Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Northern California - SO PSYCHED!

After a grueling 14 hour drive from Seattle I am happy to say we made it safely to Northern California. We'll be house sitting here in Grass Valley for about a month while we explore some of the finest granite boulders in the area. If you happen to stumble across this blog and you're a local (or know some cool spots) feel free to recommend some must-do lines. So far we're excited to check out the Saddle Boulders and the Ronin boulder.

It also doesn't hurt that we had two pads stashed here, so in addition to the two we lugged from the NW we'll be ready for some fun off the deck!

Woo Bouldering!



  1. Excited to hear about your tahoe adventures, there are so many blocks out here you wouldnt believe. ronin and saddles are quality spots to start, though I think you'll struggle to find a months worth of problems there :) if the heat becomes a problem try whaleshark at burnside and cratar lake, both at around 8000'. If you want to read about some loon lake developments:

    Oh, and ... Im stuck at work and am soo jealous of you :-p

  2. Thanks for the links!

    It looks like we won't be able to get to either of these classic spots this season (see above post), however we're still pretty psyched on local Donner areas. We've been checking wikiboulder for some leads and think there might be some good blocs around castle peak and highway 20. Do you have any beta on these areas?

  3. Yeah read the post, sucks :( this season has been *terrible* for snow (depending on your perspective of course) - we could only access loon lake for the first time 2 weeks ago due to snow, and then when we finally got there its almost too hot to climb.

    I dont know north tahoe as well TBH. Castle boulder is good, and wikiboulder has all the beta you need for that. The firestones will be too hot unless you go there early in the morning, but monster is one of tahoes best V10s. I think theres a link to keenans video of it on wb. Castle peak looks good, though I havent been there. I think theres about 300 problems, but all fairly spread out
    See for some beta to get started with - this will get you around 50 of the most accessible problems. There's definitely good rock there, but you'll have to do some adventuring to find it I think because it has not been well documented.

    Also the sierra buttes are a bit further away, but offer virtually limitless opportunities on very steep, angular rock. See vision bouldering folks, theyve done a lot of devloping up there. but for some reason think they can make money out of publishing a guidebook for the area (?) and have kept the whole thing under wraps until they have the guide finished (never...?)

  4. I've climbed at Castle Peak quite a bit, got toured around by those Vision guys and saw alot of what's way out pas the initial areas. It's not bad, but it's a hike. Not sure of the snow situation, but as far as getting back there goes, the trail was completely destroyed by a landscaping company that was caught illegally harvesting boulders out there. It's pretty tore up. I climbed tehre a bunch last season, but last time I went out it looked so different that we ended up getting lost despite having been back there half a dozen times. The Buttes are totally rad, again, snow might shut you out and it's a pretty far drive, but if you go be prepared for LONG hike that's straight uphill the entire way. The payoff is really good if you're willing to make the trek. There's beta on Mountain Project for it with some pictures to wet your appetite.

  5. @Owen Thanks so much for the beta. We're going to try our best to find some boulders worth climbing while we're here, but if it turns out to be active rest, then that's just how it is. Do you know anything about a tallish boulder on HWY 20 with a slightly overhung crimpy face? It looks fairly quality...

    @AdamB315 Really appreciate this comment. It's good to know that we probably we won't be able find the trail, and might save us a wild goose chase. How long of a hike are we talking to the Buttes? The bouldering seems cool, and I definitely love steep stuff. Either way I appreciate the help!

  6. THe Buttes hike is long and pretty savage, and probably not worth your time if there's still snowpack and you dont have snowshoes. I feel like it was an hour give or take when I was up there. I know you can drive to the fire tower at the top of the Buttes and hike down, but I've never done it and it's probably a pretty far hike.

    I might have GPS coordinates for Erratic kicking around that I could look for if you like, and if you were going to do it I could try and give you a more detailed description to some of the better problems or sketch you out a map or something. If you find yourself out that way, there are 2 boulders just up the hill from a small CalTrans garage called the Fiber Optics, not a ton there, but the main face goes at V7 or so and shouldn't be missed.

  7. Great info. It looks like if anything we'll be out that was in a couple weeks, so I might try to get in touch. Have you been climbing in the Tahoe area this season?

  8. Nah, aside from a couple things at Saddles and Erratica I'm sort of over it. Usually head for the Valley as soon as the temps start to drop. If you guys are still around when Erratica melts out and want a tour hit me up, facebook would probably be easiest: