Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Peter Hann - 1972
Page Views: 22,890 total · 139/month
Shared By: Paul Rezucha on Jun 24, 2005
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Black Wall seasonal raptor closures Details
Access Issue: Donner/Truckee area Details


One Hand Clapping starts on a ledge on the main Black Wall face below an obvious tall, twin crack system slanting right. Climb the twin cracks requiring good hand jamming techniques (5.8) and continue up to a belay with bolted anchors. Climb the steep, thin crack above to a slab. Continue up and left (a little runout here) and continue up and left through a steep, weird, intimidating, slanting left flaring corner. Getting around the end of the corner, over the bulge, and onto the face is the 5.9 crux. From here you can continue up and left on easier face climbing to the large Lizard ledge. A fun alternative is to step right to a cool, small, exposed ledge and belay. We had 4 people on this ledge which was very cozy indeed! Climb straight up on a fairly difficult crack/slab to Lizard ledge. The final, long 5.6 pitch has a surprising, tricky section about 50' up. This is a must do climb! Lots of good solid fun climbing! I would say though that the leader should be a very solid 5.9/5.10 climber as there are sections that are strenous, tricky, and a little difficult to properly protect!


This route is fairly well protected using a standard rack. Belays have adequate anchors and/or placements. The second pitch is a bit runout on the face after the short thin crack. It's not too difficult but care should be taken.
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
NOBODY has posted yet on this route?! That's amazing. I am honored to be the first sprayer. I first climbed (rather, I was hauled up) this route with Catherine Davis in 1998. I was a newbie at the time and swore if I could ever lead the crux, I would consider myself a real climber. I have climbed it numerous times since, mostly with Mike Henderson of Reno. I finally led it in 2001. We like the route so much we call ourselves the One Hand Clapping Climbing Club. If you only climb one route on Donner, do this one.

P1 is the coolest 5.8 crack you will ever climb. Be sparing with pro early on the first pitch, as it's easy to run out of #2-#3 Camalot size stuff toward the top. Save your #10 stopper for the bottom of the double crack system. Fun fun fun pitch.

P2 (crux) pitch is strenuous and scary, although the protection is very good. The reason for the name of the route will become obvious about halfway up. Stay on the 5.9 ground or prepare to pay the penalty; a friend of mine got off route, broke his ankle, and climbed no higher than the edge of his couch for the rest of the season. This pitch feels harder than it really is, and will raise the heart rate of even experienced leaders.

P3 is fairly easy, but fun also. Descend and treat yourself to Tacos Jalisco. Dec 15, 2005
Super route. You can rap down to the anchors of Firecracker from the top of the second to get off easily... Mar 6, 2007
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
For pitch 1, take doubles of #2 and #3 Cams. You may be tempted to use a couple of em on the initial easy but long rampy start, but try to hold back and save them for that steep headwall up higher and the finishing run toward the anchors (which is easy climbing but slightly awkward...at least one #3 will probably be wanted there). Smaller pro can be found to the left of the 2-3" crack on the start. Jun 21, 2009
Agreed as above, P1 is among the best 5.8 crack pitches you'll ever climb. It can be rapped with two ropes. Aug 2, 2010
Scott T
Alpine Meadows, CA
Scott T   Alpine Meadows, CA
I had nasty rope drag extending P2 to Lizard Ledge. Highly recommend the ledge belay just after the crux. Your experience may vary, though!

If just doing P2 then rapping off, I'd suggest shedding some weight and leaving a bunch of cams at the chains atop P1. I used 1 #2 Camalot, and doubles smallest cam to .5 Camalot on P2. No need for doubles of 1, 2, and 3 Camalots...which sure are handy on P1:) May 6, 2011
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Was just reading a thread over on Supertopo that said the FA was Peter Haan - 1972.

edit: oops! I guess it was Peter Haan, but not THE Peter Haan of Yosemite fame, from the horses mouth. Jul 5, 2011
Evan Riley
San Francisco, CA
Evan Riley   San Francisco, CA
Topped out in 2 70m pitches. Not quite rope stretches. For P1 belay above the slab below that weird corner crux thing. P2 goes all the way to the rap rings on the summit. When climbing P2 use double length runners (or 2 single length slings) on your pieces through the crux and it will go clean with little rope drag. We walked off. Would love some descent beta, the Manzanita thrash on the way down was hilarious. Jul 20, 2013
Patrick Mulligan
Reno, NV
Patrick Mulligan   Reno, NV
The walk off on this thing is pretty apparent. Just follow the trail through the manzanita off and to the south of the formation. Feb 23, 2015
Tyson Waldron
Reno, NV
Tyson Waldron   Reno, NV
You can rap with a 70m from lizard ledge. You rap to the Bliss anchors, and then either to the ground, or, better yet hop on Bliss or Skywalker. You could also rap to the ground and leave the rope up so you can TR there goes the neighborhood, which is excellent. Aug 30, 2015
Tatiana Cottam
Oakland, CA
Tatiana Cottam   Oakland, CA
This climb is awesome! The thin crack and roof-pulling at the start of P2 is the crux.
As for the WO, the guidebook says it's left, though we had to walk to the (climber's) right side of the wall before finding access to the thin trail that heads down to the left. Jul 31, 2017
Vincent Gallegos  
Face holds on P.2 keep the spice minimal. Sep 27, 2017