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Donner Peak Winter Mountaineering / Coldstream Ice Climbing (MTN2, ICE 1, SNOW 2)

  • 01/23/2025
  • 8:00 AM
  • 01/25/2025
  • 5:00 PM
  • Donner Peak / Coldstream Canyon, Truckee CA
  • 0


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Join us for a winter mountaineering and ice climbing event! This one-of-a-kind event is three solid days exploring and climbing snow, rock and ice: winter mountaineering, camping and summitting Donner Peak, then moving into the backcountry to camp at and climb the fantastic ice routes at Coldstream Canyon. This will provide valuable training and experience for all mountain pursuits. All members are welcome, but recommended for those with some winter camping and cold weather mountaineering experience

SCREENED EVENT: Please join the waitlist. Attendees will be selected based on skill proficiency and experience shown on MAA profile. Those registered will be notified.


  • What's happening: Combination training and comprehensive winter climbing event conducted at Donner peak and Coldstream Canyon near Truckee, CA. Training will be: MTN 2 - Winter navigation, travel on skis or snowshoes, camping, weather and avalanche safety, winter climbing on rock and snow with crampons, rappelling in winter conditions, and reviewing self arrest. SNOW 2 - Climbing and descending steep snow, snow protection and anchors. ICE 1 - Steep water ice climbing techniques and ice anchors / protection. 
  • Objectives: Winter ascent of Donner peak 8,019' via the N. Ridge, pioneering a direct route from Donner Peak to Coldstream Canyon, and top-rope ice climbing WI3/4 90' and 160' routes.
  • Logistics: We'll first establish camp on the N. Ridge of Donner Peak less than a mile from the cars, then move approx. 3 miles into the backcountry to camp at the foot of the ice cliffs in Coldstream Canyon. 
  • Where to meet:  At the public winter parking at the top of Old Donner Pass (Lincoln Highway), just east of the entrance to Sugar Bowl, near the Summit Haus building.
  • Event Leader: Darren Shutt 916-872-3399
  • Minimum / Maximum: 2/10
  • What to bring: Crampons, boots, gaiters, mountain axe, ice tools, skis / snowshoes, poles w/ snow baskets, harness, helmet, belay device, 2 locking carabiners, a sling or PAS, winter layers (insulating base and mid layer(s), waterproof jacket / pants, puffy), 2 pairs socks and gloves, warm beanie, meals for 3 days, 4-season tent, closed-cell foam sleeping pad, inflatable pad, sleeping bag rated below freezing, snow shovel, headlamp, mug, spoon, stove, fuel, pot, personal items. Ropes, ice tools, ice / rock protection and other technical equipment provided by MAA. Camping equipment can be shared among participants. Loaner gear may be available, please make prior arrangements with EL. 
  • Medical: If you have any medical conditions pertinent to your participation on this event, please inform the event leaders after registration.


  • DAY 1, Thursday Jan. 23rd: Gather in the morning at the parking area for meet and greet, sorting gear, reviewing logistics and safety. Make the short ascent to the N. Ridge and dig camp. Climb Donner Peak via the N. Ridge. Work on winter mountaineering skills such as climbing snow / rocks with boots and a pack, and rappelling off the summit. Return to camp for a cozy night out! This day is also an excellent shake down before heading to Coldstream.
  • DAY 2, Friday, Jan. 24th: Pack up and snowshoe / ski a direct backcountry route over Donner Peak and down to Coldstream Canyon. Work on navigation and snow safety en route. Dig in camp at the base of the ice routes. Establish routes and ice climb until dark (or beyond...night ice climbing w/headlamps anyone?). 
  • DAY 3, Saturday, Jan. 25th: Continue ice climbing and instruction for most of the day. Pack camp and trek back up to Donner Peak and back to the cars.   


  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event. Donations are not solicited on this event, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation.

  • This event is open to all Apex, Base, and free Associate members - paid membership is not a requirement of attendance. 

  • MAA is a 100% volunteer-run, federal and state recognized 501(c)7 not-for-profit membership organization and does not seek or realize a profit from organizing this event; all membership benefits, liability insurance, website, database, administrative costs and all expenses are supported solely through membership, not event fees.

  • MAA event leaders are experienced members who are board-approved and volunteer to host the event as a representative of MAA, but are not operating as a guide or compensated as a guide - all participants on the event share responsibility for the safety, decisions, and actions of the group.

  • Accordingly, the physical demands, required skills or technical terrain of some events require that we screen participants; individuals should join the waitlist to be considered for RSVP. The experience, skills and fitness in the MAA membership profile will be used to determine the suitability of each individual to the demands of that particular event.

  • Participant safety is our top priority. Many circumstances such as mountain conditions, weather, or subjective hazards may necessitate changes to the published itinerary, including cancellation.

  • As a private, non-commercial group we operate within the posted group size limits and regulations for this area.

  • All MAA members are taught and practice Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of wild places.

  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.

  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader at a minimum has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

    (916) 872-3399

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