Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 10,709 total · 93/month
Shared By: Victor on Jul 15, 2009
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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


First pitch starts with an interesting handcrack and ends at a ledge. Traverse left on the ledge and climb up the curious looking flake. The flake ends at a ledge where you traverse again and set up a belay.

The second pitch has two variations. The original (5.7) takes the diagonal on the "X" that the route is named after. The variation goes straight up. The offwidth above the belay is 5.8 and crux on the second half is a couple of moves of 5.9+. Both variations finish on a short thin hands section to the bolted anchor.


The route is 75ft to the right of Black September. You can't miss the obvious flake on the first pitch of the route, and the cracks that make an "X" on the second pitch.


Standard rack to 4.5", nuts. Bolted anchor at the top of the second pitch.


Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
Led the 5.9 variation recently. The steep OW start off the belay feels like the 5.9 crux to me, and the small roof up higher feels like 5.8.

The difficulty of the OW, however, will probably be hand and foot size-dependent, and 5" cracks are my main OW nemesis (although I ended up stemming the move, but it's also kinda slippery this way). Also, no need to use the 5" piece here as you can plug a #3 at the very top of this section where it narrows and clip direct. Jul 20, 2009
bergbryce   California
To protect the flake, it would be nice to have a couple #4s and maybe even a 5 if you've got it. I had a 3 and a 4 which worked but two 4s would have been better.
There is also a bolt near the top of the flake below the lieback exit sequence. This could be protected by a #5 so I was a little surprised to see this bolt there, but I definitely clipped it!
There is a three bolt belay station above the flake that does not lend itself to belaying the second pitch very well. It's better to build an anchor at the base of the second pitch if you plan on climbing the second pitch.
Also, there are two sets of rap anchors on this route so it can be rapped or walk off to climbers right at the top. Nov 6, 2009
Reno, NV
BruceB   Reno, NV
Before starting the climb I didn't know whether I'd climb the 5.7 or the 5.9 variation on P2. But after getting to P2 I couldn't see any reason to do the 5.7 meandering zigzag. It seemed dirty and not attractive at all.

The 5.9 variation however is great. I didn't think the OW was bad at all. The 5.9 roof is way fun, but takes a bit of working out. Initially I couldn't reach the bomber ledge above the right corner of the roof, but after figuring the hand sequence it went nicely. Protects well too.

The hand crack above the roof is fun too. If this crack is part of the original 5.7 route, I'd say pretty spicey for 5.7. Aug 24, 2011
Weston L
For the first pitch the biggest you need is a #4, there is a nice smaller placement out right before the bolt if you blow your #4 early.

Regarding the second pitch, I wouldn't call the crack off the belay an offwidth. More of a fist crack really. Felt like a miniature version of Little John Left in the Valley, so 5.8 - a #4 would make this cozy. The LB/roof move is very cool, awesome position once you step out on to the arete. Fun crack to the anchors. Jun 26, 2012
Rocklin, Ca
mattymck   Rocklin, Ca
This was my second trad lead, and fourth overall a long long time ago. The variation we did on p2 was starting out on the diagional and then straight over the roof, which looked like the right way for the .9 back in the pre-Carville Tahoe guide. I remember being pretty gripped on the roof, but then with using the bolted anchor out right and the left hand variation the rope drag was pretty bad. Not a very smart variation, but I do remember the first pitch and the crack above the roof were very good. Jun 27, 2012
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
Keep in mind, gentlemen, cracks are hand- and body-size dependent (as I stated here in the past) and thus the p2 variation will undoubtedly feel "smaller", "easier", "whatever" to you than it ever will to gals like me. I remember always having to strenuously hand-stack through that short section...Just keepin the beta flexible for both genders in our reading audience. Sep 24, 2012
Laine Christman
Reno, NV
Laine Christman   Reno, NV
I'd have to agree with BruceB. The 5.9 variation is rather tame (tho exciting) by Donner standards. Also the whole thing can be done in one pitch if adequately slung out. Sep 26, 2012
I find the wide crack starting P2 to be pretty straightforward, you just have to stem a little to get up to where the crack narrows. The reach for the ledge after rounding the roof, however, always feels a million miles away. Jan 21, 2014
Joe Crawford
June Lake, California
Joe Crawford   June Lake, California
Fun Route, first pitch is definitely the most fun. A #4 is nice to protect the flake before the bolt. Climbed the 5.9 pitch to finish. Decent climbing, but blocky an not sustained. Felt the roof was a bit harder than the initial crack, which protected well with a single #3. Haven't done the .7/.8 variation, but don't see a reason to, as already stated it looks dirty and even more interrupted than the variation. Jan 27, 2014
Logan Swartz
Davis, CA
Logan Swartz   Davis, CA
Leading the second pitch, I did the first half of the variation, which I would consider a fist crack which I mainly lie backed. Once I was at the vertex of the "X" I couldn't remember if the 5.7 way went right or left. Well I chose wrong and went left along the ramp/maw. Turning the corner out of it was the crux. Its committing as you go out on to the face, and a little spicy since the crack opens in the back and is full of moss. I used a #3 and a #2 there. Definitely was stuck there for awhile to get the courage to do the move. There is a bolt after the move. Jun 27, 2014
I'm curious if there's a story behind the bolt on P1. The 1999 Carville guide shows it, indicating its lasted at least 19 years.

Was this put up by the FA party? Did someone have a drill but not a #5? I can't really think of a defense for it other than "not everyone has a 5" Aug 5, 2018