Elevation: 2,739 ft
GPS: 35.831, -81.903 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 104,098 total · 731/month
Shared By: Joe Forrester on Apr 2, 2007
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry
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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details
Access Issue: All climbing routes between and including C.O. to and including Paradigm Shift are closed. Details

Description

Shortoff Mountain is a beautiful adventure climbing locale at the southern end of the Linville Gorge in NC. The southwest exposures are perfect on autumn and spring days when you can look across the gorge and see the reds and yellows or greens and whites. There are rarely other climbers there, the most crowded weekend I have seen is two other parties. The climbing as far as I know all requires an ability to place gear and build your own anchors. If you just clip bolts, you might want to freshen up on your gear skills first. The rock is characterized by crack systems interspersed with wild horizontals. On many routes, a hug horizontal jug is just far enough out of reach to make it exciting. The rock is clean in most places, but there is a fair bit of lichen on the rarely climbed routes, giving the climbs an increased sense of adventure.

Shortoff North/Shortoff South

The approach gully is the main landmark for locating routes at Shortoff. For convenience, route descriptions in this section will include the designation Shortoff North for lines north of the approach gully, and Shortoff South for climbs to the south of the gully.

Getting There

Take exit 90 (Nebo/Lake James) to the north. You will be on Harmony Grove Road. You have two options, left or right. If you go left, take a right when you hit NC 126, if you go right take a left. Either way, get to NC 126 and follow it North. You will pass through some farmland and golf course as you pass around Lake James. After you cross a small one lane bridge a ways down the road (10 miles) start looking for Wolf Pit Road (it is dirt). Follow this road up until it dead ends. There is camping at the end of the road. However, you have to pass through private property in your car so respect that. Keep the music down and don't camp on someone's property.

Approach by taking the logging road at the north end of the turn around. At one point you will cross the Mountain to Sea trail. keep Going straight (west). You will eventually reach a spring. This is the approach gully. If you have climbed in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, your option will seem fairly obvious. Drop down the gully and be ready to climb out. Oh, the water should be OK coming from the tap.

56 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Shortoff Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 84
Little Corner
Trad 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 153
Maginot Line
Trad 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 19
False Paradise
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 75
Paradise Alley
Trad 4 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 64
Construction Job
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 150
Dopey Duck
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 89
Straight and Narrow
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 53
Built to Tilt
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 31
Julia
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 12
Humdinger
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 12
The Dancing Outlaw
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 10
Golden Rule
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 8
The Big Arete
Trad 3 pitches
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 4
Full Tilt Boogie
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 19
Supercrack
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Little Corner
 84
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 4 pitches
Maginot Line
 153
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
False Paradise
 19
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
Paradise Alley
 75
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Construction Job
 64
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Dopey Duck
 150
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Straight and Narrow
 89
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Built to Tilt
 53
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Julia
 31
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Humdinger
 12
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad 2 pitches
The Dancing Outlaw
 12
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Golden Rule
 10
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
The Big Arete
 8
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 3 pitches
Full Tilt Boogie
 4
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Trad
Supercrack
 19
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Shortoff Mountain »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

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Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Bob Underwood
greensboro
Bob Underwood   greensboro
About the Wolfpit road turn off of 126: it is about a quarter mile west of the shoreline view of lake James. With the directions given - if you see a big lake on your right, you have gone 1/4 mile too far.
The road is now in good shape all the way to the circle at the end. Camping here is ok. But if you want privacy, better hump it up the mountain about 1 hour hike.

The path you want from the Wolfpit circle goes uphill and turns right uphill.

Water is scarce on Shortoff. www.linvillegorge.net gives maps and waypoints for the two springs.

The north end of Shortoff has less dramatic rock but is relatively unexplored.

Bob Underwood Nov 13, 2007
One of the most fantastic crags in one of the most fantastic settings imaginable. You camp on top of the cliff with views over the gorge. Most routes are free of fixed gear or anchors, sandbagged, and follow spectacular lines. There are classic lines from 5.6 on up to 5.11. On holiday weekends you might need to share the place w/2-3 parties. A small slice of heaven. May 31, 2008
Bob Underwood
greensboro
Bob Underwood   greensboro
Before the 2000 fire there used to be a trail from the Wolfpit trail which cut south and followed the 2200 contour line, crossed the MST and tied in to the base of the Shortoff cliffs. To follow this old trail was even more demanding than to hike all the way to the top of the mountain and reach the same area by scrambling down thru the Descent Gully. I wonder if this old trail still exists? Sep 14, 2008
Climbers should be aware that evac'ing out of Shortoff is a serious endeavour. The descent gully has two fifth-class sections, one with a fixed rope. Any type of injury, especially to a lower extremity, could require the support of a rescue squad. Take the grades seriously. Dec 24, 2008
mbuntaine
Santa Barbara, CA
mbuntaine   Santa Barbara, CA
On the approach trail: In order to walk to the top of Shortoff, you need to take a 90 degree right hand turn about 1/4 mile down the trail that comes off the back of the parking lot. After taking this turn, follow the trail up the switchbacks. After another 1/2 mile, there is a four-way intersection. Continue straight across on the Mountain to Sea trail, blazed white. Another 1/4 mile will lead to the obvious spring and descent gully.

If you miss the 90 degree right turn 1/4 mile along the entrance trail, you will end up way down in the valley in a maze of ATV tracks. Easy to do at night - ouch!! Nov 9, 2009
Drew Hayes
Charlotte, NC
Drew Hayes   Charlotte, NC
Can someone post the beta for rapping in (or PM it to me)? Is it possible with one 70m rope? Thank you! Aug 19, 2014
As a resident of the area. We live off Wolf Pit Rd and enjoy sharing our mountain to all who want to enjoy it. The road in (Wolf Pit) is a State/Federal rd. It has fallen into a sad shape. We have started a petition to submit to our Representatives to get some agency to take up repair and maintenance of Wolf Pit. Please sign ipetitions.com/petition/pet… Feb 8, 2018
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Can somebody specify which routes are closed during nesting season? Neither "Paradigm Shift" nor "C.O." are listed here. Thanks. Feb 15, 2018
nbrown
originally WNC, now Broomfield
nbrown   originally WNC, now Broomfield
Nate,

Everything climbers right (south) of Bonsai. The route CO doesn't really exist so Bonsai is the best estimation. Feb 15, 2018
Doug Kinsman
Atlanta, GA
Doug Kinsman   Atlanta, GA
Think it will be warm enough this weekend 3/2/18? Seems like the South end of Shortoff faces SW and should see mid morning sun... Feb 28, 2018