Pyramid Peak
(West side, from Wright Lake and Lyons Creek)

6-7 Jul 2002 - by George Sinclair

Pyramid Peak near Lake Tahoe is a well known peak that is climbed quite often. However, I believe that most of the ascents are done from the east and south. I think it is rarely done from the west, which is odd because I think it is the easiest way to do it. I recently climbed Pyramid from the west and offer the following description for those who are interested. From the Wrights Lake road start hiking at the Lyons Creek trailhead. It is about 5 easy miles to Sylvia Lake. Where the trail ends at Sylvia Lake head up to the obvious saddle just to the south of the lake - there is another, un-named lake just south of this saddle. This is the hardest part of the climb. There is some steep scree that you must negotiate and some cliffs you need to avoid - class 2. From the saddle head up the easy west slope to the top of Pyramid - class 1. A strong party should have no problem doing this as a day hike.

In addition to climbing Pyramid, I also hiked into the cirque to the northwest of Pyramid. There was much snow in this cirque. From the cirque I could see a couple of interesting possibilities. One is a snow chute that could be climbed up to the west ridge - ice ax required. Another is the north face, which could be an interesting rock climb - class 5. I don't know if anyone has climbed this face. Finally, it is possible to climb onto the north ridge of Pyramid from this cirque at several places - class 3-4. In the past I have done this by climbing up to the north of a prominent tower just north of Pyramid and crossing around to the east side of the tower before climbing down - class 3-4 - to easier ground on the northeast face of Pyramid. There is also a steep chute to the south of the prominent tower that can also be climbed to get onto the ridge - class 3-4. For more information on the north ridge see my earlier trip report of the Price to Pyramid traverse.


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