A tour of the Sierra Nevada's best crags. There are many possibilities as there are so many climbing areas in the Golden State. Here are a few choice prospects that lie off the beaten path.
The Needles -A secret jewel in the Southern Sierra, this area host a series of granite spires split with cracks and outstanding arÍte climbs. Green lichen adorns red granite on some amazing face climbs up to ten pitches in length. As quality as Yosemite, but without the crowds.
Owens River Gorge - California's original sport climbing crag. Located near Bishop, on the Sierra East Side, there are literally hundreds of bolted sport climbs, on welded volcanic tuff. Incredible edges, jugs, and incut pockets abound on mostly vertical to gently overhanging rock, all with a big bolt nearby.
Lover's Leap - Nestled among the pines near South Lake Tahoe, this granite crag is unique in that it is riddled with quartzite dikes running horizontally along the wall. Some routes resemble ladders running up the wall. Up to four pitches in length, and mostly trad, the climbs in the 5.7 to 5.9 range are excellent.
Donner Summit - Located near Truckee, this expansive area hosts a multitude of "craglets" on quality black granite. Plenty of trad, sport, and multipitch options. Donner Lake provides a scenic backdrop, and a natural cool down on extra hot days.