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The Great Barrier Roof 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Dave Pagel, FFA: Mike Dahlberg
Page Views: 851
Submitted By: ferrells on Jan 29, 2008

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Written in 2007: After careful inspection on rappel, this route is somewhat a mystery to me. I solo-toproped the first pitch, which is a fun 10+, but could not find the rest of the route. An impressive roof sits directly on top of the anchors for the 5.10, but no means of protecting it seem to exist. No bolts, no space for natural gear.
I eased myself off of the anchors of the first pitch into space, and jugged up the rope for the last 1-2 pitch(es), which were covered in lichen.
After asking several people about it, the route is still a question mark. If anyone can speak to the status of the route, please do.

Dec 2008 Update: I've heard back from a couple of people who tell me that the route went free on lead. Very cool. If so, from the look of it, I'd say it's one of the most attractive and intimidating free routes in MN. I hope we get to hear from Dahlberg about the first ascent, or from someone else who's given it a go.

Also possible to aid at C3.


The right side of the big roof that also holds Ego-itis. Close to below the new wooden observation platform, maybe a little to the west.



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By Bart Cannon
Feb 13, 2008

I solo-aided the first pitch this summer, and had hoped to lead the second as well. Like you, I jugged the last pitch, finding it quite blank even to aid. The first ascent party assures me it goes, but A3 is tough stuff. I'd like to go back with a belayer.

Were you expecting bolts? The Pagel guide indicates bolts at the belay only.

Anyway, it was interesting to see your remarks because the route seems to get next to no traffic.

By ferrells
Feb 13, 2008

Farris' description goes like this: three pitches. (10+, 11+, C3). He describes the first pitch as I found it, a 10+ free route. For the second he says, "Turn the roof, and belay (5.11+)." He even put a belay dot on his picture topo for the route. I expected to find either gear placements or bolts, and to find the "belay" that he talks about above the roof. I found none of these things.
If the "second pitch" is freeable at 11+, I would love to hear about it. It seems unlikely to me, but there could be enough features. It would be more like a step up from Narcoleptic Epic than a step down from Ego-itis.
Great to hear from someone else that's been on the thing, and good luck aiding it. Cant wait to hear how it goes.
By Adam Schwartz-Lowe
From: Minneapolis, MN
May 28, 2008

It's been years since I've aided it, but it definitely goes. If I remember correctly bring some small RPs and a sky hook. It's thin, but everything is there. There are only bolts at the belay.

Te entire route goes free, but the roof is pretty stiff.
By ferrells
Jun 25, 2010

I've thought about this on and off for a while. I wonder if the bolts for the belay above the roof were removed at some point.
By Ron Le Blanc
Apr 26, 2014

I climbed this route with Todd Peterson back in 1996. He freed the 1st pitch while aided the second. Probably my most amazing climbing experience ever in Minnesota. The roof and headwall offer true bowl churning exposure.

I recall the aid being very straight forward and not that difficult. In fact, this was the first real aid route that I ever climbed, besides screwing around on some free routes to learn technique.

I would highly recommend this route to anyone who feels up to the challenge and is looking for a great adventure climb - Minnesota style!

  • As of 1996, there were no bolts above the lip of the roof. No evidence that any ever existed. I see no reason why anyone would want/need to do this route in three pitches.
By Peter L Scott
Dec 17, 2016

I aided this about 1995. I seem to recall it felt easy for A3. Fairly easy
pretty solid placements. With the potential falls not to bad.

Bart Cannon your failure must have been due to the fact you are folicly challenged. I succeeded because of my Sampson like strength due to my long flowing locks.

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