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Shovel Point

Minnesota > Tettegouche SP (N Shore)
Access Issue: Temporary Peregrine Falcon access restrictions Details

Description

The more moderate of Tettegouche's two sea cliff crags, Shovel is more popular with boy scout troops, church groups and top ropers. This notwithstanding, more than a handfull of full value classics are to be found here. Must-dos include Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies, Gold Plated, Rosses Crack and others.

This spot is popular with tourists as well and they will likely watch you climb and ask you questions.

You are encouraged to stay on the trails and use the new statepark placed anchors (the biggest bolt hangers ever!). Be kind to the trees as well...

Getting There

Park at the statepark rest stop and hike northeast following the signs.

Routes from Left to Right

5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 6
The Tree Route
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
Straight, No Chaser
TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
 2
Ego-itis
Trad, TR 2 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 2
The Great Barrier Roof
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 52
Ross's Crack
Trad, TR
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 1
Balance of Power
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
 12
Did Plato Love Trees?
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 98
Dance of the Sugar-Plump Faeries
TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 18
Sacred Biscuit
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 12
A Study in Scarlet
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 30
A Dream of White Sheep
TR
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 5
Straw House
TR
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 13
Narcoleptic Epic
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 21
Rise Over Run
TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 11
Cornered
TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 38
Out On A Limb
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 5
Only The Lonely
Trad, TR
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 8
Soldier of God
TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 56
The Great Yawn
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 43
Gold Plated
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Tree Route
 6
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Straight, No Chaser
 3
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
Ego-itis
 2
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad, TR 2 pitches
The Great Barrier Roof
 2
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, TR
Ross's Crack
 52
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Balance of Power
 1
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a TR
Did Plato Love Trees?
 12
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Dance of the Sugar-Plump Fa…
 98
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR
Sacred Biscuit
 18
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c TR
A Study in Scarlet
 12
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR
A Dream of White Sheep
 30
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Straw House
 5
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c TR
Narcoleptic Epic
 13
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad, TR
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Rise Over Run
 21
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR
Cornered
 11
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Out On A Limb
 38
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Only The Lonely
 5
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Soldier of God
 8
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a TR
The Great Yawn
 56
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Gold Plated
 43
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b TR

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Can't remember which route, scan of a print, spring 2004?
[Hide Photo] Can't remember which route, scan of a print, spring 2004?
surfing
[Hide Photo] surfing
Derrik Patola --Giant Anchors!
[Hide Photo] Derrik Patola --Giant Anchors!
Shovel Point.
[Hide Photo] Shovel Point.
Middle section of Shovel Point.  Climbers visible at top are above Rise Over Run/Cornered. Dance of Plump Fairies is visible on the far left
[Hide Photo] Middle section of Shovel Point. Climbers visible at top are above Rise Over Run/Cornered. Dance of Plump Fairies is visible on the far left
Big daddy anchors top a few routes at Shovel Point
[Hide Photo] Big daddy anchors top a few routes at Shovel Point
Zach Vavricka on Only the Lonely
[Hide Photo] Zach Vavricka on Only the Lonely
Shovel Point, August 2011.
[Hide Photo] Shovel Point, August 2011.
Setting up a belay on I think Ross's Crack.  Spring 2004.
[Hide Photo] Setting up a belay on I think Ross's Crack. Spring 2004.
View from the top
[Hide Photo] View from the top
Shovel Point on a cloudy February morning.
[Hide Photo] Shovel Point on a cloudy February morning.
Shovel Point as seen from Palisade Head.
[Hide Photo] Shovel Point as seen from Palisade Head.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

USBRIT Ross
Keswick Cumbria.UK
[Hide Comment] This crag was opened out by Paul Ross and assistants while working for Minn Outward Bound School about 1973/4 .At that time here was not even a trail out to the cliff . There was a massive amount of loose rock on most of the climbs when first ascended.At this time about 12 climbs were first ascended up to 5.10, some for the use of students and some for their own personal fun. I think Palisade Head had one or two climbs on before anything was done on Shovel Point Jan 25, 2009
[Hide Comment] Paul,
Was that the story for Palisade as well? Jan 26, 2009
[Hide Comment] Great new hangers now at the tops of the most often climbed pitches!
I am honored to be part of a community that was able to make this happen. Let the regrowth begin! May 4, 2011
Matthias Holladay
Silverton, CO
[Hide Comment] "The more moderate of Tettegouche's two sea cliff crags, Shovel is . . ."

