches, which were NOT 170', contra the ST topo. CMac's topo shows a 90' P3 and a 80' P4. Now, I'm no math genius, but a 60m ought to cover that pretty handily. I stood on the bolts but figured it was safer to just move up about ten feet. Zach made it to the anchor without incident, but be advised, and Zach ran an almost perfectly straight rope. Here's a shot from early on P3
I'm also curious how many people completely miss the bolt right below the third set of anchors. Might be fun to go that way, and I suppose the route is supposed to, but if you're following your feet, the natural line definitely steers you around to the right. Seems like a silly place for a bolt. In contrast the last bolt before the 4th anchors is perfectly placed. The fifth pitch could stand to see a little more traffic (dirty), but it was fun and gave a great view up top.
Overall, some great routes, and a great weekend! I'm sure I'll be back (but maybe not on a weekend).
Recent Trip Reports
Other Routes on Lover's Leap, East Wall