Type: Trad, 300 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Shaver, Pidgeon, 1970
Page Views: 16,827 total · 123/month
Shared By: Jeff Mekolites on Oct 8, 2007
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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


Maginot Line is a climb that unfolds with each move. Each moves links with the next in a way that keeps you thinking and on your toes. It is truly a classic with great climbing in a great location.

Maginot Line climbs the huge left facing corner that is located to the right of Little Corner. It will be marked by a large pine at the base and another pine about 20 feet up the route.

This route can be done in 3 or 4 pitches.
P1 - climb the dihedral to a comfy belay below a chockstone.
P2 - continue up the dihedral following the path of least resistance...angle right to an arete and up through a block/fingercrack to an overhang. Pull the overhang and set a belay on another great ledge. (or split this pitch into two.)
P3 - easy climbing up the dihedral leads to the top.


All trad, baby!
Jesse Morehouse
Jesse Morehouse   CO
I think the guide refers to this as "possibly the best 5.7 in the state" and Id have a hard time arguing. May 31, 2008
we did it in 4 pitches like the guide. made for a really short second pitch. what a classic route. super fun. Nov 3, 2008
This is a classic line. I think I've climbed it three times in the past year and plan on climbing it at least a couple times this year. I wrote a brief trip report after my first time here. OnTheSharpEnd.com - Maginot Line Feb 13, 2009
Mike Heilman
Eagle, ID
Mike Heilman   Eagle, ID
Pitch 1 is longer than you think. Said to be 90 feet in some guides, with reference to a ledge for belay under a chockstone. There are multiple chockstones in the dihedral along the way where an anchor is possible, but the best ledge is up and right. You can follow the dihedral up and see it, or climb an exposed and unprotected face on the right just under it. Great holds, but no pro. P2 is short (50 ft) and could be combined with P1, but rope drag could be a problem. No description of P3 is necessary, beyond saying that it's the best pitch of the route with plenty of pro at the roof. P4 a long scramble to the top. Feb 24, 2010
Pitch 3 doesn't go directly up the crack. You step right 15-20 feet on a little ledge and finish the pitch by climbing a face with lots of horizontals. The guide seems to want you to "trend Right" but you actually go sharply right well below the overhang. We got corn-fused and set up an extra belay on the little ledge to figure things out. 5 pitches instead of 3-4 (...doh!). Great climb, good pro throughout. Jun 5, 2010
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Classic Short off Route! Definitely an aesthetic climb even if its not the most physically demanding. Linked pitch one and two (easily done and well worth it) and finished out the original sequence. Pitch three is gorgeous with great exposure and solid pro!

Like many of the routes out at Short Off, keep an eye open for loose rock! Oct 10, 2011
Ryan Williams
London (sort of)
Ryan Williams   London (sort of)
This was the first route I did at Shortoff, back when I had 7 cams and a set of nuts. Really fun route... solid rock, sustained climbing, comfy belays. Link the first two pitches... and I've been told you can link the last two w/ a 70. Oct 21, 2011
Matt Westlake
Durham, NC
Matt Westlake   Durham, NC
Anyone tried going straight up through the overhanging crack on P3 rather than dodging out right? Difficulty, gear? I was tempted but a) it wasn't my pitch to lead and b) I wasn't sure how the pro was and didn't want to talk my partner into anything too sketchy.

Edit: Looks like it's been done here mountainproject.com/v/magin… Jun 11, 2012
Dustin Stephens  
Can link 1&2 then 2&3 into a 2-pitch route with lots of runners. Fantastic moderate! Jul 27, 2012
Ezra Ellis
  5.7+ PG13
Ezra Ellis   Hotlanta
  5.7+ PG13
Great route,
Probably want a 4 and a 5 camalot (new sizes) for the first pitch.
crux is the first pitch imo.

Zoo view is the best 5.7 in NC however...:) Oct 26, 2012
chris mcguigan
belmont, nc
chris mcguigan   belmont, nc
2 long pitches; for me the crux was the first half of the climb thought provoking movement in and out of the crack.
The upper section moving right onto the face and over the bulge was 4 star terrifically fun climbing. Mar 16, 2013
Here and there.
Shadrock   Here and there.
Absolutely stellar line: full-value climbing and exposure for a 5.7. We didn't use anything bigger than a #3. I highly recommend linking P1 and P2 (can be done with a 60m) especially if you're trying to move fast. Use LOTS of long runners for this. Each of the first 3 pitches has a great "hero move" with stemming and jug hauls over wicked exposure. Enjoy! Oct 14, 2013
Billy Danger
Asheville, NC
Billy Danger   Asheville, NC
we did it in 2 pitches with a 70, but I think you could pull it off in 2 with a 60 as well. Absolute classic. Mar 25, 2014
Charlotte, NC
b.t.miller   Charlotte, NC
Esperanza's thought of being able to do this climb in two long pitches with a 60m is correct. We linked P1 and P2 into one long pitch. Maybe 150-160'. We linked P3 and P4 as well with maybe 3-4 meters of a 60m rope left to spare.

We tried hard to manage rope drag with long slings (60cm and 120cm slings) but that did little to cut down on rope drag. Pretty stifling at the end of each long pitch. Aug 18, 2014
May 7, 2015 - Got a Black Diamond .4 stuck on p3. If you get it out and want to be nice, please message me. May 11, 2016
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
This is a good, high quality climb, full of fun moves and solid pro. The major challenges are tricky gear anchors and lots of loose blocks at key spots. I was expecting a stiffer test, given the "+" in the rating and being Shortoff ... but it felt kinda soft for the grade. Would be a good intro for the burgeoning 5.7 leader. Beautiful and worthwhile outing! Oct 10, 2016
Sean M
Sean M  
Solid climb. I'm using the pitch breakdown in Selected Climbs...

P1 is a fun climb to the chockstone. Anchor can be a little fiddly if you don't trust the chockstone.

P2 is pretty short to the alcove which is a real comfy belay spot but you need a few small cams/tricams to build an anchor here.

P3 is the money pitch, fun exposure and great moves. One spot you have to do about 2 committing moves with gear a couple yards below your feet, but then you get to a bomber ledge with good gear.

P4 Scramble up 5.6 until you can walk off.

All gear anchors. As with most shortoff mt routes, best have a nonverbal plan for windy days where you can't see/hear one another. These happen often here. Feb 13, 2017
Had to bail on first pitch of this beautiful climb, and left a conglomeration of gear at the chockstone on first pitch. If you find yourself upon this treasure trove and wish to do a good deed, please message me. In return you will be rewarded with good company, a warm meal, and a cold beer wherever you choose. Apr 17, 2017
This was my very first trip to the gorge and I underestimated the amount of time it would take to: 1) hike in and follow the very steep and sometimes exposed gully trail down to the base of the climbs, which included setting a rap around a tree, 2) find the route at the bottom in the overgrown and rocky terrain, 3) after the hike in, figure out how to best haul up all the extra stuff we brought down (the crag bag half filled with extra gear, and a back pack with clothes, first aid kit, shoes, food and water etc). The climb was not vertical enough to haul up the extra 40 pounds in 3 pitches so we did it in five! This was a nice moderate climb, but the main issue we had was the fact that we didn't read enough to realize that you need to gear up (bring headlamps) before you head down there! Fun day and lots of practice with problems solving (thankfully we had our headlamps for the the hike back)... Oct 8, 2017
artem Vasilyev
New York, NY
artem Vasilyev   New York, NY
If you're looking for a classic at the grade - do False Paradise instead. Wasn't a bad line, but overrated imo. Dec 7, 2017