|Stone Mountain South Face
After you've done the Tree Ledge classics like the Great Arch and No Alternative, you'll probably be ready to take a bigger bite out of Stone Mountain. The Pulpit is a great choice for a long, bottom-to-top moderate lead, with some interesting variety beyond straight-ahead friction. The climbing is exciting enough to get your blood pumping but never really desperate. Though the "Selected Climbs" guidebook comment on this being the mountain's best protected route isn't really accurate (the Arch takes that honor), the Pulpit is definitely well-protected by Stone Mountain standards.
P1 -- starting at an arching, left-facing corner, climb the corner to its end, then straight up on good friction to the left end of a sloping ledge. Clip a bolt above the ledge and traverse right to the end of the ledge (good pro along the way in a horizontal feature). Climb straight up to another bolt, then follow a steep but featured shallow groove (crux) to a third bolt. At the end of the groove, trend up and right past a fourth bolt to bolted anchors (hanging belay). 5.8, ~160'
P2 -- continue friction climbing straight up past two bolts, about 60'. At the second bolt, traverse left following the path of least resistance until you're below the obvious anchors; a fixed pin that once was a landmark here is gone. Easy climbing on scoops and actual holds leads you to the belay. This is probably the only pitch where there's no real opportunity for gear placements. 5.8, ~120'
P3 -- diagonal up and right on easy ground to an obvious shallow left-facing corner; small brass and/or a pink tricam may come in handy. Step up onto the corner and delicately traverse right for about 50' (no protection), crossing a shallow water groove that may or may not be dry. Finish at a spacious and comfortable alcove known as the Oasis -- a nice spot for a lunch break if no other climbers are coming up behind you. 5.8, ~150'
P4 -- from the Oasis, climb up and right to the parallel dikes that form Grand Funk Railroad; a small overlap before the dikes offers a possible gear placement. Follow the Grand Funk dikes up to that route's P4 belay anchors; clip the anchor for pro, then leave the dikes and continue more or less straight up to a large flake (the Pulpit). This pitch is a rope-stretcher. Belay at anchors above the flake. 5.8-, 180'
P5 -- continue up on easier terrain to the top; an overlap maybe halfway up the pitch can be used for pro to increase your comfort level. This is another rope-length pitch; if you're climbing on a 70m rope, you might make it to the No Alternative rap anchors over to the far left, but only if you forego placing pro. If your rope is a 60m, don't chance it; head straight up to a tree island and anchor in the trees, then make your way climber's left to the No Alternative anchors. 5.3, 180'
Starts at ground level just right of the Dirty Crack corner. Rap from the No Alternative rap anchors or walk off using the summit trail.
A light rack of mostly smaller cams and passive gear. The first pitch protects well; after that, you may have opportunities for one or two placements at most on each pitch. All belays except P5 have bolted anchors.
BETA PHOTO: This is the best protected pitch of what the guide...
JP following on the last pitch. wondering and expo...
Huong and Larry follow on P2 of the Pulpit.
Looking up the 1st pitch of The Pulpit.
After three pitches of climbing, the Oasis is a gr...
roger awash in a sea of granite on pitch two. happ...
|By Brian Adzima|
From: the Paris of Appalachia
Feb 17, 2008
I think I used a pink or red tricam for the first pitch
From: Decatur, GA
May 15, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13
Looking back on it, I'd have to say this is my favorite lead to date at Stone Mountain. It's nice and long and the climbing is always interesting. Highly recommended!
|By Crisco Jackass|
From: Grand Junction, CO
Apr 3, 2010
Beautiful route, especially love the Railroad intersection. P2 pin is technically still there, though it's little more than a rusty nail by now, serves as a waypoint if one were truly needed. P3 is a bit spicy when the groove is wet.
|By Mike Holley|
From: Boone, NC
Oct 20, 2011
Unique climb at Stone, but great line nonetheless. Unlike the surrounding slab lines, Pulpit climbs more like a standard vertical sport route and the amount of bolted protection only reinforces that notion. Well protected all the way up and offers some fantastic sequences! Take a ticket if your climbing here on busy weekend because this is another classic that gets a lot of traffic.
|By Scott O|
Jan 9, 2012
Well protected for stone, but you should be solid on easier (5.6ish) terrain, because Pitch 4 starts with a very long runout.
|By Sam Stephens|
Dec 29, 2013
Got off route and went up and right when we should have gone left on the second pitch. Wound up doing the sermon, which was pretty strung out to the Oasis, but really good too.