BETA PHOTO: The Main Wall of Wright's Lake from a ways back.
The main wall at Wright's Lake is impressive: a clean, vertical chunk of granite with occasional crack systems that heads straight up for nearly 130 feet, with a 100' shark fin that juts out twenty feet into space. Black water streaks and run out bolted routes sit staring at you from above, and all the cracks are flared. What a great place to scare the crap out of yourself on routes from .10a and up? Most routes are in the .10 range, though the sport face climbs are harder, with the exception to the run-out "warmup" known as The Prow (5.10a), which is a mixed route out of the left edge of the cliff.
The main wall cooks in the sun all afternoon, so finding the wall on a cooler day is best.
You'll find the main wall on the the far left side of the cliff system that comprises climbing (except bouldering) at Wright's Lake, with a flat base above the valley on a shelf with several large boulders on it.
Walking off the left side of the rock or bringing another rope up with you is best for almost all routes, as the top anchors will not get you back to the ground with a 60 meter rope, and probably not with a 70 either.
Approach time: 20 - 35 minutes.
Driving from the visitors center, take the right at the sign for Twin and Grouse Lakes Trail, which will head you down a road for about a mile to a circular parking lot, which is at the end of the road. Park in this lot, and take off down the trail at the back left of the lot (the only trail). It has a gate, and is pretty close to the bathroom.
Continue down this trail about 100 yards to the point where the Twin and Grouse Lakes trail splits from the main path just before the small walking bridge.
Head through the woods on the Twin and Grouse Lakes trail about 1/2 a mile to the split, where you should go right. As you head gently uphill, a 30' rock band is visible about 300 yards away to your left. Drop the trail and head for the right side of this rock band about 100 yards after the split once the trail hits a grey slab. Once over the bulge that the rock band resides in, look for a gravel climbers trail that heads along in the direction you've traveled from the main trail.
This route will wander through the woods and into some slabs, where cairns will guide you in the right direction. Eventually the woods will fall away, and the trail continues along slab for the last 1/3 of a mile. Avoid the temptation of moving directly at the large cliff face and stay on the slab about 300 yards away parallel to the band, which is approaching on your right. Go just past perpendicular to the main wall, which is on the far left side of this cliff band, as it turns a corner. Walk around to the left of the shelf that makes up the climbing base for most of the established climbing at Wright's Lake, and up onto the shelf when the shelf level is only about 6 feet high.
The main wall is on your left, hanging almost above you.
Browse More Classics in Main Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Main Wall:
5.10a R Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 130 feet
5.11c R Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120 feet
Featured Route For Main Wall
5.10a R CA
: Tahoe Vicinity
: ... : Main Wall
The left-most climb on the main face of the wall, The Prow is pretty steep for a .10a trad route, but most of the holds are pretty bomber. Start on a slab with two bolts before attaining the ledge that the main face towers over. It is wise to use long slings on these two bolts - or to unclip the first bolt once past the difficult move - because you'll feel the rope drag up top.After the ledge, there's a .4" or .5" cam placement to protect moves on diagnol ramps/cracks below the first bolt. At...[more] Browse More Classics in CA