Charlotte Dome is one of the finest climbs in the Sierra backcountry. Every single pitch is excellent and the climbing challenging, but not too hard. if only it was not such along walk…..
The approach is about 12 miles one way and makes for a long day.
But the campsite is at one of the best springs in the Sierra with cold clear water bubbling from a hole between rocks.
A wonderful place to hang out.
Jay and Haimei had been here climbing for a week before with us and were tuned up. Ray is an “old school” climber with lots of experience so guides SP and Gonzalo knew that things were going to be OK.
The approach hike went well and we were at camp by 4.00pm, with time to get organized for the next day.
We travelled light and decided to wear rock shoes to the base and down the descent hard on the feet but making the climbing a lot easier.
We were moving to the base at first light and having done the climb before easily found the start, which can be a crux for many.
The route starts out low angle and slowly gets steeper.
The rock is perfect golden granite with knobs everywhere. The ‘Slot” at 5.8 is only about 80 feet long and if you stay out of the crack is not too bad.
For the leader the mental crux is a full rope length of pretty unprotected face and slab climbing on the 9th pitch, but is easy for the followers.
The winds kicked up during the day but this is typical and the clouds and thunderstorms stayed away.
We topped out about 3.30 and the descent to camp is straightforward and easy down slabs and forest, direct to camp where everyone crashed out.
A perfect climb and one all Sierra climbing devotees should do.