Trip Report
Section 20, Eagle Creek Canyon, South Lake Tahoe
Sunday October 20, 2013 2:35pm
We climbed the middle rib, more or less along the sun-shade boundary i...
We climbed the middle rib, more or less along the sun-shade boundary in this picture.
Credit: bradL
This is what we climbed.
This is what we climbed.
Credit: bradL
Last weekend I climbed Section 20 with Zach. We found the climbing to be enjoyable and the approach and descent to be not as bad as claimed on the interwebs. "Adventure Climb" was our phrase of the day.

Did we even climb "Section 20"? I'm not sure. It seems plausible, though.

We followed Carville's approach beta by hiking up the creek bed from 90 Foot Wall. It turns out that this wasn't necessary. When there isn't any water in the creek, you can just follow the Eagle Lake Trail until the section of large granite slabs. At this point, identify Eagle Point Buttress to the North and b-line for the obvious tallus field beneath the buttress toe.

Section 20 is to the left of the buttress toe, not to the right as Carville claims. The climb starts underneath a prominent triangle of white rock that is about 20 feet tall.

The Climb
Pitch by pitch:
1. and 2. Climb a face broken with lots of cracks and small ledges. Gain a ridge. Try to avoid manzanita. This wont always be possible. Options for harder and easier climbing.

3. Fun 5.7 offwidth to the right of a tall Jeffrey Pine tree with few branches. You could probably avoid this to the left, but why would you?

4. The real climbing begins. There was a runout face to the left that we avoided. This looked like lots of fun, though. Instead, we stayed left toward a system of parallel cracks that we saw from the base. This section ended up being the crux with a 4" crack that felt like 5.9. Easy 5th class above lead to an anchor.

5. Last pitch was low 5th class, with a memorable topout that involved a 5.6 lieback handcrack.

From here, you can scramble 3rd class (with fun 5th class options) to the top of Eagle Point. We didn't summit because we got lost in the pinnacles that surround the true summit.

The descent
The descent has been described using lots of colorful language but we didn't find it to be that bad. We walked off due West, and then wrapped around to the South, towards Maggie's Peak. We eventually met the Eagle Lake Trail and were back at the car, from the summit, in about an hour.

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About the Author
bradL is a trad climber from Lake Tahoe, NV.

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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Oct 20, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
sec 20- 925' 5.7

p1- climb a chimney 5.6 for 125'.

p2-climb a line of black knobs 5.7 t the prow of an arete and continue upward on bizarre knobs for a long pitch to an excellent belay ledge

p3-climb up and right on slab to a long crack in a flared corner-pass an overhang 5.7 and continue upo the corner exiting right at its top.

the next pitch starts at a huge cavern above.

p4- a peculiar pitch climbs the cavern to a large slope of a terrace. Walk up and left 1/4 mile to the russet wall, a reddish wall with a dead tree at its base.

p5- this pitch climbs the cliff directly to the base of the russet wall- several variations exist here from 5.9 cracks to the easiest 5.6 chimney jam crack on the left side.

p6- The russet wall,,which has three variations. The easiest is on the left, a 5.6 corner leading into a wide chimney.

p7- From the top of the russet wall, move around the corner to the left to a pair of beautiful jamcracks 5.6 to a fine platform with a sweeping view. The Plectrum pinnacle is within 50 yards of this platform..

Its an adventuresome Rock pile eh.. I would think there has been no less than a thousand lost climbers up there. Seems variations exist for every pitch. The OLD guides have the real descrips..

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Oct 20, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Nice! Climbed that "route" a few years ago, and it looks like you found more granite and less manzanita than I did. Adventure climb, indeed!

Boulder climber
  Oct 21, 2013 - 02:12am PT
Described route aside (OP photo) -- there's gotta be some killer crack circuits established up there too. I defer to the Tahoe locs.
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