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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 
Lost Souls S 
Mohawk S,TR 
Mud Shark S 
Peace Dance S 
Peace Pipe S 
Pow Wow TR 
Raindance S,TR 
Route Stealers From Hell S 
Running Bull S 
Scalper 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 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.2451, -120.20291 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,977
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

32 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',1],['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'   
Mohawk   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Too Light to Wait   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 30'   
Witch Doctor   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
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'   
Head Rush   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Pow Wow   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
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: Starting Flamethrower, awesomeness!

Flamethrower 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  CA : Tahoe Vicinity : ... : Center Wall
This is the first long route that you come across heading down to the cave of the Center Wall from the north pass. It sits just to the right of three short and very overhung routes (Eye of the Beholder, Headband and Sitting Bull). At over 130 feet in length, be prepared to have someone send you up another rope to rap, or have a second bring a rope up with them.Climbing is tough over the first overhang through the first three bolts, which lasts a mere 20 feet. From here climbing remains interesti...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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

Comments on Center Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By Goat
From: Salt Lake City
Jun 4, 2016
Big Chief is an awesome crag. Expect a bit of an approach from the dirt road, but the wall is teeming with routes.

Would have loved to try out the fixed draws in the cave but all those routes are 12's or higher, but there are some manageable routes on the Center Wall that are well worth it. A must do for Tahoe Vicinity!

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