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Middle Earth

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East Lies Iron Hills 
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West Lies Mirkwood 

Middle Earth Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.8478, -103.5717 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,669
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jun 25, 2002
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BETA PHOTO: major formations labeled with some routes to help ...


Middle Earth can be a very confusing area to visit. It is climbed in much less often than the Outlets, so expect solitude on most routes. Many routes require the better part of a rope length, requiring two ropes to rappel. Some good climbs are Hrum Hroom and Three Rings for the Elven Kings (very popular though).

This area's theme is inspired by J.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (long before the movie came out). The names come right from places and characters in these books. How appopriate too, as this area has a very magical feel to it...

Getting There 

Follow the signs from Hill City to Sylvan Lake (same as the Outlets). Hike around the lake heading north from the car. Walk through the Outlets until reaching the field north of Outer Outlet. From here, walk up the hill on the trail using switchbacks. At this hill crest is where Middle Earth begins. A left up another hill brings one to Hrum Hroom and Quickbeam. Most routes are located by heading down the hill from this crest and heading up gullies between rock formations.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.9 miles from here

44 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',23],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Middle Earth

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Middle Earth:
Quickbeam   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Fanghorn Hills
Hrum Hroom   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Fanghorn Hills
Of Quartz It Goes   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   Far Downs
The Outer Shadow aka Morannon   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   TOWERS OF TEETH : EPHEL DUATH
Waste Knot    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 130'   TOWERS OF TEETH : EPHEL DUATH
Left Wing of Smaug   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Far Downs
There and Back Again   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 125'   Near Downs
Three Rings for the Elven Kings   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   Erebor
Fool of a Took   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Near Downs
Orcrist   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   Far Downs
Shelob   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   Torech Ungol
Thror   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 135'   Near Downs
Thrain   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Near Downs
Knob Goblin   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   West Lies Mirkwood
The Eye of Sauron   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   East Lies Iron Hills
Goldberry Lane   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Ered Lithui
Ghostwriter   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   Near Downs
Right Wight   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 140'   Near Downs
Straight Outta Mordor   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Near Downs
Unknown 1   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Near Downs
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Middle Earth

Featured Route For Middle Earth
Rock Climbing Photo: Inching into the dihedral. Nate Erickson. June 201...

Shelob 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  SD : Custer State Park : ... : Torech Ungol
This is a great route with decent protection and a lot of fun moves.The Route starts on the Northeast Corner below the 2 close together bolts. Climb up through the 2 bolts to the bulge and move up and right to some more fixed gear. Climb up past some more bolts / pins to the bottom of the overhang. Place some good gear with longer slings below the overhang. Move right and up arounf the overhang and into the little dihedral where you can place some more gear. Climb on up to the top. There are...[more]   Browse More Classics in SD

Photos of Middle Earth Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cheyenne about to get eaten alive by The Jaws of D...
Cheyenne about to get eaten alive by The Jaws of D...
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle Earth as seen from top of Outer Outlet.
BETA PHOTO: Middle Earth as seen from top of Outer Outlet.
Rock Climbing Photo: major formations labeled
BETA PHOTO: major formations labeled
Rock Climbing Photo: Hand Drawn Map 2.0 of Middle Earth
BETA PHOTO: Hand Drawn Map 2.0 of Middle Earth

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