P1-(100') Two options: (a) 5.8 : scramble to the top of the large detached block (roughly 20' off the ground) and climb the crack to a belay alcove about 10' above a dead stump in the crack (b) 5.9 : Take the first pitch of Toxic Shock, this is a highly recommended and more direct start that follows a right-leaning crack to the same belay as mentioned above. This "finger-crack" is deceptively steep and sustained for the 100' to the belay.
P2- (100') 5.9: From the belay, follow the crack up a short ways and cut left at the first opportunity to a shallow right-facing dihedral. At this point the holds are jugs and the face is dead vertical, however, as one climbs higher the holds become smaller and the face gets steeper to just past vertical. The face begins to turn back down just below a small roof, pull the roof on monster jugs and head to a large ledge to belay. This pitch is definitely in my top 5 of the best 5.9s that I have done anywhere.
P3- (150') 5.6 Climb a short headwall and follow the least lichenous way to the top.
From the bottom of the descent gully take a right and follow the trail to the base of the cliff at the first opportunity. The route begins either just left of or on top of a large detached block with some rhodo growing between it and the wall.
Standard rack up to #2 Camalot. Emphasis on finger-sized cams.
That was absolutely an awesome route, definitely a must do for Shortoff. I also liked toxic shock as an aesthetic first pitch, though many folks seem to disagree. Jeff, thanks for catching that shot of me taking the ride. That's the best looking picture I've ever seen of me climbing, err... falling.
By Jeff Mekolites From: HOTlanta, GA Nov 19, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
Luke, I have more pictures from that weekend...I will get a disk to y'all.
By Mike Flanagan From: Boone, NC Mar 26, 2008 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Amazing route. It's a shame I didn't get out to do it sooner.
thanks for the toxic shock suggestion for the first pitch. it was really nice. the whole route was amazing.
By cshuey77 From: Asheviile,nc May 27, 2010 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
N.C must do!!
By Ryan Williams Administrator From: London (sort of) Oct 21, 2011 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Can't believe it took me so long to do this thing. Excellent!
We did it in two pitches to the big ledge and then soloed the last "5.6" pitch. No real 5.9 moves on this climb, but it sure packs a pump. We did the Toxic Shock start which also felt more like stiff 5.8 to me... either way, a 5.8 climber would probably not do well on the second pitch, hence the 5.9 grade.
I agree with Ryan's last post. I was sort of nervous about climbing it because of all the talk about the rating being possibly sandbagged. I would call it 5.9 for the pump. Toxic shock was an awesome suggestion for the start, great crack to climb up. Entire route takes good gear and was the best climb I did at the gorge.
Phenomenal Route! If you have a chance, get on it! This route has got it all, super fun from beginning to start. The second pitch is fantastic, no shortage of great holds and excellent placements, though making placements will surely pump you out so plug and go! Great exposure, great pro, great moves, Great Route!!
Make sure to bring a handful of c3's for the second pitch!!
Fun route. No hard moves, but for a while, those horizontals aren't quite as juggy as they look! Definitely packs a pump. Also recommend the Toxic Shock start. I do disagree that this is "the" 5.9 at Shortoff... I thought Construction Job was better.
By Neil Rankin From: Greensboro, NC Apr 22, 2013 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Do the more aesthetic first pitch of Toxic Shock to the ultra classic 2nd pitch of Dopey.