OverviewEagle Lake Buttress is the prominent rock escarpment (basically the southern terminus of a long ridge) high above Eagle Lake. This buttress is obvious from Emerald Bay and from points along the trail to Eagle Lake. A handful of routes in the 5.5 to 5.10 range.
Getting TherePark at Emerald Bay off Hwy 89. Follow the trail to Eagle Lake; cross the outlet of the lake and skirt the lake on the right for a few hundred yards. Head right up a faint trail through manzanita, eventually bearing northwest towards an obvious talus gully flanked on its right by a large (150-200 ft) rock wall. Go up the right/middle of the talus, crossing through manzanita halfway up to the left side of the gully. At the top of the gully, head northwest for a few hundred yards, and then head north over a short 3rd class section. At the top of this, Eagle Lake Buttress will be obvious to the north, so head cross-country towards it. Approach times ~1.5 to 2 hours.
Route DescriptionOrange Book is the obvious left-facing corner flanked on its right by a wall of orange rock. Probably best done in 4 pitches, due to a slightly wandering nature. Scramble up over manzanita and 4th class to the base of the corner. The route listed here is a variation to the route listed in the Tahoe climbing guide, which avoids the chimney at the top of the second pitch and eventually meets up with the East Ridge route.
P1(5.8): Cruise up the nice corner to a large square belay ledge. (~80 ft.)
P2(5.8): Continue up the corner. ~30 feet below the large chimney, traverse up and right on a crack/seam with knobs for feet to another large ledge. (~80 ft.)
P3(5.7): Traverse right ~10 feet to double right-leaning cracks. At the top of these cracks, trend up and right over blocky sections to a finger crack/layback in a right-facing corner. Belay on the huge sloping ledge at the top of this. (~120 ft.)
P4(5.6): Move up the easy slab to a short 5.6 move onto the summit block. (~60 ft.)
Descent: 4th class downclimbing to the west.