Type: Trad, 340 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Tom Howard, Bruce Meneghin 1977
Page Views: 9,091 total · 66/month
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Sep 14, 2007
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

89 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details
Access Issue: All climbing routes between and including C.O. to and including Paradigm Shift are closed. Details


One of the more aesthetic lines at Shortoff. Fun, continuous and varied climbing on good horizontals, with a few good locks for good measure. Great gear. Some pitches can be linked.

p1- Wide crack/chimney sorta thing with a dead tree a short ways up. The guidebook says to stop at this small tree and belay, but I've always continued all the way to a stance where the climbing obviously becomes harder. Also, not that it matters, but this pitch has seemed a lot harder than 5.5! More like 5.7, I think. "5.5", 140'
p2- Climb a left facing corner and eventually pull out onto the face to the right, at a point when you're underneath a roof. Continue up to a stance with a nice crack shooting off above and through a roof. Belay at this stance. 5.10a, 60 or 70'.
p3- Climb up the crack and through the roof on hero jugs! Continue running for the top through ever-easier terrain. Shull says this pitch is 140', but it's always seemed like a full 60 m. ropelength to get to the top of the cliff. 5.10a, 200'.


An obvious "splitter" (such a thing can't really exist in the sea of horizontals that is the Linville Gorge) route a short ways left of Construction Job.


A standard rack to 3" with an emphasis on smaller stuff. Route has great stopper placements.


Jeff Mekolites
Jeff Mekolites   ATL GA
As mentioned, a great way to climb this route is in two pitches: p1 climb/stem the shallow chimney system to just below a roof, 150ish feet, 5.5. p2 climb the above mentioned business - corner, pull roof out onto a crimpy face, to the top of a block/pillar, keep going up the crack system, pull the second roof and belay somewhere on less vertical terrain, 130ish feet, 5.10a. Oct 8, 2007
Coz Teplitz
Watertown, MA
Coz Teplitz   Watertown, MA
One of my favorite routes anywhere! I usually do it in two pitches to the top: One long one to a ledge just below the start of the harder climbing (just below the 5.9+ corner). Then it's about 60 m to a tree over the lip. Done this way, that second pitch is just amazing! Watch for drag, and have a blast. Oct 11, 2007
Ryan Williams
London (sort of)
Ryan Williams   London (sort of)
One of the best routes that I have done at this grade. We climbed it like Jeff, in two pitches. The easy climbing in the beginning is as fun as 5.5 can be for someone who is about to do a 5.10 pitch. Belay below the first roof, about 150 feet up. The second pitch is sustained and excellent... really great movement with good gear and a few short bits of true crack climbing! Oct 21, 2011
Raleigh, NC
sanz   Raleigh, NC
We did it in three pitches. The second belay stance is not the most comfortable and it makes the second pitch quite short, but the position on the wall is super cool. Kinda has a big-wall feel. If you're in no rush and the weather is nice, it's a pretty cool place to hang out. Nov 5, 2012
Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Very aesthetic, just called to me as I turned the corner to gaze up at the wall. A must climb. The second pitch is sustained, tricky and amazing. As mentioned before, bring your small stuff. This is a must climb for those who like to climb aesthetic routes. Apr 2, 2013
Drew Hayes
Charlotte, NC
Drew Hayes   Charlotte, NC
The first time I went out to climb at Shortoff, I saw this line and thought "man I need to climb that". We did the climb in two mega-pitches, but the drag is a son of a bitch once you pull around the final bulge. I brought doubles of the small stuff but aside from one small nut, everything I placed was .5 and up. Dec 15, 2014
Charlotte, NC
b.t.miller   Charlotte, NC
Nearly a plumb line and such a beautiful climb. Interestingly this part of the gorge faces more southwest than, say, routes like Maginot or Dopey, and therefore receives great sun on clear, cold days.

If you're like us and trying to break into 10's on gear, this is a great climb to send as it has superb gear. From below, the line appears intimidatingly steep but with some patient footwork there are great hands-free rest stances where you need them.

Gear Beta: standard Linville rack (nuts, tricams, and cams up to #3 BD). Emphasis on nuts for P2 and P3. Nov 15, 2015
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
A Linville Puritan right and proper!! Off the deck, one unwavering feature straight (and narrow) to the top. This route starts of easy breezy and gradually escalates in difficulty and steepness the higher you ascend. Delicate footwork and splitter exposure all combined with plenty of gear options make this route all the more a fantastic overall climb and an excellent introduction to the grade in the area.

Straight up—Get on it!! Dec 18, 2015
Jonathan Dull
Boone, NC
Jonathan Dull   Boone, NC
I've got to agree with what Mike said; an absolute classic with amazing movement and exposure. Bring plenty of slings to climb route in two pitches. Linking the two 5.10 pitches is some of the best climbing I've ever done in NC. Strait up Classic! Mar 7, 2016
Christopher DeGarmo
Little Rock, Arkansas
Christopher DeGarmo   Little Rock, Arkansas
Minus the first pitch. This climb was amazing!! In the first crack approximately 25-30 feet is a massive holly bush, after about another 10 feet is a second European holly tree. If you climb this make sure and bring a small saw. Would definitely make the a lot more enjoyable. Dec 1, 2017
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Very soft for a NC 10! Nice climbing as advertised, in the money sections. First pitch was so easy and boring, kinda detracted from the route. Oct 20, 2018