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Machine Head 

YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Ted Hammond 1990
Page Views: 1,240
Submitted By: lee hansche on Jan 12, 2007
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (17)
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Here's Dom on Machine Head. The section below him...


Machine Head is a short but kick ass climb with a technical less than vertical start, a steep jug haul bulge and a scary balancy mantel finish. All in a route that is only 5 bolts long.

I recommend clipping the 2nd bolt due to an awkward clipping stance and ground fall potential, but that's your call.The first moves are like the moves you find at the bottom of many routes on Waimea.not steep but all the holds are facing weird directions.After overcoming this section you hit the jugs of the Red River Gorge like central band.And now that you are pumped, head up to the dreaded mantel finish.After working it out the grade seems reasonable but on the onsight attempt it feels hard in the grade.

They only give it one star in the guide book but I think it is worthy of full marks.


The right side of the cliff. It only goes up to the midway ledge.Locate the quick clips on the wall above the ledge. The route starts right underneath.


5 bolts to quick clips

Photos of Machine Head Slideshow Add Photo
Sylvain relaxing after the tricky start. Dreaded mantle finish yet to come!
Sylvain relaxing after the tricky start. Dreaded m...
This is a shot of the really cool band of strange rock that runs through the cliff and houses many huecos and other interesting features... This particular section is on the bulge of Machine Head that saps some energy before the dreaded top out...
BETA PHOTO: This is a shot of the really cool band of strange ...
Pump crux.
Pump crux.
The start
The start
Sylvain and Charles doing what they do best... climbing and belaying, respectively.
Sylvain and Charles doing what they do best... cli...
Comments on Machine Head Add Comment
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By Adam Conroy
From: Cambridge, MA
Mar 6, 2010

Worked this problem today for a while, didn't send but got all the moves. That mantle finish had my heart pumping and made me feel like I really pulled off something epic.

The description nails it and its minimum 3 stars here. Will reserve whether it is 3 or 4 after I send it. :)

By Jared LaVacque
From: Anchorage/Grand Junction
Apr 23, 2011
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

The 2nd bolt and most of the SMC hangers spin, which makes stick clipping difficult. The glue in bolts are solid. A really fun route in general.

By Jeffrey LeCours
From: New Hampshire
May 12, 2013

The bolts Jared mentions have been updated

By Zane Dordai
Aug 5, 2013

classic rig. at least as hard as pulse, and in my opinion as hard as many of the 12a's I have done. either the hardest 11d ever or a soft 12a...but either way one of Rumney's best short climbs. another great non-awkward mantle finish.

beta spoiler: the dihedral definitely contained the hardest moves on the route, but the pump hits you on the mantle.