This route is not particularly well-liked among my friends. After climbing it at my suggestion, one of them said he would rather go bouldering than be subjected to it again. Strong words. And he is not aloneóyou can find similar comments posted on message boards by other nattering nabobs of negativity.
But donít let all the bad press dissuade you. Ventre de Boeuf has a lot going for itóitís unique at the Gunks, itís got a lot of varied climbing packed into a single pitch, a very unusual and thoughtful (and physical!) crux, and thereís never a line. (And I mean never.)
Not only that, it has names like McCarthy and Stannard associated with it. If it was good enough for themÖ
Start: Around the corner from Double Crack (down and to the left) you will see an off-width crack which widens into a cave about 40'-50' up. The start is a few feet to the right of that crack. (If you want a direct start at 10d, climb the offwidth crack. If you donít, there is no off-width technique required on the rest of the route.)
Face climb up about 20' to a small overhang, and then make a somewhat committing traverse up and left into the wide crack. A large cam (#3.5 or #4 Camalot) is helpful when you reach the crack. By this point you will have experienced the routeís one drawback: a green dust coating the lower half of the route. As long it hasnít rained recently, itís not too bad.
Continue up the crack past some protruding flakes into an alcove. You can get a no-hands rest here while considering the crux, which requires making your way out to the light about 10', and then up through a narrow V-notch to slings around a tree. You can rappel with one rope from there.
Standard rack; a #3 and a #3.5 or #4 Camalot helpful.