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f. The Guides' Wall (Madame G's)
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Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 210'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Hans Kraus, Harry Snyder, 1943
Page Views: 21,553
Submitted By: Guy H. on Feb 23, 2006

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Adrian on Madame G's, November 7, 2009

Description 

Madame G's rivals High Exposure closely for the title of best Gunks 5.6. While High E has "the move", Madame G's has a longer section of sweet, steep 5.6 jugs up a massive, exposed and unique orange buttress formed by large left-facing (Southern Pillar, 5.2) and right-facing (Northern Pillar, 5.4) dihedrals on either side.

P1: Follow the thin crack to the tree. 5.4, 50'.

P2: Traverse right into a steep left-facing dihedral, with jugs and jams. At the top, traverse right and belay on a small stance at a horizontal crack. 5.6, 80'.

P3: Follow the chalk through multiple overhangs on huge jugs and steep terrain. Near the top, angle right through the final overhang and belay at bolts. 5.6, 80'.

You can combine P1/P2 or P2/P3. The best combination is P2/P3, because you'll skip the semi-hanging belay. Bring lots of long slings - both the climbing and the protection wander.

Descent: Rap twice down the Northern Pillar side of the buttress, from sets of bolts with a single 60m (or one long mostly-free rappel with 2x60m). The top bolts are somewhat hidden: peek around a large boulder on climber's right to find them. From the clifftop and other nearby routes, you'll need to scramble back down to the top of the buttress proper, then look for the bolts.

Pre-bolts, climbers had to rappel from the tree at the corner of the buttress - both getting on rappel, and the free-hanging rappel itself, were rites of passage for newer climbers.

Protection 

Standard Rack; extra hand-size cams if linking pitches.

Location 

The Madame G's access trail is the first one after Minty, about a 9-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 5-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector trail meets the carriage road. When the leaves are down, you'll easily identify the orange buttress itself.

To start the route, come around the left toe of the buttress and start atop some boulders below a thin-crack system leading to a large oak tree.


Photos of Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst Slideshow Add Photo
non necessary finish
non necessary finish
Climber at the hanging belay.
Climber at the hanging belay.
Skytop and Smiley's Tower from mid way up Madame G...
Skytop and Smiley's Tower from mid way up Madame G...
Madame G's upper pitches and rap.
BETA PHOTO: Madame G's upper pitches and rap.
Climber about 1/2 way up
Climber about 1/2 way up
Starting up the blocky, left-facing corner on P2.
Starting up the blocky, left-facing corner on P2.
Looking right to start of Northern Pillar and Guid...
Looking right to start of Northern Pillar and Guid...
The Madame G's buttress. The route ascends the mid...
BETA PHOTO: The Madame G's buttress. The route ascends the mid...
Paul Deagle - Madam G's 5.6 view from hanging bela...
Paul Deagle - Madam G's 5.6 view from hanging bela...
Climber following final pitch of Madame G's.  Shot...
Climber following final pitch of Madame G's. Shot...
Looking down the first rap on Madame G.
Looking down the first rap on Madame G.
Johanna bustin' moves on Madame G's, Fall 2008.
Johanna bustin' moves on Madame G's, Fall 2008.
Madame G's...at night...in the rain...priceless!
Madame G's...at night...in the rain...priceless!
Paul Deagle - Madam G's Final Pitch looking down b...
Paul Deagle - Madam G's Final Pitch looking down b...
Climbing Madame G's on a rainy night.
Climbing Madame G's on a rainy night.
Climber at the belay
Climber at the belay

Comments on Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 9, 2014
By GoBotRocker
From: Spfld, Ma
Jul 4, 2006

Another awesome route, The hanging belay still gets my attention. My second climb of the new year, we did it on New Years day. The climb was bone dry until the top out which was covered with an inch or so of snow...
By asmith
Oct 11, 2007

Best 5.6 in the Gunks. Love this climb
By adrenalated
From: Denver, CO
Jun 15, 2008

I wasn't really impressed by the belay opportunities in the middle to the headwall. Better to take some extra runners and link P2 and P3 together.
By Tim Schafstall
From: Newark, DE
Oct 22, 2008

