Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: Bradley White, et al FFA: Jeff Previte & Ryan Brooks, 9/14
Page Views: 2,141 total · 40/month
Shared By: JeffP on Sep 26, 2014
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

You & This Route

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This is a link up of a couple different routes in the vicinity of The Ghost that avoids the bolt ladders of that route. It is a very direct, natural line with some really classic climbing. The rock quality and protection is a bit lacking in places, particularly the Ghost Roof pitch. If you have done the other big wall classics, this route should definitely be on your list.

P1. Start by climbing the first long, scrappy pitch shared by the Ghost, VMC Direct and a couple others. 200' 5.7

P2. Free climb the obvious right leaning crack to a stance. Continue along the weakness to where the bolt ladder starts. Nest some gear and make a face move or two left into a nice, moderate corner to a belay. Classic, 100' 10+

P3. Now on Heirophant Tower, climb straight up off the belay into the first, obvious arch feature to a bolt. Clip one more bolt and make some very thin (crux) moves to access the next arch/scoop feature. Awesome climbing leads to the base of a corner and, higher, rejoins The Ghost. Step left out of the corner and boldly climb the face above to a roof. A boulder problem deposits you at the anchor atop of one of Cannon's coolest features, The Great Flake. Again, classic, 100' 5.12 or 5.10 A0

P4. Step right and make face moves past thin gear. Ramble your way through fun, interesting rock to a great ledge almost directly above your belayer. 100' 9+?

P5. The Ghost Roof. Flavor Country. Follow a line of weakness up towards the obvious corner through the roofs. This pitch gets an A4 rating not because of difficult aid placements but because of the possibility of your gear dislodging circus animal sized blocks. Free climbing this terrain feels equally, if not more, serious. If the rock turns out to be good, this pitch is PG rated. I would rather not test it. Once is enough 80' 5.11? R

P6-7. Pick your way to the top among slabs, bushes and choss. ~300-400'

All belays consist of bolts with rap rings, the route can be rappelled from anywhere. Two ropes are only needed to get down from the first pitch so if rapping, it might make sense to leave the second cord at the first anchor. All other pitches can be rapped with one rope. A fact that is unique among the Cannon big wall routes is that this route only has 3 protection bolts.

At present, the history of the free climbing on this route is a bit foggy. Jim Shimberg, Doug Madara and Chris Dube did some climbing in this area but don't remember what they did or did not free. The grades are my own guesses from a free ascent Ryan Brooks and I made in September 2014. Conditions were less than ideal that day and several pitches, especially the Ghost Roof, were quite wet. It would be interesting to hear thoughts on grades from subsequent (or past??) ascents.


Right side of SSS buttress


Single rack to 3 camalot. Doubles from small to .75


bradley white   Bend
Excellent you guys did the arches of third pitch. Its probably the second ascent to the Ghost roof. Finished my dream climb makes it real. This is your climb. It can be listed as FFA because it is the first connection of these routes freed together. Sep 30, 2014
As of today all anchors and a protection bolt were updated with new hardware so this thing is ready for the masses. If not interested in the Ghost Roof pitch this makes for a classic four pitch climb with an easy rappel descent. Alternatively, you could finish up the last pitch of Sam's Swan Song to the left. The pitch 3 crux is short and can be easily A0'ed which would make for a nice four pitch 5.10. May 24, 2015
Rich Brereton
Pownal, ME
Rich Brereton   Pownal, ME
Got on this thing today. We decided we most definitely didn't want to tangle with the Ghost Roof, based on Jeff's description. It's a very worthwhile climb to do just the first four. P2 is especially good, even classic. The arching crack that the climber is on in Jeff's photo was soaked at the bottom, so we did the lower crack on the far right of the photo. It's awesome and joins up with the upper crack after 30-40', just in time for the crux of the pitch. The short crux on P3 is balls hard and I feel 11+ is a hefty sandbag - neither of us could even touch it after multiple attempts and falls. Also a pretty reachy A0. Overall great work, thanks for a very nice addition. Jul 6, 2015
Thanks for the input, very cool to hear you got on this, Rich! I thought that crux was pretty stiff myself but felt it was tough to rate at the time. I suspected it might be 5.12 but was sort of hoping it wasn't since it is such a short section and is substantially harder than the rest of the route. Sorry for the sandbag, I will update the grade here. If I get up there again this summer I think I'll find a way to make it easier to A0 without adding an aid bolt.

Another note re: grades, I suspect the Ghost Roof pitch might be easier than 5.11. When we did this it was wet and I was scared.

One last, not so important, note. After asking around quite a bit, I am fairly confident this was an FFA. It seems that the 2nd and 5th pitches had not been freed.

Really psyched you enjoyed the route! Jul 7, 2015
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
Similar to what my friend TC said..awesome climbing with one much harder section.

ready to free the bolt ladders jeff ? After moving a few bolts, i feel the will go for sure. Jul 7, 2015