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Labyrinth Wall Direct 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800', Grade V
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Lots of people through different Variations.
Page Views: 7,368
Submitted By: burlap submariner on Mar 4, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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....and sticks the crux on p5.


Start roughly 60 feet or so right of VMC DD, you will want to start below a small right facing corner with a bolt in it, climb past this to the left side of a huge overlap, climb the left side of the overlap to a bolt anchor (5.10)

Move right off the belay and climb a left facing corner to a belay on the right (5.8)

Climb straight up past bolts to a set of two ledges in an amphitheater/alcove (5.10+)

Follow bolts out the left side of the amphitheater to a left facing corner and the belay (5.11)

Move right from the belay following bolts to a vertical wall on the right, climb this to a small niche belay (the original aid line goes straight up from this belay on rivets....dont do it) (5.11)

Climb left on bolts until you are above an overlap, step back under it until you are right of a very thin vertical crack, continue to a stance on the right. (5.8)

On the left will be a short arch leading to a large ledge. (5.11)

climb a right facing corner to flakes moving right to a bolt anchor (5.10)

Finish up on YMC Dike (5.8) to the top.

There are many variations to this route to get to the top, in my opinion "Walk on the Wild Side" is the easiest both to follow and to get off. On the sixth pitch there is a variation that climbs the original A4 crux seam with bolts at 5.11.

Expect that all the pitches will have some sort of cannon trickery commonly experienced on all long cannon free routes.

This was a pretty monumental route to climb for me I first climbed the first five pitches but had to aid through the alcove 5.11 pitch, this summer ill be psyched to come back and get it clean.


center of the big wall, look for the huge arch and the amphitheater hanging up high.


Double set of cams from small techy to 3", micronuts, quickdraws and extendable draws.

Photos of Labyrinth Wall Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Peloquin on the Bivy Ledge Top of pitch5 FA L...
Mike Peloquin on the Bivy Ledge Top of pitch5 FA L...
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Ross at the bivy site top of P5 on the First ...
Paul Ross at the bivy site top of P5 on the First ...
Rock Climbing Photo: p3 pro
p3 pro
Rock Climbing Photo: Cannon friends sending the 3rd pitch of lab wall
Cannon friends sending the 3rd pitch of lab wall
Rock Climbing Photo: 3-4 ft spike just above the P3 belay. This thing s...
BETA PHOTO: 3-4 ft spike just above the P3 belay. This thing s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying Doug as he cranks....
Belaying Doug as he cranks....
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Peloquin on P2 FA The Labyrinth Wall 1971
Mike Peloquin on P2 FA The Labyrinth Wall 1971

Comments on Labyrinth Wall Direct Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 29, 2017
By john strand
From: southern colo
Mar 5, 2012

This line, with the direct finish is just SO demanding. To really do this one, onsight and totally free is a big deal in my book.
i think I went 4 or 5 times to get it.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Mar 16, 2012

Got caught in a huge thunderstorm on top of 2, scary stuff. Waterfalls and debris abound!
By Rogerlarock
From: Nedsterdam, Colorado
May 22, 2012

What a route! Did what may have been the 2nd free ascent with Erik Wagg and Jim Shimberg. It was a while ago! Finished on WOTWS. Super good!
By paulmadry
Jun 26, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

This a very non-physical climb at the grade (with two short strenuos sections). I assume that the old aid bolts were replaced with shiny new ones and the route has a feel of a sport route at times. After the last 5.11 section left traverse, from the ledge we went slightly right but mostly straight up for a pitch (to s multibolt belay) and seeing end of difficulties rapped down with double rope. I initially graded it as G but after repeating it recently I'd say its 5.11G but 5.9+ R. The pro or bolts are there but would not stop you from hitting the slab/ledges and break your ankles in many sections if you fall.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Sep 19, 2012

Paul- if you mean the direct finish.. it's been a while and I'm sure stuff has changed but,

the gear was OK with work,,, cams under overlaps and such. we didn't use double ropes but it might be a good idea. It's pretty confusing up there and though not strenno, it is time consuming and hard.
By AMMara
May 16, 2014

