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Layback

5.7, Trad, TR, 50 ft (15 m),  Avg: 2.6 from 82 votes
FA: early 1900s
Massachusetts > Eastern, MA > Quincy Quarries > J Wall (aka L Face)
Access Issue: Please help slow the spread of COVID-19 and do not travel to or climb at this area during this health crisis. SNECC is advising all climbers to follow guidelines set forth by local and state governments, the WHO, the CDC and the Access Fund among others. Details
Access Issue: COVID-19 Guidelines Details

Description

This is a really fun line on the elegant L Face. It is the obvious line on the face...it just begs to be climbed, so much so that sometimes you just forget to put on your climbing shoes and you dance up.

Take the left-facing, wide, layback crack. You may be able to jam it, but it seemed less facile. Fire up for 3/4 the way. Get a great rest. Fire up and left for the top.

Note: the bottom part of this route has become quite slippery due to paint. It may exceed the 5.6 rating for some.

Location

This is the obvious line on the face that begs to be climbed via laybacking.

Protection

This can be led with wide gear with a PG-13 bit at the top or a TR for better security.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Sewing it up, hand jammed my way through the layback section.
[Hide Photo] Sewing it up, hand jammed my way through the layback section.
Solo.
[Hide Photo] Solo.
The top of the layback move.
[Hide Photo] The top of the layback move.
2010-08-13 Justin climbing up.
[Hide Photo] 2010-08-13 Justin climbing up.
Laybacking Layback.
[Hide Photo] Laybacking Layback.
Layback.
[Hide Photo] Layback.
"Layback"...or not....
[Hide Photo] "Layback"...or not....
A stuck cam.
[Hide Photo] A stuck cam.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Couloirman Schmiddy
Providence, RI
 
[Hide Comment] Great climb. The graffiti is quite slippery, and there aren't many real footholds, but there are enough. Old school 5.6 for sure. Loose block after you exit the layback section just to climber's left, so don't knock it on your belayer! Aug 18, 2009
john strand
southern colo
[Hide Comment] Try the arete to the right Quarries, 10. Feb 18, 2010
sunder
Alsip, Il
  5.6
[Hide Comment] Super fun climb. Tradable but with a 10-15' run out at the topout. Aug 15, 2010
john cronin
  5.7
[Hide Comment] Great climb. Learned to layback on this route. Base was super super slick. Climbed on May 2011 while taking a trad anchor class. Set up anchors in a crack at the top of the climb using tri Cams and nuts.

Was dropped by my belay parter. You know who you are. : )

But what is an 8 foot fall between friends. Jul 19, 2011
Jesse Laniak
Somerville MA
[Hide Comment] Great route. I would recommend it for beginning trad leaders (like myself). We top roped it a few times before we felt confident enough with the moves and keeping our heads cool during the 10-15 ft run out at the end. For experienced trad leaders its probably a non issue - definitely spices the route up a bit :)

We protected the runout with a really sketchy nut placement in a very shallow v shaped constriction (#12 or #13 BD nut). Not necessary but fun anyways :) Apr 14, 2015
Brian O'Leary
Scituate, Ma
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know who bolted a block on the ground? I would assume it is for a ground anchor. Nov 29, 2015
Nick W
Orford, NH
[Hide Comment] This ain't 5.6 - sorry - especially given how slick it is with the paint at the bottom. It is fun and worth leading along with the other 3 leadable routes around the corner. The top section can be protected with small gear behind a flake - it's not great, but the climbing is easy up top. NOT a great first trad lead, as a fall at the top would land you on the large ledge below! Apr 18, 2017
Brent D
New England
  5.7+ PG13
[Hide Comment] Definitely harder than 5.6. There is a huge amount of new paint at the bottom ledge as of 2/20/18, making the first layback moves really heads-up as the feet are very slippery. Once you get above the paint it gets much easier. The PG-13 topout has some good exposure stepping left onto the ledge, but the moves are 5.6 and if you're comfortable leading harder stuff then you'll be good. However, if 5.6-7 is the limit of your leading experience, I would caution you to not lead it until you have a chance to try it out on TR and see how the first few moves feel. A fall at pretty much any point on this route could land you on a ledge, and hard, unless you zip it up. Feb 21, 2018
Tim McGivern
Medford, ma
[Hide Comment] If folks want to get involved in putting together a strategy to clean, protect, and preserve the routes from vandalism, please send me a note. SNECC is compiling a list of folks who want to get involved in cleaning this place up. Thanks! and spread the word. Feb 21, 2018
[Hide Comment] Loose block, the size of a bible, on the small ledge you traverse onto after finishing the "harv" flake, where the climber's right foot is in the photo "solo." on this page. Palm-sized piece came off while on route, lower block moves significantly (1cm).

The belayer is protected standing away from the wall but the ledges below may deflect rock fall.

5/10/18 May 15, 2018
Kevin McNulty
DEDHAM
[Hide Comment] Echo the comments on the impact of the graffiti at the beginning of the layback. What should be an easy smear is super slick. As soon as you get above the paint, it's a lovely climb. Jul 28, 2019
Josh Rappoport
Somerville, MA
 
[Hide Comment] Second trad lead ever yesterday. There was certainly a committing move midway up the flake with my hand hold options limited due to the stuck cam and my own piece just above it. Aug 4, 2019
[Hide Comment] One of the best routes at QQ. U-shaped tie and one glue-in bolt at the top for an anchor, and you can back up with gear in the horizontal crack by the lip too. Oct 29, 2020