Roof of Death
What is the best boulder problem in Boone? That is a highly subjective question. “M1″? “Mighty Mouse”? “Matt’s Prow”? There are so many good ones to choose from. In my opinion I would have to say “Roof of Death” at Blowing Rock. The problem is awesome in every way. It is tall, splitter, good moves, a little heady and historic. John Sherman called it “Boone’s Mega Classic” in his 1994 book Stone Crusade. It has a lot of sentimental value to me. I learned to climb at Blowing Rock and this was one of those problems I looked at and thought “I will never do that”. One day in 2009 I decided I would.
Everyone approached the problem with trepidation at first this day, as none of us had done it. Apparently it is one of those climbs everyone is afraid of. It has an aura of invincibility I suppose. Come to think of it, I have only seen a few people do it in person in many many days climbing at Blowing Rock.
The reality of the boulder problem is this: There is a hard move at the bottom that weeds out those not capable of doing the top. At one spot you really wouldn’t want to fall. Your body would bounce off the slab below like a pinball. However, you are hanging on mega jugs here. As you traverse the lip of the boulder the holds get worse but at this point, you can step off on the slab if you are getting worried. There is a not-so-obvious horn jug around the back which leads to an easy mantle and a great sense of accomplishment.
Me on the “Roof of Death”
A view of Josh Shepherd from above.
In short, “Roof of Death” is one of the must do problems for the aspiring Boone boulderer. It is not the hardest problem but it is definitely one of the proudest that Boone has to offer. Rally some pads and spotters and get after it!