Our annual pilgrimage to this area usually occurs during the first half of September. The climbing is no better in September than any other time of year, but the mosquitos are gone and, best of all, the Elderberries (and strawberries, and gooseberries...) are in season. Our 2008 trip resulted in over 30 jars of Hoffman Mountain Elderberry Jam.
The other fruit of the trip in 2008 was the 4-pitch route "Burninator" to the right of the Leversee route, the first probe into the awesome potential on the Southeast Face. We're planning on going back next September ('09) to climb some more (and, hopefully, pick some more elderberries). See ya there.
Getting ThereFrom Wishon Reservoir drive to the Rancheria Creek trailhead. After about two miles, the trail splits. The righthand fork leads to Woodchuck Country. The sign at this trail junction vanished in August '06 after the tree to which it was attached fell over. Interestingly enough, a new sign placed by the USFS vanished while we were there in September '08: The sign was there when we went in, but hiking out we noticed that it was gone. Methinks someone wants this area to themselves. Hmmmm. About two miles up the left hand fork puts you below Hoffman Mountain.
Red TapeWilderness permits are required and can be obtained at the Dinkey Creek Ranger Station. The station opens at 08:00 hrs. during the summer months.
CampingThis peak is located in the John Muir Wilderness. Good campsites can be found near Little Rancheria Creek, with plentiful water and firewood.
RoutesOffset Aluminum nuts and Alien Hybrid cams are useful in this area due to the flaring nature of many of the smaller gear placements.
Hoffman East Pinnacle 5.6 One pitch, somewhat loose.
Elderberry 5.9 Two pitches, quality face and crack.
Woodchuck Dumbclucks 5.8 Two pitches, thought-provoking.
Bear's Lair 5.8 Three pitches: crack, face, roof, fun.
Gold Nugget 5.10 Two pitches, face with bolts and trad pro. Awesome.
Shooting Star Chimney 5.8+ Three pitches, quality.
Red Tail 5.9 Four pitches, another awesome climb. The only bolt on the route is a quarter-inch relic of the Leversee South Face Route established in 1997.
Golden Tower Direct 5.7 Three pitches. A beautiful climb established by Allen Steck and friends.
Seem's Holy 5.9+ Three pitches. Another Steck route. Serious.
South Face Route 5.8 or 5.9 Four pitches. The first route established on the face, it takes the obvious right-slanting crack.
The Burninator 5.10c Four pitches. Incredible climbing from crack through polished face to a long splitter crack up to a final intimidating roof. The crux is glass. Rap from chains atop P1 or fasten your seatbelt.