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Routes in Wallface

Case Route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Diagonal, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Free Ride T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Lewis Elijah T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Mental Blocks T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C1
Mission to Mars S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
No Man's a Pilot T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2
Out with the boys again T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Pay As You Go T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Prelude to Gravity T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Type: Trad, 860 ft, 7 pitches
FA: 1962 Rutledge, Tom and Jane Morgan
Page Views: 28,189 total, 362/month
Shared By: Kevin Heckeler on Jul 6, 2011
Admins: Jim Lawyer

You & This Route

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P1 5.5 G - Climb the left facing corner (right side) of depression for 60 feet, then move across face to left leaning small ledge system (crux). Follow this up for a few moves, then traverse right across slabby terrain up to the fixed anchors, or instead of traversing right continue up the left leaning ledge and traverse above this area to a belay to the right of a roof on a slab (below some trees). 180 feet

P2 5.5 G (with variants up to 5.8 near top of pitch) - Continue up and right for 50 feet, then go straight up into a groove at the steeper section of rock. [to the left on the steeper section there are harder variations, including the left most corner/quasi-chimney that goes about 5.8] Climb this to the base of the ramp (crux). 180 feet

P3 5.3 G (PG runout?) - Climb ramp, following path of least resistance to a belay above a large block (fixed gear slung around large flake/boulder 50 feet above a tree in the corner). 150 feet

P4 5.5 G - Climb below the right facing/leaning corner above the belay for 25 feet (traversing up and right), then regain main corner and follow this to a short wall, climb this to the top anchors (crux) at the left end of a large ledge. 150 feet

P5 4th Class - Traverse right along large ledge 60 feet to some trees below a large right facing corner with a slanting roof about 15 feet up.

P6 5.8 G - Climb corner, then traverse under ceiling into a flared chimney (crux) and right facing corner. At top of corner at grassy ledge step left to the base of another right facing corner. [can sling large block leaning against wall] 70 feet

P7 5.8 G - Climb steep right facing corner to top fixed anchors. 80 feet


Approach via climber's path as described on the main Wallface page (follow cairns). Start at the top of the path near some birch trees, a flat rock, and where two corners form a shallow depression.

Descend using (2) 60m ropes. 4 Raps

Generally Wallface is most accessible sometime May thru early October. Black Flies particularly bad June into July. Exact start/end of climbing season and bugs varies year to year. The approach has many spots that get wet after a good rain or during Spring runoff. This will slow you down significantly. Many choose to camp overnight to split up the trip.


Some gear anchors, some fixed anchors.

Mostly G, Pitch 3 has some runout but because it's 5 grades easier than the hardest pitch it's considered 'safe' by ADK rock climbing standards.
Beta -


If you are here for the first time, you won't know where "the last stream crossing" is per the guide book, so every stream crossing you come to, you'll be second guessing. See the picture added above as a marker for where the climber's herd path turns off of the main Indian Pass trail. Look for cairns in front of the "W" tree (kinda cool that there is a W-for-Wallface tree at the start of the turnoff.


Having double ropes was nice on this route due to its wandering nature down low, and the necessity for double rope rappels on the descent.

Pitch 1: I felt like the first 30-40 feet didn’t present any options for placements that would actually hold a fall due to rock quality. It’s easy climbing, just FYI if you don’t like a little run-out off the ground. Follow initial corner up to some bushes and sling the tree before moving back left up an obvious seam (one of the spots double ropes are helpful). At the end of that seam start moving right and up again. If, at somewhere around 100’ up, you get to a tempting looking zig-zag splitter crack that leads to a ledge under an overhang, don’t take it (although it’s fun, aside from some loose rock). That zig-zag crack puts you too far left for the start of pitch 2. Better to end up about 50’ to the right. There is a small tree in the vegetation with a grey Camp runner and red slung cordelette to belay from.

Pitch 2:
We extended the belayer’s tie-in point going to the anchor so that the belayer was positioned about 10’ below the anchor. This helped to keep the lead line from having to “bend” around the initial vegetation, effectively straightening the rope line and decreasing drag. Still a wandery pitch that traverses right and then up through some blocky, loose stuff that feels almost 4th class in some spots, but also has a few fun sections of good rock as you move higher. You’ll eventually pop your head up and see the unmistakable start to the diagonal ramp and the belay station.

Pitch 3:
Wow wow wow. This is where you get to feed that adventurous, nature-appreciating spirit. The climbing is very easy (but fun!) and lets you spend your mental cycles on taking your surroundings in. Put your head on a swivel and get lost in the magnitude of the walls around you, the beauty of the peaks behind you, and enjoy the setting. This is beautiful. Even if you’re a 5.14 climber, this 5.3 pitch is worth experiencing. Find yourself at a sling belay about 190’ up and keep smiling.

