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Qual Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Red Recollection S 
Block Party TR 
Crack left of Leftwing T,TR 
Espionage S 
Fahrenheit 23 S 
Great White Top Rope TR 
Leftwing S 
Long Time Coming 
More Choss Than Moss TR 
Nordwand, The S 
Now or Never S 
Nut Job T,TR 
Pocket Warmup S 
Purple Jeep TR 
Quail Stew T,S 
Schizophrenia S 
Secret Agent Man S 
Top Rope Hero TR 
Tramadol S 
Unknown S 
Unknown / "Meaner than Green" S 
Unlisted Number S 
Warm Up 1 S 
Warm Up 2 S 
Unsorted Routes:

Qual Wall Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.0401, -90.1047 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 24,981
Administrators: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris treggE on May 24, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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A beautiful fall day on S.A.M. Photo by Travis Me...


A small sport climbing area with 11 fully bolted and one partially bolted routes on a small cliff band. The sandstone is generally solid with crimpers and slopers predominating. A topo prepared by Jason Huston is available below. At this time there is no further bolting of routes allowed.


Getting There 

Once in the State Park, drive towards Twin Valley Lake. Turn left towards the Group camps, and park near the horse barn. On weekdays if it's not busy with horse trailers, you can park in the grass lot. On weekends or if there are horse trailers in the grass lot, please park on the road (far enough off to not be in traffic). See comment from Rhoads below. Walk across the road and up into the woods on the horse trail. After a few minutes look up and right for a trail towards the cliff band. You will see the routes starting 100 yards up to the right. See google satellite view for details.


Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

24 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Qual Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Qual Wall:
Long Time Coming   V3-4 6A+     Boulder, 10'   
Warm Up 2   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   
Warm Up 1   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   
Nut Job   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR   
Leftwing   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   
Pocket Warmup   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport   
Quail Stew   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
A Red Recollection   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Now or Never   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 45'   
Schizophrenia   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Secret Agent Man   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Qual Wall

Featured Route For Qual Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: This climb goes up face and takes the variation to...

Unknown / "Meaner than Green" 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  Wisconsin : Governor Dodge State Park : Qual Wall
The first route encountered when arriving at the Qual Wall from the Horse trail.Follows a line of bolts up the face and takes the rightward line when bolts split at halfway. Continue up to the sweeping headwall for the bouldery crux....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wisconsin

Photos of Qual Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The horse barn.  Beautiful fall day.
The horse barn. Beautiful fall day.
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke Kiefer on Schizophrenia.
Luke Kiefer on Schizophrenia.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pocket Warmup.  Rob climbing.
Pocket Warmup. Rob climbing.
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke Kiefer on "Now or Never Direct".
Luke Kiefer on "Now or Never Direct".
Rock Climbing Photo: Shorty boulder problem behind "Qual Wall"...
BETA PHOTO: Shorty boulder problem behind "Qual Wall"...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering behind "Qual Wall"
BETA PHOTO: Bouldering behind "Qual Wall"
Rock Climbing Photo: Another highball boulder problem around the corner...
BETA PHOTO: Another highball boulder problem around the corner...
Rock Climbing Photo: Highball bouldering problem around the corner past...
BETA PHOTO: Highball bouldering problem around the corner past...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aerial of the horse barn, the Qual Wall is the obv...
BETA PHOTO: Aerial of the horse barn, the Qual Wall is the obv...
Rock Climbing Photo: Twin Valley Lake from the top of the Qual Wall, Ap...
Twin Valley Lake from the top of the Qual Wall, Ap...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Qual Wall from the road before the leaves came...
BETA PHOTO: The Qual Wall from the road before the leaves came...

Comments on Qual Wall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 9, 2017
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Oct 26, 2005
There is a supposedly classic bolted line at Governor Dodge called Secret Agent Man. Does anyone have any info about this route? I have heard rumblings about the route over the years, though I have never gotten solid information.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 27, 2005
I don't know the names of any of the climbs, but I did do the most classic line within my ability. The line was the first one you come across and was about 10-12 bolts....the longest of the group. I think the rating was about 11a/b, maybe a bit harder.

