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I-80 Corridor

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I-80 Corridor Rock Climbing 


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Location: 39.2768, -120.71298 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Feb 18, 2006
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New Rock! New Rock! Come and Get it! 

Interstate 80 runs from San Francisco to New Jersey. From Sacramento in California's central valley to the Nevada border near Reno, it crosses most of the Sierra Nevada, including some of the earliest recorded Anglo American emigrant trails over infamous Donner Pass.

The northern Sierra Nevada is a vast and mostly untamed stretch of rocky hillsides and granite peaks. Bouldering is everywhere, and sport is plentiful. Trad routes can be found, both documented and wild. New rock is always just over the next ridge, and all you need is a little imagination and some forestry maps, and you can find the next climbing area in California.

Areas in the foothills may not be documented. A lot of climbable rock is found on private property, and also in public areas where local land managers don't believe that climbing is a reputable sport. Auburn State Recreation Area had a rocky history, but the administrators and climbing community built bridges there.

Outdoor gear resources are plentiful and usually affordable in both Sacramento and Reno. Truckee, the closest large town to the Sierra crest, naturally has prices adjusted for their real estate and tourism.

Elevations range from near sea level in the central valley itself, up to eight thousand of feet as the foothills rise to the heart of the mountain range. Checking the National Weather Service forecast for your exact destination is best for planning mountain days outdoors.

Low elevation crags can be scorching on summer afternoons, but become popular retreats from winter ice and snow. These include the Auburn area, where sport climbs and bouldering are had at Cave Valley (aka Auburn Quarry) and the Bar. Beginner friendly, mostly lowball, boulder problems are plentiful at Deer Creek Park in Rocklin.

Medium and high elevation rocks' seasonality depends heavily on current weather patterns, snow cover, and whether the cliff faces south towards the sun. But by summer time, most accessible crags are covered with climbers from around the world. Bouldering is everywhere in this area above about 5,500 feet in elevation, where the mid elevation pine forests thin out. Donner/Truckee has the highest concentration of established trad routes, and the tallest cliffs. Indian Springs, Bowman Valley and some sections of Donner are popular sport climbing areas.

Although Interstate 80 continue through the Truckee River Canyon east of the town of Truckee, all crags between Truckee and the Nevada border en route to Reno are in the TRC area now, since they're relatively close together, while this I-80 area contains bouldering parks as far west as Rocklin.

Getting There 

Interstate 80 in California is reached from most other regions through Sacramento from the west, or from Reno to the east. Many other highways, surface streets and dirt roads connect to it. See specific crags for directions.

Approximate eastbound mileages:

0 miles: Interstate 80 splits from route 101 in San Francisco.
111 miles: Rocklin Rd in Rocklin for Deer Creek Park (Rocklin).
119 miles: Elm Ave in Auburn for Auburn SRA, and highway 49 north for other foothill destinations.
161 miles: State Route 20 towards Nevada City for the Emeralds, Bowman Valley, Island Lake Boulders, Black Buttes and other Emigrant Gap area destinations.
163 miles: Eagle Lakes Rd for Indian Springs.
166 miles: Big Bend for Rainbow.
173 miles: Soda Springs for most Donner/Truckee crags.
176 miles: Donner Summit Rest Area for Summit Lake Area and Castle Peak Bouldering.
183 miles: Donner Pass Rd exist in Truckee for Donner Memorial State Park/Coldstream.
184 miles: Downtown Truckee at junction with highway 89 south (which heads towards Lake Tahoe proper via the Truckee River Canyon.
204 miles: Nevada state line, en route to the Reno area.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.8 miles from here

791 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',65],['3 Stars',330],['2 Stars',295],['1 Star',73],['Bomb',7]
['<=5.6',32],['5.7',20],['5.8',62],['5.9',70],['5.10',173],['5.11',152],['5.12',61],['5.13',10],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',41],['V2-3',99],['V4-5',40],['V6-7',17],['V8-9',10],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',2],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in I-80 Corridor

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for I-80 Corridor:
Labyrinth   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Donner Pass Road : Black Wall
Insidious Crack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Donner Pass Road : Grouse Slab
Composure   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 180'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Rated X   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Donner Pass Road : Black Wall
Jellyroll Arch   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Donner Pass Road : Grouse Slab
Black September   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Donner Pass Road : Black Wall
One Hand Clapping   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Donner Pass Road : Black Wall
Nova Express   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Bottomless Topless   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Farewell to Arms   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Step into the Light   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Kudos Cliff : Kudos Left
Where's The Beef   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   The Benches : Fast Food Wall
Charlee and the Stick Factory   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 70'   The Benches : The Fortress
Peter Principle   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Aerial   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Monkey Paws   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Cookie Mix   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   Donner Pass Road : South Star Wall
Panic in Detroit   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, TR, 65'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Cannibals   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Donner Pass Road : Snowshed Wall
Bat Karma   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Cave Valley (aka Auburn Qua... : Horsepoo Canyon
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in I-80 Corridor

Featured Route For I-80 Corridor
Rock Climbing Photo: Zachary working Little Feat on TR, as seen from up...

Little Feat 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  CA : Tahoe : ... : Snowshed Wall
Little Feat is located on the blunt arete directly facing you as you first arrive at the east-facing routes on Snowshed wall. There are five or six crux moves on the route punctuated by a couple of good rests....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of I-80 Corridor Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Negativity Cave, Emeralds. CA.
Negativity Cave, Emeralds. CA.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Carville on the Porn Star .12b. Larry Land, B...
Mike Carville on the Porn Star .12b. Larry Land, B...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sanam on Rock n Rolla .9. Candy Land, Bowman Valle...
Sanam on Rock n Rolla .9. Candy Land, Bowman Valle...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hitting the jug before topping out.
Hitting the jug before topping out.
Rock Climbing Photo: Scareflow on Jan 1, 2016. Temps were about 10°F.
BETA PHOTO: Scareflow on Jan 1, 2016. Temps were about 10°F.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brad on the slash.  A good view of the entire clim...
Brad on the slash. A good view of the entire clim...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Franklin pebble wrestling.
Matt Franklin pebble wrestling.
Rock Climbing Photo: First Crux is getting over the roof. solid flakes ...
First Crux is getting over the roof. solid flakes ...

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