REI Community
T-Wall East
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Tension Span T 
Abortion Contortion S 
Ain't So Eazy T 
Airborne T 
Art T 
Atom Smasher T 
Ba'th Party Politics T 
Bin Laden Been Fooled T 
Blind Date T 
Blood on the Rocks T 
Board Walk T 
Bosom of the Rat T 
Brazen Serpent S 
Bugs From Hell T 
Cake Walk T 
Can O' Worms T 
Capital Assets (aka Mantis aka Never on Sunday) T 
Celestial Mechanics T 
Centerfold T 
Changnurdle T 
Clip and Trip T 
Competitive Edge T 
Contents Under Pressure T 
Corner Pockets T 
Cota Coca T 
Crackattack T 
Crash Position T 
Crazy Hooker T 
Creaky Tweaks T 
Curb Sandwich S 
Day's Work T 
Defcon Five T 
Digital Display T 
Digital Macabre T 
Dirt Bag T 
Don't Tell A Soul T,S 
Electric Rats T 
Exodus T 
Exposed Aggregate T 
False Alarm T 
Family Plan , The T 
Fear on Ice T 
Fill in the Blanks T 
Finagle T 
Finger Lockin' Good T 
Fly with the Falcon T 
Garden, The T 
Genesis T 
Gift of Power S 
Golden Gloves T 
Golden Locks T 
Gravity Creeps T 
Guardian of the Gate T 
Hands Across America T 
He-Man Woman Haters Club, The T,S 
Heaven of Animals, The T 
Hidden Assets T 
Hold Your Horses! T 
House of The Rising Sun S 
Hungry for Heaven T 
I'm Late T 
In Pursuit of Excellence T 
Infinite Pursuit T 
Intruders in the Dust T 
Jay Walker T 
Let's Face It! T 
Line Drive T 
Lord of the Dance S 
Love Handle T,S 
Mad Hatter T 
March Hare T 
Margin Of Error T 
Margin of Profit T 
Massive Attack T 
Mean Cuisine T 
Meeker Rat, The S 
Mirage S 
Molly and Rocket T 
Motor Boatin S.O.B. T 
Motor Booty T 
Mrs. Socrates T 
Multiple Use Area T 
My Lost China Doll T 
Myth of the Spastics T 
Nappy T 
New Beginnings T 
Night Shift T 
No More Tiers T 
Nutrasweet T 
Open Sesame T 
Over the Hills and Far Away T 
Paleface S 
Passages T 
People's Express T 
Pinga Boys T 
Plastic Toys T 
Point of Departure T 
Points O' Contact T 
Precious Orr T 
Prerequisite for Excellence T 
Proof of Purchase  T 
Puppy Ride T 
Rape Conducive T 
Razor Worm T 
Reptile Analysis T 
Reptile Paralysis T 
Restless Pedestrian T 
Ruby Fruit Jungle S 
Sanscrit T 
Scamper Proof T 
Seal Test T 
Shiva's Last Dance T 
Short Arm Inspection T 
Sly Willie Snores T 
Some Girls S 
Southern Express T 
Squatter's Rites T 
Standard Deviation T 
Steel Puppies T 
Steeplechase T,TR 
Steepopolis T 
Stepping Stone T 
Stone Wave T 
Sugar in the Raw T 
Sun King S 
Sunday Gardening T 
Super Slide T 
Surf's Up S 
Sweep, The T 
Tiers for Beers T 
Time Takes a Cigarette T 
Totem Pole T 
Trungle T 
Twistin' in the Wind S 
Unknown T 
Up in Arms T 
Who Needs a Thnead? T 

Golden Locks 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Rob Robinson, Marvin Webb - 1985
Page Views: 13,015
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 20, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (229)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
sending the wife up


One of the true T-Wall classics, Golden Locks may be the most popular route at the crag. Its beautiful splitter crack is instantly recognizable, and the exposure above the Tennessee River far below makes for great photo opportunities. Golden Locks may also be the most sandbagged T-Wall moderate: many leaders have been humbled by this stiff 5.8 (now given a 5.9 by the FA in his new guidebook).

It's wise to have a spotter ready for the overhanging, bouldery start; possibly the toughest move on the route. Once you get past this early crux, route-finding isn't an issue: follow the obvious hand crack straight up the cliff, pausing for a welcome rest at a shallow cave. Save some pro and energy reserves for the steeper sections toward the top.


