Friday, July 8, 2011

Shoveling Snow in July & Other Epic Tales of Bouldering Addiction

Well, my motivation took a blow yesterday when after meticulously following directions and mile markers to the Saddle Boulders the guidebook warned us of a seasonal stream running through an old train tunnel we were supposed to drive through. Here is what the seasonal stream turned out to look like:

More like full blown river.

Though we were bummed while backtracking the endless dirt roads there was still one other option. A 3.5 mile drive through a series of abandoned train tunnels. There was just one problem. At the end of the first tunnel we found this:

In true boulder junkie fashion, we brought snow shovels and proceeded to dig away at the dirt snow/ice bank for two hours until a group of people on ATV's drove up and informed us that there were no less than three more snow drifts after this one. With a twist of the knife they added that they were bigger as well.

In short, we left just after noon, and by the time we reversed a quarter mile out of the tunnel it was nearly 6 PM. We hadn't touched a single rock, and with the reality that probably the best bouldering area was going to be inaccessible our spirits were running low.

We also realized that with the Ronin Boulder nearly 3 hours away it looks like we'll be spending most of our time either scouring Highway 20 for new or obscure lines, or spending most of our time at Rainbow. Again if anyone has any leads on bouldering areas around here feel free to share. The psyche is still high, because after all it's still real rock. It just looks like we'll have to get a little creative.



  1. Loving the updates! Thanks for sharing with those of us stuck in our cube farms hidden from the sun. Hopefully you find some good blocs.

  2. That snow should be gone in 2 weeks, it's melting at 2 feet/week right now.

  3. Caught your vid on Deadpoint, too bad about Saddles, it is the gem of Tahoe. If you get through the first tunnel there's a few nice lines at the top of the Snowshed Wall, just before entering the second tunnel. Rainbow is pretty low quality, but it's exposed so it might be a safe bet for you. Honestly, most of Tahoe is pretty low quality as far as bouldering goes. You could try the Kirkwood area if the pass is open, theres an area called Erratica that's pretty good, I'll warn you now though, it gets ALOT of snow and after the banner snow year, things could still be snowed in, additionally, without a tour, you might get shut down, it's expansive and the blocks are dispersed. If you're thinking of checking it out I can send you some beta. Bliss state park should be climbable, it's not 5 star, but it's not terrible either, especially if you're closed out of other spots.

  4. @Owen Thanks for the update. We'll probably be getting to snowshed sometime this week so we'll just have to keep checking the snow situation.

    AdamB315 Thanks for the info! With the little luck we've been having in the nearby areas we might be up for a longer drive. I've heard Erratica is pretty sweet. We also found a boulder on HWY 20 that looks like it might have a hard line up the face. I'll have to post pics here in the next couple days.

  5. is the route 20 boulder right near Lake Spaulding just off the road? I checked that out a couple years ago and yea, looks like something on the left side could be pretty hard. THere's a fun warm up on the right side of the block as well.