Does anyone have information on aiding this route? Does it go clean? What is the aid rating?
By john strand
From: southern colo
May 16, 2014

Prolly , maybe clean aid ? i would guess C3+ for sure. The old fixed pieces must be pretty was originally A4 (several pitches)
By burlap submariner
May 20, 2014

NHclimber might have some info for you, or at least a funny story about getting caught in a thunder storm out there.
By john strand
From: southern colo
May 21, 2014

Ha Ha burlap..its really funny when you almost ,, almost are there and then BANG ! no more climbing today.
By Derek Doucet
Jul 21, 2014

I agree with Paul's comment above. The cruxes are quite reasonably protected, but there are certainly numerous "don't fall" moments on easier (.9+ sounds about right) terrain. There are also numerous pins in varying states of decay and they are frequently impossible to back up. How good are they? No way to tell, so best not to fall on them. There are a couple of spots where a blown pin would have very serious consequences. As with all Cannon routes, questionable rock abounds as well. Particularly memorable is the 3' long razor sharp meat-cleaver flake defying gravity under the roof on p4. I really have no idea what's keeping it there. There's certainly no need to touch it, but there are useful holds in close proximity, so care is required. Regardless, it's a fantastic pitch and route.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Sep 2, 2014

AMMara, we had only gotten to the third pitch when we were caught in a crazy storm. Seemed straight forward. A few things felt crux in approach shoes, if i were to climb again i would treat as a free climb and aid the cruxes. As with most cannon aid lines, then is a lot of free climbing involved. We did bring a hammer and few pins, but did not use them
By Remington
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 21, 2015

Climbed the first 4 pitches yesterday and look forward to doing the rest. We had 60m doubles and were able to rap from top of 4th pitch to top of 3rd, then to 1st and to the ground. The first 4 belays are all bolted (some with combo of fixed gear). There was a rap ring and slings in pretty good shape on 1st and 4th pitches, and two left biners on 3rd. Top of 2nd pitch had only bolts.

This seemed like helpful beta since we didn't know a lot going in and weren't sure how much was bolted and whether or not we were committing to making it to the top or leaving gear. The top looked pretty wet so we rapped - up to that point was climable except first few moves of pitch 1 (easy to aid). Great route even through only the first 5.11 pitch (pitch 4) - can't wait to do the upper pitches!
By Lucas
From: Asheville, NC
Jul 18, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

You can rappel from the bivy ledge on top of p7 with a single 70m rope. 4 rapps will get you to the large starting ledge....easy scramble to the ground.
Doing the A4 seam variation on p6, (bolted 11c), bypasses/links pitches 6 & 7. So if you link pitches 2 & 3, and then do the'll be on top of p7 in 5 awesome pitches! The A4 is a quality pitch. Though perhaps a bit sandbagged, it may be my favorite on the route. From there...heading straight up into the right facing corner above and underclinging the 5.10 overlap rightward is the Walk on the Wild Side finish, while traversing left off of the ledge is the Lab Wall Direct finish.
No need to bring up a ton of gear, as many of the pitches are generally clip-ups with bolted anchors. Next time I'll carry a single rack of cams from extra small to #1 BD, a set of micro stoppers, and 15 runners/draws. I carried up 2 #2's last time and never found a place for either of them.

By Rich Brereton
From: Pownal, ME
Aug 10, 2015
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Walk on the Wild Side is heads up. Here's a little more detail for those who want it, starting from the Bivy Ledge atop p7:

p8) Climb the short left-facing corner (5.10) on the right end of the Bivy Ledge, then traverse straight right under an overlap on a pin and small gear for about 50'. Go up a layback crack 15' to a system of ledges and a pin. Traverse 40' further rightward, pass a crucial pin (back it up, it's not good) and figure out a tricky traversing sequence (5.10 R) to gain the grassy ledge and a bolt anchor. Brilliant, spicy climbing on very solid rock.

p9) From the grassy ledge, move right 15' then climb straight up the dike, part of the route YMC Dike, on face holds (5.8++ R) for about 100' to a series of grassy, shrubby terraces. There are numerous possibilities for gear belays around here; we climbed the wet vegetated ledges straight upward about 40' until reaching a nice belay stance on the far left end of a massive flake. Expect loose flakes, mungy holds, dripping moss, and not a lot of pro on this pitch. There are two ancient buttonhead bolts with loose rusty hangers that will probably break if fallen on.

