Top three reasons to go rock climbing on Donner Summit
Your child will develop decision-making skills and gain confidence
Non-climbing activities are a great way to strike up new friendships
Donner Summit is home to classic, hard granite and routes of varying difficulties
You’ve probably seen your kid climb up a tree or hold onto the rungs of monkey bars in the playground. This is because kids naturally lean towards climbing from a very young age and are quick and natural learners. Getting them on the crags is a sure-fire way to expand their horizons and get them to apply their problem-solving skills while enjoying the fresh air and company of other like-minded youngsters. This rock climbing camp for kids on Donner Summit near the marvelous Lake Tahoe is a great way for them to work on their balance and technique. Whether they have zero experience or have climbed before, they’ll master new skills and expend pent-up energy. Let your child climb with a certified guide who’ll keep them protected at all times. Find out more about the best climbing spots in Sierra Nevada from Cody Bradford, AMGA Certified Rock Guide and 57hours ambassador.
May through August
Reno, NV, is 45 minutes away from Donner Summit
1 or 5 days
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
Rock Climbing Camp for Kids–Single Day Drop-In
Get your child on the crags and let them experience the beauty of rock climbing regardless of their skill level in this camp for kids on Donner Summit. Scaling various routes will boost their self-confidence and improve their coordination. Let them get to know other youngsters who share the same interests and go for a swim in a creek after climbing. With a professional guide by their side, your child will have tons of fun and be safe throughout the day.
5-day Rock Climbing Camp for Kids
Let your child experience what it’s like to climb on Donner Summit’s granite walls and spend time in the fresh air with other kids and certified guides. Whether they’ve never climbed before or have some experience under their belt, your kid will learn new climbing techniques and walk away a more confident climber. The fun doesn’t stop there, however, because they’ll go on educational hikes, learn about the area, and participate in a whole bunch of outdoor activities.
5-day Rock Climbing Camp for Kids
Days 1-3: Olympic Valley
The first three days will be spent in California’s Olympic Valley. In the morning, your kid will be climbing on the Tahoe Via Ferrata, top roping on 5.2-5.8 climbs on the Tram Face, or on a portable climbing wall. At lunchtime, the group will take a break in a shady spot where they’ll have a well-deserved lunch and rehydrate so that they can get ready for the upcoming activities in the afternoon. These include scavenger hunts using a map and compass, knot tying, dips in a creek, making flower presses, painting in nature, educational hikes in Shirley Canyon where your kid can learn about the geology as well as flora and fauna of North Tahoe, and more!
Days 4-5: Donner Summit
During the last two days kids will spend the morning climbing at Donner Summit, where they’ll be working on technical rope skills. Newcomers to the sport will learn the basics of rope management, belaying, and climbing technique, while those who have some experience will explore more demanding routes, leading techniques, and advanced rope systems. There are many routes on offer varying from 5.2 to 5.12.
After lunch, the afternoon will be spent either climbing or the group can explore other activities in the area. If the kids are eager to go climbing, the guide will show them some more challenging routes, teach them some more advanced skills, and work with them to improve their climbing movement. In case the kids wish to explore some non-climbing activities, Donner Summit has a lot to offer. They can learn more about the area’s history by going on history hikes, make wildflower presses, and more!
Meet your guide
My son is a fairly accomplished climber but had very little experience with crack climbing in granite. Braden taught him a lot. They had a great day and even captured a few moments on film. Super cool day. Would def recommend Alpenglow expeditions!!
Wow! Can’t say enough wonderful things about our experience. It was my children’s first time doing outdoor rock climbing and they are hooked. Our guide was incredibly patient and treated the kids so well. Next time we are back in Tahoe we can’t wait to do this adventure again.
Thanks for the great experience Logan! It was certainly the highlight of our trip to Tahoe, and something our kids will remember for the rest of their lives. Looking forward to making this an annual tradition.
Education + Fun = Great memories!!
Things to know
Covid measures on Donner Summit, CA
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures on Donner Summit, CA, please refer to the Government of California website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Recommendations.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day or 5-days of rock climbing and other activities
- All technical climbing equipment (helmet, harness, and rock shoes are available free of charge)
- Credit card fees
What’s not included:
- Lunches and snacks
How fit does my kid need to be?
If your kid can climb a ladder, they’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, their guide will choose routes that best suit their skill and fitness level.
What if my kid has never climbed before?
Whether your kid is new to the sport of climbing or has some prior climbing experience, this rock climbing camp will welcome kids of all skill levels.
Donner Summit has plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether your kid has never climbed before or is transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, their guide will customize the day to suit their skill level and objectives. With a guide by their side, they’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun!
For intermediate to advanced climbers, Donner Summit has loads of routes to spend the day on. The guide will discuss the objectives and customize the day to your kid’s goals. Let your guide plan the day so your kid can focus on developing their skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.
What about required equipment?
Your guiding service has rental helmets, harness, and rock shoes available for no additional charge. Just let them know what size shoes and harness to bring in advance.
- Rock shoes (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle (bring plenty of water!)
- Close-toed shoes for hiking and Via Ferrata (lace up or velcro)
- Lightweight long-sleeve clothing
- Lightweight wicking short-sleeve top
- Lightweight climbing shorts or pants
- Windbreaker or raincoat
- Lunch and food you can eat on-the-go
- Swim gear
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For the single day drop-in, the max. number of participants is 5.
- For the 5-day climbing camp, the max. number of participants is 10.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
- If joining alone, your kid will be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.
Climbing days on Donner Summit can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- The camp is intended for children between the ages of 7 and 14.
Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
- Alpenglow Expeditions reserves the right to cancel any trip at any time. Reasons for cancellation might include (but are not limited to) natural disasters or inadequate enrollment. If your guiding service cancels a trip prior to its start for low enrollment, they fully refund your payments. If they cancel your trip prior to its start due to natural disasters or other reasons of that nature, they will refund all but non-recoverable costs. Changes to a trip itinerary made by the guides for any reason do not constitute a cancellation, and no refunds will be made in this case.
- If you cancel your trip more than 30 days prior to departure, Alpenglow Expeditions will refund your payment minus a 25% cancellation fee, or the option to rebook to another available date with 100% credit.
- Cancellations between 15 and 30 days prior to the course start, you may reschedule with a 25% rebooking fee.
- Inside of 15 days, there are no rebookings or refunds.
- On any trip, the guiding service’s guides reserve the right to remove any person, for any reason. These reasons generally stem from a person jeopardizing the safety of themselves or another team member. This includes a person who is not physically able to climb or ski/ride at the level necessary for the chosen objective. In all these cases, there are no refunds whatsoever, and the client will be responsible for any additional costs incurred in leaving the trip.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Donner Summit, most people fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport, just over 45 minutes away from Donner Summit. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus or taxi.
You can also fly into Sacramento International Airport 1.5 hours away from Donner Summit.
Once you and your kid’s guide agree on the details of their itinerary, your kid will meet the guide in Olympic Valley where the camp starts, but the exact meeting point will be determined by your guide. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.