Pitch 4:

Wow, wow, wow again. So beautiful. Immediately off the belay, and directly above, you can choose to go up a short vertical crack that probably goes at 5.6, protects well, is really fun and leads directly into the main corner. I highly recommend this option instead of traversing right off the belay. Follow the ramp up and get treated to a cool pock-marked section of crazy geological features, and don’t stop at the first set of bolts near the top of the pitch. There is a second set another 10’ up on the right-facing wall of a huge ledge. Belay from there.

Pitch 5:
Traverse right about 60’, behind some small trees, and stop around the corner at the white-chipstone ledge. Look up and you should see a piton in the face about 8’ up.

Pitch 6:
Do a beached-whale move, stuff yourself in the chimney, smile again.

Pitch 7:
Go up staying in the corner that will move you through a series of ledges and trends slightly right. Jug rails at the top, it’s all there. Go for it! Belay at the bolts (black bolts on right-facing wall, hard to see) on the left side of the final ledge.

Rap 1:
Rap off of the same bolts you belayed from. No rap rings as of Oct ‘17, thread directly through hangars. This takes you to the big ledge at the top of pitch 4.

Rap 2:
Rap from pitch 4 anchors. Go down aways and then slightly right over a corner that puts you on a free-hanging rappel for about 80’ to a huge ledge below. Be careful not to get your rope running through a notch at the top of the free-hanging section. You won’t be able to pull it if so, and it would be a bad situation. (We luckily heard this advice from a Wallface vet before we rapped and were spared any epics.) Walk down the ledge to the right and you’ll find an obvious rap station on a tree.

Rap 3:
Down and slightly left. You’ll see a small, rock covered path below that leads to an edge and the next rap station.

Rap 4:
Full 60m rope-length rappel. Make sure you have knots (as always) in the end of the rope. For real. Make sure.

Finish with a 4th class scramble to the bottom.

Feel amazing. Oct 15, 2017
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
Led 6 of 7 pitches, climbed it in 3.5 hours. The raps took about two hours, hard to find that last one in the trees! Unbelievable location, just fantastic. My first backcountry climb, loved every bit of it. Tried to do a good deed and removed and replaced a piece of tat on said last rap station, but left my razor blade in the burl of the tree. If you're up there, please pack it out! Sep 20, 2017
Great route! gtluke (above) has it right. I would only add:
- P4 and P7 are 20-25 ft. longer than listed
- I felt no need of a #4 cam
- The rappels with double 60s are hassle-free during daylight but in the dark you'll want a good headlight to spot the next stations since you need to traverse up to 40 ft from where gravity takes you.

We hiked in from the Loj and took the approach trail from Summit Rock. The best tip we got was "Once down the steep slope from the Summit Rock bivy site, find the well-cairned "trail" (obstacle course). If you lose the cairns, BACKTRACK! Ditto for the hike out." The cairns end in the middle of a eroded gully which is directly below the last rappel. The trail to the start of P1 is at the bottom of the erosion. Sep 30, 2016
Dan.G. yorlig
Queens, NY
Dan.G. yorlig   Queens, NY
Is it possible to rap with one 70m rope?

update: No it not. You will definitely need 2 ropes NO LESS THAN 50m long! Aug 2, 2016
I did this route this weekend so here's my beta for someone like me who was stressed out on the gear and the grading.
I brought way too much gear, I stressed way too much over the 5.8 pitches.

P1: dirty route finding. Build a gear anchor.

P2: dirty route finding. Build a gear anchor.

P3: onto the ramp, walk up the ramp, super easy, tons of gear placements you won't need. Ends at a rap station on a boulder near the cliff and near a smallish tree.

P4: Slightly more difficult ramp, place a few pieces of gear, ends on a bolted station strangely in sight of another bolt station 10 feet above.

P5: Just walk around the corner

P6: Do a couple moves, place a few pieces. Sling a boulder to belay. The crux is currently protected by a fixed #4 cam of some weird manufacturer that's completely jammed right where you want it. There is also a crappy piton there. Or use your own #4, you don't need it again.

P7: 3 seconds of "moves" Each is only a move long and ends in a comfortable stance. Don't fear this section if you are a 5.8 climber. This seemed REALLY easy for a 5.8. Very comfortable, if there was a G++ rating I'd give it that. You could literally place gear at every inch of the climb.
Top out on a bolted station. extend it down over the edge to belay if you want to watch your buddy climb up.

Gear Beta:
I brought too much gear.
I used half of my trad rack. The 5.8 sections could basically be climbed only on nuts, it protects real easy on medium cams and nuts and a million questionable pitons.

