There is ice climbing near South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. This area contains a number of possibilities, mostly around Eagle Lake:
- Eagle Lake, south shore - north-facing cliffs, 20m, WI3 (though reputedly there are some 40m lines up to WI4 that form here)
- Sunny Falls, in the canyon southwest of Eagle Lake, 20m, WI3-4
- South canyon climbs, between Sunny Falls and Eagle Lake, 30m, WI3-4+
There are a number of other possibilities in the area, but the above are just what I've climbed.
The easiest way to start is from the Eagle Lake parking lot off SR89, about 8.5 miles north of the junction with US 50, or 9 miles south of I80 (see also the page for Eagle Lake Buttress
). Just after snowstorms SR89 in this area could be closed, requiring a long ski in. Road conditions can be ascertained by calling Caltrans or checking their website
Take the trail to Eagle Lake. Skis or snowshoes may be useful. If the trail has seen heavy use it could be icy in places.
The area is inside the boundaries of the Desolation Wilderness
and self-issue wilderness permits can be found at the trailhead.
External LinksInfo from the Intermountain Ice Project
, appears somewhat dated.
Wilderness permits are required for camping inside the wilderness area. Contact the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
for more information.
Be sure to check the Central Sierra Avalanche Advisory
before you go - people have been killed in slides here.
Mike Carville's book Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe
contains some information on ice climbing in the Tahoe area.