Type: Trad, 140 ft
FA: Andy Cairns & Jim Kolocotronis - 1973
Page Views: 14,891 total · 95/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

114 Opinions

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Welcome to the Gunks is a nice little single-pitch climb that passes through multiple roofs!

Begin below tiered roofs at the center of a low roof with two crack/flake systems which is right of Tequila Mockingbird and Dry Martini. The access trail for Welcome to the Gunks is about an 8-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 4-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road.

The first bit is difficult and scary - unprotected moves on slopers will get you to some decent gear. Above this there is another runout through the second roof, but fortunately the rest of the climb is well-protected.

A 2-bolt anchor gets you to the ground with one 60m rope.


Standard Rack.
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
This used to be rated 5.9. We thought it had five 5.9 cruxes: the slab, the first roof, the scary moves to the second roof, the second roof itself (the actual crux), and the roof on P2.

The slab approach was always scary for me, and the second roof never felt easy. If you do P2, you have a bunch of junky climbing above the P2 crux as you wander up and eventually a bit right to a tree that you can belay and rap from. Mar 7, 2006
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
I thought this was the hardest 5.10 that I have ever followed at the Gunks. Perhaps it was late in the day (our last climb), but I rarely fall on a Gunks 10. I fell three times on this climb. The slab was difficult (hard to reach the big holds for this short climber), the roofs were easy relative to the R section on the orange rock. I took a fall trying to move from the slopers to the horizontal under the roof. All in all, a hard climb, I thought much harder than Feast of Fools, Interstice, Mothers Day party, Retribution, Nose dive etc. I am not sure I would repeat this any time soon. Aug 30, 2009
As I figure it the cruxes are:

1. The face before roof # 1;
2. Roof # 1;
3. The face before roof # 2;
4. Roof # 2; and
5. Roof # 3.

Roof #4 is much easier than the others and then it is easy climbing up and right to the belay tree. I did this on toprope and my hat is off to anyone who can calmly lead it! (Please don't think I am suggesting I sent the thing-- I fell several times at roof number 2 and then again at roof #3.) The route is difficult, varied, and it just keeps presenting new challenges, although there are good rests as well. I am amazed anyone ever called this a 5.9! Nov 30, 2010

My SO Scott led this as the highlight of his season, and with Seth's and his help, I've fixed it up.

He specifically wanted to point out the scary 5.9R below the second roof (though you get good gear for the roof itself). Cheers, JSH Dec 5, 2010
Thanks, Julie. Looks good now! Dec 5, 2010
The Gunks
chris_vultaggio   The Gunks
One of the best 10s in the gunks - tricky start and spicy moves before the crux keep the blood going. Oct 5, 2011
A block has broken off at the top of the initial slab section for the right hand start variation, which is also the start of Laughing Man. The variation is still possible, but it is more difficult than before, and it is especially more difficult if you don't realize the block is gone until you are in the middle of the sequence.

This does not affect the left start, which is pretty much directly underneath the first roof. Nov 14, 2011
I wish I read Dennis's report above about the fallen hold. The initial slab on the right was ouch, especially if you don't put any pro. I did the route a few years ago and it seemed more enjoyable, maybe because of the hold was there - I never remember any beta details, but maybe I got fatter.
My question is: where is the R section above the first roof? I'd say initial slab may be R but not after. Also, after the crux roof #2 should I go up/right or up/left? May 21, 2012
Wow. This thing is brutal.
Be very concious of rope drag, the last two roofs are probably much more fun without it. Jul 21, 2014
Pawel Janowski   WA
Wow what a climb!!

The comments about the left and right variation starts had me confused (the two options are not described in the route description). I would say go for the left variation which has solid holds and is relatively easy (5.8?).

I didn't think the "scary" face above roof #1 was poorly protected. You have to make a thin move above gear, but the gear is solid. On the other hand I had trouble finding good gear at Roof #2 and ended up backing off. The gear is solid, but it's easier once you find the right spot and the right piece. Also, there's a fixed rusty old cam underneath that roof to help as you figure out the gear you'll actually be falling on at the crux ;)

