Gunks in Pouring Rain


Original Post
Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30

I only get to visit family up in NJ a couple times a year, and was planning on taking my brother up to the Gunks on Thursday - which clearly has a ~100% chance of rain at this point and is the only possible day to get up there. If the rock is entirely soaking wet and a giant waterfall, is it feasible to be climbing 5.3 - 5.4 in the pouring rain assuming I am competent leading 5.9+ in the dry? Is there enough friction to not kill myself if I am fine getting wet, compared to say, Devils Lake in the wet?

Alissa Doherty · · Boston, MA · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 105

Yea, definitely! The wisdom I've gone by is: if your feet are wet and the rock is wet, you're fine to climb in the Gunks. If only your shoes or the rock are wet, then you're likely to slip. I've climbed up to 5.6 in a downpour (Madame G's) and never felt too sketched out.

Kedron Silsbee · · Princeton, NJ · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 0
Jack Servedio wrote:

is it feasible to be climbing 5.3 - 5.4 in the pouring rain assuming I am competent leading 5.9+ in the dry? 

Yes - the rock isn't as nice as granite when it's wet, but it's not outrageously slippery.  There's also a few routes that will stay dry for a while in the rain, as they're protected by overhangs.  At <5.10 the ones that come to mind are the first pitches of Airy Aria, and (less reliably) Carbs & Caffeine.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Jack Servedio wrote:

If the rock is entirely soaking wet and a giant waterfall, is it feasible to be climbing 5.3 - 5.4 in the pouring rain assuming I am competent leading 5.9+ in the dry? 

Feasible? Yes. Even remotely pleasant? Hardly. 

What does your partner think? You're planning on roped soloing, right?

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30
Marc801 C wrote:

Feasible? Yes. Even remotely pleasant? Hardly. 

What does your partner think? You're planning on roped soloing, right?

My brother doesn't care - the fist time he did any outdoor climbing it was 28F and lightly raining and his first time doing multi-pitch was 95F out in the blaring sun of Red Rock - all he knows of climbing is suffering and still loves it.

I was planning on doing purely beginner stuff like Easy Overhang, Three Pines, Beginners Delight, etc, etc. just to get some mileage in with him. We see each other like 3 or 4 times a year so something seems better than nothing!

Chuck Parks · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 2,081

We did Sixish once between showers. It wasn't all that bad in the wet. We had plenty of fun.

One nice thing about climbing on a rainy day is you'll pretty much have the whole place to yourselves.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Kedron Silsbee wrote:

Yes - the rock isn't as nice as granite when it's wet, but it's not outrageously slippery.  There's also a few routes that will stay dry for a while in the rain, as they're protected by overhangs.  At <5.10 the ones that come to mind are the first pitches of Airy Aria, and (less reliably) Carbs & Caffeine.

Inside the crack will get wet but you can face climb around (Carbs) without much trouble. I think either Ant's Line or Bonnie's stays dry in a downpour (probably skip second pitch)

dave custer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 790
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,712

Go set a TR on The Sting.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Morgan Patterson wrote:

Go set a TR on The Sting.

This was my first thought. Lisa will be dry too (5.9 to get to the Sting anchors)

Brian Eck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Jack Servedio wrote:

I was planning on doing purely beginner stuff like Easy Overhang, Three Pines, Beginners Delight, etc, etc. just to get some mileage in with him. We see each other like 3 or 4 times a year so something seems better than nothing!

Beginner's Delight is closed at the moment (http://gunksclimbers.org/gunks-news/2017-peregrine-falcon-climbing-closure/) but you could certainly do Three Pines up to the GT ledge - the end of the climb might be a bit spicy in the rain.

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30
Brian Eck wrote:

Beginner's Delight is closed at the moment (http://gunksclimbers.org/gunks-news/2017-peregrine-falcon-climbing-closure/) but you could certainly do Three Pines up to the GT ledge - the end of the climb might be a bit spicy in the rain.

Thanks for the heads up!

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30
Jon Frisby wrote:

This was my first thought. Lisa will be dry too (5.9 to get to the Sting anchors)

That might work out, at least doing the first pitch of Lisa. I doubt my brother (who follows 5.9) would get off the ground and I highly doubt I could even flail and hang my way up that on TR in the rain (or at all).

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,712
Jack Servedio wrote:

That might work out, at least doing the first pitch of Lisa. I doubt my brother (who follows 5.9) would get off the ground and I highly doubt I could even flail and hang my way up that on TR in the rain (or at all).

You only get stronger by trying!

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

Any bare rock (usually white or yellow)/brown is fine.  Rock with green lichen can be extremely slippery.  This means the crux might be in an entirely different spot, and the difficulty level could be quite a bit higher than the "dry grade."  

Put in a lot of pro.

Roman G · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 170

Not to hijack but this is relating to the OP's question, the consensus is that climbing in the rain is okay, but how is the pro (cams) holding in wet rock in the gunks (quartz conglomerate)? 

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30
rgold wrote:

Any bare rock (usually white or yellow)/brown is fine.  Rock with green lichen can be extremely slippery.  This means the crux might be in an entirely different spot, and the difficulty level could be quite a bit higher than the "dry grade."  

Put in a lot of pro.

Thanks! I just wanted to see if it was feasible at all because at Devils Lake where I learned, it really isn't that doable once it gets much beyond damp. I was going to be doing 5.3-5.4 or under in the rain instead of the 5.7-5.8 I was planning on doing. I've a double rack at my disposal, so plenty of gear to stuff in.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Roman G wrote:

Not to hijack but this is relating to the OP's question, the consensus is that climbing in the rain is okay, but how is the pro (cams) holding in wet rock in the gunks (quartz conglomerate)? 

In relatively grainy rock like the Gunks, cams' holding power isn't really determined by the absolute friction coefficient of the metal to the rock.  The texture of the surface comes into play, so my take on it is that the gear will be just fine.  Passive gear of course is no issue at all.

James Sweeney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 30

  Are you cfracin crazy?

  

 

  "The worse the weather gets, the better the climbin gets".

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
Jack Servedio wrote:

Thanks! I just wanted to see if it was feasible at all because at Devils Lake where I learned, it really isn't that doable once it gets much beyond damp. I was going to be doing 5.3-5.4 or under in the rain instead of the 5.7-5.8 I was planning on doing. I've a double rack at my disposal, so plenty of gear to stuff in.

Devil's Lake lichen is super-slippery when wet, and the rock itself isn't exactly rough.  But the green Gunks lichen is about as slippery as what you experienced at Devil's Lake, so real caution is required.  

Chris Duca · · Havertown, PA · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 2,095

Lisa, The Sting, Wasp Stop, Yellow Wall (1st pitch), Scary Area,Airy Aria, C&C (1st pitch), Boldville, The Spring (light rain), the Winter.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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