Despite a successful day of climbing Eagle Lake Buttress on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, Blue Granite Climbing Gym owner Gianna Leavers left the popular lake in Desolation Wilderness feeling frustrated and sad with visions of garbage bags near shorelines and diapers tucked under tree roots.
“As soon as we got up to the lake there was garbage everywhere,” said Leavers. “It was really disappointing and overshadowed the rest of the day.”
The issue of improper garbage disposal is not new in the Tahoe Basin, but since reopening during COVID-19, the problem has been exacerbated as tourism numbers rival non-pandemic summers and the largest land manager, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, struggles to keep up with the demand with a smaller staff due to the virus.
“Luckily, the Tahoe Climbing Coalition formed a Tahoe Blue Crew and adopted the Eagle Lake Trailhead as their area to take care of,” added Leavers.