Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is just one of many activities you'll enjoy at Shaffer's High Sierra Summer Camp. Our climbing program is structured to provide you with a fun introduction to the sport and is for kids 8 to 17 years old.

Skills Development.

You'll go through a climbing clinic supervised by a climbing specialist certified by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) or the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) as a Single Pitch Instructor. You'll learn safety protocols, basic top rope rock climbing techniques, knot tying, belaying, and rappelling. Safety is paramount, and all participants not only go through our clinic but wear a helmet and harness.

Philosophy.

The Camp observes the "Challenge-by-Choice" philosophy. You can choose the difficulty of your climb, from introductory, to the more challenging, all the way up to our most challenging climb. It's entirely up to you. You will get all the encouragement and guidance you need without being forced or compelled to do anything with which you are not comfortable. We're just happy to have you join us!

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The Climbs.

Our climbs are in California's splendid Tahoe National Forest. All are "single pitch," which means we use a single length of 50 or 60 meter (150 feet) rope to scale a rock face of 75 feet or less. Participants are belayed with a rope from above attached to the climber's harness, and the climber then navigates up the rock using just his or her hands and feet. Participants do not set bolts, cams, nuts, or other specialty equipment. You'll be climbing on real rock, not a man-made tower, with a terrific variety of routes and difficulty. We have climbs ranging from bouldering, to vertical rock faces, to the inverted. Some of the areas where we climb:
Yuba Pass

Yuba Pass

Within two miles of Camp, the climbing site consists of a huge loaf of granite hidden among the very tall fir trees, with a climbing face with dozens of potential routes on each side. In fact, one side has an inverted face making for a thrilling and stomach-churning rappel!
Donner Lake

Donner Lake

Made famous by the ill-fated Donner Party which tried unsuccessfully to cross the Sierra Nevada mountains by wagon train in the 1800s, this large lake provides a beautiful view for our rock climbers. It is well known in rock climbing circles for the great variety of fun climbs. The Camp runs a full day trip to Donner Lake only during our sessions of two weeks or longer.
Sierra Buttes

Sierra Buttes

Another of our favorite climbs is in the Sierra Buttes area, where you can not only climb some great routes with the scenic Buttes providing a beautiful backdrop, but you can go for a swim in a lake afterward.
Locals Only

Locals Only

By this, we mean we use many sites that, as far as we can tell, have been undiscovered by the public and we have all to ourselves!