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Routes in Motherlode Rock - North Face

Fun Police S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Grizzly Wizard T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Light The Fuse S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Nitroglycerine S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Powder Keg S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Short Fuse S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Smackdown S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Whiptail S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Sport, 40 ft
FA: Chris Miller & Rick Shull, 1989
Page Views: 8,237 total · 62/month
Shared By: C Miller on Mar 13, 2007
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

160 Opinions

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Up a slippery slab (harder than it looks) to some good holds under the roof and then power out the somewhat reachy roof with a wild sequence to finish on easy slab to anchors - fun!

One of the first lines on the Motherlode Wall, this was orignally done with two bolts (the second and third) and no anchors but later retrobolted to make a popular and often done climb.


Left side of the north face and easily identified as a slab to corner capped by a roof. Nitroglycerine is just to the right on the arete.


4 bolts, chain anchor (shared with Nitroglycerine)
johnnydanger   California
Clip the first bolt from the right. Beware of the polished lower slab. Fun move over the roof and a easy finish. Harder than 10a. Fun one-move-wonder! Oct 7, 2013
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Start is a bit slick but easily protected by clipping bolt from ledge right if needed. Overlooking edges or thin cracks may make progress more difficult. I personally found the stem to be a bit long to get established, but very solid. Fun route, powerful and was sucking oxygen by the time I got on the headwall heading to the anchors. My opinion... harder than 10a. Maybe even harder than the 10c neighbor to the right but felt like a wuss bumping it two letters.

Another Nice route by Chris & Rick - gracias boys! Sep 20, 2013
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
This route is like bouldering with a rope. Very fun, and unique! I have yet to do a route like it anywhere else. The upper half of the route is fun as well. Jan 16, 2012
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
IMHO this felt harder than 5.10a to me, the climbing up to and around the roof felt more technical than some of the steep 5.10a climbs hereabouts.

If you're tall you can clip the first bolt from the right side of the ledge - this really takes the edge off the opening moves.

Agreed that a fall while attempting to clip the second bolt would result in a grounder unless the belayer did a sprint or reeled you in. Sep 6, 2010
Jason Partin
San Diego, CA
Jason Partin   San Diego, CA
Fun climb, perhaps an anti-climatic summit... It's worth doing for the combination of footwork at the start, power-reach on the roof, and heel hook to get out from under the roof. My ankles were scratched badly... consider tape if you're like I am, and not experienced with heel hooks. It's nice to have a spotter as you try to clip the second bolt, the first bolt wouldn't stop you from hitting your head or twisting an ankle in the rocks below. Jun 28, 2009
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
This is a fantastic route! (and great photo op ;-) The crux is really the thin slab to reach the first bolt. The roof is pretty easy on great holds - just watch those feet! A must if you're at the Pinnacles. May 31, 2007