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Black Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ajax T 
Birdie S 
Black September T 
Bliss T 
Bliss Direct T 
Blowups Happen T 
Bourbon Street T 
Can't Stop the Dance T 
Cannibal Gully T 
Centerfold T 
Don't Try This At Home S 
Empty Overgo T 
Empty Sky Direct T 
Finger Licker T,TR 
Firecracker T 
Full Moon T 
Full Tilt T 
Headstone T 
Hungover Hangover T 
Indian Summer T 
Inside Out  T 
Labyrinth T 
Lightning Bolt Roof T 
Mojito Run T 
Mr. Clean T 
New Fascination T 
New Moon T 
Next T,S 
No Stems No Seeds T 
On Ramp T 
One Hand Clapping T 
Pinball Junkie T,S 
Primer T 
Rat Ramp S 
Rat's Tooth T 
Rated X T 
Rythym Killer S 
Sky Pilot T 
Skywalker T 
Slipstream T 
Space Invaders S 
Space Modulator T 
Summer Breeze S 
Super Slab T 
There Goes The Neighborhood T 
Torture Chamber S 
Touch A Cannibal T 
Touch and Go T 
Yellow Zonker T 

Black Wall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.3256, -120.3123 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 36,768
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Paul Rezucha on Aug 4, 2005
You & This Area
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Mark Hudon on "Full Tilt", 5.11a, 1979. ...

  • Seasonal Raptor Closure-lifted for 2016 MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closure at Black Wall-Lifted 2016 MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Black Wall is the largest rock formation in the Donner Summit area. The large east facing wall is the first rock formation you encounter on the right as you drive up from Donner Lake. Many routes are 3 or 4 pitches in length to a height of 400-600 feet. Although most of the routes are trad requiring a good solid standard rack, there does exist some sport routes also. To descend, walk off the left side (west) and follow trail down and eventually cut back left over a ridge to gain access to bottom of cliffs.

    Getting There 

    Driving up from Donner Lake, Black Wall is the first rock formation you come to on the right side sitting high above the road. If you are driving from the west, you would exit at the Soda Springs/Donner Pass Road exit off of I-80. Continue on Donner Pass Road east for several miles to reach to the Donner Summit area. You will pass many climbing formations as you drive down the hill. Black Wall will be the very last one on the left side. There is a small parking pull off area. There are two ways to approach the cliffs. For climbs on the left side, follow a small trail that begins up a little from the parking area. The trail meanders up and eventually you just climb boulder to boulder to get through the boulder field heading straight up to the cliffs. To gain the right side, it is easier to follow a small trail just left of a small creek. Follow trail and creek bed to a point where the trail turns left to the base of the wall. Approach is about 10-15 minutes if you are acclimated to the higher 7000' altitude. If you are arriving from the Bay area, expect the approach to be a little tiring! Beautiful rock in a beautiful setting!

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 2.9 miles from here

    49 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',27],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Black Wall

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Black Wall:
    Labyrinth   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   
    Rated X   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   
    One Hand Clapping   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   
    Black September   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   
    Touch and Go   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 80'   
    Primer   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Hungover Hangover   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Touch A Cannibal   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   
    Rat's Tooth   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
    Rat Ramp   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
    Firecracker   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Bourbon Street   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   
    New Fascination   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   
    New Moon   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
    Bliss   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Finger Licker   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
    There Goes The Neighborhood   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 85'   
    Headstone   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 30'   
    Full Moon   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Bliss Direct   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Black Wall

    Featured Route For Black Wall
    Rock Climbing Photo: A great (better) approach to the Firecracker roof.

    New Moon 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  CA : Tahoe : ... : Black Wall
    Starting on face holds, New Moon quickly joins up with a right leaning finger crack before you jog out left into the upper part of Firecracker crack about 15-20 feet before the roof. The finger crack gradually widens and the crux is probably some rattly fingers before you start getting thin hand jams. Eventually, the crack widens up and basically ends at a jug. At this point take that louie into Firecracker. New Moon allows a bypass of the wider areas on Firecracker if your rack is short a bigge...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

    Photos of Black Wall Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Peregrine falcon @top of P2.  Her chicks were real...
    Peregrine falcon @top of P2. Her chicks were real...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Birdie,  an old school classic.  11b.  Fun sport r...
    Birdie, an old school classic. 11b. Fun sport r...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Met this Guy today and tried to e-mail this pic to...
    Met this Guy today and tried to e-mail this pic to...

    Comments on Black Wall Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Willoughby
    Apr 27, 2016
    Can any admins out there help me figure out how to post this in the raptor info section?

    About ten days ago, Gary Allan found this year's nest at Black Wall, which is in the grotto at the base of Rambo Crack up Cannibal Gully. We (Truckee Donner Land Trust/Access Fund and the Save Donner Climbing group) are asking everybody to please respect a seasonal closure of routes from the left side of Cannibal Gully on the left to Hungover Hangover/Empty Sky on the right. Primer should be fine, as well as anything around the corner to the right (One Hand Clapping), but the belay stance at the top of Rat's Tooth was close enough to agitate this bird. This female seemed a bit more high-strung than birds in recent years, and is possibly a new individual, so we just want to keep folks out of that gully or line of sight. Affected routes include: Touch and Go, Hungover Hangover, Rat's Tooth, Empty Sky, Rhythm Killer, Pinball Junkie, Inner Recess, Rambo Crack, Space Invaders, and Bourbon Street).

    There are still plenty of other routes to choose from, at Black Wall and elsewhere at Donner. Lizard Ledge is out of sight and should be okay, however, when hiking or climbing outside this closure buffer but nearby, please avoid disturbance, keep noise to a minimum, and use your best judgement to gauge and mitigate your impact.

    We'll be monitoring the nest, and the closure will be lifted when nesting activities have ceased for the year. The nest had two eggs, and she was incubating, so they may wrap up by mid-July, but these routes are closed until further notice.

    If anybody has any questions about the birds or status updates (which would be welcome), feel free to shoot me a PM, and if you have other questions you can email John Svahn at the Truckee Donner Land Trust:; 530.582.4711


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