My New Favorite Crag


Pitch 1 of the Uber-Classic Corrugation Corner

Blake and I just returned from a 4-day weekend of climbing at Lover’s Leap.  Lover’s Leap is 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe, at about 6500 feet of elevation, making it one of the top summer climbing destinations in the US.  This was our first visit to the Leap and it didn’t disappoint.  In fact, the combination of stellar climbing, easy access/approach, great weather, and idyllic setting may make Lover’s Leap my new favorite destination for summer cragging.

Because this was our first visit, we decided to focus on the classics — and we ticked a bunch of them (29 total pitches of climbing in 3.5 days).  We had been warned that Lover’s Leap is crowded in summer and it’s not unusual to wait in line to climb a classic route.  However, we had no problem with crowds and had the entire crag to ourselves much of the time.  We also lucked into a great little cabin right next to a river, which was perfect for cooling off after a long day of climbing.

Here’s our tick list:


  • Haystack, 5.8 (3p)
  • Bear’s Reach, 5.7 (3p) – Maybe the best 5.7 I’ve done anywhere!
  • The Line 5.9 (3p) – Stellar! We linked P2 and P3.


  • Surrealistic Pillar, 5.7 (3p) – I didn’t think it was as great as advertised.
  • Hospital Corner, 5.10a (2p) – The second pitch is probably the best single pitch we did at Lover’s Leap.
  • Tombstone Terror, 5.10c (1p) – Hard and sustained!  If you told me it was 5.11 I wouldn’t disagree.
  • Boothill, 5.11 sport – Powerful AND technical.  Maybe the best sport climb I’ve ever climbed!
  • The Groove, 5.8 – Meh.


  • Corrugation Corner, 5.7 (3p) – Lives up to the hype.
  • Scimitar, 5.9 (3p) – Fantastic, varied climbing.  One of my favorites of the trip.
  • Surrealistic Pillar Direct, 5.10b (1p) – Great line.  We also did the left variation.


  • Traveler Buttress, 5.9 (4p) – This route is one of the “50 Classic Climbs of North America” but I don’t think it’s that great by today’s standards.  The offwidth section on P2 is heinous.



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