"If you live in Truckee, then you’re not a Tahoe local," she said. The guy, his straight-brimmed-trucker-hat tilted just perfectly and his plaid shirt stained just enough to mimic that I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude, ignored her words and repeated, "yeah, we’re Tahoe locals. Been climbing here five years. The route’s great and so is that one," he pointed to a blunt arete. "Not as good as Eagle Lakes, but just as stout." But here was up at Donner Pass, at the beautiful Snowshed Wall, and the lady wasn’t having it. “Eagle Lakes is waaay stiffer.” I chuckled. Michy did too. We didn’t care about this dialogue, it was simply entertaining. Something to pass the time between tying our shoes and forgetting their silly tiff as we grabbed onto the pristine granite.
Local or not, Michy and I returned to Tahoe to show my dad (Ribbit), Olivia the Bean, Ramonski, Bobby D, and Mr. KJ the spectacular climbing - both Tahoe proper and Donner Pass.
Maybe it was the absurdity I found in the locals conversation or possibly it was the fact that I had an unknown infection infiltrating my head, but day one started out painfully. After getting the family and Bobby D out to the Snowshed and on a couple of classic climbs, Michy whisked me away to the hospital, saying I looked ugly, bad, horrible, zombiesque, etc. On the drive down, my head raging, I thought one of two things: 1. I had had an aneurism caused by the balking locals or 2. since I heard both ringing and buzzing and felt incredible pressure I thought possible I had a tumor just as Woody Allen did in Hannah and Her Sisters. Thankfully it was neither. I had an Infection, needed some antibiotics, got some pain killers - the last of which were IVed into me allowing for my quick return to the crag and the blurring of the bleating locals.
With the drugs numbing away the crowds, yes I shared, Michy, Bobby D, and I did what we came to do, send. We did a great and hard chimney/crack route, Michy did a sweat double crack system called Peter Principle (named after a local), and I got a route left over from last year aptly named Cannibals.
The next few days created what we think is one of the most relaxing climbing trips of MandM history: sleeping in, swimming, eating extravagantly, Paddle boarding, boating, drinking, taking pain killers, and binge watching NetFlix originals all while staying in a plush Donner Lake Cabin.
It was awesome getting Dad Ribbit back out on the rock after his surgery and watching Olivia the Bean crank out multiple laps on a crazy Chimney at Eagle Lakes. As always Bobby D impressed us with his climbing and it got us psyched to climb as usual. Ramonski never gave up and Mr. KJ became the new perseverance world record holder as he diligently sent Unknown Chimney. It was great climbing with family and friends and a trip we’ll always remember.
Some of our favorite routes:
Peter Principle 11b
Space Truckin 10b
Cubic Zirconium 10b
Cajun Hell 13b
Unknown Chimney 5.8
Space Walk 11d
Bottomless Topless 10a
Brain Child 12c
More pictures to come but these should keep you interested!