Lover’s Leap is a perfect place for doing moderate, multi-pitch trad routes on granite.
Given the earlier debacle of not finding a campground last time we climbed at Lake Tahoe, we left Friday evening after work, hoping to snag one of the non-reservable campsites at Lover’s Leap. After arriving around 11PM, we stumbled around in search of a campsite. To my surprise, one campsite was available, and it was conveniently located right next to the parking lot! Excited to claim it, we pitched our tent and threw our stuff inside. As Jen prepped the inside, I looked for the pay station. As I read the instructions, I started to realize our newbie mistake. Each available campsite has a parking spot associated with it, so you need to park in that parking spot to claim the site. We were in the day parking, and the only available campsite parking spot was for handicap reserved. Guess which convenient campsite that corresponded to. After breaking the bad news to Jen, we wearily broke everything down (it’s almost midnight now) and just decided to sleep in our car.
The next morning, we got a relatively early start (6:30AM) toward Hogsback, which is a 300′ low-angle granite monolith with several moderate routes. The guidebook said these routes get really popular, but being somewhat later in the season, we had the whole area to ourselves for an hour or so. The first route we got on was Knapsack Crack, a 3-pitch 5.5–this was our first multi-pitch trad climb! A guy soloed this route while we were doing it. The walk-off isn’t bad; it takes about 15 minutes to get back to the base of Hogsback.
Following that, we did Harvey Wallbanger’s Right (5.7) and Deception (5.6). The climbs themselves weren’t super memorable to me, but that was probably because I was too focused on the gear placements. But the views from the top were so good!
By about 2PM, we were both feeling tired and hearing thunder in the distance, so we made our way back to camp. We stopped at Strawberry Lodge for an early dinner and visited the Strawberry Station General Store which has a good selection of climbing gear. With an hour of daylight remaining, we went back and did some bouldering at the Campground Boulders.