August 2005 I volunteered to pick up Kitty and some of the other campers on a Loon Lake kayak camping trip. Talked Steve L. into meeting me a couple of days early up at Lover's Leap about and hour up Highway 50 from Loon Lake. Lots of room at the campground mid-week and no crowds on the routes. Day 1 we hiked around to the Hogsback and swung leads on the 5.6 Deception. Nice little route! Steve's first outdoor lead and first lead placing gear.
Steve at the base and leading the 2nd pitch
After a little break for lunch, we marched over to climb "Bear's Reach" a 5-star route in the guidebook. At 5.7 we did not anticipate significant difficulties. Looking up from the base we had nagging doubts. This climb is steep! Turned out to be a wonderful route. Starts with just a little bit of a runout on some steep face climbing, then up an incredible couple of pitches up steep flakes and cracks with some nice dikes thrown in.
The East Wall of Lover's Leap. Bear's Reach goes straight up the center/left. Two climbers on the route are indicated by the blue arrows.
Took us a little longer than we thought it would. Got to the top as the sun set and it got dark pretty fast. Particularly for me with my prescription sunglasses on. Stumbled down by the light of one headlamp. Headed over to the Strawberry Lodge for dinner and a shower. Just missed the closing time for the resturant so had to do with a couple of pints of dark beer for dinner.
Next morning Steve headed back to work and I went to pick up the kids from Loon Lake. They had had a great time too.