After 4 months off, I finally got the climbing gear going again. It's mentally hard to start after taking the winter off, but a nice warm day on great California Granite is all I needed. Actually I went to Grouse at Donner for a few hours 2 days ago. Today Todd O took me up Sands of Time at Calveras Dome! What a day, perfect weather, great partner, and 6 great pitches or so with amazing quailty rock.
The climbing at the Cal Dome area is the real deal, with hardly anyone ever there. It's pretty remote tucked down a few thousand feet below highway 88 on West side of Kirkwood, and there is no Supertopo. Todd knows the climbs so that was an extra luxury, not even worrying about where the route goes. We went up about 6 pitches and rapped down Silk Road. Todd says the few pitches above are dirty and runout and rarely done.
We swapped leads on the climb with Todd starting off. One topo I found says 5.8. Seemed more like 5.10 for a minute trying to get into the crack to me.
On left Todd is at the top of pitch one. The second pitch was the money pitch in my opinion. Topo says 5.9 and 5.8 and splitter cracks for a long way then 10a near the top? Felt like that to me. The only topo online has the difficulty ratings, but it's hard to read which routes they are talking about. I took no pictures of this pitch, but trust me, go do this!
Todd joins me at the top of pitch 2 and then moved the rope up a short 4th class traverse to start again on pitch 4, with a spicy 5.9 start.
Then I got the next money pitch. This long 5.7 finger crack would have a line down the street if it were at Donner Summit.
Todd led the very next pitch which was very runout face climbing. Mostly 5.6ish but it could be a lot harder if you don't look around carefully. The topo says 5.8 near the top which I believe. He got pro in about every 30' and found one bolt halfway up.
Looking across the valley at Hammer Dome. I got to climb Gemini 5.9, Wings and Stings 5.7, and another route there in a day with Greg last fall. This south facing wall is great and has about 4-5 pitches.
This is the Sands of Time route approximately from today