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Table Rock
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North Ridge 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Bob Gillespie, Bob Mitchell - 1970
Season: Spring-Autumn
Page Views: 9,685
Submitted By: Chris Chaney on Oct 15, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (70)
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Jessica Rau nearing the top of the first pitch!! S...
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  • Description 

    Pitch 1: Climb the left wall through some steep ground to a belay slightly back to the right.
    Pitch 2: Follow a series of cracks up a nice, easy low angle and exposed face to a belay ledge. Belay or combine this with the next pitch.
    Pitch 3: From the ledge head up and right around a roof to a vegetated ledge. Belay up and continue to the summit roped or unroped depending on your comfort level.

    Fantastic route! I always recommend this route to anyone visiting Table for the first time. It can be a bit windy. While not the longest route in the area, it has the best position, high over a saddle between Table Rock and Hawksbill. You get great views of the upper gorge, Hawksbill and Grandfather Mountain to the north.


    Hike past the east face, then the walkdown from the routes that top out on the ledge. Continue up to a ridge that is exposed. Look up, on the corner is this amazing line.


    Small to medium gear.
    No fixed anchors except at the second belay there are some fixed pins.

    Photos of North Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
    The North Ridge of Table Rock from the start of the route.
    BETA PHOTO: The North Ridge of Table Rock from the start of th...
    Jason Burton contemplating the view from the base of the North Ridge
    Jason Burton contemplating the view from the base ...
    David Meyers at the massive ledge halfway up
    David Meyers at the massive ledge halfway up
    Looking north on the summit of Table Rock after summiting via the North Ridge. In the foreground you can see Hawksbill and on the horizon you can see Grandfather Mountain. <br />photo D. Lutes
    Looking north on the summit of Table Rock after su...
    Vista from the top of the North Ridge
    Vista from the top of the North Ridge
    Closeup of the last pitch of the North Ridge with climbers on it.
    Closeup of the last pitch of the North Ridge with ...
    Belay Anchor halfway up
    BETA PHOTO: Belay Anchor halfway up
    Fixed anchors at the top of the North Ridge's first pitch, as of November 2010.  The pins look good and the cordlette looks new.  Thanks to whoever placed this.
    BETA PHOTO: Fixed anchors at the top of the North Ridge's firs...
    Looking down the glorious second pitch in primo evening sun.
    Looking down the glorious second pitch in primo ev...
    Comments on North Ridge Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 22, 2013
    By Rob Dillon
    Oct 18, 2006

    Best route on Table Rock! 3 pitches sounds like a lot for a 250-foot route, unless you're looking to make a day of it.

    By Jonathan Petsch
    From: Chattanooga, TN
    Nov 25, 2007
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

    Fun route, but easily done in two pitches with a 60 meter rope. the first pitch ends at a large belay ledge with 3 good pins pre-strung with rope. the next pitch is a rope stretcher, but once i finished the crack and came to the trail i continued on to the top and belayed on a large rock that i slung, a little sketchy but ok. nice view. the first pitch is the best

    By ziggy
    Nov 17, 2009

    Hardest 5.5 at table rock, with more strenuous gear placements than it's sister routes. I would make the sketchy rappel at pitch 2 on the fixed pins instead of topping out so you can easily access more routes!

    By Harrison Dreves
    From: Nashville, TN
    Feb 17, 2011

    For the second pitch, go right. Do not go up the crack system on the left side of the headwall above you unless you enjoy climbing through a bird nest filled with droppings. Ew.

    By Colin Cunningham
    May 2, 2011

    Me and my friends tried to find this route a few days ago and failed miserably. We walked up both trails, past what we KNEW was white lightning, and could NOT find this ridge. I dont know what we were doing wrong, but just be warned, 3 climbers couldnt find this climb and ended up circling the entire table rock formation.

    By Matt Westlake
    May 3, 2011

    I can relate to having trouble finding this. I blame the topo in the selected guide; it's pretty bad. The book makes it look like things are all right next to each other but in reality the base of the cliff is a bit messier. White Lightning is your best landmark to start keeping your eyes open as you continue on the trail staying pretty close to the cliffline. When you are almost at the base of the route there's a sort of obvious point where you can climb up about 10 feet that puts you where you need to be.

    By wlashgraham
    May 8, 2011
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

    Really fun route. Great view, fun climbing. First pitch should be sup to the fixed pins. Second pitch around the arete of to a cool little vegetated ledge. Third pitch is somewhere around hard 4th class / 5.0 and can easily be scrambled. Had some trouble finding the route, bring a compass, walk way past the eastface, if you follow the cliff line you will get up a boulder and there will be a clear NE facing ridge.

    By John Saunders
    From: Cornelius, NC
    Oct 9, 2011
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

    Onsighted first pitch, followed on 2nd. Both pitches felt quite sandbagged for the grade. If compared to routes in the area, I think our path could go at least 5.6. Definitely harder than Skip to My Lou or My Route which are both 5.6. Great view!!

    By TKHouse
    Dec 25, 2011
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

    Climbed this one back in November. Was going to do some of the more standard lines but wanted to teach some more about gear placements to my follower so this seemed like the opportune route.

    Finding the climb was relatively easy, you have to climb up about ten feet from the trail onto a boulder and the climb begins right in front of this.

    P1 - Took the right option on the first pitch. Apparently the section to the left goes at seven, looked very fun as well. Depending on how your second climbs, the first pitch could be awkward in a pack. Protection was plentiful and good. I don't think this pitch felt any harder than peek-a-boo's first pitch, and has much better protection IMO.

    We anchored at the three pins, backed up with a bomber cam. You could probably rig a wide gear anchor here if you don't like the pins, they're getting pretty rusty.

    P2 - The start definitely surprised me for a five, but it was fun. Good gear the whole way. I recommend stopping as early as possible and building an anchor where you can. My guidebook describes a third pitch that most people seem to combine with the second. After moving around the corner early in the second pitch, rope drag and communication both suffer. As soon as you get to a big ledge plug some gear and bring the follower up. Then it's just a quick and easy scurry to the top.

    My favorite route at Table Rock, definitely less crowded than most of the stuff, all gear, and with some phenomenal views! You can see all the way to Roan Mountain in TN if you look carefully!

    By Mike Holley
    From: Boone, NC
    Sep 16, 2012

    Stellar route! Great exposure, excellent gear and just an overall fun climb. The entire route can be well protected on passive gear. So if you just bought that set of new nuts and tricams, I would say go for it! Beautiful route best done in the morning or at midnight with a full moon!!

    By Jonathan Dull
    From: NC High County
    Nov 21, 2012

    Excellent route and perhaps the best easy route on Table Rock. Offers steep climbing (for 5.5) and some fun meandering cracks. Great views, great climb and great pro!

    By Jon Kulikowski
    Feb 5, 2013

    Easily the best route on Table.

    By Will Copeland
    Nov 22, 2013
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

    Loved this route. The views are amazing, the climbing is smooth, and the gear is bomber! Can be done with a handful of cams, a few draws and one cordalette. Topping out can be done in a variety of ways.