Roof #4 may be easier than the other three but with the pump and mental drain it's still pretty challenging. Nov 24, 2014
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
I thought the orange face below the crux roof was well protected for the face itself, but the stand up move to the stance below the crux is very balancy and will be harder when that block eventually gets yanked out. How it's even holding on now is beyond me. If you blew it clipping from the crunched stance below the roof you would probably smack the low-angle area above the first roof pretty hard. I can see this one sketchy part warranting a PG-13 or R rating. Other than that one spot the climb is well protected by Gunks standards. Apr 9, 2015
kevin neville
Oconomowoc WI
kevin neville   Oconomowoc WI
Unfortunately, I can now testify that it is very possible to bust one's ankle by falling just before the second roof. The gear was good (0.3 on the left, 0.75 on the right, on doubles), but it was 3 feet below my feet. Plus the sling and even minimal slack in the system, that's 15 feet to accelerate before the rope starts to come taught, and the lower-angled section just above the first roof came up fast. Great route, have fun, but take that move seriously. May 17, 2015
Whoa, hope you are okay. Did you break anything? May 17, 2015
kevin neville
Oconomowoc WI
kevin neville   Oconomowoc WI
Minor fracture of the distal fibula. No surgery, not sure how many weeks I'll be out. Thinking about it, not sure if there were more gear options up and right? Or, use a stiffer rope to reduce stretch. May 18, 2015
I'm sorry. Glad it wasn't worse for you. May 19, 2015
Jon Po
Mahwah, NJ
  5.10b/c PG13
Jon Po   Mahwah, NJ
  5.10b/c PG13
I found the most PG13 part of this route to be the first slab. An attentive belayer will probably keep you off the ground but it will be close. The bulge before the second roof was pretty well protected with great gear only a foot or 2 under your feet(you can literally build an anchor here if you want). If you make it over the first roof without falling, you will most likely be fine through the PG13 section. Such an awesome route! The roofs just keep coming! Mar 27, 2016
Alissa Doherty
Boston, MA
Alissa Doherty   Boston, MA
Adding to the chorus of folks who found the orange face below the second roof to be scary. I didn't mind the run-out below the first roof at all (5.8 climbing) and thought the moves through the first roof were easier than the orange face above it.

I'm short and wasn't able to reach the crimp without some serious acrobatics involving the single pad gaston. Once at the crimp, I was completely extended and fell on my 00 trying to eke out more reach. It was an okay spot to fall but falling above wouldn't have been okay, as Kevin testified above. I'd love to watch a fellow short person do this with more grace... Sep 26, 2016
chewtoynj   NJ
Toproped successfully yesterday. super amazing route. tons of rests in between roofs. Be very mindful of the loose block (the main handhold) directly under roof 2. It's hollow and creaks. The new anchors at the top are very much appreciated :) Jun 15, 2017
B Rick
B Rick   Philadelphia
Great route. Basically G after the beginning. Second runout has gear at your feet. Aug 26, 2017
  5.10c PG13
  5.10c PG13
I love everything about this route.

Keep it straight and climb the 4th roof. :)
New anchors very much appreciated.

Welcome to the Gunks.

  • **Gear beta***

You can protect it well with just cams doubles of 0.2-0.5, and 1x 0.75-2. A couple extra 0.5 size cams allow you to sew it up completely for followers too. Oct 8, 2017
Aashiq Thawerbhoy
Brooklyn, NY
Aashiq Thawerbhoy   Brooklyn, NY
Easy to set up a TR on this, though make sure you either put in a directional or at least make sure the climbers end of the rope runs climbers left of the second roof (this will make the pull on the climber much more manageable). I was climbing a 10b in Joshua Tree the other day and I thought back to getting shut down on Welcome to the Gunks just 2 months ago on TopRope :P. Stiff climbing out there and it is unique to anywhere else I have climbed. We joke that if a younger generation of climbers discovered The Gunks today they would be bolting the shit out of it! Took me two separate attempts this will be an ongoing project for me to lead it one day! Jan 6, 2018
Wes J
Kingston, NY
Wes J   Kingston, NY
I tried this route for the first time yesterday, and as I took a rest at left side of the third roof, I removed a block the size of a toaster oven. It made a clean arc through the air and landed on my rope. I whipped on double gear that I had placed in a rail under the roof. Nobody was hurt.

Judging by the amount of caked chalk on the jug it was a very popular rest hold at the left of the third roof. Also worth noting that the jug at the right of the third roof moved as I grabbed it. It's possible to pull the roof without using that jug, and imo it's only a matter of time before someone pulls out the block that forms the third roof.

I don't believe the grade has changed, but those looking to take an airy rest will need to keep cranking through the roof before they get one. Oct 2, 2018