Type: Trad, 800 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Will Fulton
Page Views: 11,611 total · 79/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Dec 6, 2006
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

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After you've done the Tree Ledge classics like the Great Arch and No Alternative, you'll probably be ready to take a bigger bite out of Stone Mountain. The Pulpit is a great choice for a long, bottom-to-top moderate lead, with some interesting variety beyond straight-ahead friction. The climbing is exciting enough to get your blood pumping but never really desperate. Though the "Selected Climbs" guidebook comment on this being the mountain's best protected route isn't really accurate (the Arch takes that honor), the Pulpit is definitely well-protected by Stone Mountain standards.

P1 -- starting at an arching, left-facing corner, climb the corner to its end, then straight up on good friction to the left end of a sloping ledge. Clip a bolt above the ledge and traverse right to the end of the ledge (good pro along the way in a horizontal feature). Climb straight up to another bolt, then follow a steep but featured shallow groove (crux) to a third bolt. At the end of the groove, trend up and right past a fourth bolt to bolted anchors (hanging belay). 5.8, ~160'

P2 -- continue friction climbing straight up past two bolts, about 60'. At the second bolt, traverse left following the path of least resistance until you're below the obvious anchors; a fixed pin that once was a landmark here is gone. Easy climbing on scoops and actual holds leads you to the belay. This is probably the only pitch where there's no real opportunity for gear placements. 5.8, ~120'

P3 -- diagonal up and right on easy ground to an obvious shallow left-facing corner; small brass and/or a pink tricam may come in handy. Step up onto the corner and delicately traverse right for about 50' (no protection), crossing a shallow water groove that may or may not be dry. Finish at a spacious and comfortable alcove known as the Oasis -- a nice spot for a lunch break if no other climbers are coming up behind you. 5.8, ~150'

P4 -- from the Oasis, climb up and right to the parallel dikes that form Grand Funk Railroad; a small overlap before the dikes offers a possible gear placement. Follow the Grand Funk dikes up to that route's P4 belay anchors; clip the anchor for pro, then leave the dikes and continue more or less straight up to a large flake (the Pulpit). This pitch is a rope-stretcher. Belay at anchors above the flake. 5.8-, 180'

P5 -- continue up on easier terrain to the top; an overlap maybe halfway up the pitch can be used for pro to increase your comfort level. This is another rope-length pitch; if you're climbing on a 70m rope, you might make it to the No Alternative rap anchors over to the far left, but only if you forego placing pro. If your rope is a 60m, don't chance it; head straight up to a tree island and anchor in the trees, then make your way climber's left to the No Alternative anchors. 5.3, 180'


Starts at ground level just right of the Dirty Crack corner. Rap from the No Alternative rap anchors or walk off using the summit trail.


A light rack of mostly smaller cams and passive gear. The first pitch protects well; after that, you may have opportunities for one or two placements at most on each pitch. All belays except P5 have bolted anchors.
Brian Adzima
San Francisco
Brian Adzima   San Francisco
I think I used a pink or red tricam for the first pitch Feb 17, 2008
Decatur, GA
  5.8 PG13
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
  5.8 PG13
Looking back on it, I'd have to say this is my favorite lead to date at Stone Mountain. It's nice and long and the climbing is always interesting. Highly recommended! May 15, 2009
Crisco Jackass
Grand Junction, CO
Crisco Jackass   Grand Junction, CO
Beautiful route, especially love the Railroad intersection. P2 pin is technically still there, though it's little more than a rusty nail by now, serves as a waypoint if one were truly needed. P3 is a bit spicy when the groove is wet. Apr 3, 2010
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Unique climb at Stone, but great line nonetheless. Unlike the surrounding slab lines, Pulpit climbs more like a standard vertical sport route and the amount of bolted protection only reinforces that notion. Well protected all the way up and offers some fantastic sequences! Take a ticket if your climbing here on busy weekend because this is another classic that gets a lot of traffic.

Oct 20, 2011
Scott O
Scott O   Anchorage
Well protected for stone, but you should be solid on easier (5.6ish) terrain, because Pitch 4 starts with a very long runout. Jan 9, 2012
Got off route and went up and right when we should have gone left on the second pitch. Wound up doing the sermon, which was pretty strung out to the Oasis, but really good too. Dec 29, 2013
Nate Thompson
Columbia, SC
  5.8 R
Nate Thompson   Columbia, SC
  5.8 R
1st pitch has excellent pro but some challenging friction moves for the grade. No additional pro was needed.
2nd pitch was certainly heady after the two bolts when making the traverse out left; however, the foot and hand placements get really good and probably lower than the grade at that point. Still the runout on this section is what Stone Mountain is known for.
3rd pitch is again a big runout until you reach the flake to the left of the drain before you can place any pro. Great features up to the pro placements. We threw in a couple pieces into the flake just for the added protection from the big runout at the beginning. Once you've got some pro in traversing the drain can be challenging as well. Probably a 30' runout at the beginning though. You wouldn't deck this high but it would be a pretty rough scraping.
4th pitch was super fun, especially when you hit the grand funk railroad dikes. They are super featured and great to step on and grab as a big pincher or even jug at times.
5th pitch was easy. There's a spot where you can throw in some pro at the very beginning but I chose not to due to the wasps. after the first bulge there is really no need for protection. I threw a quickdraw into the anchors and kept going and built an anchor on the tree island. We were using a 70m rope and still had a few feet to spare even beyond the anchors. Apr 24, 2016
Aleks Czejdo
Chapel Hill, NC
Aleks Czejdo   Chapel Hill, NC
A number of double length slings and a light rack is all you need. We placed a few tricams and nothing larger than a X4 0.5. Medium spicy runout. I did a fun variation following P3, traversing a little higher up and doing a downward leap/run into the oasis, but I probably would rather eat a handful of bees than do the same moves on lead. Oct 15, 2016
Matt Westlake
Durham, NC
  5.8 PG13
Matt Westlake   Durham, NC
  5.8 PG13
I completed P3 that way accidentally. It was, uh, exhilarating. I sort of down-mantelled and jumped the last foot or so. Glad I didn't slip as my last pro was in the crack at the overlap in that section before the slick as glass water groove. This approach has the benefit of letting you cross the water groove where it's narrower letting you stay on good friction rock mostly, but then you have to deal with this. Oct 17, 2016
Jonathan Dull
Boone, NC
Jonathan Dull   Boone, NC
Great Route w/ varied climbing throughout. P1 is fun and has some thought provoking moves for 5.8 - this is probably the crux of the entire route. Instead of the traditional P3, it's also possible to climb P2 and link it into P2 of Autumn Speaks for a long full value pitch, then a traversing pitch will put you back at the Oasis belay - from here you can also link the next two pitches together for some fun climbing on the Grand Funk dike. 70m and/or doubles are useful. Jan 29, 2017
Will Maness
Raleigh, NC
Will Maness   Raleigh, NC
Had a great time on the Pulpit yesterday, would have been greater had it not been so blustery! Never climbed in wind like that before! Unfortunately the dikes on Grand Funk were running, so didn't enjoy that lead as much as I would have liked. I too had to jump down into the Oasis, as I crossed the water groove too high. However, because I went higher in the dihedral, I actually got two nice small cams in there. Managed to get at least one good piece on every pitch. Sweet climb, get after it! Mar 16, 2018