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Box Left T,TR 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Dirty Diapers V6 7A
Lazy Sunday TR 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
Lifestyles T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Lifestyles - variation T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pox, The TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Right Dihedral T,TR 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Sand Box Corner TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Sand Box Crack T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Sand Box Crack - Variation T,TR 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Sand Castles TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
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Type: TR, 45 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,459 total · 57/month
Shared By: Shadrock on Oct 21, 2013
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Shawn Heath, Jake Jones

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19 Opinions

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This is a very common beginner's climb at Great Falls. Climb the dihedral and be on the lookout for finger locks in the corner. I've watched numerous newbies get a bit frustrated on this - somewhat technical - moderate. So if you're introducing somebody who's completely new to climbing think about some of the more straight-forward, ladder-like, climbing to the left as a warm up. Beware that excessive rain can swell the Potomac and flood this area. For more information see the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's "Climber's Guide to the Great Falls of the Potomac."


Access the route via the first left-hand (north) departure from the River Trail: about 200 yards from the beginning of trail as it leaves the large open area with the picnic tables.


Toprope or boulder. Most people set a typical Great Falls TR with vast amounts of runners or static line but there are a few good cracks in the pod at the top of the route for gear anchors.


Eli .
Eli .   GMC3500
A good solo if you're just around the area and need something to do. Jul 16, 2015
Sterling, VA
bkozak   Sterling, VA
In addition to being just about the best first toprope climb you can do in Great Falls, as it was for me, it is also a fantastic trad lead despite not being listed as trad on MP. The thin crack that goes up the face to the right of the corner eats stoppers like candy and has some great places for tricams as well. Best to leave your cams at home for this one. General consensus is that they are suspect with the rock here, but mainly there are really no good placements for them on this climb. Sep 19, 2016
Have to agree with bkozak. This is an excellent trad line if you use passive gear. It was my first trad lead at GF, and it really does eat stoppers. Jan 11, 2017
The local guidebook has this as 5.4 not 5.3. A single MP user was able to change the historical grade. She's entitled to her opinion, and I don't entirely disagree, but I really dislike how MP's system does not respect or at least record the historical grade. So I'm not trying to start a barn-burner over 5.3 or 5.4, but I do want the record to show that this is 5.4 according to the FA and was 5.4 here when originally posted.

All that said, it is an easier 5.4 than some others in the park. Aug 16, 2018
Jake Jones
Richmond, VA
Jake Jones   Richmond, VA  
Robert, MP ratings are based on consensus. There has been some discussion among admins because of the very issue you have explained in your comment. Historically, ratings do change and there's evidence of that at crags all over the U.S. Personally, I think the rating should stay as the FA rating- or the rating that has held up for years, but MP remains consensus rating. Anyway, I'm not sure why, with only 2 ratings it defaulted to the lower one, but as you can see, I added a rating of 5.5 and it averages out to 5.4 because of the three ratings of 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5. Again, there has been some pushback on this issue, but MP prefers to have ratings remain as consensus. If you want it to be cemented at 5.4, get as many climbers you know that have climbed the route to post their suggested grade as 5.4. The more ratings it has at 5.4, the more it would take to not have it post at any other difficulty rating- if that makes sense. I've posted this as a temporary comment (it'll go away in 90 days) in hopes that you'll see it and hopefully it'll provide some explanation and solution- even though the solution you most likely prefer isn't possible. Thanks. Aug 17, 2018 · Temporary Report
Here and there.
Shadrock   Here and there.
Thanks for quickly explaining the MP process Jake. FWIW I think consensus is best, since this is a web-site driven by user content. That being said, I do see Robert's point. Perhaps MP could include an option for "original grade" when submitting routes? I would actually find this really helpful. Because grading is so subjective and does change over time, it's helpful to understand a little about the history of a climb when assessing one's ability to lead it, solo it, etc. I've also made this comment temporary since this is probably a better topic for the forums than for here. Aug 17, 2018 · Temporary Report
Jake, thank you for the detailed response. I'm going to PM you when I get the chance, but I'll just repeat that it would be nice, and a simple fix, to let a submitter put in the FA or guidebook grade just for posterity. Sep 4, 2018 · Temporary Report

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