Rock climbing outfits get a grip on summer in Tahoe Truckee region |

Rock climbing outfits get a grip on summer in Tahoe Truckee region

A group of young climbers work on basic techniques during on of the North American Ski Training & Climbing School’s lessons.
Courtesy North American Ski Training & Climbing School |

With more and more granite around Donner Pass becoming exposed, local climbing companies are gearing up for the summer months, offering beginner through intermediate lessons for those interested in exploring the different climbing locations above Donner Lake.

Donner Pass’ two original climbing companies, North American Ski Training & Climbing School (NASTC) and Alpine Skills International, give several options when it comes to learning the sport or making the next move up to being able to climb more difficult routs.

“The fun thing about climbing, it crosses all age abilities and fitness level boundaries,” NASTC Director Jenny Fellows said. “A five-year-old could be out there with a 70-year-old grandparent and they’d be enjoying this beautiful granite together, overlooking Donner Lake enjoying a unique experience. Climbing allows the ability to cross those experiential boundaries.”

NASTC offers beginner, intermediate and advanced group and private lessons.

Climbing occurs around Donner Pass and includes two-hour, half-day or full-day lessons, ranging from a price of $115 up to $450, depending on group size and length of lesson.

“We have lots of equipment that we provide as part of a lesson. If people don’t have shoes, a harness, or a helmet — it doesn’t matter. Just meet us at the rock and within minutes they are climbing,” said Fellows.

“This is some of the best granite in the world. For big time climbers a stop at Donner Summit is on the list.”

One of the main spots NASTC takes students is to School Rock. Fellows said the two-pitch granite slab above Donner Lake provides an excellent training ground for novice climbers.

NASTC is open seven days a week and can often book people with a day’s notice.

For information on booking a climbing lesson visit

Alpine Skills International has released its schedule for the summer climbing season, which includes multiple lessons geared at bringing climbers from an introductory level up to courses on preparing to climb a big wall.

“We have specialized clinics like multi-pitch, learn to lead, anchoring and direct aid — in case you want to climb El Cap,” Mimi Maki Vadasz of Alpine Skills International said in an email to the Bonanza.

The day-long courses feature American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch trained instructors, and range from $149 up to $165, and run throughout the summer.

Alpine Skills also offers a Youth Rock Climbing Camp, which will run from July 30 – Aug. 4, and again on Aug. 6-11.

The company also offers several mountain climbs, other High Sierra courses, and first-aid courses.

For more information visit

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User