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Elevation: 1,409 ft 429 m
GPS: 35.2356, -85.22649
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Shared By: saxfiend on Nov 17, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Stonyman Killough, Luke Cornejo, saxfiend

Description Suggest change

Convenient location, easy approach, nice rock, a mix of trad and sport climbs -- what more could you want from a climbing destination? Well . . . in the case of Leda -- longer routes and more of them. But this little roadside crag is still a worthwhile destination when you have limited time or T-Wall is closed for hunting.

Like other crags in the Chattanooga area, Leda is a sandstone cliff. The rock quality is mostly very good, and a nice variety of routes can be found here. Many of these are sport lines, with a number of easy routes ideal for the climber making his or her first lead. Probably the most popular route at Leda is Jody's Route, also known as Chris' Route, an outstanding 5.10c/d either way, you choose to call it.

There's also enough good trad climbing at Leda to make bringing your rack worthwhile. Nice routes to scope out include Ox Stone Crack (5.8+) and Cracked Actor (5.10).

Leda is on privately-owned land, and a one-time liability waiver is required. A short distance along the trail is a climbers kiosk placed by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, where you can find the form to fill out and deposit in a holding box.

Editor's note on ratings: My experience of climbing at Leda is that many, if not most, of the easy to moderate routes are harder than the grade in the DCA. In some cases, I've taken the liberty of giving these routes ratings that I think are more in line with what you'll encounter at other local crags such as T-Wall or Foster Falls; in each case, I've also listed the rating given in the book. Anyone who disagrees with this rating method is welcome to contact me, or better yet, give it your own consensus rating.

Background and Resources Suggest change

The history of climbing at Leda is not well documented, and little first-ascent information is recorded in any known guides.

For years, the only guide to the place was some photocopied pages that referred to the routes by letters of the alphabet. The more recently published Dixie Cragger's Atlas shows the routes by their actual names; this is mostly based on a handwritten guide by Matt Sims. If you can find it, Micah Gentry's PDF guide was a reliable source of information on both Leda and Lower Leda, but internet links to it are no longer valid. The Chatt Steel guidebook includes Leda, but with a number of inaccuracies.

Rocker Press offers a more up to date full Leda guide for purchase as well as a free day guide from their website, here.

Access and Fees

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As of 2022, there is an $9.00 access fee per climber payable at the Montlake Golf Course Clubhouse. Each visitor must also sign and submit a Liability Waiver at the clubhouse as an annual process.

Getting There

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After the original pull-off parking area was posted as no parking, volunteers created a short access trail that connects to a paved parking area to the northeast of the crag.

From downtown Chattanooga, go north on U.S. 27 toward Dayton. Take the Chickamauga Dam exit; going left from the exit travel along Dayton Boulevard and then take a left on Montlake Road soon after crossing Chickamagua Creek. Keep following this winding road until the parking area can be found at the top of a sharp hairpin across from Terrace Falls Drive.

From the parking area, follow the access trail west passing beneath some power lines (see beta photo). The trail takes approximately 15-20 minutes to travel.

52 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Leda Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Leda

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V-easy 3
 5
Baby Dick
Boulder
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 102
Walk By Me
Trad, Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 149
Speedway Boogie
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 142
Fanfair
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 80
Free to Think
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 52
Ox Crack
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 70
House of Giza
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 58
Old Foot
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 64
TJ's Demise
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 124
Girls Only
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 81
Cracked Actor
Trad
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 111
Jody's Route (aka The Chris' Route)
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 57
Lock Down
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 31
Varmint
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 5
Kent Belew's Original Route
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Baby Dick
 5
V-easy 3 Boulder
Walk By Me
 102
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport
Speedway Boogie
 149
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Fanfair
 142
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Free to Think
 80
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Ox Crack
 52
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
House of Giza
 70
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Old Foot
 58
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
TJ's Demise
 64
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Girls Only
 124
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Cracked Actor
 81
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Jody's Route (aka The Chris…
 111
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Lock Down
 57
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Varmint
 31
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Kent Belew's Original Route
 5
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Leda »

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