Round Top Winter Ascent, MTN 2, SNOW 1-4

  • 03/12/2021
  • 8:00 AM
  • 03/13/2021
  • 6:00 PM
  • Carson Pass on Hwy 88
  • 0


Registration is closed

Join MAA members for a winter ascent of Round Top. As the monarch of the Carson Pass area near Tahoe, Round Top is readily accessible and presents two interesting winter routes on the North and West Ridge, both from the same scenic basecamp at Winnemuca lake. Attendees should be comfortable with serious exposure and be confident with self-arrest and climbing steep snow. Loaner gear may be available to paid members. Elements of the SNOW 1-4 and MTN 2 training courses will be a part of this climb. Maximum of 8, recommended for those with excellent fitness and some mileage in the mountains.

SCREENED EVENT: Please join the waitlist. Attendees will be selected based on skill proficiency and experience shown on MAA profile. Those registered will be notified.

  • WHERE: Round Top Peak 10,381, near Carson Pass, at the top of Hwy 88.  
  • ROUTE: Technical winter ascent of the North Ridge (steep snow up to 50 degrees, 3rd class rock) to the summit then descend the West Ridge (snow to 40 degrees, Class 2). Option to ascend the West Ridge instead if party or conditions are not ideal. About 6 miles round trip, approx. 3,000' gain and loss. North ridge will require climbing in a rope team using snow / rock protection and using a second tool.
  • EVENT LEADER: Darren Shutt, (916) 872-3399,
  • GROUP SIZE: Minimum 2, Maximum 8
  • TRAINING AND CLIMBING SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: MTN 2 Winter Mountaineering and SNOW 1-4 training courses material will naturally be addressed on this event. In order to be best prepared to climb safely and effectively, participants should be able to hike 3 miles in deep snow, climb about 3,000 feet in snow up to 10,000 ft. with a 30 pound pack, climb loose, snow covered rock on an exposed ridge in a rope team using snow and rock protection, and be comfortable traversing steep snow without protection. 
  • PERSONAL GEAR: Members are encouraged to use your own equipment. If you're missing something, loaner gear may be available. Please let the event leader know if you need something. 
  • FITNESS AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate, but conditions may push the needle to "challenging". The ascent will probably take about 8 hours of constant effort, the descent about 3 hours. Be prepared for winds, cold temperatures and a heavy workload - it's a winter ascent.
  • MEDICAL: If you have any medical conditions pertinent to your participation on this event, please inform the event leaders after you’ve been accepted on the team.
  • GETTING THERE: Meet at 8:00 am at Carson Pass trail-head parking area on Hwy 88, south of Lake Tahoe. You will need a sno-park pass, which must be arranged before hand. There is a restroom there. 
  • EMERGENCIES: 911, closest hospital in South Lake Tahoe.


Prior - Selected team will communicate and coordinate details over email and phone.

Friday, March 12th - Meet at 8:00 am at the Carson Pass Sno-Park at the summit of Hwy 88. Sno-park pass is required to park there. We'll meet, sort gear and hit the trail by 10:00 am. Hike / snowshoe / ski about 3 miles to the shores of Winnemucca Lake at the foot of the north ridge, where we'll dig in our tents to establish basecamp. We'll review self-arrest and snow climbing technique, and enjoy a nice warm evening meal and an early bedtime.

Saturday, March 13th - Starting before dawn, we'll gear up, grab our tools and begin the 3,000 ascent to the summit right from camp. Preferred route is the North Ridge, but we can also ascend the non-technical West Ridge. Either way, we aim to summit by noon and descend the West Ridge back to camp. We'll break down camp in the afternoon and trek back to the trailhead, arriving before 6 pm.


  • Wicking, breathable base layer, top and bottom
  • Insulating, weather-resistant mid layer, top and bottom
  • Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom
  • Insulating fill or down belay jacket, w/hood
  • 2 pair socks
  • 2 pair gloves / mittens
  • Gaiters*
  • Sunglasses / goggles
  • Balaclava / neck gaiter
  • Warm hat and/or balaclava
  • Tent with full fly and guylines*
  • Sleeping bag rated to freezing, or warmer
  • Cup, bowl, spoon
  • Stove, fuel, pot
  • Inflatable sleeping pad, and closed cell pad
  • Snow shovel, preferably with a steel blade
  • Snowshoes*, skis, or be prepared to posthole!
  • Trekking poles with snow baskets
  • Backpack 45 - 75 liters
  • High energy food, snacks and drinks for 36 hours
  • Water bottles or container system, 2 liters
  • Strong headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Map* and compass
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Optional items for consideration: altimeter, small knife or multi-tool, bandana
  • Stiff, warm mountaineering boots
  • Steel crampons*
  • Mountain axe* (short second tool with a hammer optional*)
  • Lightweight alpine harness*
  • Climbing helmet*
  • 2 locking carabiners*
  • One tied or sewn runner / PAS, 48"*

*If you are without some of this important safety gear, it may be available for loan upon prior request, first-come, first serve.


  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event. Donations are not solicited on this event, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation.

  • This event is open to all Apex, Base, and free Associate members - paid membership is not a requirement of attendance. 

  • MAA is a 100% volunteer-run, federal and state recognized 501(c)7 not-for-profit membership organization and does not seek or realize a profit from organizing this event; all membership benefits, liability insurance, website, database, administrative costs and all expenses are supported solely through membership, not event fees.

  • MAA event leaders are experienced members who are board-approved and volunteer to host the event as a representative of MAA, but are not operating as a guide or compensated as a guide - all participants on the event share responsibility for the safety, decisions, and actions of the group.

  • Accordingly, the physical demands, required skills or technical terrain of some events require that we screen participants; individuals should join the waitlist to be considered for RSVP. The experience, skills and fitness in the MAA membership profile will be used to determine the suitability of each individual to the demands of that particular event.

  • Participant safety is our top priority. Many circumstances such as mountain conditions, weather, or subjective hazards may necessitate changes to the published itinerary, including cancellation.

  • As a private, non-commercial group we operate within the posted group size limits and regulations for this area.

  • All MAA members are taught and practice Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of wild places.

  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.

  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader at a minimum has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

    For more information or questions about this climbing event, please contact the listed event leaders, or, or (916) 692-0005.

    (916) 692-0005

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