Type: Sport, 75 ft (23 m)
FA: Mike Dahlberg
Page Views: 8,742 total · 45/month
Shared By: Adam Therneau on May 22, 2006
Admins: Kris Gorny, K Ice

You & This Route

30 Opinions

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Paradigm Shift may be the ultimate Red Wing route. There are certainly some harder climbs at the bluff, but none personify so well the nature of hard climbing at Red Wing; incredibly crimpy, super technical, and very temperature dependent. The first 50 feet are incredibly sustained, with no real letup until you reach the jug at bolt six; from there to the top is relatively easy 5.10 climbing with ample opportunity to depump before sneaking through the band of choss on top to reach the anchors. The bottom two thirds of the route consists of three very difficult boulder problems, each one harder than the last, linked by easier but extremely technical terrain. The first powerful, crimpy boulder problem gets you to the second bolt and the bottom of the distinctive seam/crack that diagonals up the lower part of the wall. The seam consists of super techy 5.11+ that may seem impossible until you find the right sequence of microscopic footholds to see you through. At the end of the seam, the next boulder problem tackles a powerful gaston and match on a slopey rail to reach the large pocket which is much worse than it looks. Make the difficult clip from the pocket, then move left to reach the "rest" at a four inch long, incut crimper. I would not consider this a rest on any other route, but you take what you can get and this is far and away the best hold between the ground and the jug at 50 feet. Shake out as best you can before tackling another ten feet of awkward, technical 5.11 climbing to reach the ultimate crux of the route and the hardest individual moves, right after the fifth bolt. There are numerous sequences for the last boulder problem, but they invariably all use the same razor sharp 1/4 inch crimper, tiny iron oxide gaston high and right, and some combination of worthless ripples and pockets as intermediates to reach the flat, positive crimper that finishes this V5 sequence. Bearing down on the sharp holds enough to stick the last moves as your forearms reach meltdown is, needless to say, a good test of pain tolerance and tenacity. Two more big reaches will bring you to that "thank god" jug out right and the end of the difficulties. Due to the thin, crimpy nature of this route, it's highly temperature dependent and nearly impossible during the humid summer months. There has been some debate as to the grade of this route, given 12d in Farris's guidebook. Everyone I talked to who has done this route or come close, with the exception of one, felt strongly that it warrants the bump to 13a. In comparison to other hard Red Wing routes such as Living All Over Me and Mississippi Burning that are considered solid for their grades, Paradigm was a huge leap in difficulty and seems deserving of the bump. It would be great to see more traffic on this route and a few more opinions about the grade. Whatever the rating, the route is a classic and deserves to see more attention.