Type: Trad, 130 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Lisa Perry, Dan Perry 1982
Page Views: 9,238 total · 61/month
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Nov 16, 2006
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

154 Opinions

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Boardwalk is a classic 5.8, one of the best routes of its grade in the High Country.

Basically, wander up lower-angle terrain on huge horizontals to a prominent rail that angles up and right towards the arete. Follow this rail to a vertical crack. Continue up and trend left to a corner with a bush at the base. Either belay near this bush or continue up (the route is easily done in one pitch). Climb the corner and trend towards the obvious weakness in the roof above (crux). Above the roof, horizontals lead to the top.


The route is located almost in the dead center of the main tier. Look for a large dead tree and a trampled, sandy area and try to spot rap rings, maybe 50 feet up.

To descend, either 1) make a double-rope rappel off the rings at the top, 2) do two single-rope rappels, or 3) do a single-rope rap from the top and downclimb easy fifth-class terrain to the bottom.


The pro is excellent in horizontals and some vertical crack features. It takes a wide range of gear. Carry a single rack of stoppers and cams from the blue TCU to the #2 Camalot.
Jeff Mekolites
Jeff Mekolites   ATL GA
Best done in one long pitch - take double aliens/tcu's and runners. Jun 28, 2010
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Classic! The fun starts on the second pitch! If you want a more challenging go at it or just craving some aesthetics take the (5.9?) variation, pulling right at the roof towards the arete and KB Capers, its a little run out but well worth the sweat on your brow! Oct 4, 2011
Cody Bradford
Boone, NC
Cody Bradford   Boone, NC
My favorite climb in the High Country. Period.
Solid gear, stellar exposure, some crack climbing, a spicy slab traverse, roofs, and more!
On crowded days, please be mindful with the bolted anchors and do your best to keep them clear for other parties trying to rappel. The clifftop will remain closed and the Boardwalk anchors are the most accessible rap stations. Cheers! Jun 18, 2012
Robert Hutchins  
Agree with Mike that arĂȘte finish is very aesthetic and more exposed. Probably still only 5.8, but probably good to be 5.9 climber because of the seriousness of the run-out. Oct 16, 2013
Curtis Baird
Johnson City, TN
Curtis Baird   Johnson City, TN
This route is CLASSIC. Exposed, great views, awesome gear, and interesting moves. My first serious 5.8 and it was awesome. Very safe. Jan 11, 2015
Andrew Hobbs
  5.8 PG13
Andrew Hobbs  
  5.8 PG13
Onsighted this bad boy today with the variation. I can attest that it is indeed still 5.8, but be prepared for 20 ft of run out slab. Due to this, I put the variation at 5.8 PG-13. Definitely worth the climb, go crush it! Apr 6, 2016
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
Does anyone else know the best way to do the first 50 feet of the first pitch? I pulled the low mantle on slopers, then trended left to easier, bushier terrain until reaching the mid-point rap anchors. I couldn't really find any solid pro that way, and it wasn't that much fun.

The variation up top is certainly more exposed and heady than the original route, but once I had passed it the normal way through the roof looked like funner climbing. Choose your adventure. Jun 5, 2017
Brian Payst
Brian Payst   Carrboro,NC
Benandstuff - the first 30-40 feet are kind of as you describe. I aim for a diving board like flake about 40 feet up, then traverse right there and go up to a small roof, hit the horizontals and trend right to the crack. You can get really good gear around the big flake and the roof, might want to back clean things to reduce drag if you're doing it in one pitch (which you should as it's outstanding that way). Jun 12, 2017
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
This route is really nice. Classic trad climb, it really suits the eye and climbs nicely. Unbeatable location and quality of course, being at Ship! I would call it an introductory 5.8: nothing particularly stout or puzzling about it. Jun 26, 2017
If you have a 70 meter rope you can get down with one single rope rappel without any real 5th class downclimbing by swinging far left to a ledge system that offers an easy walk/scramble down. But make sure you knot those ends since it takes every bit of a 70m. Jul 10, 2017
Matt Westlake
Durham, NC
Matt Westlake   Durham, NC
If you are up for the challenge/serious nature Fire Point as a start pitch is kinda cool. You can do that and break left at the belay for P2 as the remainder of Boardwalk. This works well for the BW arete variation. You can just do the scary start of FP and break left after that or pull the cool exposed FP arete (the main attraction of FP really) then head back left. If you include the FP arete you may have trouble doing it in one pitch due to rope drag but the other way I don't think you'd have any trouble. Sep 27, 2017