|c. Frog's Head - the Arch
This may be the best 5.8 at the Gunks if you link both pitches: you get thin face moves, jamming, a long traverse, and a thuggish roof.
Use the same access trail as for City Lights, just below the striking widening crack of Baby. The climb starts 45' left of City Lights, at a thin jagged crack with a piton about 15' up.
P1: Thin face climbing and jamming will lead to a 2' ledge. 5.8, 90'. Build your own belay either directly under the corner above, or on gear 15' to the left, or exit 30' left to the rappel bolts over Easy Overhang.
P2: Aim for the overhanging left-facing corner system. If your belay is to the left of the main corner, you can traverse 10'-15' to the right on a sandy horizontal; there are pitons at the start and end of the traverse. The climbing is steep, and the feet are not as good as you might like. Fire through the steep rock above on well-spaced jugs. Pull right onto the face above, then head up and leftward. 5.8, 70'.
There may or may not be a piton anchor below the top of the cliff. Rappel from here (70m mandatory!), or continue to the top (be VERY careful of loose rocks underfoot).
From the top, you can rappel a nearby route - Baby to climber's left, or City Lights to climber's right. The Uberfall Descent is also a quick and easy option.
Standard rack; extra finger-size pro for combining pitches...
|By Adam Catalano|
From: Albany, New York
May 17, 2006
Incredible climbing. The first pitch can feel pretty spicy down low. The second pitch is a great jug haul through roofs, much easier roofs than Modern Times. Continuing all the way to the top is my preference, because I'm not crazy about that old two-pin belay station. I don't think you can run it top to bottom in one pitch though. You'd have to stop at the big ledge if you were to go all the way to the top. Rap off Frog's Head bolts to the right.
|By Mike fenice|
From: Boulder, CO
May 31, 2006
For those of you looking to maximize your climbing and stamina you can link both pitches together. When I first led this way back when, I linked them together with a 60m rope and walked down.
|By Jay Knower|
From: Plymouth, NH
Jun 5, 2006
This is the best pitch of 5.8 I have ever climbed. I combined both pitches and did the route at the end of the day just when the sun began its descent past the horizon. The upper roof is interesting, but never so hard that you can't pause and look around to admire your surroundings. And what amazing surroundings they are.
From: Morrison, CO
Oct 16, 2007
Did this in one pitch with little difficulty. Be sure to bring lots of slings though. I wasn't much impressed with P1, but P2 was totally sweet. Really fun moves on huge jugs, with excellent gear and rock. When I topped out I was surprised to find handfulls of loose gravel precariously poised to fall on climbers below. This may have been due to heavy rainfall the night before.
P2 felt easy for the grade by Gunks standards.
Aug 12, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13
I felt that the roof section was easier than Strickley's, and was probably more like 5.7. A fun route overall, and definitely worth doing. P1 is definitely harder than P2. I'm not sure how P2 gets a 5.8 rating when Birdland is also 5.8 and much, much harder.
|By Anthony Baraff|
From: Paris, France
May 27, 2009
Wow, I thought that P1(based on the traditional breakdown of pitches, I actually did the whole route as one pitch) was a cake walk. For me, P2 was the one that made me a little nervous. There's no rest leading up to the crux, and you have to place gear (great gear) while hanging off of one hand with your feet in no position to save you if you pump out or lose your grip.
Strictly allows you to throw a foot out to the right tip of the corner, so you can actually be hands free and resting, albeit awkwardly, while placing gear.
Sep 21, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
You can do it as one pitch to the trees with a 60 meter. However you do not end up with enough back rope to get to the cliff edge to see your second come around the overhang. Makes communication a little difficult as well. 70 meter give enough back rope to belay from the cliff edge.
|By Jay Harrison|
Jan 17, 2010
Traditionally, this was done in two pitches, by climbing leftward to the belay ledge for P1, then making a scary move straight up off the ledge to a traverse shelf and hand-traversing 10' right to the bottom of the corner (very scary if you try using this shelf as a foot traverse!).
Most folks combine these pitches into one nowadays, by forgoing the leftward move to the ledge, instead moving slightly right and up the steep, sparsely-protected face then up and left to reach the beginning of the corner.
I generally back up that anchor near the top of the cliff (the one with beat-up fixed cams and pin) to bring up followers, lower everyone else, then pull my gear and pray as I rappel. I've always tested the fixed gear and it *seems* rock-solid, but boy does it look hammered...
And yes, 70m rope required for that rap.
|By J. Albers|
Aug 12, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
Simply stellar route. Kinda surprised by Mono's comment about pitch one because I actually thought that the first pitch in particular was amazing, though I would agree that the second pitch roof seemed a bit soft at 5.8 for Gunks standards. As Mr. Knower says, maybe one of the better pitches of 5.8 around.
|By Chris Duca|
From: Havertown, PA
Mar 13, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
Climbed this yesterday for the first time in a LOOOONG while! Simply outstanding!
|By Jake D.|
Jun 29, 2011
Did this yesterday at 1 pitch.. it's funny how it has something for everyone's strength.. the slab climbers love the bottom and the roof climbers love the top. I'm a roof climber so i thought the top was easy for me.
|By Jaysen Henderson|
From: White Plains, New York
Jul 1, 2011
The huge roof had me pretty intimidated from the ground, but the real business is down low at the small crack. I didn't think much of the moves but they weren't very strenuous and very well protected. You get a fantastic rest before you embark on the steep journey to the beginning of the roof, but once you get up to it it has jugs in every dimension, and once you get into pulling the roof you have great feet out right to rock onto and it feels superb. Long runners under the roof are a must tho! A fantastic climb, a surprising joy ride.
|By David Stowe|
Jul 3, 2011
I'm just a climber and really like the whole thing.
From: Wayne, PA
Oct 15, 2011
could there be a better 8? I think not. THis is a fabulous climb from bottom to top. The bottom is harder for me, I love juggy roof climbs.
|By worth russell|
From: Brooklyn, NY
Nov 28, 2011
Can someone point me in the direction of a better 5.8. God I love this climb just amazing
|By Kevin Heckeler|
From: Upstate New York
Mar 8, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
Pitch 1 is the money, P2 is just a jug haul. Like night/day. In a way it makes it a nice climb because you get the best of both rock climbing worlds (delicate face and crack climbing vs. mindless pullups). Sometimes jug hauls can be stellar (Madame G's comes to mind). Sometimes they're just exercise. This falls directly between. Not enough can be said about the moves on the first pitch. Never the same thing twice and relatively sustained.
|By Jason Taibi|
Jun 28, 2012
The sketchy old pin anchor at the top has been replaced with a new one consisting of 3 brand new pins (not even any scratches yet) with chains.
From: Germantown, MD
Aug 20, 2012
P1 was the crux for me. Sustained and so much fun. The pro was great, so it was never scary. You can really sew up this pitch. I almost unloaded a full set of nuts. P2 roof looks scary, but was very juggy and felt easier than 5.8.
Jul 10, 2013
Linked both pitches and think this is the best 5.8 I've climbed in the Gunks. On pitch two you can escape around right onto the face just after the crux for a rest, but it is more fun to contuinue straight up through the corner roofs.