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Areas in Tettegouche SP (North Shore)

Palisade Head 60 / 4 / 33 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 67
Palisade Head ICE 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Shovel Point 7 / 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
Elevation: 1,392 ft
GPS: 47.383, -91.192 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 135,856 total · 884/month
Shared By: nodin on Apr 5, 2006
Admins: Kris Gorny, Chris treggE
Getting weather forecast...


Climbing at Palisade Head with Shovel Point in the background. Poseidon Adventure, Henning Boldt and Kate Muehling. Sept 08, '09.
Tettegouche is the crown jewel of Minnesota climbing. Palisade Head boasts 100 or so climbs with potential for more and Shovel Point holds dozens of climbs. Dramatically positioned over Lake Superior, both areas carry an air of seriousness not found at other Minnesota crags. All climbs must be rapped in to lead or top-roped from above.

There is a strict no-chalk ethic in the area and nailing and bolting is not allowed. That being said, you will occassionally find people using chalk here and you will find old in-situ pins as well as old (and not so old) bolts on some climbs. A free permit to climb is required by the state park and can be picked up during business hours at the park headquarters. Some people get passionate about the chalk debate.

Both areas are good places to wear helmets as tourists abound. Be nice to them and hopefully they'll be nice to us.

Getting There

Just north of Silver Bay and about 60 Miles north of Duluth on Highway 61. It's pretty hard to miss the sign for Tettegouche.

88 Total Climbs

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Location: Tettegouche SP (North Shore) Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Tettegouche SP (North Shore)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
The Great Yawn
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Quetico Crack
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Dance of the Sugar-Plump Faeries
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Danger High Voltage
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Superior Crack
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Phantom Crack
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ross's Crack
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Laceration Jam
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Scars and Tripes Forever
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Trad, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Urge to Mate
Trad, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Hidden Treasure
Trad, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Don't bring a knife to a gun fig…
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Poseidon Adventure
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Great Yawn Shovel Point
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Quetico Crack Palisade Head
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Dance of the Sugar-Plump Fa… Shovel Point
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
Danger High Voltage Palisade Head
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Superior Crack Palisade Head
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Phantom Crack Palisade Head
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Bluebells Palisade Head
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Ross's Crack Shovel Point
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Laceration Jam Palisade Head
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R Trad 3 pitches
Scars and Tripes Forever Palisade Head
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Rapprochement Palisade Head
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Urge to Mate Palisade Head
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, TR
Hidden Treasure Palisade Head
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, TR
Don't bring a knife to a gu… Palisade Head
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Poseidon Adventure Palisade Head
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Trad 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Tettegouche SP (North Shore) »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
If I recall correctly from the late 80's/early 90's there was an older book for the North Shore areas of Lake Superior (IE Tetagouche- Palisade Head and Shovel Point) made a big deal about how that rock was so rare... That it was Rhyolite and that it was found there and in Turkey (yes, the country).

But if you go to the NM page, the comments there include some regarding rhyolite climbing there.

Can someone confirm that there was such a book in print and that it did say that? My memory is usually very accurate for that sort of thing, but 20 years is a long time for minutia. Jun 4, 2007
Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
TravisMelin   Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Anyone been able to climb up here yet this season? I am thinking about coming up may 18... What is late/mid may weather like up there? May 9, 2008
Dave Rone
Custer, SD
Dave Rone   Custer, SD  
I've been hoping to get up there too, as I'm sure many have, but weekend weather hasn't been cooperative. What's it like in mid/late May? Anybody's guess. Could be shorts and tshirts, could be sideways snow. Keep an eye on weather forecast and cross your fingers! May 11, 2008
Drew B.
Drew B.   SLC
I was wondering how the conditions have been with this warm spell? Also how would you predict the climbing to be in a few weeks? Mar 9, 2010
A couple of us were up there this past weekend. Beautiful conditions. everything we got on was bone dry. Danger, driving in duluth, ex nihilo, and a couple others.
There's been people climbing up there for a few weeks now. Make the hike up there, well worth it to climb without hordes of tourists. Mar 10, 2010
Ryan Justen
St. Paul, MN
Ryan Justen   St. Paul, MN
Just an FYI there is a local climber who worked hard back in the day when these routes were seeing their 1st accents who is enforcing the NO-CHALK ethic here.

He said the park service may (in the future) close down climbing in the park if chalk use continues. Or they may kick offenders out (permanently).

