Hiking Stats as of 11/11/2019
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Oct 31, 2015 - Black Butte


Partners: Kyle Breen

Distance: 3.13 miles

Elevation Gain: 696 feet

Trip Time: 2:04

Maps and Stats:
Kyle and I were up in Tahoe, but with the primary objective of working, not hiking for a change. Kyle are recently replaced all of the boards of our deck, and we had rented a dumpster so that we could get rid of the old wood and at the same time clean the property of dead branches and such. This task took up nearly the whole day, leaving only a few hours to hike. Being that we were already tired, and didn't have a lot of time, we decided on Black Butte, notable as a class 3 climb easily accessed from near Kirkwood. The peak has seen many failed ascents logged into Peakbagger, so we pulled all the beta from Summitpost and memorized the pictures so we would get it right.

The approach to Black Butte is very short, less than one mile before you approach the rocky pinnacles. We knew that there were 5 pinnacles, with the 4th from the left being the highest. There was an obvious gap between pinnacles 4 and 5, and we aimed straight for that. This was basically all class 2 to get to the gap, easily done, although loose rock required that we not climb on the same line or above one another. At the gap we turned right, and went straight up the easy class 3 pinnacle. This was nothing difficult at all. Much easier than expected. On top are nice views to Round Top and over to Caples Lake. Since it was so easy we decided to see how many of the other 4 pinnacles we could climb from our location. Given that others had failed due to route finding issues, it seemed unlikely that we could connect the pinnacles, since if that were possible other people would not have failed their climbs. We aimed first at the furthest west pinnacle - #5.

We nearly got down to the saddle between pinnacles 4 and 5, but a massive gap existed between the rocks, with a 30+ foot fall the penalty for the slightest error. We thought we might be able to jump the gap, but the problem would be in getting back across. So we abandoned #5 and went back up #4, looking to try Pinnacle #3 instead. #3 was the highlight of the day. It was stiff class 3 the entire way, and tons of fun. We could see that we would not be able to continue on to #2, so we went back down and then took the same route back down to the car. A highly recommended climb if you have a couple of free hours and you are near Kirkwood!

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