Don't think I'll get on Modern Times though (sandbag 5.8 overhung exit crux! wtf. I'd give it at least 5.10)
how do you know if you didn't get on it? haha It's 8+ all day if you can climb a roof. it's like a gym jug haul with great gear. you have until next time to get on steep overhangs and train up. it ain't no Jtree slab climb :)
I was belaying my second up to the ledge on high E and watched one guy fire up that 5.8 "easy" overhang and the second fall at the crux into mid air. Cool fall for a top tope. . Awesome looking route but sure looks intimidating for a 5.8. I'll start doing my daily pull ups and work on my guns so I can clear the roof. I think I'll also need some more guts. Lol
ahh.. i'm mostly a sport climber who climbs steep stuff at Rumney all the time so 5.8 jughaul is right in my wheelhouse. It was one of those routes that the first time i saw it, i wanted to lead it. put me on slab and i'm useless.
Madamn G's rap is pretty awesome. it used to be even more scary before they put the bolted anchor in and you had to drop in below the big tree on slings.
Agree about Moonlight and Maria are good and offer good gear but they are a step up at 5.6. Money pitch of High E is gently overhanging 5.6 jug haul with impressive exposure getting to the overhanging part. Likely the most exciting 5.6 I have done and will ever do (the first pitch I ever led at the Gunks, in 1994).
The rap tree for Madame G was by no means big in 1996. Pretty freaky; I remember the wind was close to howling as my partner topped out, shivering from the wind and cold.
Agree about Moonlight and Maria are good and offer good gear but they are a step up at 5.6.
It is inevitable that people who ask for route recommendations on MP at a certain grade get recommendations for climbs that are grades harder. He asked for "easier" 5.5 leads. Good gear on Moonlight? Have you ever climbed it? The traverse is scary for both the leader and the second. I'm not the only one that thinks that. Read the comments. mountainproject.com/v/moonligh... The common theme is "spicy" and "serious."
Brian, it was a thread drift in response to William Nelson's question asking for off-the-beaten-path routes. And "spicy" on Moonlight refers to the P1, IIRC, which can be done different ways to avoid the harships.
Brian's right, the gear at the crux of pitch two of Moonlight is far from ideal. There is a really junky old piton up and right of the moves. It does not give comfort and it is far away. The only other option for protecting the crux is a weird little pocket. I got a tricam in there that I thought would probably hold. I don't think a nut or a cam would work.
I also agree with Brian that p2 was a bit thin on pro, at least on the traverse and directly after, but I allow for difference of opinion. FWIW, some of the MP comments about spice extend to p2 (although there are certainly comments that call p1 spicy too):
"i havent found a spicier 5.6 at the gunks. Not sure how the first pitch is only 5.5. getting started isn't that easy is it??? and the traverse on the second pitch is a boxer checker for sure. i snuck a purple c4 low to back up the pin but it still felt like it was a while before i got something else in. this is a sleeper classic climb. get on it and get scared."
"P2 can totally rival High-E. A totally different climb, but yet similar. The crux is at the point with the most exposure and same level of exposure like High-E. Just a beautiful, classic climb. Only your last piece is terribly far away at the crux. Spicy for sure ... Even P1 is worth doing on its own - WAY better than P1 of High-E. Good pitch to put a new 5.5 leader on since it's easy to protect"
For me, Moonlight is mentally tough more than physically tough for the grade.