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Routes in North End

Donkey Index S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Rose, The T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Thorn, The T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,393 total, 79/month
Shared By: alan blade on Apr 10, 2010
Admins: Luc-514, Kris Fiore

You & This Route

29 Opinions

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A fantastic hand crack. It meanders a little as it goes up the slightly tipped back rock face. The slight green tinge of the face from the moss lends a nice away from it all feel...sustained and a true Vermont Classic


Normal rack plus a number 4 for the top.


Derek Doucet
Derek Doucet  
Fun, if contrived link-up if you're looking for some variety at the North End: Climb the Rose to the obvious horizontal break below the exit crack, then traverse the horizontal rightward to the exit of The Thorn. This is known as the "Pork Your Partner" finish, named both for leaders who don't protect their seconds adequately on traverses and also for buddies who do the traverse and cut across the top of you while you're on The Thorn. Good times. Sep 29, 2017
We climbed these on lead in the 90's - no bolts in sight - it was fine. Heck we dialed the rose in enough to lead it with all passive gear and that was fine too! It's all there safety wise. Oct 30, 2016
Kris Fiore
Burlington, Vermont
Kris Fiore   Burlington, Vermont  
The Rose no longer has bolt anchors and whoever did it finished the job and pounded/covered them. Good riddance.

The Thorn anchors have been moved. Details on the page for The Thorn. Oct 3, 2015
Eric Chabot
Salt Lake City, UT
Eric Chabot   Salt Lake City, UT
Rose crack's bolts need to go/be moved. The positioning is terrible. I couldn't even imagine reaching them while on lead, and it seems like they'd expose a seconding climber to a weird swing during the topout.

Led the thorn yesterday and I agree that the bolt anchor took some spice out of the top out. I had already hung extended slings on the bolts from working the route on TR, so it was easy to clip mid top out. I felt that without preplaced slings you still have to pretty much top out the route before you can clip.

Not that I can claim bolton local status or have put any effort into development, but IMO I am a fan of this anchor as-is. but it could use an extra link or two of chain to reduce rope drag/twists as you rap the route. Sep 25, 2014
Derek Doucet
Derek Doucet  
Hey Delam-

Your comment is unusual in the endless bolting debate: A well reasoned perspective offered without vitriol or drama. Thanks for that. While I disagree, I do appreciate your thoughtful perspective.

With that said, the Chockstone anchor comparison is an apples and oranges one in my opinion. There is no viable alternative on that ledge anymore. There is a perfectly reasonable one atop the Rose, and it doesn't necessitate any damage to a tree. There's a small tree growing directly out of the rock (and so not susceptible to soil compaction damage) and perfectly good gear to use. I wouldn't support any permanent fixed anchor for that reason alone. I don't even know how to reply to an argument that the bolts on the Rose were intended as a rap anchor (as you seem to imply in your post). They are completely useless for that application in their present position and the nature of the terrain up there is such that there is no good spot for a rap anchor. Happily, that's irrelevant since there is a 3-minute walk-off.

I'm more ambivalent about the Thorn anchor. If it were better positioned, I'd personally feel it was reasonable. My main objection is that if it was intended as a lower off for leads, its present position makes it clippable essentially right in the middle of the route's final crux, which is lame and changes the character of the route. Just the other day I led it and found its presence annoying when there's a PERFECT nut placement at your knees for the move. If they're intended as a top rope anchor, they're once again poorly positioned, as safely clipping them from above requires a tether of some sort and the only viable option is the tree we'd all like to preserve. But again, I could support a better positioned anchor in that vicinity.

Your contention that these anchors have broad support in the local community is suspect, though. As suspect perhaps as my own narrow view that they are strongly objected to in that same community. This contradiction speaks to the fact that the local community is far larger than it has ever been, and is no longer the homogenous one it was for so long. Clearly there are large segments of this larger community that interact little if at all with one another. Among my portion of the community, these anchors are viewed with (at best) considerable skepticism. I'm quite sure there are many others who feel differently. That said, I stand by my position that the Rose anchor should be removed and the Thorn anchor at least moved. May 30, 2014
Although the feedback on this particular website seems one-sided, it appears that there is broad support for these new anchors throughout the climbing community, both old and young.

The bolts can be pounded into the rock easily, as the holes were drilled deep. Less easily, but more desirable, the threaded bolts can be removed and replaced with some of Hilshee's patented rock dust. Hope all is well, Alex!

It's true; these routes have both been climbed for 30 years without the use of a convenient rap option. However, with the immense and growing popularity of the crag, and the guidebook luring visiting climbers from Quebec, NH, Mass and even further (it's true! people actually come to visit UWB) it's a disgrace for the whole cliff not to be up to modern standards.

