back at it. clamping at kirkwood lake

it’s been forever since i’ve posted here. i haven’t been skiing much at all, and let’s face it, that’s what this site is about. i haven’t lost the love for skiing, but i haven’t felt like going to the same places i went to last summer and those are the places that hold the late snows. i still love photography, but lost my favorite subject, sold one of my good lenses, and then kinda sorta maybe ran over the other one a little bit (while it was on the camera). it still gathers light, but doesn’t focus, so this post should prolly be a little about photography too and how to focus with the camera rather than the lens.
so back to our sad tale. the goal was to camp at the potholes for two days, and #climbeverydamnday at old camp bluff. the girls always want to camp, and they love the potholes enough that i can bribe them into climbing each day while it gets warm enough to hit the water. so we load up, and hop in the car, which has been running rough since an incident several weeks ago where it suddenly sounded like there were bolts bouncing around inside the engine. i stop by high sierra automotive on the way out of town to see what adam thinks about the noise. his advice, the pulley on the timing belt has disintegrated, and the timing belt will go soon too. it’s an interference engine (which means timing belt failure is catastrophic), so i shouldn’t even drive the car home. we’re all loaded up for camping (and i’ve never been one to follow sound professional advice) so off we went with our fingers and toes crossed. an hour later we arrive at the eid silver lake west campground to be greeted by signage saying that camping is $25/night plus $3/night/pet. we had 2 dogs and less than $50 cash. uggh! we could afford across the street, but the camping there is less than stellar for what we were looking for. our next stop, kirkwood lake, falls into the category of ‘places i went to last summer’ but even so, we were happy to get their last available campsite.

first things first, let’s get wet! skylyn and nacho at kirkwood lake

jasmyn and nacho

sydney (syd, squid, squiddypups) and nacho (nach, cho, nacho libre, nachorooski, rooski)

hmmm, someone seems to be getting in all the pictures

me on our first climb. this was a 5.7ish line

jasmyn getting after it

with skylyn on belay. it’s a small wall with a couple old bolts, one on top of each major crack. the easier variation was backed up with 20′ webbing off a tree (you can make out the top of it in the picture). the harder line was a bolt and some gear and a sling i think. the bolts weren’t all that encouraging on the lines either, with the hanger missing from the first rusty bolt on the tougher line.

since there’s not much info about climbing at kirkwood lake, we made up our own names. can you guess this one?
skylyn on sunset wall.

the lookers left line is a thin face climb maybe 5.11(?). there is no hanger on the first bolt so the climb became ‘useless bolt’.

we played a little late. time to head back for dinner

forgot the lantern, but a headlamp under a water bottle works. less bugs too.

marshmallow time

the next morning, we took an exploration hike to find some climbing for the day. it was a success, but we returned to this on our picnic table. funny thing is, jasmyn and skylyn were both asleep before 11, and the kids in the tent behind our site were the ones up late talking. even so, all they were doing was sitting in their tent talking and occasionally giggling. also funny is that he mentioned ‘drove us out’ and he was alone (i wonder why).

there’s only one way to split a milky way bar evenly…

after lunch it was off to play on the climbs we found earlier. jasmyn starts it off on ‘cracks begin to show’. mostly 5.7 with a .9 or .10 move at the top

me just under the crux

skylyn lower down in the 5.7 zone

there is only one set of bolts on this wall (way above ‘cracks begin to show’) and they are so close together that you’ll want to back them up with gear. the rest of the climbs require gear for anchors.
next up was the prowed areté, probably 5.8-. loved this one.
skylyn moving out to the areté

jasmyn laying it back

and taking it up the areté

to the top

the birds are already circling. i don’t like my odds

then the rains came, so we sat in the car. except for jasmyn, who was temporarily locked out, until i realized she had my beer

whoa!! jumping out with the quickness!

from the crow’s nest

here, nacho is teaching jasmyn his walking on water trick

i went out before sunset to look for some more climbs for the next day. didn’t find any though. nacho hams for the camera (again)

got back in time for a sunset pic with the whole crew

the next morning we packed up everything except the tents, which were still wet, and went off to climb more of the same area, since we had only scratched the surface the day before. around the corner is a decent sized face with two bolts for an anchor at the top, and three bolts to start the route (unfinished maybe?). it was 5.reallyhard, and took jazzy an hour with a really friendly belay to get up it. but get up it she did.

there is also a series of bolted routes to the looker’s right of where we climbed the previous day. these were more in our wheel house.
this one invloves pulling a small roof (or the obvious larger one), and then moving straight up overhanging featured rock or moving right to the areté…

for a slab climb to the top

skylyn started in the chimney lookers right and then moved to the same areté

and then i took the chimney all the way up

then it was back to tahoe reality

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