I'm sorry, but despite how large Superior is, it IS a lake, hence the North Shore's cliffs are lake cliffs--NOT sea cliffs.

Go to the Redwood Coast or Acadia for true sea cliff climbing here in the USA! Sep 8, 2011
Dave Rone
Custer, SD
[Hide Comment] Matthias,
Your observation is about as meaningful as which came first, the chicken or the egg. Climb on Palisade Head or Shovel Point and you know what sea cliff climbing is all about. Sep 8, 2011
Matthias Holladay
Silverton, CO
[Hide Comment] You are right and I apologise for being a stickler for semantics. And please don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is especially lovely, committing, and fun---I'd be honored to climb there someday as I truly LOVE cliffs by water.
But the water on the ocean sometimes has big waves, and I mean big ones, and the air and the roar create a briny aroma which permeates everything... Sep 18, 2011
[Hide Comment] salt air? nope

big enough body of water to generate its own weather? check

big waves? define big, i do know on a rough day it makes me nervous to turn my back to the lake as i stand on the shore.

Hardest of the hardcore surf the lake in the winter. Sep 19, 2011
Garrett Genereux
Laramie, WY
[Hide Comment] I was up at Shovel Point this past weekend, and while having some fun on Soldier of God we noticed some peregrine falcons switching spots on a nest just around the corner from us. When I spoke to park staff about it, she said that they aren't sure how many nesting pairs there are on Shovel Point this year and that they were getting ready to start putting up definitive route closure signs soon. I would guess that it is possible that Out on a Limb through Soldier of God will be closed through nesting season. Apr 24, 2012
Matthias Holladay
Silverton, CO
[Hide Comment] Define big, eh? Well, whilst new routing on sea cliffs on The Redwood Coast years ago (on the cliff itself proper, not "standing on the shore," my belayer was inundated by a rogue wave which rolled in from the Far East, all the way across the North Pacific Ocean, knocked him almost unconscious & off his stance. Had he not been anchored, I would have been pulled from the tenuous moves I was making.

So sorry, as fantastic as your area is, and it does look wonderful, it is still a LAKE cliff. Perhaps with "nailing and bolting ... not allowed," no wonder you are a bit testy about your especially beautiful place.

That would be deplorable! TR-ing a new line from the rim and not being able to bolt it for a some real adrenaline on the sharp end...or scoping an amazing traverse just above those glorious wave-lets, and not even be able to pound a KB or bolt...unless you covertly did it and then did not document it, except via word of mouth...that would be pleasant...

Oh, and having done many new routes on actual sea cliffs, I think I know what true sea cliff climbing is all about, thank you. ;-D Sep 9, 2012
Colin R
Ottawa, ON
[Hide Comment] Matthias,

Remember this isn't a surfing web site so your points are moot as far as I am concerned. Do rogue waves inspire you to climb better? Probably not I am guessing. I am also going to guess that the scenery, location, ambience, exposure and most of all the quality of rock are what matters most and this place looks like it has all of that and then some.

If they want to call it a sea cliff because it resembles one pretty much to the T then why not just let them?

PS - Ever heard of the phrase "inland ocean"? Dec 8, 2012
Evan Johnson
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] @Matthias Holladay:

big = "Annual storms on Lake Superior regularly record wave heights of over 6 metres (20 ft). Waves well over 9 metres (30 ft) have been recorded." - wiki Jan 23, 2013
Ryan Steel
Twin Cities, MN
[Hide Comment] 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 23, 2013