the “bear claw” scramble
alongside the east shore of lake tahoe there is a wonderful class 3 scramble up the west face of Herlan peak. usually you can access the summit from a very easy trail that runs along the ridge from carson pass, or traverse the front by use of the popular “flume trail”. But if you are looking for something a little more intense you can choose to climb directly up the very sandy and rocky west face. the west side of Herlan peak has one of the steepest and most abrupt vertical rise around lake tahoe, and is clearly visible from almost everywhere in the basin.
here is an image I pulled that kind of shows the very top section of the route
During my time living over in incline village my close friends and I built a cairn route up the entire face making it possible to route find the entire way. the exposure starts about 1/2 way up and gets a little intense!
one of the reasons I have advocated people try this climb, is not because of the climbing quality (it can be sketchy and tiring at times) but because of the absolutely amazing views. there is no other area I have found around the lake that has anywhere close to the incredible vistas Herlan peak offers. and you get it for the entire 4 hour climb… amazing
the rock can be very loose and sandy… so watch your holds! donny k. gets close to the summit and clings on to the loose rock that exists for most of the climb.. dont slip