Because of Dick Williams' rather superlative description of the difficulty of this route, and after coming to expect 5.11 and up Gunks climbs to be extremely involved and generally terrifying, I'd kept away from it for a long time. However I was psyched to discover that Kligfield's is, for the most part, a good ol' mostly vertical pump with relatively straight-forward gear... reminiscent of a funky granite corner or something you'd find in Eldorado Canyon.
The line follows an arching crack system on the attractive pale yellow wall just left of Simple Suff
. The crack begins about 20' up; start climbing well left of this using a large flake at the left edge of the wall to gain a mail slot for fingers and the first gear of the route. Move up off this to a shallow ledge, then continue back right to the start of the crack. Climb the crack to a tiny rooflet (the crack momentarily seams out here in a blank, left-facing corner) and set up to perform a difficult and possibly reachy move to another finger slot on the face out left. This is exciting and committing - suddenly there is no retreat and no feet. Don't panic; instead confidently load up the slot with a small cam or two, casually chalk up, exchange banter with your belayer and the gathering crowd, then lunge or dyno upwards for what appears from below to be nothing more than a sloper. You might be pleasantly surprised. Two more pulls gain a decent rest at a horizontal. Here the crack reappears and arches rightwards as the wall gently overhangs. After recovering, enter the sustained crux of liebacks, underclings, and good gear placements. It's a pumpy 20', but there is a chance to regroup midway with some modern sport climbing trickery and then things ease off just before the final steep bulge. Trivial climbing over this leads to a fixed pro & tat anchor.
I can't believe John Stannard freed this in 1973. Certainly 5.12 (or R) without cams?
A double or triple set to 0.5 Camalot. Nothing larger, and nothing micro. Double ropes or long runners are useful as the route wanders back and forth a bit.
By Nicola Masciandaro
Sep 15, 2012
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Super duper route. I enjoyed having a large cam on hand to place in pod at end of arching traverse. Piece in horizontal is easily back cleaned to eliminate drag.
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Sep 17, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
In order to protect the difficult and reachy move into the mail slot below the crux on the face, you'll need RPs. Awesome route (felt hard for the grade) and it protects reasonably well.