Type: Trad, 19 pitches, Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,959 total · 94/month
Shared By: Brian Abram on Oct 20, 2016 with improvements by DaveBaker
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


The Linville Crusher (aka Linville Link Up) is typically described as climbing 6 different routes on 6 distinct formations on the east side of Linville Gorge in a day, hiking/jogging between climbs. The majority of climbers do it north to south, as it's a net elevation loss in that direction. Most folks stash a car at Shortoff and then park at Sitting Bear to start, though a few teams have started at Gingercake Mountain.

The formations and their most commonly done routes are:

Sitting Bear: Original Route (5.9+)
Hawksbill: Lost in Space to Star Trekkin (5.9) or Lost in Space (5.10)
Table Rock: North Ridge (5.5) or Cave Route (5.5)
NC Wall: Bumblebee Buttress (5.8)
Mummy Buttress: Daddy or Mummy (5.5)
Shortoff: Maginot Line (5.7), Paradise Alley (5.9), or Little Corner (5.6)

In the spring and summer when peregrines are nesting, Bumblebee Buttress is closed, so many folks opt to climb either the Mummy or Daddy, and then the Prow (5.4). That's sorta cheating as it makes for a MUCH easier/shorter day, and Apricot Jam (5.10) doesn't close. But whatever: have fun doing it however you like.

I'd also argue that caches are cheating, but if one were inclined to cache some gear or food somewhere, the most logical place would be the Table Rock parking lot.

There may be water in the Amphitheater and then again in the Shortoff descent gully.

A goal for a lot of folks is 10 hours, though few can actually pull that off. 12 hours seems to be the going rate. Pat Goodman did it all solo with one car as an out and back, up and down climbing routes up to 5.11 for 32 pitches and 23 miles in 11:23 car to car.

Lots of folks do this to see how fast they can do it. As the crux of the Crusher is hiking, anyone reporting a time for the Crusher should report car to car times and not, say, their base-of-Sitting-Bear-to-topping-out-Shortoff time. You should also report whether caches were used, any porter support from other folks, whether you did it with one car or two, and whether you did the easy version that includes The Prow.


Park at either Sitting Bear or Wolf Pit Road. The best map for Linville Gorge is: lgmaps.org/?page_id=15


Varied, depending on how you plan to do it. Nuts, mid-sized cams up to a #2 or #3 Camalot. Water.


Caleb Mallory
Seattle, Wa
Caleb Mallory   Seattle, Wa
Thanks for putting this up Brian! Still need to do it though. Dec 9, 2016
It is also possible to get water at Little Table Rock with a quick detour; when hiking off the summit of Table Rock, instead of following the fork left/south after the switchbacks, go straight ahead/west toward the gorge. At the saddle between Table Rock and Little Table Rock, pop off the trail on the right/north side, where there is often water in the steep drainage. Feb 20, 2017
Neil Rankin
Winston-Salem, NC
Neil Rankin   Winston-Salem, NC
A less strenuous but in some ways a more enjoyable option is to link from Table Rock to NC Wall to Amphitheater to Shortoff. This requires less logistics and would be good training for the longer linkup. I did this once solo in December of '99 and then returned in '00 with Matt Childers and did it again with a rope. Fantastic fun and one of the best backcountry experiences you can have in the Eastern US. I want to say Pat Goodman may have been the first to do the link up described here. Apr 6, 2018
Brian Abram
Celo, NC
Brian Abram   Celo, NC
Neil, I like that idea. Another fun link up in my opinion is everything except Shortoff. Makes an excellent half day Apr 6, 2018
In the summer of 1996, inspired by Croft's big linkups I had the idea to do a link up in Linnville and I soloed it Between shifts working at Camp High rocks. Only problem is that I drove between routes. I hadn't heard of anyone else trying it at that point. Then later I heard people were doing it on foot. It was an amazing day of climbing. Maybe I'll go back and do it again on foot. WITH A ROPE.

Dopey Duck
Apricot jam (onsight)
North ridge
Lost in space
Sitting bear (onsight) Sep 8, 2018