Starts in a wide section of the wall about 35' past Razor Worm; other climbs in the area include Cake Walk.


Medium to large cams; hexes could be helpful. Bolted anchor at the top (on the right face of an overhang just below the cliff top).

Photos of Golden Locks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: B-Mack grunts it out.
B-Mack grunts it out.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo Credit: Paul
Photo Credit: Paul
Rock Climbing Photo: The bouldery start (10-12 ft), followed by an easy...
The bouldery start (10-12 ft), followed by an easy...
Rock Climbing Photo: Golden Locks
Golden Locks
Rock Climbing Photo: Maddie
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper section of Golden Locks
Upper section of Golden Locks
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Golden Locks
Start of Golden Locks
Rock Climbing Photo: golden locks
golden locks
Rock Climbing Photo: lovin this climb
lovin this climb
Rock Climbing Photo: Goldenlocks 5.8 on a fine Spring day
Goldenlocks 5.8 on a fine Spring day
Rock Climbing Photo: Golden Locks
Golden Locks
Rock Climbing Photo: JenT enjoying a rest in the hueco
JenT enjoying a rest in the hueco

Comments on Golden Locks Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 27, 2017
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Dec 6, 2006

Great route. The crux is definitely getting to the crack via the pumpy start with a less than appetizing landing on a pointed rock. Spotter here = good.
By Rob Dillon
Dec 15, 2006

Usually the six or eight assorted dogs tied off here on weekends make for a decent landing, if you come to the head of the queue. Spot!
By Nick Stayner
From: Wymont Kingdom
Feb 12, 2007

Classic Tennessee Wall start. Someone once told me that the first 10 feet of T-Wall routes don't count, as far as grades go. Har har.
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Nov 4, 2007

Pumpy! Take advantage of any rest stance you can find after the cave; I ran out of gas near the end.
By Peter L K
From: Cincinnati, OH
Mar 23, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I didn't use anything larger than a 3, but did use a couple TCUs for the lower section. Fun.
By nickpoppel
Sep 29, 2009

Great route! I hung a couple of times :(. This would be a 5.10 in Boulder Canyon. Nothing bigger that a #2 BD. I didn't find the bouldery start that hard, it is however a very sustained climb. Next time ill place less pro and fly up. A great climb to get for my first time at the T-wall, highly recommend it.
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Jun 22, 2010

I was almost shut down on the overhang start. Damn that was hard. then climb up to the giant hueco, followed by an amazing hand crack. The crux seems to be at the top, or maybe I was just pumped.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 25, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

the very first move is the crux. after that, its a walk.
By Peter Pitocchi
Nov 22, 2011

First move protects with a 3 if you are nervous about the pointy rock. Abundant pro.
By khowe
From: Knoxville, TN
Feb 10, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Classic route! The crux is either the first move off the ground, or at the top in the wider section below the tree - depends on who you talk with. For me, the ground move was no problem, but the day I climbed, the top portion was wet and I barely muscled through what I would consider to be the crux move at the top. A BD#3 protects well here. Whatever the crux is, use a spotter!
By Alexander Blum
From: Charlotte, NC
Mar 2, 2014

If there's a line don't stand in it, there are far too many other options. However, if you happen to saunter up under this route and see no ropes hanging, no gumbies racking up at the base, harness asunder with extra Camalots... Do this route. I have never, ever found another 5.8 splitter like this, anywhere. The start is not too bad, it's a good filter and gives the route a bit of character.
By Christian Mason
From: Westminster CO
Oct 23, 2014

Excellent climb. I don't believe I used anything larger than a #3 c4 on it. There are a number of very good placements for medium to large nuts. The entire climb (besides the start) protected very well.
By Michael Dom
Dec 22, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a good beginner lead. Great pro everywhere and little potential for consequences, i.e. no ledges to fall on.
By stephen arsenault
Mar 17, 2016

I was very impressed with the climbing at Tenn. Wall. My 1st time here, and was lucky to find a few climbers who offered to share the rope, as I was alone. This was my 1st climb of the season, and recovering from pneumonia, and being out of shape made it tough, at 70 years old.
Your very lucky to have such a fine cliff in the South!!
By James Dowdy
Mar 24, 2016
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Superb in every way!
A perfect introduction to southern crack climbing...and, a must send!!!
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Feb 27, 2017

Back in 2005, when DCA was the guidebook and this was 5.8+ a good friend who had climbed it said: "Yup...lots of "plus" in that climb!"

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About