GPS: 36.3979, -80.2917
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Shared By: Matt Westlake on May 21, 2012
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry


The Meat Puppet crag is the place to go for some secluded low-key fun. It is visible during the drive in from Hooker Farm road as the chunk of rock sitting on top of the left end of Moore's. Look closely and you'll see the observation tower near the highest point of this area. Most of the climbing is located on the far left side of this feature, although some more obscure lines probably exist elsewhere. Routes are shady at the base and become quite exposed as you get out above the trees.

Getting There

There are several ways to get to the Meat Puppet crag. It is located between the central wall area and the amphitheater. It is about 10-15 minutes hike off the main base cliff trail. NOTE: It is a LOT easier to do this the first time during winter months when the trees don't hide the crag.

Hike the base cliff trail. If coming from the amphitheater direction, continue past the next smaller amphitheater, pass a distinctive white marble arete and shortly after locate a small low-angle (often muddy) gully. Follow this up right and veer back left near the top. Thrash up and mostly left, eventually intersecting the occasionally faint clifftop trail. Eventually you'll hit a broken cliff line looming above and along the way you will pass some weird garbage including a rusted out oil drum and various piles of lumber (watch out for nails in the lumber). As you move left the trail will get better and will deposit you at the base of the wall shown in the area photo.

It is also possible (and perhaps more enjoyable) to get there by topping out any of several climbs and hiking a short distance.

From the amphitheater area it's a short hike up and mostly right from around the finish of Step and Fetch (or other routes that deposit you in the general area). My Wife's Pajamas provides a nice moderate access route and rappel option as well. From there hike up a bit left but pay close attention to the return path if you want to get down that way as it's hidden from above.

Descent Options

The routes on the leftmost section of the meat puppet crag all top out at a low angle slab with a prow of rock sitting on top of it. It's possible to build a good trad anchor where these two come together and one can lower off of this easily with a 60m rope (probably a 50m would work) and TR.

No fixed gear anchors exist up here but there is an easy walk off.
Hike left around prow (don't get on top) across the slab to the short 8' or so wall set back about 40 feet from the main edge. Follow a trail left and in a short distance (another 40 feet?) until you see a steep debris clogged gully on your left - don't go down that gully, instead climb over the chest high boulder in front of you and hike some more through the rhodo jungle. Keep going until the trail starts sloping down and left. Follow this and make a wide U turn that will take you back to the base of the cliff in about 5 minutes.

I haven't tested it but I think if you climb routes further right than this buttress you can probably make your way over to this area and join up with the same descent hike.

6 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Meat Puppet Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Head Like a Hole
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Meat Puppet
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Head Like a Hole
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Meat Puppet
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
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