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Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct 
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Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 220'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: VS 4c [details]
FA: Art Gran, John Wharton, Bob Chambers, 1956. FA (Direct P3): Art Gran, 1958. FFA (Direct P3): John Turner
Page Views: 7,813
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 28, 2006
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Following Thin Slabs Direct
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The third pitch direct variation of this mind-boggling route will have you wondering about Gunks ratings: how can an exposed, overhanging, pumpy hand traverse, with so-so hands and poor feet, only be rated 5.7+? It will feel like 5.9 to the first-time visitor, but the adrenaline rush and pump factor will leave you thrilled when you finish.

To approach, use the new trail for Middle Earth. If you get to the Arrow access trail, at an open area by white rocks, you've gone too far.

At the cliff, head right and look for a smooth face with 3 bolts; this is the route Sente. Thin Slabs starts in a crack 5' right of Sente; Thin Slabs Direct starts in a right-angling crack 10' farther right.

P1 (Direct): Climb the right-angling thin crack with a bouldery start. After the crack peters out, continue up and left towards a big tree with rap slings. 5.7+, 100'.

P1 (original): Climb the crack on the left, up a face past a bolt, and continue up to the big tree. 5.6R, 90'.

P2: Climb an overhang on the right, continue to a ledge, and climb a left-facing corner to another tree with rap slings. 5.5, 60'.

For the Direct finish, move the belay to a tree about 10' to the right, where you'll be in a good spot for the wild third pitch.

P3 (Direct): Climb up a left-facing corner toward the huge roof. Take a deep breath and commit to the exposed, pumpy traverse to the right. Several old pins mark the way - it's a good idea to back them up, even though it's pumpy. Exit right onto the arete (crux), and breathe a sigh of relief. Gather your marbles, and continue up the face to a tree with rap slings. "5.7+" (Gunks sandbag rating), 70'.

P3 (original): If you're not up for the excitement of the Direct finish, you can climb a chimney in a large left-facing corner on the left, and traverse right to the rap tree. 5.5, 60'.

Descent: 3 rappels from trees with slings and rings with one 60m rope.
It's also easy to walk just a bit north (right) to the bolted rappel line at Arrow.


Standard Rack. Bring some small wired nuts for the first pitch and some Screamers for the old pins on the third pitch.

Photos of Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Craziest 5.7+ traverse ever!
Craziest 5.7+ traverse ever!
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Following Thin Slabs Direct
Following Thin Slabs Direct
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Thin Sandbangs Direct
Nic with the traverse behind.
Nic with the traverse behind.
Mike Amato starting the exciting traverse on the third pitch.
Mike Amato starting the exciting traverse on the t...
Mike Amato looking for footholds on the exposed third-pitch traverse. (Hint: there aren't any).
Mike Amato looking for footholds on the exposed th...
Nic Fries finishing the traverse.
Nic Fries finishing the traverse.
tr on the original start
tr on the original start
Comments on Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 20, 2013
By Mr. Malloc
Nov 17, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13

A 5.7 with the exposure of a 5.11. I gotta go with 5.8 to compromise.

By GMBurns
Apr 28, 2009
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13

Found the 5.7 start to be better on the head than the 5.6 start

By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Mar 29, 2010

Found the 5.7 start to be better on the head than the 5.6 start


By Greg Gawel
From: Jackson Heights, NY
Apr 30, 2010
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- VS 4c PG13

I've never done standard start/finish but direct one will definitely challenge budding 5.7 leader.

By micah richard
Oct 14, 2010

Direct p 1 very nice . locker jams and positive holds, great gear. The 5.6. start is greasy , balancy and somewhat dangerous w/ minimal gear. The 5.7 start seemed easier than the 5.6 in my opinion.

By doligo
Oct 14, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

5.6 start protects pretty well with small cams, I agree it has some greasy feeling to it though...

By rogerbenton
Oct 27, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Sente (5.9) followed by the direct third pitch is a money route.
"gather your marbles", indeed!

By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Mar 30, 2012
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- VS 4c

Did the Sente P1 and 5.7+ traverse finish recently. It's an okay line I suppose. The top pitch traverse was really pumpy for 5.7, so I'm also thinking it's more like a tough 8-ish with a pull-up-to-a-jug move near the arete.

By Adam Fernandez
From: Matawan NJ
Aug 19, 2012
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- VS 4c PG13

I did Thin Slabs Direct, with the direct pitch one and finish and it was great. After we repelled down from the top I decided to do Sente P1 as well and found the 5.7 start to be much more inspiring and fun even though its technically easier.

By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Mar 29, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- VS 4c

On the third pitch variation: The individual moves aren't harder than 7+ or 8-, the handholds are huge, and there are decent feet if you look. It is, however, very pumpy to rest and place gear to protect your follower. I'm not really sure about the integrity of the pitons but there are some pretty good cam placements. Great, exciting pitch!

By BrianRH
Apr 15, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b

Reclimbed this last weekend. Do the direct start on pitch 1. Link pitches one and two. Then don't skip the exciting variation for pitch 3. My approach was to get a good cam out a ways from the corner, clip the first 2 of the historic pitons and run for the end rather than wrestle in more cams... Fantastic exposure. Not a super route for your second though if they are a marginal 5.7 climber...

By Kurtz
Aug 23, 2013

The pine tree at the start of P3 is sappy (and my rope is now sticky).

By EricBacus
From: Red Hook, NY
Oct 2, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

Found the direct traverse to be harder than any move on Bonnies Roof or Son of Easy O.
I'd call it an exposed 5.8 and you might want to question taking a weak second up.

By JonP756
From: Mahwah, NJ
Oct 20, 2013

^^ Son of Easy O and Bonnie's roof are definitely harder routes.. Thank god for the pins on the traverse for the direct finish. Only the second one (out of 3) looked worthy of falling on but it inspired enough confidence to keep going.. this route is all mental