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The Fin

5.11c R, Trad, TR, 120 ft (36 m),  Avg: 2.5 from 10 votes
FA: Michael Creel 1989/90
California > Lake Tahoe > Highway 50 Corr… > Wrights Lake > Main Wall


This route heads up the face of the gigantic 100' fin that heads up the left side of the main wall. You can't miss it.

Climbing is face action up to the crux, which is just after two parallel bolts (there for aiding), and is a hard and balancy one-move wonder. Calling the move 5.11c is probably a sandbag; the its probably in the low 12 range by current standards.

If you choose to aid the one-move wonder 5.11c route, this is an excellent 5.10b THAT IS NOT ENTIRELY A SPORT ROUTE. There is also the tricky grear-protected roof move at the top. Anyone at the .10b level that heads up the route with merely a rack of draws will be quite surprised at the final roof-crack move that appears just before the top anchors.

As for the .11c variation, the one move wonderosity of the route doesn't justify climbing the route.


7 1/2 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor. A recommended (but not required) 1/2" to 1" piece can be added to protect the final 10b crux before the top anchors.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Fin from below with bolts.  The Fin is about 100' high, and yes, the bolts are runout.
[Hide Photo] The Fin from below with bolts. The Fin is about 100' high, and yes, the bolts are runout.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Brian Quiter
Oakland, CA
[Hide Comment] I think this was a great route... once i aided the crux. I can usually pull an 11c move without much difficulty, but was pretty dumbfounded on this one. So i agree with aron that it's probably ~5.12 for today's standards... either that or we were missing something.

But I dont' think this route should be rated 's'. It should be stressed that you should bring a 1" cam for the top, but once you've done that you should be fine. Oct 14, 2004
[Hide Comment] Back when we rated it, 11c seemed right. Compared to Beast of Burden or Neanderthal Dudes, the Fin is easier, right? But the crux is definitely a boulder problem - it took me several visits to redpoint. The reason that there are 2 bolts next to one another is not to make it easier to aid, it's because there was an incipient crack next to one, and I wasn't sure it was solid. Since it was the only pro, a backup seemed in order. Are the bolts still the 5/16" piece-o-crap rawl drives? I give this route 4 stars just for the way it looks. Oct 5, 2007
Max Schon
Santa fe
[Hide Comment] Four stars for sure! Heady lead. Jun 20, 2009
Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
  5.12+ R
[Hide Comment] Something at the supposed .11c start must have broken. I onsighted beast of burden and was stopped cold on the start of the fin. I tried it several ways, even pulled through and clipped the bolt above to get a TR for the move. Nothing! I can usually pull .12 the first try and pull through a move of low 5.13. This thing was impossible for me so yeah, something broke and it's now next to impossible.

The climbing above was ok. Quite runnout but easy between bolts. An exposed route with amazing position, but I thought the actual climbing was mediocre. Would have been a blast to bolt on lead though. Jul 1, 2013
J Hickok
Salida, CO
[Hide Comment] Very very hard crux that I could only end up getting on toprope - 12b/c??. The lead is solid 10 if you pull through the crux. I think the rock is excellent and the climbing fun, but I don't think I would call it runout (possibly PG13). Very beautiful setting and beautiful piece of rock. Aug 15, 2013
[Hide Comment] The beta for the crux, as I recall, is to clip the bolt (or bolts, if the two original 5/16's are still there), then crimp like a MF on small but reasonable edges, hike your feet up, step through to the L with your R foot, and edge with the outside edge of R foot on a small, insecure edge. Then execute an insecure and balancey step up and reach L to the arete. It's a move that's not easy to repeat even after you've done it. I'd be surprised if the hold have fallen off, the rock was quite solid, and traffic no doubt is low. Sep 29, 2013
Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
  5.12+ R
[Hide Comment] Na, something's fukked up. I lead it with a guy that regularly pulls V11 boulder problems and neither of us could pull the moves, even on TR. Go back and lead it. Something broke or was chipped off. Sep 30, 2013
Brandon R
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] Yes, still the original 5/16" buttonheads. Jul 13, 2015
Aidan Maguire
Placerville, CA
[Hide Comment] I agree. Its a great 10b A0 climb from the front, but............
The way to do the bottom is to climb from around the back with right hand on the arete and left in a crack. Its overhanging, cool high rock-over arete moves to gain the easy 10b arete where one moves to the front. Problem being the bolts are set up for a front approach which makes leading from the back a bit heady (but not R). It needs rebolting at the bottom to accommodate the change from something snapping off the front. Pull the first two bolts and add one one the back side and voila, instant renewed classic Dec 29, 2017
Brandon R
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] I'll confirm, this route definitely goes from the right. Maybe 2 hard moves, but miles easier than Infrared. Wear good edging shoes. Nov 4, 2019
[Hide Comment] There are 3 routes to the R of the Fin visible in the photo. Moving to the R, first is a 10d crack that's a bit flared, which crosses the lightning bolt shaped roof and goes toward the prominent black streak to finish. I think the L finish also goes at the same grade. The prominent black streak is a bolted 10a. And farther to the R, up at the top, above a low angle black slab, is a more vertical whitish face that has a 4 bolt 12a or b route. Oct 28, 2020