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Unsorted Routes:

Head Jam 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 110'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 475
Submitted By: Dan Petty on Apr 27, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (42)
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before the crux


Climb 40 feet of a vertical crack system until you reach a large bulge. Undercling or move through the narrow space to gain the left side of the bulge and continue moving up along the crack for another 70 feet.


Start in a crack 50 feet right of Easy Hard and 15 feet left of a large left-facing corner.


Natural Anchors. Fixed webbing/chord for lowering at belay ledge.

Photos of Head Jam Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Head Jam as seen from the base of the route.
BETA PHOTO: Head Jam as seen from the base of the route.

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By ChanVan Schaack
May 10, 2010

Can anyone say SANDBAG?!? So many happy memories of watching people flail epically on this thing...check yer ego at the door.
By RebeccaJD
From: Cary, North Carolina
Mar 28, 2011

If you are really short (I am 5'1), a #4 cam would be really nice to protect under the "head jam" part of the climb. I only had a #3, and I basically had to wedge myself in the "jam" part with my feet dangling out into space in order to reach high enough to get the cam in. (If I had a #4, I might have been able to get it in while on tip-toe.) I guess you could skip this pro but you'd have a not-fun fall and the next moves feel difficult the first time.

Also, once my pro was in the "head jam" space, I had to go back down and hold the overhanging rock as a sort of undercling, leaning backwards to get leverage. It doesn't feel extremely secure at first, but it was fine once I committed to it.

I don't know if it is a sand-bagged route, but it's not as straightforward as Wailing Wall the first time up (esp. if you don't have someone there to give you beta.) I think the actual moves are 5.6 but figuring out where and how to go is more difficult than the average NC 5.6.
By S. Fischer
Apr 5, 2011

Agree with the comment about pulling the bulge move. Figuring out the proper way to do the layback around and up the bulge was the hardest part.

Very fun climb!
By Bowens
Mar 7, 2012


You can do the crux traverse by reaching your foot far out left to a good foothold, and stemming with the back of your head on the inside of the "head jam" to stay on the rock. It's not as pretty, but it felt less committing to do it this way.
By Noah.J
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 25, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The 5.5 in the Lambert and Shull guide is a ridiculous sandbag. The "head jam" was every bit of 5.7, even at Moores. I found it stouter than Golden Earring, and not far off Zoo View.
By Matt Westlake
From: Durham, NC
Dec 5, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Note that two starts are possible: follow the wide crack straight up to the head jam move per the usual, or start up the arching crack feature out right. A bit of a tricky move transitioning over a bit of blankness but it goes at about the same grade I'd say. Maybe just a touch harder.
By Russ Keane
Jun 13, 2016

So much fun. So good for the grade. Amazing rock quality. Dream-weave your way up to a truly special belay ledge looking out over hundreds of miles of NC god country towards the blue ridge mountains. Just a killer climb.

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