My son, 18, and I have some free time and are heading out from the bay area on Wednesday evening 6-9 and back home Sunday 6-13.
I've asked him what he wants to do but all he says is "fun climbing." So, we are looking for something five.fun to do. I will lead 5.9 if I have to but prefer 5.7 and below especially since the kid doesn't lead and really hasn't climbed that much. He did catch me on a lead fall a few weeks ago so I don't think he wants me dead.
I haven't decided what to do, perhaps Whitney. I would do the East Face since I am familiar with it and have climbed it in winter. I have also thought about Matterhorn, Bear Creek Spire, Lone Pine Peak, and Cathedral/Matthes, even the Swiss Arete but I am concerned about conditions and don’t know if all of the access roads are open.
It's supposed to be hot next week - I don't like slogging through wet, soft snow and have concerns about wet snow slides. We don't ski.
I've also thought about going cragging someplace like Fresno Dome although I bet it's a bad year for mosquitoes.
I'd say the Valley, but it'll be crowded of course and you'll run out of 5.7/8 stuff really fast. Tuolumne will have access problems, but there'll be stuff on Stately Pleasure and Pywiack that'll be 5.7, and tame 5.7 at that considering it's Tuolumne. Tenaya Peak (5.4 or 5.5) is supposed to be fun and may not have the snow/access issues that other peaks might.
Another option (never been though it looks nice) is Castle Crags near Shasta. Lots of moderate stuff there.
I had settled on Bear Creek Spire - pack in and do the N. Arete then bag a couple peaks or whatever looked fun. But, the weather looks unfun - NWS predicts highs in the 40's, freezing at night, wind, maybe some sprinkles or a little snow at 10,000'. Might not be too bad but not a lot of "fun."
So, we'll stay to the west side and do some easy stuff in the valley, maybe TM, maybe drive down to Wamello if the roads are open.
You might also check out Lovers Leap -- we were there last weekend and conditions were pretty nice. The approaches and descents are snow-free for the most part. Lots of fun stuff in the 5.6 - 5.8 range. I like the South Lake Tahoe supertopo guide -
I was thinking Lover's might be nice too. Some fun moderate routes: Bear's Reach, 5.7; Haystack, 5.8; Corrugation Corner (5.7) is supposed to be classic (and crowded) though I've never done it. Enough there for a couple of days.