Had to back clean a couple draws in order to make it to the top. The thing was kinda like the Energizer Bunny...kept going and going.

Secret Agent Man...great DEVO tune. Kinda dates me I guess.

Going back this weekend
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Oct 27, 2005
Hey Jay:

There is a small bevy of really good bolted routes at "The Gov" to be found near the horse barn area. I do not know names for these routes and I have not climbed (or attempted) all of them but I can tell you they are very fun and hard routes. 9 bolted routes total plus a few typically sketchy southern WI sandstone trad leads as well. I haven't attempted all these routes but I can tell you that the far right one on the cliff band as one looks up at the routes from below could maybe be the route you are asking about. It is a good route for Wisconsin. Long, steep, sustained, pretty well bolted, great exposure at the top, and a tough devious crux near the top. The whole route is in your face and I really liked it. Couldn't nearly climb it clean but you can bet I am going back to make another go at it. Grade- hard 5.11, maybe harder. The moves for me (especially the crux) felt as hard or harder then "Amy's Route" and "Stroke the Ego" on the Rhumbus at Gibraltar.

By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Oct 27, 2005
To anonymous:

I pulled a carabiner (looked like a bail biner) off the bolt at the crux of the route (we are raving about here) last Friday. Is it yours? Let me know what the make and model is and it's yours!! Are you TG? Just wonder'n?
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Oct 28, 2005
Burt,Can you send me directions to these routes? Gov D is so big...I looked for them once but couldn't find them. The bail biner is not mine.

Secret Agent Man is supposed to be hard 5.12 maybe .13. Does there look to be a climb in that range among the nine climbs you described?Thanks.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 28, 2005
Yeah, it's mine. An old oval, probably REI. 2nd to last bolt if I remember correctly.

It was getting excuses though, stupid to leave it. I'm headed back tomorrow and it was my intention to remove it.

I hate leaving stuff like that behind, especially when we're trying to keep on the down low.

Anyway, keep it. You deserve it. It's never been dropped, so consider it good to go. Thanks for cleaning up my mess :)

I'm AK, not TG.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 19, 2006
I just want to take a moment to fill in some gaps about the routes at Governor Dodge. I found the wall by the horse barn in 96/97. I called it the Qual Wall. Seth Dyer and I started bolting the best looking routes in the fall of 97. Our intention then was to have one area in the park with decent climbing and easy access. After hiking nearly every ridge in the park, I knew that the Qual Wall was about it, aside from Rich Bechlar and Rob Drysdale's esoteric Deutschelander Uber Alles near Cox valley. If you find this route, Rich wants it left as a toprope. There is a pin in it to keep you in and a few other lines nearby.

So, at the Qual Wall from left to right.

1. A Schmitt/Sepsen route? Large underclings to pockets to face. 5.10? I don't know the name.

2. A Schmitt/Sepsen route? Face. 5.10-? Don't know the name.

3. A Schmitt/Sepsen route? Face. 5.9+? Don't know the name

4. Now or Never. 5.11+/12-. Steep crimp ladder/black w/ green streak.

5. A Red Recollection. 5.11- Steep layback rib to roof. Now featuring anchors.

6. Secret Agent Man. 5.13-? (Some holds have broke) Can't miss it. Arete, to corner, to roof, to sweeping arete. Climbs the left side to anchors.

7. Schmitt/Sepsen route. I toproped it before the bolts, but don't remember much. Starts on Secret Agent Man and goes to the right side of arete in chimney. No anchors.

8. Schmitt/Sepsen route. Thin face leading into chimney??? Haven't been on it. I have heard a 5.13 grade rumored though. Don't know about anchors.

