Donner Summit Rock Climbing
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Donner Summit is one of the crown jewels of climbing in Tahoe, featuring trad, sport, bouldering, and multi-pitch, all on high-quality granite, perched above Donner Lake and Truckee.
Donner Summit generally covers crags and boulders situated between Donner Pass Road (i.e., Old Highway 40) and Interstate 80. Most of the walls are accessed via Donner Pass Road, with a few exceptions accessed from I-80 (Babylon, Bat Wall, PCT Cliff, Freeway Slab).
Summer is the prime time to climb on the Summit, with spring and fall offering excellent conditions as well. The Summit is typically snowed-in in the winter, although a few crags (e.g., southwest face of Grouse Slab) can be climbed year-round.
Although many climbers will flock to popular walls like Snowshed, gems can be found everywhere, and it's not hard to find solitude if you're willing to hike a little further. A dip in Donner Lake and some beers on the dock can be a great way to finish off a day of sending.
From the west, take exit 174 at Soda Springs, and follow Donner Pass Road just past the ski areas where large rocks appear on both sides of the road.
From the east, take exit 184 just past Truckee for Donner Pass Road. Drive past the lake, and up to your destination.
Lots of this area's destinations use the Pacific Crest Trail -the local path of least resistance - as art of their approach, especially on the north side of the road.
Granite Flat Campground opens earlier each year than Donner Memorial SP. It is located a few miles south of Truckee on highway 89. It currently costs $22/night for a single vehicle site. It's not the most remote campsite as it is directly adjacent to 89, but has decent toilets and well water.
Classic Climbing Routes at Donner Summit
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