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.
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.
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.