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Stone Mountain South Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Autumn Speaks 
Banana Breath 
Between The Ways 
Block Route 
Bombay Groove aka Yankee Go Home 
Captain Crunch 
Closer to the Heart 
Crystal Lizard 
Dirty Crack 
Dixie Crystals 
Electric Boobs 
Entrance Crack 
Face Value 
Father Knows Best 
Fleet Feet 
Fuddy Mucker/Deception Crack - 5.9 
Grand Funk Railroad 
Great Arch, The 
Great Brown Way 
Great White Way 
Mcgrady's route 
Mercury's Lead 
No Alternative 
Pandora's Way 
Peer Pressure 
Pulpit, The 
Purple Daze 
Rainy Day Women 
Rice Krispies 
Storm in a Teacup 
Strawberry Preserves 
Toilet Bowl 
U Slot 
White Way Direct 
Unsorted Routes:

Block Route 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: VS 4c PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,402
Submitted By: saxfiend on Mar 12, 2007
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Unknown climber on top of the block.
2013 Closures MORE INFO >>>


Like most of the approach climbs for the main South Face, Block Route is a fun and extended route worthy of climbing even if you're not just trying to get to the Tree Ledge. If you want to get a feel for what it's like to climb high above your last gear at Stone Mountain, this is a good place to start. Block Route actually has ample pro placements for good stretches, and the runout sections are easy climbing. The somwhat tenuous block move toward the top is probably the only reason the guidebook gives this a 5.8, and it's well protected.

If you want to do Block Route in two pitches, there are belay anchors halfway up. But unless you're using a 50-meter rope (not a great idea anyway), there's no reason not to combine pitches and save yourself some time.

Starting below the left end of the overlap that extends just below the Tree Ledge, follow a grassy vertical crack and other seams up to belay anchors at a small tree. Belay here, or clip the anchor for pro and continue up to a left-facing dihedral. At the end of the dihedral, make a big move up and right onto the block, then finish to the tree ledge on easier ground, ending at the base of the Great Arch.

A bit of history: Block Route was originally considered the first pitch of the Great Arch.


Block Route is the furthest left of the Tree Ledge approach routes, about 30' left of U Slot. Rap on two ropes from the U Slot anchors; if these are busy, use one of the other bolted rap stations further down the Tree Ledge.


Cams and nuts up to #3 camalot or equivalent. Bolted belay anchors halfway up; sling trees for an anchor at the top.

Photos of Block Route Slideshow Add Photo
topo for block route. great view's already!
topo for block route. great view's already!
My dad and I climbing to the tree shelf.
BETA PHOTO: My dad and I climbing to the tree shelf.
RadDawg barely visible behind the block. Photo by Birmingham Ben
RadDawg barely visible behind the block. Photo by ...
start of block route. follow grassy seam to the left. easily protected.
BETA PHOTO: start of block route. follow grassy seam to the le...
Unknown climber in position to climb over the block
Unknown climber in position to climb over the bloc...
at rap anchor. clip for pro, then up & right to next seam/crack to shelf. watch for rope drag!
BETA PHOTO: at rap anchor. clip for pro, then up & right to ne...
Belaying from bolts on Block Route.  The route can obviously be done in one pitch, but we thought it would help with rop drag to break it up.
Belaying from bolts on Block Route. The route can...
Comments on Block Route Add Comment
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By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Apr 4, 2007

Fun route, easier and not as runout as U Slot to the right.

By Sean Cobourn
From: Gramling, SC
Aug 2, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b PG13

Fun for sure, but hardly 5.8. One move wonder at step across move. This move is well protected.

By Ross Purnell
From: Palmyra
Apr 9, 2010

This is more fun, and more mellow than U slot by a long shot. It has a single 5.8 move, the rest is easy climbing.

By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Oct 20, 2011

Its all been said, definitely the simplest way up to tree ledge as well as the best protected. However its still worth a go with the a crux move that leaves the first timer tickled.

By Jay Shultis
From: Blacksburg VA
Nov 7, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13

Great route with varied climbing through crack, slab and the mentioned mantle/stem move. Must do as a Stone Mountain first timer, due to it's direct link to the base of the Great Arch! Three BOMBER pieces below the crux! Keep in mind that there is a ~35 foot run-out on easy ground between gear. Not recommended as a first lead, confidence on slab will make the run-out seem small. Aside from the crux, it's probably ~5.4 or less the whole way.

By Will Wilson
From: Morganton, nc
Feb 11, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13

The first time you pull the block it feels scary as hell. i like putting a locker on my pro below it.

By Jonathan Dull
From: NC High County
Feb 18, 2013

You can plug a "bomber" yellow or red C3 in the corner before you pull the crux (block) move. Extend it with a long runner and your essentially on top rope for the crux move.

By hause
From: carrboro, nc
Nov 10, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13

I agree an easy way to get to the tree ledge. Great way to warm up your Stone Mountain army-crawl technique that you'll be using the rest of the day.