Type: Trad, 75 ft
FA: Jim McCarthy & Ants Leemets - 1961
Page Views: 3,284 total · 21/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 23, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

31 Opinions

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Tough Shift is a great, scary little pitch on the stacked MF wall. Begin at the right-hand margin of the wall, just right of Graveyard Shift, at a thin jagged crack. The crux is sandbagged, but fairly well-protected, although there is some scary climbing at about 10a.

Climb up the crack into a right-facing corner system and follow this up to an obvious high point that is about 20' below the roof band. Place some high pro and bust it straight left (crux, long reach) to a good, but committing, hold. Take another deep breath and continue left, and then up into a distinctly orange/white shield of rock. The holds are there, but you definitely don't want to blow it as you're looking at a big pendulum whipper. Climb up into the roof and stretch even further left to a welcome flake/jug, and good protection. Pull the roof, and belay at one of the two-bolt anchors above.


Standard Rack.


Mr. Malloc
  5.10b R
Mr. Malloc  
  5.10b R
The start is tough with thin protection...on a dicey little crack. Then when you get below the roof, there is a nice section that if you come off, you gonna be FLYIN! For maximum fun, pull the roof straight above this last run-out move (make sure you took your biggest piece with you, to stick under the roof (3.5 or 4 Camalot)...this roof brings the grade up to 5.10c or 5.10d (the Dick Williams Gunks Select book says to exit on the easy roof of Graveyard Shift). Nov 17, 2006
vanishing spy
  5.10a/b R
vanishing spy  
  5.10a/b R
I still need to lead this one but will note that Mr. Malloc is right on about the gear. Typically there is gear under such a roof, but somehow it's shallow and wide. My friend barely got a 3 in and said it wouldn't hold and a 4 may be too big. Standing up and reaching over the roof is committing and a fall would be bad news.

I can't wait to give it a go on the sharp end :D Sep 21, 2009
The previous comment seems right to me. The piece I had under the roof was terrible; the crack is just too shallow to take anything that would hold. However, it is possible to get a small cam just above the roof. Aug 13, 2010
Cpn Dunsel  
#3 Camalot is bomber under the roof. Mar 19, 2011
Alec Orenstein
Gallup, NM
Alec Orenstein   Gallup, NM
Agree with the above. The number 3 is bomber under the final roof. You'll definitely want to bring it.

Fantastic route. Pulling the roof to the right as Mr Malloc describes (basically directly above the jug at the end of the crux) is a better line. Not sure I'd call it 10c though, especially when compared to the grades of the surrounding routes.

EDIT: Apparently Swain gives the direct finish 11a. I'll take it... Did it again, and it is indeed a tough move.

Also thought the first moves in the crack were tricky, but very well protected.

The runout is scary, but you probably won't die if you fall.

Again, really awesome route. Full value. Apr 19, 2015
B Rick
B Rick   Philadelphia
Fun route. Spicy on the runout but the upper corner before it takes gear. #3 fits easily under the top roof. Aug 26, 2017
Andy Casler
Plymouth, NH
  5.10d R
Andy Casler   Plymouth, NH
  5.10d R
The pin protecting the final run-out is very loose and wobbly. This spot can be backed up with a no. 2 or no. 4 cam (save your no. 3 for protecting the final roof) Nov 27, 2017
artem Vasilyev
New York, NY
  5.10b R
artem Vasilyev   New York, NY
  5.10b R
Pin at the bottom of the runout is super old and you can probably pull it out by hand.

BUT I watched two whippers on it, so it holds... for now. The two pieces you can back it up with are a small brassie and a sketchy cam in a tiny flake. Or you can climb higher and stick a #4 off to the right (probably your safest option) and use an extra long sling. Sep 2, 2018