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Flagpole Peak

Winter ascent of Flagpole Peak - With a short approach we'll climb rock and snow along a narrow ridge to the flagpole itself, with expansive views over Lake Tahoe and Echo Lakes. This is a favorite dayhike, but in winter presents easy to difficult mixed climbing with the option to venture into 5th class terrain - great practice and great fun! Maximum 12 climbers. RSVPs open Wednesday Dec 12th at 8:00 pm.

How RSVPs work: Prospective members who have joined on Meetup but not yet paid for any membership may attend one event for free. Beyond this, you must be a current official SMG "MEMBER" to attend. All events open for RSVPs at 8:00pm on the Wednesday approximately three weeks prior. RSVPs are first-come first-served and are subject to event organizer review and final approval. All attendees must meet the pre-requisites. Prospective members will still need to sign the SMG Waiver / Assumption of Risk and provide emergency contact information to attend. Please provide the required information when you RSVP. Because this event occurs on public lands it is open to the public.

Not an official SMG member yet? Join the club here.



Dates: January 5th, 2012

Location: Flagpole Peak, Tahoe National Forest near Echo Lakes, Hwy 50

Route: Southeast Ridge

Appropriate For: Basic to Intermediate Climbers


Fitness and Difficulty Level: Easy

Max Elevation: 8,363 ft

Starting Elevation: 7,400 ft

Weather: NOAA Forecast for Flagpole Peak

Pre-Requisites: Participants must meet ALL the following

  • Ability to scramble snowy rock in boots
  • Moderate fitness to stay out in cold conditions all day, and ascend 1,000 feet over broken, sometimes exposed terrain.
  • Be an SMG Member or be a prospective member on your free event



Saturday, January 5th: Meetup as indicated for carpooling. We'll drive up Hwy 50 to the Echo Lakes Sno-Park, at the summit. From there we'll gear up and hike in about 2 miles to the base of the climb, half that distance on the road and half the distance along the shore of lower Echo Lake. Then we will start working our way up the slopes and timber to the southeast ridge. The rock is slabby with ledges and some boulders, presenting class 2 and 3 climbing. As we work our way to the peak, we pass beneath and above steep cliffs and slopes, making for interesting and varied climbing. There actually is a pole cemented to the summit, which will be our goal. If desired we can increase the difficulty to Class 5 on the way up or back, even with the option for rappelling. Just another fun winter day trip in the mountains!




  • Wicking, breathable baselayer, top and bottom
  • Insulating, weather-resistant mid-layer, top and bottom
  • Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom
  • Insulating fill jacket
  • Socks, liners
  • Mountaineering boots, or approved sturdy backpacking boots
  • Lightweight liner gloves
  • Waterproof gloves or mittens
  • Glacier sunglasses
  • Warm hat - the touque!
  • Sun hat
  • Balaclava


  • 30 - 50 liter pack
  • Trekking poles with snow baskets
  • Food
  • Water bottles or containers. Water bladders not recommended in freezing weather.
  • Headlamp w/extra batteries
  • Compass, GPS also recommended if available
  • Map
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera, extra batteries
  • Small knife
  • Personal items, medications
  • Emergency items - keep it small.


  • Lightweight mountaineering harness
  • Hard shell mountaineering helmet
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons, fit to your boots
  • 2 large locking carabiners
  • Two 48” loop runners or 5-7mm prusik cords
  • Belay device
  • Skis or snowshoes

Group Items

  • Technical climbing gear: ropes, protection for rock and snow, assorted slings and cordage, locking carabiners
  • First Aid Kit
  • Snow shovel
  • Radios


For questions or more information, please contact: Darren Shutt, SMG Organizer, [masked] or (916)[masked]

Climb on!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great climb with a wonderful approach!

    January 16, 2013

  • Wayne

    Great day with a rare non-SMG style cake walk approach. We climbed a fun line on the face to a short nicely exposed ridge. Rock quality was good and I especially liked Darren's comment about it being "peppered with chicken heads". Now that's a heck of a visual. I couldn't help but think about Gary Larson and "The Far Side" when he said that.

    1 · January 6, 2013

  • Rick B.

    Really is was kind of perfect winter climb. Easy approach across a frozen lake surrounded by snow covered peaks, short uphill snowshoe to some rock climbing to fit all abilities, anice scramble to the summit and a great view of Lake Tahoe! Can't beat that!

    January 6, 2013

  • Sarah

    Super fun, great group, good times as always with SMG! Thank you to Darren and the members who attended!

    January 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll give you a call today Walter

    January 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Walter, I'm leaving Friday night around 7 I think.

    January 2, 2013

    • Walter

      we can carpool and share expenses

      January 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry Walter but unfortunately the got taken over by some family members with large amounts of children! Still plan on driving up Friday and camping out till sunday though....

    January 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Might go up to my cabin in Southlake Friday night, anyone from the group is welcome to stay over as well!

    December 20, 2012

    • Walter

      at what time are you going to leave?

      January 1, 2013

  • Sarah

    Yay, I made the list up from 3 on the waitlist! Looking forward...

    December 31, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Darren, are you going to be on skis or snowshoes?

    December 31, 2012

    • Darren S.

      everyone should go in on snowshoes for this one.

      December 31, 2012

  • Art

    I would love to use this trip to learn/practice mixed climbing. I imagine there will be lines with snow/ice over class 4-5 rock. I am not up to leading that, but would love to follow someone who knows what he is doing!

    December 14, 2012

  • Rick S.

    With so many EO/CO members wanting to do something this weekend. Maybe they could put another trip together?

    December 14, 2012

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