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Center Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
All Guns Blazing S 
Big Chief Arete S 
Bird of Prey S 
Blazing Buckets S 
Early Bird TR 
Eat the Worm S 
Flamethrower S 
Force Feed S 
Funambulist S 
Green Hornet S 
Head Rush S 
Killer Bee S 
Mohawk S,TR 
Mud Shark S 
Pow Wow TR 
Raindance S,TR 
Route Stealers From Hell S 
Running Bull S 
Toilet Earth S 
Too Light to Wait S 
Totally Chawsome S 
Trail of Tears S 
Travail Buttress S 
Wampum S 
War Paint S 
War Path S 
Wicked Quickie S 
Witch Doctor S 

Center Wall Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.2451, -120.20291 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 22,385
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Oct 8, 2002
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The Big Chief Center Wall is just that: it's big. It's basalt, and it contains many climbs for climbers of all abilities (5.7 - 5.13+). Most of the climbs are sport routes in the 5.10 - 5.12 range on primarily overhung rock.

Most routes ascend only one pitch, though there are also a few 2 pitch routes as the top of the main rock, which peaks out at over 200 feet. It does seem that several routes could be added to the higher section of the rock.

Facing mostly east, you will find most routes in the sun for most of the day, though there will be some refuge in the later afternoon. There is also refuge in the cave, where the climbing routes get extremely overhung, tough, and short.

Getting There 

Approach time: 15 - 30 minutes.

From the parking lot, head down the main path to the west, which consists of a former gravel road that has large trees cast through the center of it at the parking lot to ensure that people can no longer drive to the former lot.

After .6 miles of gentle dirt road, you will come to the former lot. From here head uphill for about 50 vertical feet on the narrowing trail to a fork. At the fork, you should head right, and this will take you up to the north pass.

From the north pass, hang a left around the rock, and this will take you into the center wall area. The first bolted route you will see is called Eye of the Beholder (5.11c). Continue another 50 yards downhill to the main cave area, and more routes are further along.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.5 miles from here

28 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Center Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Center Wall:
War Path   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
War Paint   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Route Stealers From Hell   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Too Light to Wait   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 30'   
Mohawk   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Witch Doctor   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Funambulist   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 50'   
Killer Bee   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Flamethrower   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   
Bird of Prey   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 30'   
Big Chief Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
Pow Wow   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Head Rush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Raindance   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Totally Chawsome   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   
All Guns Blazing   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Center Wall

Featured Route For Center Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb leads Headrush (11a) while Zander Rose i...

Head Rush 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : Center Wall
Located on the left side of the wall, Big Chief arete isn't really an arete for most of the climb. Instead, it ascends enormous clubic blocks that are either 45 degrees overhanging or 45 degrees slab. The climb is very similar in feel to its neighbor Killer Bee, but a little tougher because of a tricky roof about two-thirds of the way up. Vertigo will also be a factor, but its worth it!Don't pay too much attention to the topo in Carville's book. He has the relative locations of the climbs ri...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Center Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Beta Heel Hook
Beta Heel Hook
Rock Climbing Photo: The Cave
The Cave
Rock Climbing Photo: Warpath and Warpaint
Warpath and Warpaint
Rock Climbing Photo: Don't Fall
Don't Fall
Rock Climbing Photo: 10b
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Mohawk
Start of Mohawk

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