I'm surprised nobody is hating on the two bolt anchor at the top of the Chockstone crack, too, up and a ways left of the Rose wall. How obtrusive!! (jk) Those certainly weren't there for the FA. In fact, they have even been replaced and the old tree anchor is only a few more years dead than the Rose and Thorn tree anchors.

And finally, I fully agree with Derek! STOP stealing biners off the anchors! Replace an old one, sure, but don't steal carabiners and lower off the quick-links; that is just poor form.

Overall, poorly executed, perhaps, but certainly well intentioned. Thanks to Derek, Travis, nick G, matt and others for all of your contributions to the local climbing scene. May 29, 2014
Derek Doucet
Derek Doucet  
Hopefully someone will finish the job. The sooner the better, in my opinion. May 23, 2014
Matt Luck
Matt Luck  
The hangers are now gone from the offending bolts but unfortunately the shiny bolt threads still protrude from the rock. May 15, 2014
I am also sad that someone placed bolts on these routes. These routes have been climbed routinely for +-30 years without need of an anchor, and topping out on either route is not trivial and IMO adds to the experience of climbing the route. Looks like the thrill of the finish has been taken away from both routes.
I'd vote for pulling both of these anchors. Feb 25, 2014
Alex Hilshey
Hollidaysburg, PA
Alex Hilshey   Hollidaysburg, PA
Wow, I'm kind of sad that someone put bolt anchors up on these two. People won't have to do the glamorous "dead fish" paw for your life top out of the thorn... :(

There's always a crowbar, epoxy, and rock dust... Feb 25, 2014
Derek Doucet
Derek Doucet  
Hey Matt,

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of both of those anchors. Well intentioned, I'm sure, but unfortunately poorly executed and thoroughly unnecessary. I imagine the motivation to remove the anchor on the tree above the Thorn was to protect the tree itself which is commendable. However the threat to that tree is erosion/soil compaction and to TR (which from observation I'd say constitutes the vast majority of the traffic on the Thorn) one still has to walk right past the tree to access the new anchor. In addition, it is dangerous to approach from above without using the tree to tether oneself anyway. Finally, for leaders, it's now possible to clip the anchor before doing the last moves to stand up, which is arguably one of the cruxes of the route. For these reasons, all in all I think the Thorn anchor is not in any way an improvement.

The Rose anchor too is poorly executed. If the idea was for a TR anchor, it's both unnecessary (there's gear and trees to build a solid anchor if one brings some static or webbing) and poorly positioned. However if one is absolutely determined to have a TR bolt anchor there, put it several feet back from the edge to facilitate safe set-up. There's no point in placing it that close to the edge, since it still needs extension to eliminate nasty drag, and it's useless as a rap anchor regardless.

My other pet peeve this season at UWB has been folks stealing the fixed carabiners from anchors, leaving just a single quick link on bolts. Those carabiners are left there because pulling ropes through single quicklinks TWISTS ROPES. The carabiners change the orientation of the rope's travel through the anchor to eliminate this problem.


Derek Sep 7, 2013
Matt Luck
Matt Luck  
On August 6 we found a new 2 bolt anchor at the top of the Rose located just above the lip of the climb to the left of the crack. Unfortunately the anchor is rather low to be useful for anything other than hanging a toprope; in addition, it is quite precarious to access unprotected from the top. Also, the cable around the tree had been removed and a new anchor placed on the left wall at the top of the Thorn which is also dangerous to access without protection from above. Sep 6, 2013
Derek Doucet
Derek Doucet  
*SPOILER ALERT* Rather specific gear beta below...

The meat of the climb takes #3 camalot sized gear. How many depends on your comfort level with cupped hands. A small-medium sized wire is useful for the start, and a larger nut or two is nice at 2/3 height. The top takes a #4 camalot sized piece, and a #1 camalot can be placed deep in the crack at the very exit if desired. You'll probably want a #2 camalot sized piece on the rack as well.

There is no fixed anchor on top, but a solid anchor can be built by using a small tree and vertical finger crack well back from the edge and extending back to a good belay position with the climbing rope. Jun 5, 2013
Zak Munro
VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
Zak Munro   VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
I'am trying to get a better idea of what kind of gear this takes before i lead it. Any suggestions? Jun 4, 2013
slightly overhanging. laced both my #3s into the bottom 30 feet. I had met a VT climber in the Dacks (on flying & drinking, drinking and driving, introduce yourself again if you see this!) who had also recommended the #4 for the top. I am glad for this page, and that advice; there are numerous placements for a #4, and even a #5, as you go, and knowing that I needed to save it proved crucial.

A phenomenal hand crack, certainly the best of its kind that I've climbed. Mar 10, 2013