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Unemployment Line 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: FA: 1982 - Alen Bartlett, Jim May, Steve Gerbeding FFA: 2014 - Shaun Reed, Scotty Nelson
New Route: Yes
Season: Late Fall and Early Spring
Page Views: 2,452
Submitted By: Shaun Reed on Jun 26, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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BETA PHOTO: The Unemployment Line

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The meat of the route is a 450' aesthetic flake system on the otherwise blank right side South Face. The grades listed below are my best guess and are not meant to sandbag anyone. I believe these are the honest grades that consensus will reach as the route sees more traffic.

Pitch 1 - 5.10 - 160 feet

Start up a thin dihedral with a bush at the start, then out or around a small A-frame roof to another dihedral with thin to good fingers to a 2 bolt belay (only bolted belay on the climb).

Pitch 2 - 5.11+, 150 feet - 4 bolts

Traverse up and right to a bolt then continues right to a crumbly corner (5.7), then to a good ledge and three bolts (crux) traversing to the right to a ledge at the base of a dihedral. Belay takes hand-size gear.

Pitch 3 - 5.11+, 70 feet

Head straight up the dihedral to the start of the flake system, then undercling to the left into a radical sustained undercling fingerlock traverse to a ledge with a tree. Belay takes hand-size gear and a #4 BD.

Pitch 4 - 5.11+, 90 feet

Undercling/jam out the awkward flake to pumpy hand jams then powerful liebacking passed 4 fixed nuts. Belay at a stance as the flake turns lower angle, or better yet, combine with Pitch 5. Belay takes finger- and thin hand-size gear.

Pitch 5 - 5.11, 50 feet

Continue up the flake to a thin crack crux through a short roof. Belay on a good sloping ledge. Belay takes hand-size gear.

Pitch 6 - 12-, 130 feet

Jam/lieback up the wide slightly expando pancake flake (5.9) saving a #4 BD for the belay. After a stance, head up the stellar big fingers to thin hands corner (5.11-) to another stance. Fire up good fingers to a thought-provoking undercling flake (crux) to a "thank God" slam dunk jug. Cruise up to a good ledge. Belay takes #3 and bomber #4 BD cams.

Pitch 7 - 5.10, 180 feet

Scramble up and right through a bush, then straight up a short awkward dihedral (5.10), then 3rd class through some trees straight up to the base of a thin corner. Belay at one of the trees.

Pitch 8 - 5.9 or 5.6, 160 feet

Climb up the corner to a ledge and a bush, then choose your own adventure left to the original 5.9 lieback, or right through 5.6 fingers then straight up through ever widening low-angle cracks to the summit ledge. Belay at a big tree.


The route is on the right side of the South Face on Mount Broderick and can be seen from the top of Vernal Falls. For the approach and descent, see the area overview for Mount Broderick.


Rack: RP's, (3 ea.) finger and hand sizes, (1) #4 BD cam

Photos of Unemployment Line Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Route Topo
BETA PHOTO: Route Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: South Face of Mt. Broderick, showing the new free ...
BETA PHOTO: South Face of Mt. Broderick, showing the new free ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cedar checking out the FUnemployment Line.
Cedar checking out the FUnemployment Line.
Rock Climbing Photo: Non foreshortened view of the Unemployment Line fl...
BETA PHOTO: Non foreshortened view of the Unemployment Line fl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unemployment Line from the base, showing the new f...
BETA PHOTO: Unemployment Line from the base, showing the new f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scotty TR soloing Pitch 4.
Scotty TR soloing Pitch 4.

Comments on Unemployment Line Add Comment
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By Shaun Reed
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 27, 2014

Cedar Wright shot some great footage of the FFA for The North Face!
By David Urnes Johnson
May 2, 2016

Great route! Pitch 3-6 are stellar! On pitch 2, more holds on the 11c traverse broke off in addition to what already had broken off (see Vitaly's supertopo trip report). Not sure how hard an 11c face traverse is supposed to be, but it's currently hard (but doable). Be careful on the 5.9 lieback at the beginning of p6; a part of that paper-thin flake came right off. Also, be sure to get some solid pro before pulling the crux on p6; part of the crack is flared and if you're not careful, the gear will pop straight out. But except for some questionable rock (and the ants at the p3 belay tree), this route is spectacular and has an awesome location. The underclingathon on p3 is my favorite!
By Jose Gutierrez
May 2, 2016

Was unaware that Mt. Broderick was subject to Falcon Closures. The line has some loose rock but other than that the climbing is amazing, be sure to get on it as soon as the Falcon closure is lifted!
By Erik Griffith 1
Dec 15, 2016

Does anyone know if you can pull through the crux. I'd love to hop on this thing, but I'd hate to possibly whip at the crux and have to leave gear because I'm too wimpy to send. Looks awesome tho! Psyched to check outhe a free route on Mt Broderick.
By Shaun Reed
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 28, 2016

You should be able to pull on gear through the crux with small cams in the undercling flake section. After the jug on top of the flake, there may be some mandatory free stuff, but the difficulty drops significantly.

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