Lovers Leap Weekend

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Saturday

Lovers Leap

The East (left) and Main Walls of Lovers Leap.

In keeping with our new year’s resolution of exploring new climbing areas, Shirley & I found ourselves in California’s Lovers Leap on a Saturday morning following a Friday night flight to Sacramento. Having spent the last month “on the sofa” (due to some frustrating and largely weather-related failures) we were both looking forward to sampling some sunny moderates at the Leap. As it turned out we got the “moderate” part but not so much the “sunny” component – shady cliff of course but also windy conditions.

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Traveler Buttress

Cold Shirley topping out on pitch 2 of Travelers Buttress.

On Saturday we started up The Groove (5.8, 2 pitches) and after a touch of hiking continued up Traveler’s Buttress(5.9, 4 pitches). The former allows one to avoid much unpleasant uphill hiking while the latter makes the Fifty Classic Climbs Of North America list. Though I’m not really sure if the honor is deserved (Outer Space in Leavenworth is a climb of similar nature but is more enjoyable IMHO), the climbing was mostly very fun. The one exception of course being the grovelly off-width on pitch 2 – slick and hard we thought. I should also mention that we found the climbing at the Leap to be quite funky in general: if you cannot reach a key horizontal dike, then all of the sudden you are forced into some unexpectedly thin moves. On the hike down, The Line (5.9) caught our eye and so we did the (excellent) first pitch before calling it a day.

Sunday

Hospital Corner

Starting up the beautiful pitch 2 of Hospital Corner.

On Sunday, we got on Surrealistic Pillar Direct (5.10-). We both found it pretty hard. We then continued up on Surrealistic Pillar route proper in one rope-stretching 70 meter pitch. A quick hike up and once again we were shivering in the windy shadiness of the main wall under the Hospital Corner (5.10-). The first pitch offers some nice easy climbing while the second is the reason to get on this route: a beautiful, 100+ foot dihedral with a variable crack. No-stress pro and fun climbing! Perhaps it’s more in line with the type of climbing we’re used to but the rating was of a confidence-building sort on this one. We thought about Corrugation Corner but it seemed to have a party of three at every belay. Instead we hiked down to Strawberry Lodge for some eats and then headed to Sacramento for our flight home. A very nice climbing area but I guess Cali is chockfull of them (& the weather does not suck).

 

Photos

Saturday

Lovers Leap

The East (left) and Main Walls of Lovers Leap.


The Groove

Shirley following the first pitch of The Groove (5.8) on the Lower Buttress at Lovers Leap (June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

Unknown climbers on the first pitch of Traveler Buttress. All of the classic route is visible in this photo (June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

Unknown climbers on the fun pitch 1 of Traveler Buttress (June 2010).


Travelers Buttress

Starting up the fun first pitch of Travelers Buttress (5.9) route (June 2010).


Travelers Buttress

Leading the money pitch of Travelers Buttress…pitch 2 off-width (no fun; June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

Cold Shirley topping out on pitch 2 of Travelers Buttress (5.9) on the Main Wall at Lovers Leap (June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

View towards the West Wall of Lovers Leap from high up on Traveler Buttress route (on Main Wall).


Traveler Buttress

Leading pitch 3 of Traveler Buttress (June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

Shirley enjoying her little slice of heavenly warmth at the belay ledge atop pitch 2 of Travelers Buttress (5.9; June 2010).


Traveler Buttress

The long but easy finishing pitch on Traveler Buttress.


Traveler Buttress

Shirley topping out on Traveler Buttress with the Hogsback visible below.


Traveler Buttress

Shirley hiking down after our climb of Traveler Buttress. East Wall is visible below.


Traveler Buttress

The East Wall (note the climbers) as seen from the hike off from the Main Wall.


East Wall

The beautiful East Wall of Lovers Leap – home to many a classic moderate route.


The Line

Shirley approaching The Line route on the East Wall of Lovers Leap. Look at those horizontal dikes – a fairly unique feature that makes the area somewhat famous.


The Line

Starting the lead of pitch 1 of The Line (5.9) on the East Wall (June 2010).


The Line

Leading pitch 1 of The Line (5.9)…great pitch (June 2010).


The Line

Shirley topping out on pitch 1 of The Line (5.9) on the East Wall at Lovers Leap (June 2010).

Sunday

Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Leading the nice Surrealistic Pillar Direct (5.10-; June 2010).


Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Nearing the crux of the first pitch of Surrealistic Pillar Direct.


Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Shirley starting up Surrealistic Pillar Direct route (June 2010).


Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Higher on the same pitch.


Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Shirley on the nice finishing crack of Surrealistic Pillar Direct route (5.10-; June 2010).


Surrealistic Pillar Direct

Shirley at the belay atop Surrealistic Pillar Direct route (5.10-) on the Lower Buttress at Lovers Leap (June 2010).


Hospital Corner

Unknown climbers on pitch 1 of Hospital Corner (June 2010).


Hospital Corner

Starting up pitch 1 of Hospital Corner…nothing special but pitch 2 makes up for that ho-hum-ness.


Hospital Corner

Starting up the beautiful pitch 2 of Hospital Corner (5.10-) on the Main Wall at Lovers Leap (June 2010).


Hospital Corner

View down from a nice stem rest just before the crux on pitch 2 of Hospital Corner (5.10-). Shirley’s belaying from a good ledge below (June 2010).


Hospital Corner

Shirley topping out on the very nice pitch 2 of Hospital Corner route (5.10-)…we’re freezing in the shade while the sunny slopes below are in t-shirt conditions (June 2010).

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