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Areas in I-80 Corridor

Auburn and Grass Valley 2 / 63 / 15 / 120 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 195
Bowman Area 14 / 213 / 29 / 39 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 276
Deer Creek Park (Rocklin Quarry) 1 / 0 / 6 / 76 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 77
Donner Summit 195 / 96 / 49 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 296
Freeway Crags 12 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 17
Indian Springs 20 / 11 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 36
Rainbow 14 / 12 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 23
Truckee/Donner Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 153 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 153

Description

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.

Truckee is the cultural hot spot. For gear, Tahoe Sports Hub and the Backcountry are all shops with a history in the area and contribute positively to the local mountain culture.

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 Summit 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.

1,073 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at I-80 Corridor

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 144
Composure
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 120
Rated X
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 128
Jellyroll Arch
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 194
One Hand Clapping
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 153
Black September
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 176
Nova Express
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 163
Bottomless Topless
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 153
Farewell to Arms
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 75
Firecracker
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 115
Molar Concentration
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 151
Step Into The Light
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 94
Charlee and the Stick Factory
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 120
Aerial
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 108
Peter Principle
Trad, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 70
Monkey Paws
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Composure Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 144
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Rated X Donner Summit > Black Wall > Black Wall - Right
 120
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Jellyroll Arch Donner Summit > Grouse Slab > E Face
 128
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
One Hand Clapping Donner Summit > Black Wall > Black Wall - Left
 194
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Black September Donner Summit > Black Wall > Black Wall - Right
 153
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Nova Express Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > E Face
 176
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Bottomless Topless Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 163
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Farewell to Arms Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > E Face
 153
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Firecracker Donner Summit > Black Wall > Black Wall - Left
 75
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Molar Concentration Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 115
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Step Into The Light Bowman Area > … > Kudos Cliff > Kudos Left
 151
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Charlee and the Stick Factory Bowman Area > … > Benches > Fortress
 94
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Aerial Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 120
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Peter Principle Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 108
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, TR
Monkey Paws Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > N Face
 70
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in I-80 Corridor »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
"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."

This piece of "advice" is both untrue and unnecessary. Compare the REI or climbing shop prices in Sac or Reno with those of any backcountry/climbing shop and you'll see that they are the exact same except for during sale periods. In addition, it's the locals that work at these shops that have knowledge and pass it on to customers whereas most of those shop employees in Sac and Reno have no clue. I think this should be removed or changed.

Edit to include some shops: Alpenglow Sports, Tahoe Sports Hub, and The Backcountry, are all great shops with a history in the area and contribute positively to the local mountain culture. Oct 28, 2017

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