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Elevation: 6,783 ft 2,067 m
GPS: 39.3255, -120.31447
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 196,335 total · 858/month
Shared By: Paul Rezucha on Aug 4, 2005 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurk Er, Ky Bishop, Colby Wangler, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Warning Access Issue: Black Wall seasonal raptor closures DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Black Wall is the largest rock formation in the Donner Summit area. The large east facing wall is the first rock formation you encounter on the right as you drive up from Donner Lake. Many routes are 3 or 4 pitches in length to a height of 400-600 feet. Although most of the routes are trad requiring a good solid standard rack, some sport routes also exist. To descend, walk off the left side (west) and follow trail down and eventually cut back left over a ridge to gain access to bottom of cliffs.

Black Wall is a complex formation, and sub-areas listed here are arranged relative to how they are typically accessed. This climbing area was protected by the Truckee Donner Land Trust.

Getting There Suggest change

Driving up from Donner Lake, Black Wall is the first rock formation you come to on the right side sitting high above the road. If you are driving from the west, you would exit at the Soda Springs/Donner Pass Road exit off of I-80. Continue on Donner Pass Road east for several miles to reach to the Donner Summit area. You will pass many climbing formations as you drive down the hill. Black Wall will be the very last one on the left side. There is a small parking pull off area. There are two ways to approach the cliffs. For climbs on the left side, follow a small trail that begins up a little from the parking area. The trail meanders up and eventually you just climb boulder to boulder to get through the boulder field heading straight up to the cliffs. To gain the right side, it is easier to follow a small trail just left of a small creek. Follow trail and creek bed to a point where the trail turns left to the base of the wall. Approach is about 10-15 minutes if you are acclimated to the higher 7000' altitude. If you are arriving from the Bay area, expect the approach to be a little tiring! Beautiful rock in a beautiful setting!

64 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Black Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 79
Labyrinth
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 174
Rated X
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 345
One Hand Clapping
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 255
Black September
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 122
Touch and Go
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 110
Primer
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Touch A Cannibal
Trad 4 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 136
Firecracker
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 52
New Moon
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 70
Finger Licker
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 31
There Goes The Neighborhood
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 4
Sky Pilot
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 4
Headstone
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
 20
Full Moon
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 9
Bliss Direct
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Labyrinth 3. Black Wall - Right
 79
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Rated X 3. Black Wall - Right
 174
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
One Hand Clapping 1. Black Wall - Left
 345
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black September 3. Black Wall - Right
 255
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Touch and Go 1. Black Wall - Left
 122
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Primer 1. Black Wall - Left
 110
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Touch A Cannibal 1. Black Wall - Left
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Firecracker 1. Black Wall - Left
 136
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
New Moon 1. Black Wall - Left
 52
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Finger Licker 3. Black Wall - Right
 70
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
There Goes The Neighborhood 1. Black Wall - Left
 31
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Sky Pilot 1. Black Wall - Left
 4
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Headstone 1. Black Wall - Left
 4
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
Full Moon 1. Black Wall - Left
 20
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Trad
Bliss Direct 1. Black Wall - Left
 9
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Black Wall »

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