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Elevation: 7,051 ft 2,149 m
GPS: 39.31776, -120.32418
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,287,791 total · 4,859/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Oct 7, 2002 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurk Er, Ky Bishop, Colby Wangler, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

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.

Getting There Suggest change

Drive on Interstate 80 from outside the Donner area.

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.

Lodging

Suggest change
Camping near the climbing is illegal, but doesn't seem to be too severely enforced. If that troubles you, seasonally there's camping on the opposite side of Donner Lake (see Donner Memorial State Park's website for details), and both cabins and hotels accommodations in from there to Truckee, which is an ample source of nearby food and entertainment.

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.

455 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Donner Summit

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 225
Jellyroll Arch
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 356
One Hand Clapping
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 264
Black September
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 126
Touch and Go
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 296
Nova Express
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 264
Bottomless Topless
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 255
Farewell To Arms
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 142
Firecracker
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 239
Aerial
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 205
Peter Principle
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 122
Made In Japan
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 136
Little Feat
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 152
Monkey Paws
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 92
Cookie Mix
Sport
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 76
Panic In Detroit
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Jellyroll Arch Grouse Slab > E Face
 225
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
One Hand Clapping Black Wall > 1. Black Wall - Left
 356
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black September Black Wall > 3. Black Wall - Right
 264
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Touch and Go Black Wall > 1. Black Wall - Left
 126
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Nova Express Snowshed Wall > E Face > 3. E Face Main
 296
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Bottomless Topless Snowshed Wall > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 264
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Farewell To Arms Snowshed Wall > E Face > 3. E Face Main
 255
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Firecracker Black Wall > 1. Black Wall - Left
 142
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Aerial Snowshed Wall > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 239
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Peter Principle Snowshed Wall > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 205
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
Made In Japan Space Wall
 122
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Little Feat Snowshed Wall > E Face > 3. E Face Main
 136
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Monkey Paws Snowshed Wall > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 152
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Cookie Mix S Star Wall
 92
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Panic In Detroit Snowshed Wall > N Face > 1. N Face Main
 76
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Donner Summit »

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