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Middle Earth
Routes Sorted
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Afterthought TR 
Anduril S,TR 
Art Imitates Life S 
Art of the Pissant S 
Big Kahuna S 
Black Rider S,TR 
Caradhras T 
Cirith Ungol T 
Clairemont Calling TR 
Dimrill Stair T 
Dwarrowdelf T 
Easy Rider S,TR 
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Fool's Gold S 
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Glamdring S 
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Nameless Right of Shadowfax TR 
Nameless to the right of Fools Gold T,TR 
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Orthanc S 
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Radagast T 
Risky Business T,S 
Rock Wrestling T 
Rocking the Dalai Lama S 
Room With A View (aka Helm's Deep) T 
Sam I Am T 
Shadowfax T 
Shelob's Lair T 
Slice and Dice T 
Smeagol's Surprise T 
Straight Out of Sitka TR 
Strider TR 
Strider Face TR 
When Good Books Go Bad TR 
Unsorted Routes:

Sam I Am 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 30'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dave Kennedy, Joan Bertini
Page Views: 3,303
Submitted By: Marc Kajut on Feb 4, 2006  with updates from tom donnelly

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Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>


This meandering moderate route climbs past four bolts and at least one gear placement. A bolt protects the delicate crux move.


This route is located just right of Smeagol's Surprise and 10 feet left of Dimrill Stair.


Four (4) bolt protection + gear. Standard rack. Two bolt rap anchor.

Photos of Sam I Am Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lindsey Cullins leading Sam I am
Lindsey Cullins leading Sam I am
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying the view on my first top rope outside eve...
Enjoying the view on my first top rope outside eve...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sam I Am (5.8)
Sam I Am (5.8)

Comments on Sam I Am Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 10, 2016
By david baker
From: jamul, ca
Feb 7, 2006

Excellent climb place # 1 in flake after 2nd bolt. This climb is one of the best climbs at the grade in Mission Gorge. To find this climb head up Middle Earth trail past Shadow fax. Continue straight up hill 100 feet. At second canyon start left for 50 feet uphill. Climb is obvious four bolt climb on right wall. Shinny new bolts and rap anchor at top of climb.
By Brad W
From: San Diego
Jul 1, 2009

I think this route is also called "Nameless Left of Dimrill Stair" in the PDF guide by Art Messier.
By Kyle Wills
From: San Diego CA
Jan 9, 2010

Another fair, middle of the road climb in Mission Gorge
By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Jan 15, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Actually called Sam I Am. FA Kennedy / Bertini.
By ChrisRoyHarman
From: San Diego
Sep 1, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

4th bolt is a long reach for most people, so ensure positive footing before clipping in. A fall could land you on the sharp ledge.
By Josh Cameron
From: Moab, Colorado
Mar 28, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I agree about the fourth bolt: seems too far right from the natural line and I found myself clipping it from a tenuous stance. Yikes! On TR I climbed the direct line slightly right of the fourth bolt and that felt more like 5.9 to me. An ok route. Not bad, but not great.
By Joan Bertini
Jul 14, 2012

The FA was done by Joan Bertini.It was named Sam I Am. 4 bolts + gear.
By dholte
From: San Carlos, CA
Mar 31, 2013

oh! definitely bring gear, a bit run out after the second bolt, easy climbing to the third bolt but don't fall!
By Adal Bermann
From: San Diego, California
Nov 14, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I disagree with the Trad rating of this climb. Sure it takes a .75 just fine, but the climbing in that area is so easy, there's really no need. It's bolted well near all the cruxes and the run-out isn't bad (and easier climbing).
It's a sport route.
By ChaseLeoncini
From: San Diego, California
Aug 24, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I disagree with Adal. Bring a #1 to place deep within the flake. Keep in mind the flake is hollow however. The climbing is easier yes, but accidents do happen. Also, the second bolt can be a bit dangerous midclip as its not far off the ground. Ive personally seen a new leader deck after struggling with the clip. The belayer did what he could, dropping and pulling slack, but it only softened the fall. He's fine but beware
By Robert Karl
From: Encinitas, CA
Sep 10, 2016

Led this today onsight as a sport route. Doesn't seem like a trad route to me. Well protected (I'm a novice leader, so my $.02)

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