9. Unlisted Number. 5.11/11+ depending on how tall you are. Technical face to a sweeping little headwall.

10. Schmitt/Sepsen route. 5.12- Long face, some dubious rock.

That's about that. I have been down in AZ for long time but back for a while. See y'all around.

P.S. Help keep Wisconsin's routes clean- Git on 'em...
By NiClips
From: Madison, WI
Jul 31, 2006
I was just at Gov. Dogde this past weekend for the first time (for climbing). That layback route "A Red Recollection" is pretty sweet; we noticed it just as we were leaving. I had only enough time to get past the first few moves, before we had to leave. I'm def. going back next week to send it though. The rock seemed to be in pretty good shape as well, although it is pretty soft and crumbly in other spots.
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Feb 5, 2007

Any chance of you throwing Qual Wall up on the site? I was there a couple of weeks agao, and it was sweet. It should really be up as an area, and I figured you were the person to post it.

By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 10, 2007

I was waiting to get some excellent photos of the routes, but I am now back down in Arizona for the winter. I may just post it anyway sometime soon... JJ
By Dobbe
Jul 24, 2007
any info on the line that goes up the arete on the left side of the secret agent wall, no bolts yet. It looks like someone is projecting it. Any guess at the grade.
By TravisMelin
From: Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Jul 25, 2007
Ive seen that too, and have been curious, looks a little rotten though doesnt it?
so I havent heard anything about that one dobbe, but i got on the face between S.A.M and the 5.10 crack. If you climb the face then move right ,and finish with the crux of S.A.M i think it would be about a 13something.
By Brian Runnells
Aug 29, 2008
I'll have it up on my site as well at the link below. We will see who expires first :) Thanks for putting it together Jason.

Qual Wall Topo @ ClimbingNarc
By Dobbe
Aug 29, 2008
Nice work, looks super good.
By JulSan
Oct 16, 2008
Thanks for taking the time in putting together and updating this topo online.
By george reynolds
Jan 24, 2009
What kind of condition are the bolts in currently, have any of the bolts broken or pulled out since they were initially placed. I would love to get on some of these routes but im a little concerned of the age of the hardware.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Jan 24, 2009
Last I checked, the bolts looked good, in general. Of course, it's not a bad idea to take a look at them when you're climbing, especially in the Governor's soft sandstone.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jan 24, 2009
I have been on most of the lines on the Qual Wall in the past 15 months or so and everything I clipped seemed solid.
By Paul Dieterle
From: Pasadena, CA
Apr 25, 2009
has anyone been to the secrets of the dodge wall? i was looking forever today and couldnt find it to save myself
By Tradiban
Apr 26, 2009
You sandbagger Huston!
By Paul Dieterle
From: Pasadena, CA
Apr 26, 2009
Wow, so basically what you're telling me is I spent half an hour slogging through mud with my dad who has a heart condition for nothing? Oh well, the rock wasn't climbable that day anyways...
By Tradiban
Jun 26, 2009
Left hand anchor bolt on "Red Recollection" is loose, I will get some epoxy on it when I can. Still fine to rap on though.

I thought the "Warm Up" routes were not for the new leader. They have distinct cruxs and some slight run outs between bolts.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Jun 26, 2009
Stop pulling so hard Rhoads, your hurting the rock man! J/K. That's super good to know and epoxy would help the situation.
By Tradiban
Jun 28, 2009
He guys I've been alerted to an parking issue at Qual Wall. Here is what the park staff said regarding the grassy parking area across from the barn.

"This parking area is the spot that has been designated for the day use horse unloading area for 15+ years. During the week, there is little problem with the lot filling up with horse trailers. However, on weekends, the lot does usually fill up with horse trailers. As this is their only area to park, they have no other options.
Cars on the other hand can park along the road shoulder so long as they are off the surface far enough to prevent obstruction to moving traffic. There is also the group camp shower building parking area (up the road from the horse day use parking) that could be used by climbers."

