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The Pinnacle
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Comfortably Numb 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Rich Gottlieb - 1979
Page Views: 5,679
Submitted By: saxfiend on Jan 5, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (38)
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View from the top of Comfortably Numb.


A true Sandrock trad classic, Comfortably Numb is long, pumpy and exposed. It's a great challenge for bold leaders, but many like to set it up as a toprope. A 60-meter rope is a must.

Starting in the center of the wall, climb a slabby face with little opportunity for pro; you may be able to place a tiny cam before you get to a fixed pin about 40' up, just below an overhang/bulge. Pull through the overhang on good holds to a spacious ledge and catch your breath, then head up through a shallow roof and continue up the steep face on great holds and plentiful gear placements to the top. Sit back at the anchors and enjoy the view of the valley below while your breathing returns to normal.


Starts on the south side of the Pinnacle, in the middle of the face. Many like to toprope belay from a flat-topped rock outcropping some 40' above and right of the start (don't fall!).


Lots of small to medium gear (nuts, cams, tricams); one fixed pin. Open shuts for anchors.

Photos of Comfortably Numb Slideshow Add Photo
Starting slab
Starting slab
Comfortably Numb, Sandrock, AL
Comfortably Numb, Sandrock, AL
The key is to grab the chicken heads when you get to this point a little up and left of my head.
The key is to grab the chicken heads when you get ...
Huong shows her flexibility as she high-steps the overhang on Comfortably Numb.
Huong shows her flexibility as she high-steps the ...
Rett on Confortably Numb
Rett on Confortably Numb
Jug haulin' on Comfortably Numb, Sandrock, AL.
Jug haulin' on Comfortably Numb, Sandrock, AL.
Near the finish on Comfortably Numb.  Photo by Michael.
Near the finish on Comfortably Numb. Photo by Mic...
Jamie clearing the slab on Comfortably Numb
Jamie clearing the slab on Comfortably Numb
Comments on Comfortably Numb Add Comment
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By Brian Waters
From: Ogden, UT
Jan 19, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is about as classic as it gets at SR. The old Dixie Cragger gives it 5.9, which I agree with. The crux is a couple moves thru the steep section at the top of the slab, above what seems to be a good piton.

By Jeff Mekolites
From: HOTlanta, GA
Mar 13, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This makes for an exciting and spicy lead at Sandrock.

By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Aug 31, 2008

I finally got up the nerve to lead Comfortably Numb, and it was hugely satisfying! The initial slab section is run out for sure, but it's easy climbing (maybe 5.6), and I managed to get in a 00 TCU about 30' up. The upper section stays on you, but you can work against the pump factor by finding strategic rests.

One of Sand Rock's finest!

By Nick Russell
From: Bristol, UK
Sep 2, 2011
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13

Excellent route! I also managed to find a small TCU placement part way up the slab but it wouldn't have been enough to prevent a ground fall. Make sure you find the fixed pin before pulling the bulge!
The second half is quite sporty in nature: steep climbing on big holds with most protection coming from slung horns.

By TomCaldwell
From: Clemson, S.C.
Jan 2, 2012

Very classic! Heady and exposed the whole way. Reminded me of Northwest Conversion at Sunset, but way better rock. Back the pin up with a #1 camalot or blue tri-cam. You can also cinch off the old cold-shut studs with two nuts for pro. Lots of long slings to keep things running smooth. Definitely doubles in the TCU size range and singles up to #2 camalot/lavender metolius or green tri-cam.