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The Great Dihedral 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 450', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Richard Goldstone and Ivan Rezucha 7/1976
Page Views: 2,669
Submitted By: Ed Wade on Aug 19, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (19)
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  • Access is limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting; so there are some closures. Checking with the Adirondack Climbers Coalition or the NYDEC can provide the closure status.
  • Peregrine closures and approach trail issues MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The obvious right facing dihedral that starts about 100 ft. off the ground. P1 starts by climbing cracks and blocks to a belay below the roof that is the base of the corner 5.8 (an uninteresting pitch) 100 ft. P2 climb up from the belay into the roof/chimney and then make a weird move back down and to the right to get established in the corner. Climb the beautiful dihedral (fingers, hands, stemming, a little OW ) for 150 ft. Maybe the best 5.9 pitch in the Adirondacks with excellent pro. P3 look for a bolt directly above then climb out right about 15 ft. then back left to clip the bolt then wander to the top looking for gear placements 5.8 pg13. A committing lead that is seldom done. Most parties rap from anchors at the top of the corner.


    This is the right facing corner of the huge block with the Snatch (left side corner). It's start is just before you head downhill toward Gamesmanship. Most parties rappel the route after P2 with 2 ropes.


    A full rack up to #4 camalot.The corner takes wires nicely. There is a bolt on the face out left (another climb) that you can clip while doing the short offwidth section. Use long runners before the roof or backclean to reduce ropedrag. Anchors at the first belay and bolt anchors at the top of the corner.

    Photos of The Great Dihedral Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Great Dihedral, Poke-O, ADK.
    Rock Climbing Photo: .
    Rock Climbing Photo: Top of pitch one
    Top of pitch one
    Rock Climbing Photo: Way fun
    Way fun
    Rock Climbing Photo: outta houdini slot crux
    outta houdini slot crux
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bailing after being foxed by the move into the dih...
    Bailing after being foxed by the move into the dih...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Great Dihedral
    Great Dihedral

    Comments on The Great Dihedral Add Comment
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    By rgold
    From: Poughkeepsie, NY
    Mar 1, 2013

    Although it is true that Ivan and I made the first free ascent of Pitch 2 in 1976, the first two pitches were climbed the year before by Geoff Smith and Dave Hough using a single point of aid at the crux of Pitch 2. (I should add that Ivan and I had no idea whether anyone had climbed the route when we tried it. Ivan had been thinking about trying it for a while.)

    After Pitch 2, Ivan and I declined to try the unprotected-looking current Pitch 3 and instead finished via the SRT. I later returned and did Pitch 3, but by then Smith and Hough had returned themselves and done it, placing a bolt after a very awkward and trying unprotected traverse.

    Thus the first free ascent of the complete route was by Smith and Hough in 1976. However, it seems that their third pitch has never found much favor, and so most parties end their engagement with the first two pitches freed by Ivan and me.
    By Ben Brotelho
    From: Albany, NY
    Apr 16, 2013 any pics of this route? Maybe Ivan does. I've been wanting to do this one for quite a while now!
    By Mark Trotta
    From: Latham, NY
    Aug 25, 2013

    Comments about gear:

    I recommend building a gear anchor at the top of pitch one above the chockstone that is wrapped with tat that normally passes for the anchor. You'll be a lot more comfortable: no hanging belay. Threrfore bring an extra #2 & #3 for that.

    I got by using only the lone fixed sling for the Houdini slot crux but looking back that wasn't the safest. I recommend a #3 or #4 deep in the top of the slot for that crux. The rest can go with a single set of cams. In fact the small ones can be replaced by nuts only. Only other thing I recommend is to skip the bolt protection of the off width and do it with a little more style: bring a #5 or #6. They might need to be buried but hey.

    Also the rope will really drag if its been pulled in under the slot so take care to extnd those pieces adequately.
    By rgold
    From: Poughkeepsie, NY
    Apr 29, 2014

    Hmm. Perhaps worth noting that when Ivan and I did the route, nuts were all we had, and nothing as big as those recommended cams. Of course, there was no bolt in the offwidth either.

    I protected the exit from what now seems to be called the Houdini Slot by climbing up into it, reaching around to the outside, and placing a nut in the crack in the dihedral. Normally, this would be a totally blind placement but in this case I could observe what I was doing from "inside" the crack because of my position in the slot. This gave overhead protection for the moves out of the slot and only required a normal-sized piece of gear, as did the rest of the route.
    By Jim Lawyer
    Apr 30, 2014

    RG: Well, there's not a bolt "in the offwidth". It's left, around the corner, and on another route. That said, the fact that it can be clipped from this route is seen by many to be too close, and takes something away from the aesthetics and adventure of this great line. It's still there, so perhaps nobody cares enough about it.
    By Nick Weinberg
    From: Essex, NY
    Jun 19, 2015

    This route is incredible!!!!

    It is an aesthetic, dramatic, exposed, clean, sweeping dihedral that is uncharacteristic of most climbs in the East.

    This climb is underappreciated and under-climbed.

    The gear is good in my opinion.

    It is stout and sustained! "5.9" for the 5.10 climber. If you are solid at the 5.10 grade you need to get on this. Bring some rp's for the thin section leading into the chimney as I recall.

    If you link the first two pitches from the ground you create a tremendous marathon pitch - perhaps the greatest single pitch at Poke-O!!!!
    By EricBacus
    From: Germantown, NY
    Jun 2, 2016
    rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

    Did this as a "warm up" for some harder stuff. I think we got the order backwards. The other climbs would have been a good warm up for this!

    This is very sustained and very involved. I'm not very good with dihedrals but it kicked my @##. Feels more like a .10 than a .9 and it has a very unusual crux. I imagine a lot of 5.10 face climbers get shut down by this.

    Awesome and unique moves. Overall a great climb.

    • **
    We moved the belay up above the rap station built with larger gear. Both belays are cramped but the above one is much better. There might be a chance that the climber could land on the belayer if they blow the crux! (An added incentive for success.)

    A 70m rope allows for a rap from atop the second pitch with a few extra feet (knots!)

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