Climb Knapsack Crack & Deception at Lover's Leap

Rate this Adventure

Added by Samantha Weald

A great climb for beginners! Knapsack Crack & Deception are 5.5 & 5.6 climbs (respectively) hidden on the Hogsback at Lovers Leap.

If you're just getting into outdoor climbing, it can be pretty daunting. There are so many amazing routes and so much to be worried about. Plus, you need a partner you trust to put the work in with you. To start, read a book or two, and if you can, work with a guide once or twice to make sure your skills are up to snuff. I'm personally more of a follower and don't do any trad leading, but I've been with Ryan on all our guided weekends. When you and your partner feel ready, get out there! 

If you're in the California area, Lover's Leap outside of South Lake Tahoe is the way to go. Here's a bit of advice for two of the best beginner trad leading opportunities in the area. 

To start, park or camp at Lover's Leap Campground. In the summer, it's almost impossible to snag a camping spot as they are first come first serve, but in the fall around Oct/Nov (as it starts to get cold) it's much easier to grab a spot. Our last trip we visited in Nov 2016 and the campsite was almost empty when we arrived after work at 10pm on a Friday. If you're not into camping or can't find a spot, Strawberry Lodge is also a great choice if there are rooms available.

From the Lover's Leap parking lot, walk the Pony Express Trail along the creek bed past the East Wall until you find the climbers trail on the left hand side. The first time we tried to find this trail, we got lost and ended up way down in the trees. Instead, pull left a little earlier than the end of the main creek (if you've reached the area where the creek has unearthed some trash, you've gone too far) I promise, you'll know it when you find it. The trail follows a small creek bed up & to the left from the main Pony Express Trail, and in-between two of the hillsides until you come around to Hogsback. Follow the climbers trail all the way around along the base of the backside, over a log, across some steep-ish slanted granite, and up through some scree before finally making your way to the base of the climbs. (We finally used our GPS watch to map it, and I can send you the info if you message me!)

Knapsack Crack (5.5)

While climbing this route, I've literally met dozens of people saying "this is my first trad lead" and all I tell them is to enjoy it! You can do it in 2-3 pitches. The first from a small tree, and the second from a ledge. I remember only one move where I felt a bit shaky but otherwise all smiles. 

Deception (5.6)

When we climbed deception for the first time it was early morning, freezing cold, and the rock was pretty slippery for the first few moves over some wet moss. I think Ryan, who was leading, struggled more with confidence than anything else. The slope of both these climbs is steep but not vertical, so if you slip you'll more slide down the rock than fall. After the first undercling move on the first pitch, it's an easy shot up (except the small traverse on the third pitch, which isn't so hard as it is scary) but you'll love the view from the top. 

As always with climbing, check out mountain project or supertopo before you head out and lose cell service to get more beta & photos as needed. 

Good luck and have fun!

Read More

Tags

Rock Climbing
Forest

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

South Lake Tahoe, California

Charming Chalet With Backyard And Private Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This charming 3BR/2BA chalet features a serene backyard space, where natura...

From $104/night

South Lake Tahoe, California

Sprawling Home With Deck, Gym & Game Room

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Situated on an extra-large private lot dotted with evergreens, this 3BR/3.5...

From $290/night

South Lake Tahoe, California

New Listing! Quiet Getaway – Near Bike Trail

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This inviting 3BR/2.5BA house is set in a quiet residential area. Hiking an...

From $178/night

South Lake Tahoe, California

Updated Home With Fenced Yard Near Lake & Slopes

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This delightful two-story 4BR/3BA vacation rental has all-new flooring, a r...

From $151/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Climbing Lover's Leap...

    The myriad rock features offer many different climbing options for each crux which can help or confuse. Sometimes it is easier to do an improbable face move to the side of a major feature. Some 5.8 moves, the crux on Haystack for example feel like...

  • Hiking to Ralston Peak

    Starting at the lower lot it's less than a mile to access the trail. The hike starts off in shade through a lot of red fir forest and continues at a steady upward route. Approximately 45 mins into the hike you'll come across a sign that says you a...

    7 miles 2375 ft gain

  • Backpack to Ropi Lake

    The trailhead to begin this hike is located at: 38.8117 N, 120.1237 W. From Hwy 50 just south of Lake Tahoe, take Hwy 50 southwest for almost 11 miles, where you'll turn into the parking lot after crossing Pyramid Creek. There is a $5 day-use fee...

    5.6 miles 1900 ft gain

  • Hike Horsetail Falls

    Great views are waiting for you at the top of Horsetail Falls. Pyramid Creek flows down the steep, glacier carved granite faces of Desolation Wilderness to create this awesome waterfall that is estimated to be about 800 feet tall. You will follow ...

    2.8 miles 700 ft gain