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Pilot Error aka Right Chicken Bone 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c

Type:  Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 2,198
Submitted By: Steve Lineberry on Nov 29, 2009  with updates from Benandstuff and 1 more

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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BETA PHOTO: Pilot Error Route follows the right facing flake.


Start on a fun right facing flake, then move up to a small roof and then to a ledge. Continue up slightly steeper climbing to the top.

This is now a 10 bolt sport route.


10 feet to the right of Chicken bone where there is a large right facing flake.


10 bolts and chains at the top.

Comments on Pilot Error aka Right Chicken Bone Add Comment
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By Rmsyll
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Aug 31, 2011

When Jeff Dillon was writing the draft for the pocket guide to Pilot Mtn., the left one of two on that face was commonly called 'Chicken Bone'. Few people were doing the one to the right, partly because the anchor bolt heads look rusty, and there was no commonly used name for it. As for others, Jeff listed it as 'Unnamed'. Soon after the first edition was available through the Carolina Climbers Coalition website, Steve Lineberry objected by comment there to the naming, based on the map and description in the Kelley guide chapter for one route there.

In the second edition of the pocket guide, Jeff complied with Steve's argument and swapped the listings. Because both editions are in use, there is still some confusion. To solve that, at they are listed as 'Chicken Bone Left' and 'Chicken Bone Right', following a re-naming in Jeff's second edition of a 'Pee Break Left' to name 'Pee Break Right' for anchors that were not in the Kelley chapter. Since then, the Park superintendent has adopted the second edition of Jeff's pocket guide as the "preferred" reference for routes at Pilot.

By Steve Lineberry
From: Charlotte, NC
Sep 1, 2011

Thanks for the comments guys. Recently in Erica's research for the new Piedmont Guidebook which includes Pilot, we uncovered some calling this route Pilot Error. To have disctinct naming, she is probably going to use Pilot Error as the name of this route in the new guidebook unless we receive conflicting information.

I still feel like the Kelly guide shows the right facing crack as Chicken Bone, it also doesn't list the route in the middle and it seems even before Jeff's guide, that middle route is the one that most people called Chicken Bone. Who's to say that the Kelly Guide is 100% correct. The topo could easily have been incorrectly drawn for this route.

If anyone has any additional information about this, we welcome the discussion as we are having a hard time finding historic information for the area.


Steve Lineberry
By dave Hause
From: carrboro, nc
Jun 3, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

This is now a 10 bolt sport route.
By Benandstuff
From: Winston-Salem, NC
May 31, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This climb as well as the climb next to it are uniquely long climbs for pilot, but are well worth lugging a long rope around.

If you are top-roping it is less strenuous to use the Jomeokee trail around the little pinnacle to go between the anchors/ground. Saves a lot of stairs and a little travel time.
By Brendan Lutz
From: Aberdeen, NC
Nov 7, 2016

Could anyone tell me what the recommended rope length for this route is? I have a 70m, but when you add rope drag a 100ft route may be on the upper limits of my rope. If the bolts don't wander too much, hypothetically it should be okay.

Any insight?

By Benandstuff
From: Winston-Salem, NC
Nov 9, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b


A 70 m is more than enough. In fact, a 60 m works fine, with stretch.

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