Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,405 total · 51/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Mar 12, 2007
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

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Like most of the approach climbs for the main South Face, Block Route is a fun and extended route worthy of climbing even if you're not just trying to get to the Tree Ledge. If you want to get a feel for what it's like to climb high above your last gear at Stone Mountain, this is a good place to start. Block Route actually has ample pro placements for good stretches, and the runout sections are easy climbing. The somwhat tenuous block move toward the top is probably the only reason the guidebook gives this a 5.8, and it's well protected.

If you want to do Block Route in two pitches, there are belay anchors halfway up. But unless you're using a 50-meter rope (not a great idea anyway), there's no reason not to combine pitches and save yourself some time.

Starting below the left end of the overlap that extends just below the Tree Ledge, follow a grassy vertical crack and other seams up to belay anchors at a small tree. Belay here, or clip the anchor for pro and continue up to a left-facing dihedral. At the end of the dihedral, make a big move up and right onto the block, then finish to the tree ledge on easier ground, ending at the base of the Great Arch.

A bit of history: Block Route was originally considered the first pitch of the Great Arch.


Block Route is the furthest left of the Tree Ledge approach routes, about 30' left of U Slot. Rap on two ropes from the U Slot anchors; if these are busy, use one of the other bolted rap stations further down the Tree Ledge.


Cams and nuts up to #3 camalot or equivalent. Bolted belay anchors halfway up; sling trees for an anchor at the top.
Decatur, GA
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
Fun route, easier and not as runout as U Slot to the right. Apr 4, 2007
Sean Cobourn
Gramling, SC
  5.6 PG13
Sean Cobourn   Gramling, SC
  5.6 PG13
Fun for sure, but hardly 5.8. One move wonder at step across move. This move is well protected. Aug 2, 2007
Ross Purnell
Ross Purnell   Palmyra
This is more fun, and more mellow than U slot by a long shot. It has a single 5.8 move, the rest is easy climbing. Apr 9, 2010
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Its all been said, definitely the simplest way up to tree ledge as well as the best protected. However its still worth a go with the a crux move that leaves the first timer tickled. Oct 20, 2011
Jay Shultis
Oneonta, NY
  5.8 PG13
Jay Shultis   Oneonta, NY  
  5.8 PG13
Great route with varied climbing through crack, slab and the mentioned mantle/stem move. Must do as a Stone Mountain first timer, due to it's direct link to the base of the Great Arch! Three BOMBER pieces below the crux! Keep in mind that there is a ~35 foot run-out on easy ground between gear. Not recommended as a first lead, confidence on slab will make the run-out seem small. Aside from the crux, it's probably ~5.4 or less the whole way. Nov 7, 2011
Will Wilson
Morganton, nc
  5.8 PG13
Will Wilson   Morganton, nc
  5.8 PG13
The first time you pull the block it feels scary as hell. i like putting a locker on my pro below it. Feb 11, 2013
Jonathan Dull
Boone, NC
Jonathan Dull   Boone, NC
You can plug a "bomber" yellow or red C3 in the corner before you pull the crux (block) move. Extend it with a long runner and your essentially on top rope for the crux move. Feb 18, 2013
dave Hause
carrboro, nc
  5.7 PG13
dave Hause   carrboro, nc
  5.7 PG13
I agree, it's an easy way to get to the tree ledge. Great way to warm up your Stone Mountain army-crawl technique that you'll be using the rest of the day. Nov 10, 2013
Nathan Stegenga
Spokane, WA
  5.7 PG13
Nathan Stegenga   Spokane, WA
  5.7 PG13
Easy, very direct access to the tree ledge. Definitely a big runout between bolts and the C4 #3 slot, but no more than 5.5 or 5.6 slab. The pull over the block is balancy for sure, but just trust your smearing right foot and haul/mantle yourself over. Bomber offset nut placement before the crux move, which felt more like a 5.7 move on lead.

Double ropes needed for rappel from U-Slot anchors. Oct 8, 2015
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
This is a great climb that gives you a little taste of Stone at the runout. The block move is...well, I hear there are a lot of ways to do it. I opted to go up to the dihedral to only place gear, then down-climbed to make the mantle onto a bigger foothold near the lip of the block. But I can see how you could also stem from the dihedral with the slightly better hand holds. Nov 9, 2015
Eric Chung
Rockland County, NY
  5.7 PG13
Eric Chung   Rockland County, NY
  5.7 PG13
Climbed this with my dad as a start to The Great Arch after debating between U-Slot and Entrance Crack as the easiest approach to reach tree ledge. Definitely easy for the grade as the crux move was easily protected with two bomber TCU placements and the runout section from the bolts to the tree was no harder than a Gunks 5.3-5.4. If you are just visiting the area for the first time like we were, I would recommend this route as the safest approach to tree ledge. Jun 12, 2016
If you don't have the head or the gear to lead Entrance Crack, this is your route to the Tree Ledge. I led it this past weekend on passive gear and got great pro all the way with DMM wallnuts, DMM torque nuts, and tricams. Crux pro was a DMM wallnut #6 (red) high in the corner. Bomber. Throw the foot and trust it. my least favorite part is the runout from the bolts to the tree/shrub. The block move is basically on toprope with the high pro. Feb 20, 2017
travis dean  
Loved this route met jeff jenkins while at the base. I ran this one to the belay anchors clipped a draw ran to block stuck pro at bottom corner clipped and topped out was a great warmup route for the day. Jun 29, 2017
Will Maness
Raleigh, NC
  5.7+ PG13
Will Maness   Raleigh, NC
  5.7+ PG13
As long as it's dry, the runout from the anchors to the #3 slot is not spicy at all...and I've even done it when it's wet! Nov 11, 2017