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North Side

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Cwm Laude Wall 
Hobel Wall, The 
Middle Ages, The 
People's Court 
Tralfamadore Buttress 

North Side Rock Climbing 

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Location: 35.2869, -111.9301 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Greg Opland, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Darren Mabe on Sep 21, 2010
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Part of the North Walls all lit up...


The North Side is the stunning spread of columns and corners on the typically sunny side of the canyon. Being south facing, the climbing season is a bit shorter due to the heat of the summer, though spring and fall temperatures are excellent.

Currently most of the routes are in the moderate to 5.11 range, with many long 5.10s that are often regarded as heroic climbs. Some recommended routes would be the tried and true, Tralfamador (5.9), the long and proud Bertilak (5.11), or the exposed Lost Highway (5.10). One excellent 5.12 exists, Edge of an Age, a striking finger crack system on an arete.

The majority of the North Side has been separated into five main walls. Not included yet is the long stretch of the tiered shorter cliffs west of the Hobel Wall. From one wall to the next is generally short sections of very poor quality and loose rock that most likely will never have climbing routes.

From east to west (as one would approach from FR527) or Right to Left as viewed from the South Side:

  • People's Court - short wall just as the canyon starts.

  • Tralfamadore Buttress - holds some of the longest and cleanest of moderates at Volunteer, including Beautiful Day (5.8) and its namesake. Identifying landmark of the area is the Tralfamador roof, which you get a glimpse of when walking the rim.

  • The Middle Ages - the stretch of routes that reside in the middle of the North Side. One identifying landmark when viewed from the South Side is the furthest west dark brown and black stains between Bertilak and Green Knight.

  • Cwm Laude Wall - Unfairly dwarfed by the height of the rest of the wall, this wall currently holds high quality routes in the 60-80ft range (taller than Paradise Forks' Pillow Wall for perspective). This is the bright yellow, columnar basalt your eyes would be drawn to when viewed from the South Side. One identifying feature for the start of the wall, frankly, is the large white bird poo stain near the lip, under an A-frame.

  • The Hobel Wall - just past the dubious super marios type columnar step stones from the Cwm Laude Wall is a wall more reminiscent of Paradise Forks, which currently only has a couple of documented routes.

The descriptions for individual areas identify landmarks on the rim to help you locate them and the tops of the routes. With either side of the canyon, if its your first time, one method to identify routes is to send your partner on the other side and guide them to the tops, using the overview pictures.

Getting There 

You can park off the main road, or park on the South Side and it is a short walk around.

Climbing Season

For the Volunteer Canyon area.

Weather station 7.0 miles from here

26 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in North Side

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for North Side:
Tralfamadore   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Tralfamadore Buttress
Ratrastard   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   The Hobel Wall
Lost Highway   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 130'   Tralfamadore Buttress
White Hawk   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 80'   The Middle Ages
Green Knight   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 80'   The Middle Ages
Trebuchet   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Middle Ages
Bertilak   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   The Middle Ages
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in North Side

Featured Route For North Side
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle ages wall from the north side

Gnarnian Renaissance 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Arizona : Northern Arizona : ... : The Middle Ages
This stellar line tackles thin and steep terrain with some of the best rock on the north side. Beginning on large broken ledge, stem past 00c3 splitter into a bouldery 10+ gymnastics trick. Bust right after a few more easy moves to find gear. Gain the ledge to the right below the splitter corner. (Here is where the fun really starts) Jam the finger and tips crack past a distinctly thin and bouldery sequence in the steepest section of the crack. After pulling the crux, try and secure the bomber s...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of North Side Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Shield, 5.10 as referenced in Toula's, Cheap W...
The Shield, 5.10 as referenced in Toula's, Cheap W...
Rock Climbing Photo: the Cwm Laude Wall, west end of the North Side of ...
BETA PHOTO: the Cwm Laude Wall, west end of the North Side of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: January 2016
January 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Cwm Laude Wall, arrow marks a landmark, the 'Truff...
BETA PHOTO: Cwm Laude Wall, arrow marks a landmark, the 'Truff...
Rock Climbing Photo: North side overview showing some new and previousl...
BETA PHOTO: North side overview showing some new and previousl...
Rock Climbing Photo: on another unnamed, classic route
on another unnamed, classic route

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