My friends, Mirko Caballero, Dylan Myerhoffer, Matt Grossman, Cameron Reid and I wanted to climb Memorial Weekend. We figured it would be too hot for Bishop or the Pinnacles so we went to Big Chief up at Lake Tahoe. Everyone said it gets too hot at Big Chief when the sun hits it around 1:00 so we figured we had to get our climbing in the morning. But the surprise was on us - it was so cold that weekend that we hit snow driving in Friday night! Mirko was driving up from Jailhouse and they got turned around because of chain controls. But of course, that did not stop us from climbing!
The place is hard to find. You go through Truckee, drive on a rough Forest Service road, then hike in about a mile. The book, Big Chief Area Climbs by Marek Hajek has good directions and also good route descriptions. We climbed 2 days at the Middle Area, Central Cave, Central Wall and Mini Buttress. Flame Thrower is a classic 15 bolt 10d that was a lot of fun to climb. The epic climb of the weekend was my buddy Cameron who fought that route but would not quit. It took him 110 minutes but he sent it! It's incredible to think of being on the wall that long! My favorite was Pow Wow. It's an overhanging 11a that has a reachy last move. My 9 year-old brother Ethan had about 10 attempts at it but needs to grow another inch to send it. I spent 2 days projecting Wicked Quickie and made a lot of progress. It's a short 12.d that requires multiple powerful bouldery moves. I just need to stick the last move. Not that I need a reason to go back to Big Chief, but I'll be back to work Wicked Quickie!