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The Broach

5.11, Trad, 140 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 3.8 from 30 votes
FA: Doug Reed - 1985
N Carolina > Ship Rock > Main Tier


This is one of the most badass lines in the Boone region, if not the state. An overhanging, angling pumpfest, the line is also surprisingly doable for the grade. Get on it and don't let go! The crux of this amazing line might be locking off to peer into the horizontal for gear.
P1-Start as for Linn Cove Lullaby, but instead of heading left for the underclings and traverses, stay straight on easy terrain, heading for a large right-facing corner. Set the belay with medium stoppers at an absolutely perfect, lay-down ledge. 5.6/7, 80'.
P2-Continue up the broad corner, mantling onto a ledge 10 or 15' above the belay ledge beneath a steep, clean bulge. Carefully stand up and reach blindly over the lip--you'll find what you're looking for! Bust a couple of bouldery moves up over this roof, be careful with the flexing jug, get some pro, and GO! Follow the gorgeous horizontal out right for 30 or so feet to an exciting move pulling around the corner. Relax--you're now on an easy slab. Set a belay near the top of the crag. 5.11+, 60'.
NOTE: Many do this route in one pitch.
No description I write will do this route justice. If you're up to the grade, it's simply a must-do.


Starts on Linn Cove Lullaby and branches off to the right. Rap from the top of Boardwalk.


A good variety of gear. Gear through the crux is blue TCU-sized through .75 camalot, with a flaring #2 camalot if you want it. Keep an eye open for keyholed nut placements. Bring a #3 camalot and maybe save some finger-sized cams for the belay. There is a set of newer, hangerless bolt studs hanging out in the vicinity of the belay.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Exit moves on The Broach
[Hide Photo] Exit moves on The Broach
Too much fun!
[Hide Photo] Too much fun!
Looking up at the hanging dihedral of The Broach on a hot summer day.
[Hide Photo] Looking up at the hanging dihedral of The Broach on a hot summer day.
Let freedom ring
[Hide Photo] Let freedom ring

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] FA Doug Reed

Five star route. Just did it on Saturday for the first time in twenty years. Jun 21, 2009
Dr. Rocktopolus
Chattanooga, TN
[Hide Comment] This thing is bad ass. Its all there for sure. Step up to the plate on this very doable very classic line. There was a fixed wire half way through the traverse when I did it, seemed bomber. Jul 11, 2012
[Hide Comment] Certainly one of the funnest (and steepest) climbs around the High Country. As they used to say, "a bargain for the grade." Maybe its all my years climbing at Obed but NC .11d seems very generous. Cornflake Crack seems much harder to me at .11a. The exposure and line might increase your fear but fear not. The biggest holds you could imagine with really straightforward and bomber gear with a clean fall. Pure pleasure.

A 70 meter rope gets you to an insignificant and easy down climb. Jun 14, 2014
Alexander Blum
Charlotte, NC
[Hide Comment] There are currently two fixed nuts in the middle of the roof. It seems that there is usually a good fixed piece here, but fear not - if they are gone there is still excellent gear to be had during the traverse.

This rig is pumpy, but the crux for me was seeing all that air continue to appear under my feet as I traversed out. If you are considering trying The Broach, don't hesitate!. If you are breaking into this grade it is a GREAT one to grow on, straightforward gear, clean falls, and huge holds means your typical RRG bolt clipper could walk up it in a pair of roller blades with a watermelon hanging from his harness.

So much fun. Go do it. Now. Go! Jul 15, 2014
[Hide Comment] Video of a buddy of mine climbing The Broach.… Apr 4, 2015
Brian Abram
Celo, NC
[Hide Comment] The anchor at the top is now stainless rings. No #3 BD is needed anywhere on this climb. A single rack of BD cams from .3 to 2 with doubles of .5 and .75 will sew up the second pitch. The double fixed nuts are still in situ as of May 2017. I have no idea how to grade it: getting up into the traverse might be 5.10-, but there is no single move anywhere besides that harder than 5.9+. Nevertheless it's steeper and pumpier than just about anything else around.

FWIW, the route Aretenephobia over at Better Late Than Never Wall is extremely similar in style to Broach. Its traverse is about the same difficulty move for move, but it's shorter. Though pulling onto the slab at the end of the traverse of Aretenephobia is actually harder than any move on Broach. May 18, 2017
[Hide Comment] Be careful on this one. My buddy fell on a .4 near the end and coreshot the rope, most likely because he didn't extend the placement. Aug 8, 2018