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The Great Barrier Roof

5.11+, Trad, TR, 160 ft,  Avg: 2.5 from 2 votes
FA: Dave Pagel, FFA: Mike Dahlberg
Minnesota > Tettegouche SP… > Shovel Point
Access Issue: Temporary Peregrine Falcon access restrictions Details


Written in 2007: After careful inspection on rappel, this route is somewhat a mystery to me. I solo-toproped the first pitch, which is a fun 10+, but could not find the rest of the route. An impressive roof sits directly on top of the anchors for the 5.10, but no means of protecting it seem to exist. No bolts, no space for natural gear.
I eased myself off of the anchors of the first pitch into space, and jugged up the rope for the last 1-2 pitch(es), which were covered in lichen.
After asking several people about it, the route is still a question mark. If anyone can speak to the status of the route, please do.

Dec 2008 Update: I've heard back from a couple of people who tell me that the route went free on lead. Very cool. If so, from the look of it, I'd say it's one of the most attractive and intimidating free routes in MN. I hope we get to hear from Dahlberg about the first ascent, or from someone else who's given it a go.

Also possible to aid at C3.


The right side of the big roof that also holds Ego-itis. Close to below the new wooden observation platform, maybe a little to the west.



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Ego & Barrier
[Hide Photo] Ego & Barrier

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[Hide Comment] I solo-aided the first pitch this summer, and had hoped to lead the second as well. Like you, I jugged the last pitch, finding it quite blank even to aid. The first ascent party assures me it goes, but A3 is tough stuff. I'd like to go back with a belayer.

Were you expecting bolts? The Pagel guide indicates bolts at the belay only.

Anyway, it was interesting to see your remarks because the route seems to get next to no traffic.

BC Feb 13, 2008
[Hide Comment] Farris' description goes like this: three pitches. (10+, 11+, C3). He describes the first pitch as I found it, a 10+ free route. For the second he says, "Turn the roof, and belay (5.11+)." He even put a belay dot on his picture topo for the route. I expected to find either gear placements or bolts, and to find the "belay" that he talks about above the roof. I found none of these things.
If the "second pitch" is freeable at 11+, I would love to hear about it. It seems unlikely to me, but there could be enough features. It would be more like a step up from Narcoleptic Epic than a step down from Ego-itis.
Great to hear from someone else that's been on the thing, and good luck aiding it. Cant wait to hear how it goes. Feb 13, 2008
Adam Schwartz-Lowe
Minneapolis, MN
[Hide Comment] It's been years since I've aided it, but it definitely goes. If I remember correctly bring some small RPs and a sky hook. It's thin, but everything is there. There are only bolts at the belay.

Te entire route goes free, but the roof is pretty stiff. May 28, 2008
[Hide Comment] I've thought about this on and off for a while. I wonder if the bolts for the belay above the roof were removed at some point. Jun 25, 2010
[Hide Comment] I climbed this route with Todd Peterson back in 1996. He freed the 1st pitch while aided the second. Probably my most amazing climbing experience ever in Minnesota. The roof and headwall offer true bowl churning exposure.

I recall the aid being very straight forward and not that difficult. In fact, this was the first real aid route that I ever climbed, besides screwing around on some free routes to learn technique.

I would highly recommend this route to anyone who feels up to the challenge and is looking for a great adventure climb - Minnesota style!

  • As of 1996, there were no bolts above the lip of the roof. No evidence that any ever existed. I see no reason why anyone would want/need to do this route in three pitches.
Apr 26, 2014
Peter L Scott
Pequot Lakes, MN
[Hide Comment] I aided this about 1995. I seem to recall it felt easy for A3. Fairly easy
pretty solid placements. With the potential falls not to bad.

Bart Cannon your failure must have been due to the fact you are folicly challenged. I succeeded because of my Sampson like strength due to my long flowing locks. Dec 17, 2016
[Hide Comment] In response to Adam Scwartz-Lowe, I rapped down on this thing two weeks ago (3/2/18), it left three questions in my mind.
1)Has anyone ever free climbed the route beach to rim?
2)If someone has did they pull through the roof to the right or left?
3)How did they protect the roof?

Also, I concur with Ron Le Blanc - there are no bolts above the roof.
There is a lot of lichen though, bomber stuff too, probably could sling 2 or 3 for a solid belay. Mar 15, 2018