The Great Escape: Auburn Mountain Biking + Sugarloaf Climbing

WHO: Lis, Chris and friends

WHAT: A weekend of no snow

WHERE: Auburn and Sugarloaf

WHEN: April 30 and May 1

GEAR: Deuter Trans Alpine backpack (about as small as I can go for a day’s worth of cragging, sans any trad gear since the others carried it in), Black Diamond climbing gear, the padded bike shorts I wish I’d brought

As is evidenced by my posts on this blog, I like snow. But after more than 700 inches this winter, I had to get out!! Chris and I decided to spend the weekend in as close yet as warm of places as possible, so we chose Auburn and Sugarloaf for our getaways. Looking to do the same? Here’s the quick guide to ditching snow for sun during spring in Tahoe:

SATURDAY: Auburn, mountain biking the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail + Connector

This was my first time mountain biking in Auburn and it was awesome! Great early season riding since the trails are so smooth and roll-y. We took the connector (4 miles one-way) into the Foresthill Divide Loop (11.3 miles) to add a little more length to the ride. It was the perfect amount of cardio and nothing too technical, so it was great for easing back into riding. Though I learned one important thing: don’t forget your padded bike shorts on the first ride of the season. Ouch! The trail is super popular so it was a bit crowded on our way in via the connector. I actually think we timed it well (leaving Tahoe at 9am) since our second half of the ride was less crowded.

SUNDAY: Sugarloaf, rock climbing

Sugarloaf, a bit farther than Lover’s Leap, is only a short 30-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe yet feels far away in climate. There are various aspects to climb here so you can essentially be in the sun all day if you want. The main Sugarloaf formation is beautiful, as pictured above, with Chris on Captain Fingers (5.12c). It’s a great spot for a crag dog too (as modeled below by Fern) but watch out for ticks. None this time, but she came home with a few after our last trip here.

The Tahoe Mountain Sports Adventure of the Week blog series takes a walk (or hike, surf, climb, bike) in someone else’s shoes, from pro athletes to local Tahoe adventurers. Let us know if you’ve got an adventure to share.

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