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Routes in Main Tier

Airlie Gardens T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Alternative Man T 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
Anguish of Captain Bligh T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
BOG Man T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Balti Porter T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Beyond 2000 T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X
Boardwalk T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Borrowed Time T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Broach, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Buffalo Dime T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Buffalo Nickel T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Chromium Chain T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Fire Point T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
First Flight T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Gorpin Engulfin T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Gumfighter T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Harpoon T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hindu Kush T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
KB Capers T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Link, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Linn Cove Lullaby T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Revival T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Special Forces T,S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Tiny Dancer T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Welcome to Watauga T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
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Type: Trad, 130 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Tom Howard, Dan Perry (1982)
Page Views: 5,292 total · 53/month
Shared By: TomCaldwell on Jun 21, 2010 with updates from Jay K Smith
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

62 Opinions

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One of the best 5.9 in the entire state. It has great movement, tons of exposure, and bomber gear. Both pitches have unique features that are hard to beat anywhere.

P1 begins next to a tree in a shallow right facing dihedral. Follow this to a short unprotected face. Continue up to the left side of the arete. Be sure to place the crucial piece of gear here before pulling around. Pull around the sharp arete to the right and up. There is an optional piece of gear out right, but can cause a lot of drag if not on double ropes. Continue up the arete to the short slab. Pull the short slab into another dihedral. Plug up the left side of the V-crack for the crux. Move out left, either rest on the ledge or continue up the dihedral pulling the roof. Move left after the short dihedral and belay on a sizable ledge with trad gear.

Option 2, start 20' to the right of said dihedral. Climb up jugs and mail slots with many more gear opportunities. Move up and left onto the slab and into the steep v-slot. This is my preferred method due better protection and reduced rope drag.

P2 moves out right up the ramp and to a crack on the face. Follow the crack to where it is capped by the large roof. At the roof traverse left in the large horizontal until you can step back onto the face (crux). Move up the short face and belay on gear again.


This route shares the same start as Linn Cove Lullaby. Go up the hill past Boardwalk and notice the "V-crack" in a large roof. Rap from the rings on Linn Cove Lullaby. A two rope rappel will reach the ground.


Nuts, TCU's, Tri-cams, and Camalots to #2, doubles in the small to medium size if you want to sew it up. All belays are on gear. Two ropes to rappel or a single 70m from Linn Cove anchors.


Jeff Mekolites
Jeff Mekolites   ATL GA
A great option for finishing this route is the 5.11 overhang with the double cracks straight above the belay. Jun 30, 2010
Mike Holley
Boone, NC
Mike Holley   Boone, NC
Can't say enough good things about this climb! Both pitches have fantastic sequences. The first pitch is a bit runout to your first placement but great pro after that. Second pitch is short but dizzying exposure! Beautiful Climb, great exposure and great pro!! Oct 4, 2011
Adam Paashaus
Greensboro, NC
Adam Paashaus   Greensboro, NC
I'm with Mike, this climb is great. Easily one of the best 9's I've done anywhere!!! Great exposure, great movements, great stone, great views, just great all around! Oct 12, 2011
Cody Bradford
Boone, NC
Cody Bradford   Boone, NC
Be careful with your gear on the first section. Blowing it while trying to pull up on to the face with bad gear could be nasty. It is there, just take time to find it. Stellar climb all the way.
Be sure to stop and take in the air beneath your feet for the near entirety of this climb! Jun 18, 2012
Stuart Parker
Missoula, MT
Stuart Parker   Missoula, MT
Is it just me, or is the first pitch of this thing nerve wracking? ooof. Apr 26, 2014
Clemson, S.C.
TomCaldwell   Clemson, S.C.
Stuart, try the right variation start. It is much more well protected and moderate. It will take a lot of the sting out of that direct start runout. Oct 30, 2014
Jeff Dunbar
Charlotte, NC
Jeff Dunbar   Charlotte, NC
Nice route with lots of variety, but its hard to imagine this is the best 5.9 in the state. Also, as my partner discovered, the P1 crux is MUCH harder for shorter people (<5'3"). Next time I'd do this in one pitch using lots of long slings. We rapped straight to the ground off the adjacent anchors for Linn Cove Lullaby with a single 70M. Jun 12, 2016
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Very fun route! The direct "R" start is a little heady, but worth it for the cleaner line. Should be easy for anyone leading 5.9. Sep 16, 2017

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