Common Questions (Summer)

Would you consider organizing a custom local climbs?

We always love putting together custom climbs. Not only do they give you more flexibility in the schedule but they provide the best all around experience.

Do I have enough experience for this trip?

No prior experience is required for our local one day trips.

What is the best time of year to climb in Tahoe?

Fall and spring have more comfortable temps with cool mornings and evenings. Summer is prime season with long days, and near perfect climbing temperatures throughout the day.

Can non-climbing friends or family follow us and watch / take pictures?

They are welcome to come along and observe but, if they wish to participate they will be considered a climber/participant. Participation means anything from belaying to rock climbing.

Can I rock climb even without a lot of upper body strength?

Climbing, especially outdoors, is mostly about balance and posture. Your legs “push” you up the rock ​while your handholds help stabilize and provide balance. We always tailor the courses to your skill level.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are generally not allowed with our guided trips, but if it is absolutely necessary to have your dog please contact the office.

How long are your half-day trips? How about full-day?

Half-day trips are 4.5 hours from the time we meet to the time you are headed home. Full-day trips have no time limit, although most people climb between 5-9 hours.

Where are the rock climbing courses usually held?

Our local one-day rock climbing courses are usually held at Donner Summit, but we can also arrange custom local trips.

How tall are the routes usually?

The routes on Donner summit range from 30ft to 250 ft. Lover’s Leap features routes between 300ft and 400ft.

What is the youngest / oldest client you have had?

It is common for us to have kids as young as 4 and adults as old as 70. As a general rule – ages 4-12 yrs old we accept courses with a parent on a private only basis, ages 13-16 yrs old with a parent is open enrollment, ages 13-16 yrs old without a parent on private only basis, and ages 16+ yrs old we treat as adult.

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Yes! We sell customized rock climbing gift certificates that can be mailed or emailed ASAP. They are paid for upfront, can be redeemed for any date, and do not expire.

Do you ​accept credit cards?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex. We ​also take checks or cash. If paying by check or cash we require payment in full to reserve your spot prior to joining us in the field.

Are we supposed to tip our Guide?

Tips are greatly appreciated, but never expected. The average tip is around 5-10% of the course fee.

Is gear included in the cost of the trip?

Yes; all equipment is supplied at no extra charge. This includes harness, helmet, climbing shoes, ad belay device.

What do I need to bring with me?

Be sure to bring at least a liter of water (and food for full-day trips), and comfortable walking shoes for the trail in. As for clothing, anything that allows for freedom of movement is fine. We are in the mountains so layers are recommended in case we get cold temperatures.

Do you get many people who have never climbed at all?

A good percentage of our clients have never climbed outdoors on real rock. Many have climbed before on indoor climbing walls, while perhaps 25% have never climbed at all, either indoors or out.

Do you guide experienced climbers as well?

Whether you are climbing 5.1 or 5.14, we have a guide for you. Additionally, our lead guides have received certification as climbing instructors, and stay up to date with ever-changing climbing practices and equipment. Even the most experienced climbers will find there is something to learn from a professional guide.

Common Questions (Winter)

Would you consider organizing a local ski trip?

We always love putting together custom trips. Not only do they give you more flexibility in the schedule but they provide the best all around experience.

Do I have enough experience for this trip?

No prior experience is required for our introductory/custom courses, however we do require intermediate/advanced ski experience for all other courses.

What is the best time of year to ski in Tahoe?

January through March have the best temps and snow conditions. However, this can vary year to year.

Am I fit enough to backcountry ski?

Skiing, especially backcountry, is a big cardio workout and sufficient fitness level is expected. Ability to hike uphill with 20lb pack for at least 2 hrs is the basic level of fitness. Your legs bring you up the mountain ​while your arms help stabilize and provide balance. We always tailor the courses to your skill level.

How long are your half-day trips? How about full-day?

Half-day trips are 5 hours from the time we meet to the time you are headed home. Full-day trips are usually 6-8 hours.

Where are your backcountry ski courses usually held?

Our local backcountry ski courses are usually held at Donner Summit, Castle Peak, or NatGeo Bowl; but we can also arrange custom local trips.

How steep are the runs usually?

This depends on avalanche hazard and the groups skiing ability. Usually if avalanche hazard is high or the group ability is low (or both), the terrain will be less steep.

What is the youngest / oldest client you have had for backcountry skiing?

It is common for us to have kids as young as 13 and adults as old as 75. As a general rule – ages 18 yrs old and under we accept on courses with a parent/adult.

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Yes! We sell customized skiing/winter gift certificates that can be mailed or emailed ASAP. They are paid for upfront, but can be redeemed for any date, and do not expire.

Do you ​accept credit cards?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex. We ​also take checks or cash. If paying by check or cash we require payment in full to reserve your spot prior to joining us in the field.

Are we supposed to tip our Ski Guide?

Tips are greatly appreciated, but never required. The average tip is around 5-10% of the course fee.

Is gear included in the cost of the trip?

No, however all equipment is available for rent. Our rental equipment includes: skis, boots, skins, bindings, avalanche kit (incl. shovel, beacon, probe), and backpack; all available at competitive pricing.

What do I need to bring with me?

Be sure to bring at least 1-2 liters of water (and food for full-day trips), and comfortable shoes for apres ski. As for clothing, anything that you would usually wear backcountry skiing is good. We are in the mountains so layers are recommended in case we get cold/warm temperatures.

Do you get many people who have never skied at all?

No, for all our backcountry skiing courses you must have an intermediate/advanced level of skiing on groomed runs.

Do you guide experienced skier as well?

Whether you are skiing blue runs to double black runs we have a guide for you. Additionally, our lead guides have received certification as skiing instructors, and stay up to date with ever-changing skiing practices and equipment. Even the most experienced skiers will find there is something to learn from a professional guide.

What if there is too much snow?

Your guide is trained in Avalanche terrain, to find safe places to ski which usually under heavy snow conditions means low angle, forested terrain.

What if there is not enough snow?

Our guides are trained to always find the best snow, and you’d be surprised for what they can find.