Thursday, May 26, 2011

Calaveras Dome climbing

After a very wet ski trip in the eastern Sierra last week, I was excited for some spring weather and climbing! Michael suggested Calaveras Dome, a massive granite cliff hidden in the Sierra foothills southwest of Lake Tahoe.



Calaveras Dome rises 1700' above the Mokelumne river. 

We have PG&E to thank for the half-paved road that we followed for an hour into the Sierra foothills.  It was built to access The Salt Springs Dam hydro plant, which has a capacity of 44MW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_Springs_Reservoir).  The Energy Information Administration (eia.gov) tells me that is enough to power about 55 thousand houses in California, which has the 8th lowest energy consumption in the country.  The internet is so neat.

Michael taking in the reservoir side of the dam.

These cool flowers jumped out at me, they were growing in the gravel on top of the dam.  I have no idea what they are.

I've found myself at a bunch of these dams in the Sierra, and I kinda dig the random industrial installations in the middle of beautiful wilderness areas.

Campsite with a view!  That fence is to stop people from going out on the dam . . .

Our climbing route on the dome, named Old Smokey.