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Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ancient of Days S 
Anubis S 
Battered Women S 
Bethany S 
Blood Covenant S 
Bone-Yard PickN S 
Brass Monkey S 
Chip Away S 
Cracked Actor T 
Cumberland Blues T,S 
Eagle Wings S 
Fanfair S 
Free to Think T 
Future lies here, The T 
Girls Only S 
Good and Plenty T 
Gotten Goat S 
Grail Saga, The S 
House of Giza S 
Immortal Altar S 
Jody's Route (aka The Chris' Route) S 
Knock on Rock S 
Lock Down S 
Lolita's Deluge S 
Margin Walker S 
My Little Patina S 
Oh So Sweet T 
Old Foot S 
One and Lonely, The T 
One Percent S 
Optimus Prime T 
Ox Crack T 
Playground Medley S 
Psychotic Reaction S 
Relapse T,S 
Smoke S 
Speedway Boogie S 
TJ's Demise S 
University Route S 
Varmint S 
Vogen Slab S 
Walk By Me T,S 
Rest Day:
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Leda Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 35.2356, -85.2265 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,217
Administrators: saxfiend, Brad "Stonyman" Killough, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 17, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Warm hands on a chilly January morning. Nice fire...


Convenient location, easy approach, nice rock, a mix of trad and sport climbs -- what more could you want from a climbing destination? Well . . . in the case of Leda -- longer routes and more of them. But this little roadside crag is still a worthwhile destination when you have limited time or T-Wall is closed for hunting.

The history of climbing at Leda is not well documented, and little first-ascent information is recorded in any known guides. For years, the only guide to the place was some photocopied pages that referred to the routes by letters of the alphabet. The most recently published Dixie Cragger's Atlas shows the routes by their actual names; this is mostly based on a handwritten guide by Matt Sims. If you can find it, Micah Gentry's PDF guide was a reliable source of information on both Leda and Lower Leda, but internet links to it are no longer valid. More recently, the Chatt Steel guidebook includes Leda, but with a number of inaccuracies.

Like other crags in the Chattanooga area, Leda is a sandstone cliff. The rock quality is mostly very good, and a nice variety of routes can be found here. Many of these are sport lines, with a number of easy routes ideal for the climber making his or her first lead. Probably the most popular route at Leda is Jody's Route, also known as Chris' Route, an outstanding 5.10c/d either way you choose to call it.

There's also enough good trad climbing at Leda to make bringing your rack worthwhile. Nice routes to scope out include Ox Stone Crack (5.8+) and Cracked Actor (5.10).

Leda is on privately-owned land, and a one-time liability waiver is required. A short distance along the trail is a climbers kiosk placed by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, where you can find the form to fill out and deposit in a holding box.

Editor's note on ratings: My experience of climbing at Leda is that many, if not most, of the easy to moderate routes are harder than the grade in the DCA. In some cases, I've taken the liberty of giving these routes ratings that I think are more in line with what you'll encounter at other local crags such as T-Wall or Foster Falls; in each case, I've also listed the rating given in the book. Anyone who disagrees with this rating method is welcome to contact me, or better yet, give it your own consensus rating.

Getting There 

From downtown Chattanooga, go north on U.S. 27 toward Dayton. Take the Chickamauga Dam exit; going left from the exit, drive almost three miles to the second traffic light. Turn left here onto Montlake Mountain Road. After passing a sharp hairpin turn, go up the hill to the second of two pulloffs on the right. Park here and hike back down the road a short distance to a trail leading up to the crag. The trail is steep but nice and short.

The roadside pulloff has limited parking, so if it's full, go back down the hill and park and hike back up. Further up the hill from the pulloff is a golf course/country club type facility; do not under any circumstances park there!

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.2 miles from here

42 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Leda

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Leda:
Fanfair   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Walk By Me   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Speedway Boogie   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Free to Think   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Ox Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Vogen Slab   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
House of Giza   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Optimus Prime   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Old Foot   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
TJ's Demise   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Girls Only   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Cracked Actor   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Oh So Sweet   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Smoke   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Lolita's Deluge   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Jody's Route (aka The Chris' Route)   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Lock Down   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Margin Walker   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Varmint   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Psychotic Reaction   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Leda

Featured Route For Leda
Rock Climbing Photo: Huong getting after Varmint, Leda, TN.

Varmint 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  TN : Leda
Start at a white round arete and climb up through a roof past three bolts. Head right past fixed draws to a block with a two finger pocket. Pull this and head for a glue in bolt and a nice ledge and rest. Face climb past two more bolts to the anchor...[more]   Browse More Classics in TN

Photos of Leda Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Know before you go.
BETA PHOTO: Know before you go.

Comments on Leda Add Comment
Show which comments
By TKHouse
May 12, 2010
Since Dr. Topo went down, I was wondering if anyone had the .pdf guidebook mentioned in the area description. I did some searching and couldn't find it elsewhere online. I've got the DCA, but it would be nice to see some updated info on lower Leda.

By lid
Jun 7, 2010
Topo PDF
By TKHouse
Jul 29, 2013
I haven't confirmed this personally, but per a post on the SCC website, parking at the main Leeda cliff (in the road pulloffs) is now reserved for emergency vehicles.

Not sure if parking lower down the road is permitted or not. Be careful heading up or down the road, people fly through there!
By khowe
From: Knoxville, TN
Aug 3, 2013
Yes, to confirm, all pulloffs are for "Emergency Parking Only." There is a small paved pulloff up the road directly across from the first entrance to the Montlake neighborhood, we saw a few climbers park there.
By Bobby Hutton
From: Gold Country CA
Dec 4, 2013
The SCC recently added a trail from the upper parking around the hair pin corner down to the right side of LEDA next to University route. For more info.
By Rockery Press
Oct 13, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Leda Free Day Guide
Leda Free Day Guide

You can download a FREE Leda Day Guide from Rockery Press by clicking on the following link:

Leda Free Guide includes:
  • Driving & Approach Beta
  • Rules & Recommendations
  • Several days of route descriptions and recommendations
By RMletu
Mar 30, 2016
Nice climbing area. When taking the trail from the parking area, it is best to fallow the creek and power lines down until the trail picks up again. It appears that it continues across the creek and up. Countinuing up takes you to the top of the climbs for setting up top ropes. Careful if taking that route as it is a little sketchy up there in spots.

I found a pair of scarpa climbing shoes by the Vogen slab. Contact me if they were yours.
Also if anyone has picked up a pair of smith sun glasses around speedway boogie they might be mine. I live too far away to drive back to try and find a them..
By Jeff Mekolites
From: HOTlanta, GA
May 16, 2016
It seems we are getting submissions for routes that are already in the database. I think its because some of the names that are used in the Chatt Steel book are different (for some reason) that the names that existed in the old PDF of Leda and the names listed in the DCA. We probably need to come up with a plan on which routes names to use so this doesn't continue to happen. Ideas/Suggestions? Thanks.

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