We packed up our hotel room and headed to find a laundromat and grocery store. Dave and Doug dropped Alex off to tackle the laundry while they shopped for food. The laundromat was quite the place. Not only did it have laundry facilities and slot machines, but it also served bar food and alcohol. Alex opted for a cup of coffee, which sadly left much to be desired; it tasted like burnt water with slight (bad) coffee flavor.
When Dave and Doug returned, we played a total of $4 in the slots, and cashed out with $4… big winners!
We hopped in the car and headed towards Lover’s Leap, a 1.5 hour drive. Along the way Dave got Alex another cup of coffee when we stopped for gas. He handed it to her with the warning, “This is probably not going to be very good…. It came out of a powdered mix…” YUCK!
Lake Tahoe eventually came into view and it looked amazingly beautiful and blue! Playing in it would be fun, but we were on a mission to get some climbing, so we drove on. Dave pulled off at an actual coffee shop along the way in hopes of finding some good coffee. SUCCESS! Awesome little place with awesome cold-brewed iced coffee none the less!
Once parked in the Lover’s Leap parking area, we organized gear and headed towards the Lower Wall. Doug wanted to get a lead in, and we figured that it would also to help calm him down a bit. After checking out what climbs were open, Dave sent him up Surrealistic Pillar (5.7). After Doug led the 1st pitch, Dave went second, and Alex followed up 3rd, cleaning the gear. Pitch 2 turned into a bit of a debacle. As Dave began climbing, he attempted to clean a black Metolius cam from above the anchor, and it was stuck. Dave worked at it, with his nut tool, and had Alex give him her’s as well, but it was not going well. At one point, Doug yelled down to just leave it…. he new when he set it, it was bad. Dave, however, was persistent, he had never left a cam and didn’t want to start now. After more than 45 minutes, Dave finally freed the cam and continued up the second pitch. Soon, it was Alex’s turn to climb, but not before some gear cleaning work herself. The #6 cam was pretty stuck too, and though it didn’t take 45 minutes to clean, it took a bit of time as she worked each lobe to move it millimeter by millimeter until it was free.
The third pitch of the climb was an easy sloped in slab with horizontal dikes and ledges, that you could climb like a ladder. Soon all three of us were on top of the 270 foot climb. Four hours was a long time for the climb and we were all happy and eager to be headed down to eat dinner.
Back in the parking lot, we were momentarily confused by a car that looked exactly like ours, same roof box and all… but with Colorado plates. As we walked we head “DAVE!” We turned to see some familiar faces…
Jake and Jeff had been climbing and camping in Lover’s Leap. They saw us when we hiked in, but we missed their shout, so they checked the plates on our car to confirm it was us!
After talking with them for a bit, we headed back towards South Lake Tahoe to get a hotel room for the night. It was supposed to rain overnight, and we didn’t feel like dealing with wet stuff in the already jam packed car, so we figured we could find a cheap hotel. Doug was in charge and booked a room that turned out to be awful. Since that moment, Doug’s hotel selection privileges have been revoked. The room was tiny, the room only had one bed which was a full instead of the advertised queen, there was no air conditioning (just a small table top fan in its place), the wireless internet was slow when it actually worked, and the shower was tiny and fluctuated temperature often.
Doug cooked up some pasta and made pasta salad with pepperoni and cheese, which we devoured before heading to our cramped bed to sleep. At one point in the night, Dave decided the bed was too hot and cramped and retreated to sleep on a thin foam sleeping pad on the floor.