The reason for this alert is that a friend of mine had an issue with some horse trailer people that we adamant that he couldn't park there.
Since this is their only area to park we don't need to make an issue of it, thus, park on the road during weekends or if it is busy.
By SteveSchultz
Jun 29, 2009
Thanks Rhoads, that's great info to have. Plus it's easy to work around at least. Can we post this in the description or directions area for the Qual Wall?
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jul 4, 2009
Sorry, on vacation. Done now.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Mar 8, 2010
Thank Rhoads for putting some steel biners at the top of some of the climbs for TR or lowering. THESE ARE NOT BOOTY BINERS! Please do not TR off the chains on the rest of the climbs.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
May 30, 2010
Do these routes get shade (i.e. how is the summer climbing)? If so, any idea of morning shade / afternoon shade etc. Thanks for any info.
By Tradiban
May 31, 2010
Summer climbing here is hot and sweaty. Qual Wall is south facing and tree cover is not over-abundant.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
May 31, 2010
What Nick said. Hot and sweaty. Best to get there close to sunrise and you'll have a couple-hour nice window of tolerable temps and less direct sun. Late in the day is ok too but not as good.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jul 5, 2010
There were 3 cars parked in the Horse Barn lot yesterday ~noon. 2 had climbing stickers. I can't say I always follow the rules either, but the Rangers asked us (climbers) to not park in the grassy lot on weekends. Not a huge deal since there were no horse trailers but on the other hand if that's all they ask of us to let us climb at Qual and the Lonelies... They said we can park on the shoulder near the lot.
By TravisMelin
From: Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Jul 5, 2010
I think I know who they belong too. Ill pass the word on to them.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jul 5, 2010
Thanks Trav. Not a big deal since it wasn't busy, and I hate to be the asshole to call them out, but I want to climb there as long as we can...
By Caleb Cerling
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 16, 2010
Has anyone climbed that ugly chimney/OW at the far left side of the Qual wall. I did it the other week and was wondering if it had a name.
By Tradiban
Sep 17, 2010
To whomever is over-ticking everything at Qual Wall, PLEASE STOP!

At least clean up after yourself, here's why:

1. (The polite reason) You play screwy with others experience while trying to on-sight or work the route because they might be distracted or confused by the 4in chalk marks on holds that might work for you but not necessarily them.

2. (The better reason) G dodge is already on edge with climbers and unfortunately when access issues arise in places the park staff tend to use the word "graffiti" about these tick marks when arguing their case. This looks very bad for us as a user group.

There are other user groups of this park and while most climbers might not be offended these people are and if they complain enough to the park staff the can and WILL shut us down. So, please keep a low profile here and any where else you climb.

Others, PLEASE regulate your friends and climbing partners regarding tick marks.

By Tradiban
Sep 17, 2010
ccerling, I'm sure someone has climbed this but please post it and name it what you like.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
Oct 17, 2010
Big thanks to the people adding the fixed steel biners on the anchors. Definitely makes it a safer crag.
By J.Flunker
Aug 22, 2011
The stainless "steal" carabiners found on the anchors of the "warm up" slab routes at the Qual wall have been removed. These carabiners are FIXED GEAR and were added as a community service to climbers.
To whomever took the carabiners:
Return the carabiners to the anchors of the climbs from which they were taken.
Get in contact with myself (or any of the Madison area climbers who post on MP regarding the Qual wall) so that the biners can be returned.
By JH1
Dec 2, 2011
Here is the Qual Wall topo. It is the same topo that was posted before and I think still available on Brian's site. Just wanted to make sure the link stayed fresh and the topo available for whoever wants it.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 14, 2011
Ohh I hate it when folks start running off with a crags anchors!!
By Ted Pinson
From: Chicago, IL
Sep 9, 2017
This is a fun little crag and is probably the closest sport climbing to Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised by the rock quality, especially in the Red Recollection area, as I was expecting a chosspile based on some of the descriptions. About as good (if not better) than Necedah.

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