Black Wall, acquired by the Truckee Donner Land Trust in 2015 with incredible support from the climbing community, is the largest rock formation on Donner Summit.
The large east-facing wall is the first rock formation you encounter on the right as you drive up Old Highway 40 from Donner Lake. Totalling 11.9 acres, this acquisition includes some of the most dramatic terrain in the region. The property includes climbing areas including Black Wall, Peanut Gallery and Road Cut, while also giving access to Space Wall, Shark Wall and Grouse Slabs. Many of these climbing routes were established more than 50 years ago, serving climbers from beginner to expert.
Black Wall also offers spectacular views of Donner Lake, Truckee and surrounding granite formations on Donner Summit, making it a great destination for hikers as well. While climbing routes are well established on Black Wall, trails accessing the climbs and giving hikers a way to get to the property's amazing views are not. The Land Trust, working with the Access Fund, plans to build formalized trails giving climbers and hikers access to both the base and summit of Black Wall in the summer of 2018.
With climbing's booming popularity as a sport, building sustainable trails to mimimize the impact of access is more important now than ever. The new trails will still be rugged, retaining an alpine feel. Both the new trail and improvements to existing trails will incorporate sustainable design and construction standards.
Photo: Sam Okamoto