Lambada Dome is a rock formation in The Little Egypt area of the Eastern Sierras.
Unlike its neighbor “Frontier,” Lambada Dome is a true dome, and a beautiful one at that. When you drive up highway 168 to your trail head at South Lake, or North Lake, glimpse over your left shoulder toward the top of a nondescript ridge. What you see is the upper part of Lambada Dome. But, after you walk past “Frontier” and make your way back behind boulders and sandy ridges, that’s when you see Lambada Dome in its full glory.
After crossing Bishop Creek and hiking up the initial steep hill, the approach becomes much more pleasant and interesting. Since your destination is Lambada Dome, you continue past the left side of Frontier. Soon after reaching the top of an obvious ridge, the whole back country open up before you. There are mini domes and rocks in all directions to wet any one’s appetite.
Lambada Dome is west facing and in the shade for a good part of the day. That, combined with the fact that it’s at an elevation of over 6800 feet, makes it an ideal formation for climbing during warmer seasons. The approach to the base is made via a short hill on the right. The base is sandy and for the most part flat or on a gentle slope. There are large trees to provide shade from the sun and great for taking lunch break. The area, however, lacks running creeks. Carry plenty of water during the warm seasons. Don’t be surprised to see bald eagles in this area. If you run into birds of prey nests, try to avoid them the best you can. We want these beautiful birds to continue making Little Egypt their home.
Routes of Lambada Dome
Lambada Dome is over three hundred feet tall and several hundred feet long. It seems that by the time climbers discovered the Little Egypt area, most of the attention and energy went into developing “Frontier, the extensive and well-featured formation in front of Lambada Dome. Although there is one route that was climbed in the early 1980s, the rest of the climbs were established in the late 1990s. The concentration of the routes are primarily on the left side of Lambada Dome. This lack of established routes on the middle part of this dome may be due to grainy quality of the granite rock here.
According to the guide book, however, there are three more routes on a smaller rock in the far right hand side of Lambada Dome. Unfortunately, I missed those three climbs and cannot show any photos, or make a comment on them. If you make your way to the back side of Lambada Dome, you can see a beautiful straight up crack high up on the upper part of the east face. I wonder if this crack has ever been climbed, or if it has the same grainy quality that repels most climbers. If you have any information on that crack, please feel free to attach the details to this page.
Route In Exile, 5.8, 3 pitches, standard rack
Slab Hymen, 10b, bolts and standard rack
Do Not Take the German People Lightly, 11b, bolts
Forbidden Dance, 11d, bolts
Wall of Separation, 5.9, two pitches, bolts
Busy Child, 10c, standard rack
Little Fluffy Clouds, 10c, three pitches, bolts and standard rack
White Mountains seen across Owens Valley
There are many campgrounds along Bishop Creek. There are also many places in The Buttermilks are that are close to a creek that are suitable for camping. Please do not camp in The Buttermilks bouldering area. That area is very crowded and is suffering from the impact unregulated camping has caused.
The following links should help finding a good campsite
From the town of Bishop, California, drive about eleven miles west on Highway 168 toward the mountains. This highway, will intersect with a small road used as an access road to a power plant seen from the shoulder of Highway 168. Turn left onto this road and drive down till you see a small brick building. Refer to the photo. Park your car in any of the wide dirt spaces at the end of this service road. Walk past the brick building on a dilapidated road that parallels a pipeline for a few hundred yards. At one point, you will see the pipeline disappear under the dirt. This is where you will see a small bridge going accross the creek. Drop down the steep slope and cross Bishop Creek here. After a steep but short section you can easily follow a nice climber’s trail zigzagging up the hillside. Once you reach the ridge-top you will see Frontier. There is a large boulder in the middle of the basin. The trail to Lambada dome continues past this boulder on the left. Walk up to the top of the obvious ridge short distance up the hill. Upon reaching the top of the ridge you will see Lambada Dome. Take any one of several faint trails to the base. The approach shouldn’t take much longer than forty minutes.
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