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The Mordor Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Armaggedon T,S 
Bridge of Khazad-Dm, The T 
Cecile T,S 
Difficulties be Damned T 
Division of Labour T 
Free Finale/Mordor Roof link-up T 
French Connection T 
Grand Finale T 
Highway 61 T 
Lights in the Forest T,S 
Mines of Moria T 
Mordor Wall, The T 
Pendulum Route T 
Slippery Corner (Apocalypse / Diagonal Variation) T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Bridge of Khazad-Dm 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 400', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Brian Delaney, Joe Lentini, FA of the Bridge (July 1976) Jim Dunn, Bryan Becker, First continuous ascent (Sep 1976)
Page Views: 10,292
Submitted By: David Aguasca! on Sep 4, 2009

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Matt Ritter in the meat of the pitch. No stopping ...


This route combines some of the best pitches of climbing on the Mordor Wall, taking two from The Pendulum Route and one (and a half) from Lights in the Forest, the last being the imposing Bridge of Khazad-Dm, a huge jamming and undercling roof.

Pitch 1: 5.8, 90'. The original start was shared with the Pendulum Route, which involved chimneying between the rock and a large tree at the base of the wall. The tree has fallen, but there is now a bolt ladder. Continue up the steep corner hand crack and mantel onto the tree ledge.

Pitch 2: 5.10b, 40'. This is the second pitch of the Pendulum route. It follows a small overlap that you must undercling to the right. Small gear useful on this pitch.

Pitch 3: 5.9, 140'. This long pitch has some good exposure. It also needs a little more traffic...it is very dirty. Start by moving left into the cracks in the corner, laybacking and stemming up to a bolt. Clip it long and move to the right for some more laybacking up to the huge nose of rock. Chimney up this to a good stance.

Pitch 4: 5.8, 70'. From the stance, continue up through some trees to a nice hand crack in the back of a corner, to a small roof. Traverse left under the roof with more ease, but with much less protection, to the belay ledge below The Bridge.

Pitch 5: 5.11d, 70'. If you don't know where to go from here, you may as well pack up and go home. Jam and undercling, sometimes awkwardly, always strenously, out the huge, burly roof hanging over your head. It is STELLAR climbing. Did I mention it is burly? Pull around the lip and layback more easily up to a two-bolt belay.

Pitch 6: 5.10c, 100'. Scramble up and left to MOE, an obvious flake and thin face, past a bolt, into the trees.


Locate the large, large downed tree that used to stand at the base of the cliff.


A standard Cathedral rack, plus doubles or even triples of cams in the 2"-3.5" range for the Bridge pitch. There are two bolts on the Bridge pitch that I would not clip, unless you like falling on bolts that will probably rip out.

Photos of The Bridge of Khazad-Dm Slideshow Add Photo
5.awkward.  Photo by Teresa Nagle.
BETA PHOTO: 5.awkward. Photo by Teresa Nagle.
Matt Ritter nearing the end of the Bridge.  Photo ...
Matt Ritter nearing the end of the Bridge. Photo ...
i know, i'm egocentric but this is a quality photo...
i know, i'm egocentric but this is a quality photo...
Matt Ritter in the mellower layback section. Don't...
Matt Ritter in the mellower layback section. Don't...
The Bridge is big...Matt Ritter approaching the ha...
The Bridge is big...Matt Ritter approaching the ha...
Frank Vernoy on The Bridge of Khazad-Dm (5.11d), ...
Frank Vernoy on The Bridge of Khazad-Dm (5.11d), ...
i'm adding this one because it more clearly shows ...
i'm adding this one because it more clearly shows ...
more weirdness...
more weirdness...
getting in...
getting in...
The Bridge of Khazad-Dm proper. Great exposure!  ...
BETA PHOTO: The Bridge of Khazad-Dm proper. Great exposure! ...
Myself standing at the belay, to give some perspec...
Myself standing at the belay, to give some perspec...