(Both the Sykes and Green books say you can skip this pitch by continuing past the dike rightward and rappel off a tree into an easy gully that you take to the top; we didn't go this way and I don't remember seeing a tree.)

p10-11) Choose your own adventure. We traversed right along the top of the belay flake for 40' and then up slabs and shrubby ledges to the top.
By Rich Brereton
From: Pownal, ME
Aug 12, 2015
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

The A4 seam is New Hampshire 5.11++ but can easily be A0'd with bolts at both crux bulges. Awesome climbing on the whole pitch.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Aug 12, 2015

Walk may be the better finish BUT the Direct is very demanding i think..Those "A4" bolts on the seam pitch,,I HOPE have been replaced ???
By Rich Brereton
From: Pownal, ME
Aug 12, 2015
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Yeah John, those bolts are bomber. Sykes's book says Jim Shimberg put bolts in the A4 seam in the early 90s and freed it. I was up there a week and a half ago and they looked newer than 20 years old to me.
By Lucas
From: Asheville, NC
Aug 25, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

If you haven't seen this gigapan image of Cannon Cliff's very cool. Crazy how far you can zoom in on the routes.
Credit:Jim Surette
By paulmadry
Aug 28, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

If you want to rap after 7th pitch, I recommend doing pitch 8 of ??? (unknown route). Go right through overlap , crack and keep going up (not right as WOWS) through some slab and overlap to bolted belay ( 75 feet or so 5.10, very similar to previous slab pitches). I climbed there after my partner and we don't know what it is. There is a bolt in middle so it was climbed before. If you want to rap, I highly recommend the pitch rather than ending at ledge after 7th pitch.
The A4 pitch has a boulder problem 5.11+ and 2 short 5.10 sections, all well protected by bolts. And this way you avoid the "hard 5.8" R on WOWS.
By paulmadry
Aug 28, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Has anyone done the direct finish (pitch 9th and after) in last 2 years. Any comment on pro? Looking at P9 that traverses right I saw rusty rivet in1/3 of pitch and good placement for small cam at 2/3, is that it for pro?
By Tyler Rohr 2
From: Cambridge, MA
Aug 27, 2017

Couldn't do the the first move...the rest of the climb was great though!

Some tidbits:
-For sure do the A4 seam! It was my favorite pitch and only had hard(and excellent) move. Be careful not to go too far left though. I accidentally climbed over the some rap rings that were maybe 15 feet left and 8 feet down from where I was suppose to pull the first "roof". Don't do that and keep an eye for the piton under it that was covered in foliage.

-WOWS was an excellent pitch in its own right. I think yellow/blue off set metolius (or maybe just a blue) would back up the last piton (which clearly won't hold anything) on the long kinda run out traverse at the end.

-From the WOWS ledge we decided to traverse across and rap down to finish up on moby grape. To do this just walk right (with maybe 10 feet of 5.6 up climbing) for maybe 35 meters until the ledge peters out into a final highly vegetated patch. Hidden amidst this foliage is a absolutely uninspiring hell scape to rap off of (a very mobile nut and small dead stump swaying in the moist soil). We had the leader traverse out, back it up (still not great) and lower (maybe 25 feet) to the ledge below, then build a real anchor to belay the second over and lower them off the garbage pile. This way they would still be into something if dynamic duo up top blew. Anyway, it didn't...but be careful. From that ledge cruise up 30 feet to the cave on moby grab and enjoy the end of a great day!
By Lucas
From: Asheville, NC
Aug 29, 2017
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

If you're on that p7 belay ledge, just after the A4 pitch. Look up and to the left towards the skyline, you'll notice a sicko looking bolted arete. Its supposedly 12- and is said to be spectacular. I think you have to move left off of the ledge and follow lab wall direct to access it though. I'm not sure what route it is on, maybe one of stryder walls upper pitches? Maybe it's in the new guidebook?

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