If I was to do it again I would bring half of my rack. So what I would bring is:
#1 mastercam
.3 through #4 camalots
set of nuts
I just happen to have that #1 mastercam, it protects so easy I"m sure I could have used a nut instead or skipped that placement.
I WOULD bring that #4 again. I did place it a few times.
I used 9 draws on the 7th pitch. That's the most I used. I would probably still recommend 12 in case someone wants to clip more pitons on P7. The rest of the pitches were maybe 4 or 5 placements max. Jul 28, 2014
Eric Chabot
Salt Lake City, UT
Eric Chabot   Salt Lake City, UT
On pitch 7, an alternative finish goes straight up where the classic finish goes right towards the final corner with the piton. You can avoid the stemming by climbing a hand-size crack and face holds (5.7/8). This finish is fun and well protected without that #4 cam that you carried all the way from the car. Oct 14, 2013
For the descent, 50-meter ropes are sufficient. The first three rappels are less than 50 meters. On the last rappel we ended a little above the trail, but the scramble down was not too difficult.

On the ascent, in order to reach the anchors described here, a 50-meter rope is a bit too short. However, there is no shortage of alternative places to build anchors. Sep 4, 2012
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
I thought the crux pitches were pretty easy for 5.8. I'm only a 5.8 leader and was expecting the pitches to be sandbagged based on what everyone told me. For me, the crux was on P6 entering the somewhat flared chimney. On P7 I followed the corner all the way up and found that it can pretty much be stemmed the entire way. Steep but "juggy" 5.8 with many rests. Jul 25, 2012
Hi everyone, I climbed this on Saturday to the huge belay ledge at the top of pitch four and bivyed (spelling??)(climbed Roger's Rock in the morning), then climbed the two 5.8 pitches first thing this morning and was back to the parking lot by noon. I can say there is some rap tat in a bush at the top of P1 (if you stay close to the overhang on the left). There is some tat and rap rings at the start of the ramp, at the finish of P2. There is some tat and rings in the middle of the ramp, at the top of P3. There are the two bolts, and then above it, the double bolt/rap station at the top of P4. No fixed anchor at the end of P5 (the 4th class traverse), or at the top of P6 (though the block is still there and easily slung). At the top of P7 there are two rubber-ized bolts. We did the 5.8 variation to P2, and tried pulling some moves even further on the left (immediately to the right of the belay at the top of P1) but it spit me off twice, so we conceded to the 5.8. We rapped the route, from the previously mentioned rap stations. We also made the exit-right from the stream bed more clearly marked with cairns. All-in-all - this route lived up to my expectations, (pretty high), and the bivy made it out-of-this-world cool. I highly recommend it to anyone who can convince someone to do it with them. Jul 8, 2012
Andrew Mertens
Berkeley, CA
Andrew Mertens   Berkeley, CA
The bushwack off the top is for masochists only. Bring double ropes and rappel. May 13, 2012
Eric Kuenstner
Los Angeles, CA
Eric Kuenstner   Los Angeles, CA
the first few pitches have a pretty alpine feel and may seem somewhat runout and not very straightforward to people not familiar with this sort of terrain. however, the last two pitches are stellar and protection is more than ample. pure adventure climbing! Nov 6, 2011
Greg Kuchyt
Richmond, VT
Greg Kuchyt   Richmond, VT
Which anchors are you talking about? Where was the cord and single rap ring? That is not the anchor I setup. It sounds like you're talking about the end of the Diagonal ramp before the 4th class move right to the first 5.8 pitch, am I mistaken?

The anchor I was referring to is the fixed anchor at the base of the Diagonal ramp. From my memory, there was a bunch of tat on a natural anchor there and the Lawyer/Haas topo shows a fixed anchor there. I left 12 feet of blue and pink cord with two rap rings slung around the 10-12 ft tall tower/pillar/horn at the base of the ramp (inline with the rappel line of No Man's a Pilot). Jul 28, 2011
Pottersville,New York
Tparis   Pottersville,New York
Greg, there are two bolts just up and right of where we saw the cord and single rap ring. and the ledge just above the two bolts has a rap station with two bolts two rapid links and four rap rings. Jul 27, 2011
Greg Kuchyt
Richmond, VT
Greg Kuchyt   Richmond, VT
Anyone know what happened to the fixed anchor at the top of pitch 2? That big pillar used to be slung with a bunch of material but today nothing. We left cord and rings so we could rap down from No Man's a Pilot...interested to know the story on this. Jul 23, 2011
Kevin Heckeler
Upstate New York
Kevin Heckeler   Upstate New York
To my amazement I found this route had not been added when I came here to add my tick...

Although it's probably stellar 4 star climbing for only the last 2 pitches, all of the route features quality climbing and great views. If there was a 3.5 star I'd give it that, rounding up it gets a 4.

- edit - After reading comments below, opting to leave out 'opinion' stuff about the grading and let each climber experience it for themselves. Jul 6, 2011