The Last Will Be First
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BETA PHOTO: At Last! I'm putting this up mainly because on at ...
A highly under-rated route, The Last Will Be First is one of my favorite 5.6's in the Gunks, and an excellent test-piece for the 5.6 leader. Pitch 1 features great, sustained, thoughtful face climbing above gear on clean rock, and pitch 2 has a fun overhang.
The route is a short ways left of High Exposure. The start is on an easy, low-angle face with some grassy ledges about 10-15 feet up - look for a vertical crack about 30-40 feet above.
P1: Climb up the easy lower rock to a crack. Follow the steepening crack to its top, then continue up and right across the clean face to an overhang below a left-facing corner. Pull the overhang and climb the corner to its top, where it is capped by another overhang. Escape right and continue up to a small ledge with the stump of a dead tree. Step right and climb easier rock to the GT ledge. 5.6 PG, 160 feet.
P2: Walk left about 20 feet to the first small left-facing corner. Climb the corner to a horizontal, then diagonal up and left to the notch in the overhang. Make some fun moves to pull to overhang, then continue up the slightly dirty corner about 10 feet before diagonaling up and right on easy, broken rock to the top. A worthwhile pitch. 5.6 PG, 70 feet.
Descent: Rappel from the bolt anchor back to the GT ledge (your ropes land directly at the start of P2, so be sure to call before you throw them). On the GT ledge, another bolt anchor appears to climber's left, from which two 60m ropes will get you to the ground, or a single rope will get you to a third bolted rap station. This a popular area of the cliff, so watch where you throw your ropes.
From the clifftop (and other routes), you'll need to scramble down a bit to reach the bolts. Look for the notch where the climb finishes.
The gear is good the entire way, although not always immediately obvious. There are some committing moves above gear. Doubles in the smaller sizes can be helpful (pink tri-cam, 0.5 and 1.0 Friends).
BETA PHOTO: Me leading P2 of The Last Will Be First. You can ...
BETA PHOTO: You know, looking at the photos in both Williams' ...
BETA PHOTO: Third pitch starts up the left-facing corner. Pro...
|Comments on The Last Will Be First
May 30, 2007
Repeated High E and did Moonlight and The Last Shall Be First for the first time on Sunday. P1 is nice and long featuring consistent 5.6 climbing on clean rock with a number of interesting moves above gear. P2 is a little bit of a one trick pony with the moves over the overhang. Overall the exposure and position certainly don't rival Moonlight or High E. However the sheer number of quality moves on P1 make this climb deserving of 3 stars.
|By Tim Schafstall|
From: Newark, DE
Apr 2, 2008
Indeed a great route and hard for the grade. Beware of the runout at the start of P2, and be aware that a second will have a difficult time regaining the rock (without some lowering) if they fall on the P1 crux.
Apr 19, 2008
great climb, do not hesitate to do it!
Jul 31, 2009
Great job with the description - totally agree on quality, and that it's a good 'testpiece 5.6'
Jun 7, 2010
Great route. I have to disagree with the comment above about the second pitch being run out to the crux. So long as you stay within reach of the corner to your right there is plenty of gear. I posted a photo showing how much I sewed up the second pitch up to the crux, and I could have placed even more gear if I'd felt like it. If you move further left it is true that you'd have a harder time placing much gear before the overhang. (Edit: I now think I was off-route! Further to the left of where I went is Unholy Wick, and The Last Will Be First actually goes further to the right. Check out the photos I posted and tell me what you think.)
Two high quality pitches. I thought the crux was actually the short thin section at a bulge below the corner and overhang on the first pitch.
Dec 5, 2011
I returned to The Last Will Be First and did the correct second pitch.
There are no runouts, it is well-protected and fun.
I'm also not sure I understand Tim's comment above about the first pitch. It would not be hard to get back on if you fell off at the crux. The overhang is not large and there are no traverses. Honestly, I think he may have been thinking of the wrong climb.
I think this is one of the best 5.6 climbs in the Gunks! Sustained, good moves on good rock from the bottom of the cliff to the top.
|By Kevin Heckeler|
From: West Sand Lake, New York
Apr 8, 2012
rating: 5.6 PG13
I did the second pitch exactly as described here and there was definitely a section of ground fall/ledge fall between my second piece and just before the crux. Fortunately it's 5.4-ish climbing with decent hands/feet. Gear after that is good. I'd give Pitch 2 a R rating.
Pitch 1 was long and I had to be creative to conserve cams and draws. Add a little spice with some runouts between pieces, but mostly PG (~15 feet). I'd only recommend someone solid climbing at 5.8 (self-confident) lead this. Not a good beginner's climb, especially if you add Pitch 2. With the amount of runout between good placements I'd put this climb in the "do not fall" category. It's an excellent climb despite!
|By Logan Schiff|
From: NY, NY
Aug 28, 2012
Only did the first pitch, but I really enjoyed it. Climbing is no harder than 5.6 but some of the gear placements are tricky/thin and there is a good amount of climbing above gear. Wouldn't recommend it as an entry level 5.6 lead climb. Bring a good amount of draws/gear since the pitch is quite long.