Skip to main content

Ticking off some classics with a longtime client

Matt has been coming out to climb with Lover’s Leap Guides since 2020.   As local guides with over 30 years climbing at Lover’s Leap and the surrounding area, we have a huge variety of climbs to put our guests on.  We always try to have our return climbers climb new routes for them.’

Meeting Matt at 8:30 at the Strawberry Station General Store, we headed out to Lover’s Leap for a full day of climbing.  First stop, the Lower Buttress.

The Groove 5.8 2 pitches.

Climbing the first pitch of the Groove

Hiking up to the Lower Buttress, you first come to Surrealistic Pillar, a fantastic 3 pitch 5.7.  Matt had already climbed this, so we continue uphill a short ways to the Groove.  A boulder problem gets you off the ground, to a some what open book.  Lie backs, mantles, and high steps is the name of the game on this pitch.  A sustained pitch on perfect rock brings you to a nice stance and a anchor at just over 100 feet.  On the second pitch the angles eases and so does the difficulties.

On top, we coil the rope, rerack, change out of our climbing shoes, and head to the Main Wall.

Hospital Corner 10a 2 pitches

We love the climbing on the Main Wall of Lover’s Leap!  One of our favorites, and probably the best 5.10 is Hospital Corner.

The first pitch is 5.6 and starts in a nice corner with a hand crack.  It then trends right for a short ways, until it’s possible to step left and climb big easy dikes to a ledge with an anchor.

The second pitch is all time!  A perfect cut corner(hence the name) goes straight up.  Jamming fingers and hands up the corner leads to a section of wide stemming. Luckily for the climber, throughout this pitch there are nice rests to regain strength.

Stem Wide!

Two rappels lead you back to the ground.

Crash Landing 5.10r 1 pitch

After climbing Hospital corner, we head over towards Corrugation Corner.  As usual there is a line of parties climbing and waiting to climb this route.  Corrugation Corner is one of the best climbs at Lover’s Leap, and draws the crowds.  Just to the left is a steep face intersected with dikes.  Crash Landing ascends this face passing three bolts and one crack where you can get a couple of camming devices in for protection.  The dikes look big from the ground, but they have a down sloping angle to them which turns out to be quite pumpy.

Crash Landing


Traveler Buttress 2 pitch 5.8

Crash Landing ends at a stance where Traveler Buttress comes in.  We join Traveler and climb one of the most exposed pitches at the Leap.  The climbing isn’t very hard, but the exposure is tremendous!  Up the face towards the arete, where the wind is always blowing.  Turning the arete on the left, the Central Wall and the East Wall come into view.  The ground drops away suddenly, and you end up grabbing the rock a little harder.  Eventually the climbing kicks back and the dikes become big again.

Traveler Buttress!

A long easy pitch that eventually merges with Corrugation Corner brings you to the top. We organize our gear, eat lunch, then head down the descent trail towards the Pony Express Trail and the East Wall.

The Line 5.9 3 pitches

One of the most classic rock climbs on the East Wall is the striking 350 foot crack called the Line.  This climb is steep, beautiful, and sustained.  Fingers and hand jams, mixed in with lie backing and face climbing, brings you to a small stance belay for the first pitch.

Jamming on the Line!

The second pitch continues up the crack, but with less jamming involved compared to the first.  Interesting face climbing and mantles bring you to a big roof.  A good jam let’s you establish your feet up high so you can reach a jug.  Then insecure feet provide the final step to pull over the roof.

Pulling over the roof on the Line!

On top we relax and talk about the great day of climbing we had.  We add up the pitches and the vertical feet of climbing (almost 1300!).

Looking for a grand tour of climbing at Lover’s Leap?  On vacation in Lake Tahoe and looking for a new adventure?  Maybe you want to check out some climbing routes you are not ready to lead climb yet.  Let Lover’s Leap Guides give you memories you won’t forget.

Stoked to be climbing!


Petch has been climbing since 1989 and has passion teaching and guiding as much as he does for climbing. At the end of an eight month climbing trip that took him and his partner from Joshua Tree in Southern California to Devils Tower in the eastern part of Wyoming, and everything in between, the final stop turned out to be Lover’s Leap. The right turn towards Lover’s Leap landed Petch in the campground in 1993. Climbing for eight months and a bank account of zero, he quickly found a job at the Strawberry Lodge. Falling in love with Lover’s Leap and Strawberry he found making a home easy. A guiding job opened in 1996 with teaching youth backpacking and rock climbing. The exciting future of guiding as a full time profession led to the opening of Lover’s Leap Guides in 2003. With his enthusiasm and knowledge of Lover’s Leap, Lover’s Leap Guides has become the most popular and busiest service to climb at Lover’s Leap. He has spent countless hours working with the Access Fund, CRAGS, and the Forest Service to maintain trails, protect nesting raptors, and community outreach. Climbing most of the routes at Lover’s Leap, he has also added numerous routes of his own. From 5.5 to 5.12D, some of his first ascents have become modern day classics. A good chance you will probably climb one of his routes when you climb with Lover’s Leap Guides. Petch is certified by the AMGA as a Rock Instructor and holds his certification as a Wilderness First Responder and CPR.