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Golden Locks 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Rob Robinson, Marvin Webb - 1985
Page Views: 8,022
Submitted By: saxfiend on Nov 20, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (122)
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sending the wife up


One of the true T-Wall classics, Golden Locks may be the most popular route at the crag. Its beautiful splitter crack is instantly recognizable, and the exposure above the Tennessee River far below makes for great photo opportunities. Golden Locks may also be the most sandbagged T-Wall moderate: many leaders have been humbled by this stiff 5.8 (now given a 5.9 by the FA in his new guidebook).

It's wise to have a spotter ready for the overhanging, bouldery start; possibly the toughest move on the route. Once you get past this early crux, route-finding isn't an issue: follow the obvious hand crack straight up the cliff, pausing for a welcome rest at a shallow cave. Save some pro and energy reserves for the steeper sections toward the top.


Starts in a wide section of the wall about 35' past Razor Worm; other climbs in the area include Cake Walk.


Medium to large cams; hexes could be helpful. Bolted anchor at the top (on the right face of an overhang just below the cliff top).

Photos of Golden Locks Slideshow Add Photo
B-Mack grunts it out.
B-Mack grunts it out.
lovin this climb
lovin this climb
Start of Golden Locks
Start of Golden Locks
JenT enjoying a rest in the hueco
JenT enjoying a rest in the hueco
Golden Locks
Golden Locks
golden locks
golden locks
Goldenlocks 5.8 on a fine Spring day
Goldenlocks 5.8 on a fine Spring day
Upper section of Golden Locks
Upper section of Golden Locks
Comments on Golden Locks Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 2, 2014
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Dec 6, 2006

Great route. The crux is definitely getting to the crack via the pumpy start with a less than appetizing landing on a pointed rock. Spotter here = good.

By Rob Dillon
Dec 15, 2006

Usually the six or eight assorted dogs tied off here on weekends make for a decent landing, if you come to the head of the queue. Spot!

By Nick Stayner
From: The Magic City
Feb 12, 2007

Classic Tennessee Wall start. Someone once told me that the first 10 feet of T-Wall routes don't count, as far as grades go. Har har.

By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Nov 4, 2007

Pumpy! Take advantage of any rest stance you can find after the cave; I ran out of gas near the end.

By Peter L K
From: Cincinnati, OH
Mar 23, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I didn't use anything larger than a 3, but did use a couple TCUs for the lower section. Fun.

By nickpoppel
Sep 29, 2009

Great route! I hung a couple of times :(. This would be a 5.10 in Boulder Canyon. Nothing bigger that a #2 BD. I didn't find the bouldery start that hard, it is however a very sustained climb. Next time ill place less pro and fly up. A great climb to get for my first time at the T-wall, highly recommend it.

By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Jun 22, 2010

I was almost shut down on the overhang start. Damn that was hard. then climb up to the giant hueco, followed by an amazing hand crack. The crux seems to be at the top, or maybe I was just pumped.

By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 25, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

the very first move is the crux. after that, its a walk.

By Peter Pitocchi
Nov 22, 2011

First move protects with a 3 if you are nervous about the pointy rock. Abundant pro.

By Khowe765
From: Knoxville, TN
Feb 10, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Classic route! The crux is either the first move off the ground, or at the top in the wider section below the tree - depends on who you talk with. For me, the ground move was no problem, but the day I climbed, the top portion was wet and I barely muscled through what I would consider to be the crux move at the top. A BD#3 protects well here. Whatever the crux is, use a spotter!

By Alexander Blum
From: Charlotte, NC
Mar 2, 2014

If there's a line don't stand in it, there are far too many other options. However, if you happen to saunter up under this route and see no ropes hanging, no gumbies racking up at the base, harness asunder with extra Camalots... Do this route. I have never, ever found another 5.8 splitter like this, anywhere. The start is not too bad, it's a good filter and gives the route a bit of character.