This climb is even better if you do P1 of Columbia, just to the left as you face the rock. That makes the climb 5.8 though. That arching crack of Columbia is a lot harder than it looks.
By losbill
Oct 23, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Definitely makes for a better first pitch. Regarding being harder than it looks, definitely!
By J Antin
From: Denver, CO
Aug 31, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this at night during a rainy Gunks weekend - what a blast!
By doligo
Jun 21, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is one of the climbs you gotta save for chilly autumn days and not do it in a 90-degree weather in June. I thought the corner of P2 was more challenging than the the bulge crux of P3.
By SethG
Jun 21, 2010

I'm not sure why you need to save this route for the autumn, any more than any other route. It does get sun, just like most climbs in the Trapps. It is my favorite 5.6 in the Gunks. Did P1 Columbia and linked Ps 2 & 3 of Madame G today-- it was hot but still special!
By doligo
Jun 22, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The route stays bone dry as opposed to many other routes. In any case, I had huge expectations for this route (I'd never even followed it before), but not enjoyed it as much as other even lesser star .6s in the Gunks, so I blame it on the heat. I can see it being really fun on a crisp fall/winter day with sun warming you up...
By Barrett Stetson
Jul 31, 2011

Found P2 a good bit easier than P3. Maybe mostly mental, but also a little more burly? Had to get into more committing positions hoping the holds would be there but they always were. Hanging belay at the horizontal isn't that bad (all hand sized cams if I remember?), was kind of glad I stopped there rather than trying to run the two together (but 5.6 is also at my limit), although P1 and P2 might have been easily run together . Definitely a great fun climb!
By Alex Washburne
Nov 25, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This can be done in a single pitch with 60m double ropes. Followed by a single rap off the top with said doubles, this is how you get 'er done at the Gunks!

Best single pitch at the Gunks? In my opinion, it's up there with double crack, doubleissima from ground to GT ledge, Directissima arete linked with high-E, CCK direct or Bonnie's direct from ground to top. As I said before... Get 'er done!!!
By Ian Dibbs
Jun 16, 2013

On a late morning I waited while the group ahead climbed in the full sun. By the time our group made it up, the sun had moved around and the exposed upper climb was now in the shade. Seems like you could pick your climbing time depending if you want the sun on you or not.
By CWood
From: SLC, UT
Jul 11, 2013

Lost some gear here on Tuesday evening (7/9) when I had to bail on lead in a sudden heavy downpour. Would be very pleased to get my gear back if the first party up Wednesday morning is feeling kind enough to return them.
By jdejace
Apr 4, 2014

0.5 BD cams for the hanging belay
By Mthoresz
Jun 24, 2014

I loved this so much more than High E, which I felt was over much too soon. This route was burly but juggy and everything was right there when you needed it. Impressive, sustained climbing from start to finish. I thought the P2 crux was the hardest part of the whole route, since I had trouble reaching out to the right corner. But after that, it was smooth sailing all the way to the top. Fantastic climb, and well worth its status as a Gunks classic!
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
Nov 9, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Great route! Juggy and well protected throughout, except for a very short traverse on P2. After the climb you're rewarded with a long, airy, free-hanging rappel (1 rap with 2 ropes, or two raps with a single). If you bring new climbers, make sure they're prepared for it!

You'll need long slings on almost everything on the second pitch to prevent rope drag. If you combine Pitches 2 and 3, you'll have probably have significant rope drag anyway by the end, but not too bad if you're careful. Bring a ton of trad draws if you combine the pitches, or be prepared to run it out.. I would recommend doing it in 3 pitches, or combine the first two. Semi-hanging belay for the third pitch, but it's bomber.

Anchor Beta: It may not be obvious where to build the anchor for the Pitch 3 belay: Look for the piton- just right of the piton, and about 6 feet up, is a nice horizontal crack that will accept a variety of solid gear (I used a large walnut, red and brown tricams, and a #2 camalot. Smaller cams will fit also). If you hang right below this anchor you have a small but good stance with your feet, and a few feet below you is a slightly larger ledge that your second can use to belay you up the next pitch.