Donner Summit - Historical Climbing Site

Donner Summit - Historical Climbing Site

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Although not much is known about the history of Donner climbing before 1970, rumor has it that Yosemite big wall pioneers Warren Harding and Royal Robbins, who was a ski instructor at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, frequented the summit along with Alvin McLane, a geologist who taught a climbing class at the University of Nevada in Reno. Jim Bridwell, Kim Schmitz, Eric Beck, and Rick Sylvester, other old-school Yosemite hardmen and El Cap first ascensionists, ski patrolled at Squaw Valley in the winter, climbed in Yosemite in the spring and fall, and escaped the heat in Tahoe in the summer.

The majority of the original routes at Donner were put up by one or more of them.Arriving in Tahoe from upstate New York in the early 1970s to ski race and climb, Bullet played a pivotal role in the development of Tahoe climbing. During the '70s, Bullet and Max Jones pioneered the first ascent of Imaginary Voyage at Black Wall, a 500-foot featured granite wall home to some of the best and most classic multi-pitch routes in Tahoe.

Source: Emily Harrington, Climbing Magazine, 8/31/16