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General Information: Cave Rock is not just a climbing area, it is a natural landmark, a sacred place of worship for the the Washoe Indians, and, at least to the Nevada Dept. of Transportation, an impediment to easy travel, hence two holes were blown through it to make tunnels for Highway 50. The climbing at Cave rock is in two caves on Tahoe's eastern shore. The upper cave is actually between the two lanes of traffic, while the lower cave is below the road. While we've gone to gawk at the steepness of the climbs, we have to admit we have never climbed any of the routes, so our information is brief and mostly taken from the guide book, Climber's Guide to Tahoe Rock by Mike Carville. The climbing here is "steep"...as in overhanging...way overhanging. The rock is a metamorphosed volcanic rhyolite which has broken along large blocks producing many holds. The rock is only marginally solid and chunks can and do come off, sometimes injuring those on the ground. Caution should be used in this area and no one should stand beneath the climber (duh). Cave Rock is rapidly becoming a sport climbing destination known for its high concentration of steep difficult routes. The routes here (with very few exceptions) are all very hard, starting in the 5.11 hard range and moving up to 13a with lots of 12s. If you are not climbing in this range (which we're not), there really is not much to do except watch.

Where To Start: Cave Rock is located just a few miles north of South Lake Tahoe along Highway 50. From the South Shore, take Highway 50 past the casinos. A mile or so past Zephyr Cove (light), turn left into the parking area for the public boat ramp. If you go through the tunnel, you've gone too far. There is a small parking fee at the boat ramp. If you do not want to pay, you'll need to use a pull out farther south. The main cave is between the two lanes of traffic. To reach the lower cave, just hike along the shore.

Advisory: Watch for traffic when crossing Highway 50. People have been hit here! Be sure to stay out from underneath climbers since blocks of falling rock have caused some injuries here.

 

 

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