Maginot Line – Shortoff Mountain – North Carolina


The climb really starts from the moment you step out of the car and onto the trail. It is a decent forty minute hike up to where the fun begins but it is actually not that bad because a forest fire ripped through the area a while back and everything is burned to hell which quite different than the typical North Carolina bushwhacking type hike.

Hike up the trail until you reach a small spring which trickles down a fairly steep gully. It is a bit of a scramble down the gully but its fun. When you reach the bottom of it, you’ll be dumped on to a little trail which you follow until it comes to an end at a 100′ cliff which requires a full 60m rope to rappel down. The rock can be a little sketch but there are plenty of solid trees to rap off.

Once you’re down to the bottom hang a lazy left and follow the wall for awhile until you see a large (now burnt) pine tree about two feet from the face with another tree growing out of the face about thirty feet up. I’ll be uploading pictures of the climb soon but once you think you are there look up and check for a chock stone and massive overhang.[singlepic=79,320,240,,left]

Now that you’ve spent the last 90 minutes looking for climb, it is about time to actually have some fun. I won’t bore you with the play by play because it is not necessary. The line is pretty easy to follow. Just go up and stay in the crack until you get about 50′ below the gigantic overhang. The Maginot Line then hangs a right and traverses around on the face before finishing. Once again I’ll post a lot of pictures and you’ll know what I am talking about.[singlepic=82,320,240,,right]

Advice about the Maginot Line on Shortoff Mountain:

1) There is a ton of loose toaster size rock that are just waiting to shift then fall and kill your second so be careful.

2) This is an awkward as all hell climb. A backpack is probably a mistake unless you have a haul line for the most cramped pitch which is either P2 or P3.

3) In Selected Climb in North Carolina the route description breaks the route into 4 pitches.  I recommend skipping the second belay station and linking P2 & P3.

4) There are a couple overhangs that you have to pull on P2 but they rock because the hands are awesome and exposure makes you feel like a stud. If you don’t like overhangs (I don’t at all) don’t worry about these at all.

5) There are hands everywhere but most of the time they are above your head and a little behind you. This climbs requires a lot of awkward climbing but for the most part you feel secure because of the solid hands.[singlepic=81,320,240,,left]

7 thoughts on “Maginot Line – Shortoff Mountain – North Carolina

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  3. Shadrock

    Nice trip report. I’m curious about the pro. We took a look at it this weekend and, thinking it was an off width, passed because we only have a few fist-sized pieces. Are there protection possabilities for a standard rack?

  4. Jon

    I would not call the Maginot offwidth at all. There is a fair bit of stemming and it can be a little awkward at times with a backpack but it is never offwidth. The TR was from the first time I climbed the Maginot Line. I’ve climbed it a few times since then and it was a lot less awkward than the first time mostly because I am a much stronger climber now. I think I also may have exaggerated the loose blocks a bit but it still pays to be careful.

    The first time I climbed it we didn’t have anything larger than a #2 camalot and it went fine. The times after that we had a #3 camalot and placed it. If I remember correctly there is actually plenty of finger to hand pro in the crack but it has been a year since I last climbed it and my memory could be a little fuzzy. It is not run out though.

    It is a great climb and probably my favorite climb in NC. If you’ve climbed and enjoyed The Daddy at Linville Gorge you’ll absolutely love Maginot Line. Climb safe.


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