So don't use really don't need it other than the mental release... May 24, 2010
Kris Gorny    
Ryan, back in the day, you mean even before and ? I'd also suggest this debate is kept between climbers only -- without involving the park officials. May 26, 2010
Duluth Mn
BIATHLON   Duluth Mn
I climb at VE in Duluth and have lead a few routes at palisade. I always bring chalk when leading routes because it's my a** that's going to hurt if fall when attempting an onsight. I guess the park service is going to have to kick me out and send me back to VE for the summer. May 27, 2010
Justin Edberg
duluth mn
Justin Edberg   duluth mn
What? Are you really asking that question? or are you just trying to be a d-bag. You know we don;t have nearly the training facility you do in the cities, but we do what we can with what we DON'T get from VE and NICROS. And to answer your question yeah it is; within are small climbing community there are a few strong climbers. May 30, 2010
Justin Edberg
duluth mn
Justin Edberg   duluth mn
Hey Nick Rhoads, if you stop by The VE in Duluth they have the book for sale there and you could, maybe find some people to climb with. Jun 18, 2010
Bob Kryzer
Bob Kryzer   Minnesota
For me to not use chalk when climbing hard, someones going to have to pry the chalk bag out of my hands. Which I will lose, because my hands will get sweaty. Jul 20, 2010
Hate seeing a line of chalk, showing the way. Much prefer to discover the holds myself. Appreciate those who use no/minimal/colored chalk to hide their tracks. Sep 15, 2010
If I may weigh in...

Sometimes chalk is necessary, otherwise holds become almost impossible to keep securely.

I personally object to the gratuitous use of loose chalk which can really get everywhere while the use of chalk ball tends to keep things more tidy and sightly. Colored chalk is preferred if available. If you can climb it without chalk, one style point for you, bravo!

Everyone can get along here if people are conservative as possible, at the North Shore and anywhere else! Sep 16, 2010
Mike Wallraff
Mike Wallraff   VAN(currently)
Anyone know whats going to happen with this weekend and the state issue? Will it be considered trespassing if you climb at shovel point or palisade? Will the gate to palisade be unlocked? I haven't been following the news only hear that the "state" is shutting down. Jun 29, 2011
Bobby Marko
Seattle, WA
Bobby Marko   Seattle, WA
Wally612nd , We called Blue Mounds state park and they said that no day use of their park would be allowed. I would guess that it would be the same for all of the parks in the state and I'd imagine the Palisade gates would be locked. But you could call and get confirmation. I'm thinking of just going over to Wisconsin for the weekend. Jun 29, 2011
Bobby Marko
Seattle, WA
Bobby Marko   Seattle, WA
Actually Mike, it looks like day use is okay:…

7. Will day-use be permitted at state parks during a shutdown? (6-28-11)
If there is a shutdown, facilities would be locked, roads and campgrounds would be closed and gated where possible, water would be shut off, and no services would be available. It would be possible, but not recommended, for day-use to continue at state parks during regular day-use hours.

Just might require a bit more walking... Jun 30, 2011
Lucas Kramer
Duluth, MN
Lucas Kramer   Duluth, MN
FYI- peregrines are nesting. Stop in the information building when you are getting your free annual pass (because you are a responsible climber =D) and ask about which routes are temporarily closed. Applies to Palisade and Shovel. Not all the routes, but many are affected.

Nick: "It starts below the ledge with that pigeon on it."
Lucas: Silence. Strange look.
Nick: "That's not a pigeon" Apr 10, 2012
Ryan Steel
Twin Cities, MN
Ryan Steel   Twin Cities, MN
I understand the no-chalk policy. However, is it acceptable to use chalkless chalk or organic chalk? I'm about to climb up at Tettegouche for the first time, and I just want to make sure that I don't upset anybody, hurt the rock, or upset the peregrines and others in the local habitat (and I don't really want to start/continue the chalk vs no chalk debate, I'm just asking a practical question).

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Aug 20, 2013
Jordan Hirro
Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jordan Hirro   Colorado Springs/Carbondale
I might be planning a trip from Colorado out here for what looks to be amazing climbing. Can anybody give me any information on the climbing seasons and if there's any camping in the area? Thanks a lot. Jan 26, 2014
Looking for a climbing partner now till Weds. July 15. at Tettegouche or other north shore locations. I have all top-rope gear. John 612-245-2989. Jul 9, 2015
What about the bear and bean lake area? Does anyone know anything about the climbing there? Feb 1, 2017
Does anyone know the conditions on the North shore? hoping to get out this weekend and was wondering if anyone has been out since the snow. Apr 17, 2018
Mee TeeG
Minneapolis. MN
Mee TeeG   Minneapolis. MN
As of today, the following Shovel Point climbs are closed due to Peregrine Falcon nesting, until further notice: Dance of the Sugar Plump Fairies, Sacred Biscuit, A Study in Scarlet, A Dream of White Sheep, Straw House, Narcoleptic Epic, Wake up and Smell the Coffee, Rise Over Run, Cornered. Contact the park for more info. May 14, 2018

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