Comments on The Bridge of Khazad-Dm Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 6, 2014
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Sep 6, 2009

Great addition David.
By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
Sep 6, 2009

before i just wanted to do this route cuz the name is AWESOME!!!! now i see the pictures and i REALLY want to do this route! the gear looks good from the pic is it? and is it ok placing? or are there sketchy parts?
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Sep 7, 2009

The gear on the Bridge is great. The problem is placing it while underclinging with one hand and the roof in your face, so be careful. I definitely placed some cams that were close to being tipped out. Emphasis on #2 and #3 C4/camalots.

The rest of the route is pretty typical for Cathedral gear. Sometimes you have to work for it, especially on pitch 3.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Sep 8, 2009

You don't use gear bigger than 3.5"? I've aided it a couple times now and definetly bring along the wc 5&6's. How is the first flare to get into before the roof proper, that to me is the aid crux of the pitch. Also, is that terrible loose block directly above the belay still there?
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Sep 8, 2009

I could definitely see using those size pieces if you were aiding, but I don't think they are necessary to protect the climb well. They would only fit at the lip, and that's the hardest place (because of pump and hold quality) to plug gear.

The flare is awkward enough to get into free climbing...thinking about what that must be like on aid makes me cringe. So awkward.

I think the block you speak of is still there. It doesn't seem loose, but it does stick out alarmingly far.
By Ethan Neff
Sep 20, 2009

There is now a small bolt ladder in lieu of the Pendulum tree. The block is still there and definitely moves. Working around it is easy enough however.
Having shoes that edge well for the crux pitch will not go unappreciated. The feet for much of the business are strenuously-small, incut edges. If free climbing, a BD #3 can get you past the flare and to smaller gear options around the corner (but, yes, if your'e willing to heft it to the top of the Mordor Wall the flare can take larger gear).
By john strand
From: southern colo
Sep 30, 2009

this used to be fairly popular coming in from the top, rapping down and doing just the Bridge pitch. Given the tree falling down now, two long raps would still give one the meat of the route.
By CCliffe
Jun 7, 2011

I bumped a lot of my gear doing this route - just sayin it's a good idea.

As with any route of this type:
!!!Be careful with your cam placements before and after the ending of the roof part!!!

If you look inside the crack about 8ft up the layback section past the roof there is a BD # 0.75 about 3 ft in the crack, barely even camed. Unfortunately I was the idiot that placed the piece and then proceeded to lose it after my second fell.

Still a bomb-ass route.
From: Keswick Cumbria.UK
Nov 26, 2012

Just a detail:- The first ascent of the Bridge pitch was done mostly on aid by Joe Cote,John Porter,Paul Ross in 1972 as the 4th pitch of The Mines of Morea. The FFA of the Bridge pitch was done four years later in 1976 by Brian Delaney.
By Kevin Boyko
From: nomad for now
Jan 16, 2013

Solo aided this on thanksgiving. Flare before the roof is definitely the crux and I ended up freeing it, but has many options for gear. The roof went with 2 Camelots #2s then #3s, the end can fit a #4 or a #5 in a meter section.

The fourth pitch's description as less protected is an understatement. At least it felt terrifying; in the dark, wet, first go, runout traverse, on a grigri... Just a heads up. The rest of the route was fantastic. Can't wait to free it next season.
By M. Delaney
Jul 20, 2014

Brian Delaney's (RIP) name is spelled the way I've just spelled it, rather than the way it's spelled above. Just for the record.
Brian Delaney
Brian Delaney
By M Sprague
From: New England
Jul 21, 2014

Thank you. It has been corrected. He will be missed by the climbing community.
By M. Delaney
Jul 28, 2014

Thank you. Best Regards, Mark Delaney
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jul 28, 2014

Sorry for the "Y" i was going by 30 years of guidebooks
By M. Delaney
Aug 6, 2014

And you would be correct John; it is spelled that way in guidebooks. I think what happened is that my brother Brian started spelling his name with a y when he was climbing with Bryan Becker in the mid to late 70's. I mean, we were both young and he must have liked something about the alternate spelling. And then when he got a little older he reverted back to the way my mom and dad intended. So, as I said, just for the record.
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