Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: Henry Barber, John Stannard, & Rick Hatch - 1974
Page Views: 1,920 total · 12/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 22, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

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Access Issue: While public climbing is still legally and enforceably prohibited at Sky Top, you may climb LEGALLY at Sky Top as a guided client, since 2007. Details


Crash and Burn is yet another climb that has increased my respect for Henry Barber's boldness and commitment. This thing will have you giggling or crying, depending on how you handle fear -- before you even commit to the crux.

Begin on the far right-hand end of Sky Top, very close to where the trail from Duck Pond meets the base of the cliff, at a very obvious 50'-high pillar that is completely separate from the wall.

This pillar appears to have fallen away from the main wall, forming a large cave and roof. One must climb to the top of the pillar, and reach across over the void to the lip of the roof. The prospect of a fall while committing to this move is horrifying: your only reliable pro is well below your feet on the pillar. The problem I had with the move was that, at full extension, on my tiptoes, I could just barely touch the lip of the roof -- and as it was, I had to "fall into it" -- only to find that the jug was still an inch or two out of reach! It wasn't fun looking straight down from an almost prostrate position, trying to figure out how to gain enough momentum (while my body was completely stretched out) to either return to the pillar or reach the jug. Fortunately I did not "Crash and Burn."

Snag the jug (crux, 5.9+), do a pull up and a very high heel hook, or campus to the next jug, and continue up 70 feet or so of sustained (and relatively well-protected) 5.9 face climbing.

I believe a single 70-meter rope will get you down (rap station climber's left), but I remember seeing an intermediate rap station halfway down the wall.


Standard Rack.


- No Photos -
andrew kulmatiski
logan, ut
andrew kulmatiski   logan, ut
this is one to remember: steck salathe, moby grape, lost arrow spire... this is up there.

I was encouraged to write a comment b/c some of my fondest memories are of hiking the lemonsqueeze trail, climbing strawberry yogurt with my dad, supercrack with Ken Nichols, and climbing Crash and Burn. Its a shame to lose these experiences to private property and liability concerns.

Anyway, this climb is memorable, and i'm 6'2" (its harder if you're shorter). Henry Barber had to have jumped for the FA, unbelievable. The weight of his swaying sack should have been a concern b/c your feet really swing after you cut loose off the pillar. Get out there for some civil disobedience - do it right in naked in vulgarian style - let it swing. Feb 26, 2009
New Paltz
Optimistic   New Paltz
Regarding the posting above: it would actually be quite a shame to jeopardize access to the REST of the climbs in the Gunks, all of which are on private land and open to climbers thanks to the climber-friendly attitude of the Preserve, so that you can briefly amuse yourself on this route (which does indeed sound totally awesome). I'm bummed to miss out on these routes, too, but I'd be a whole lot more bummed if the rest of my home crags were also closed due to some stunt at Skytop.

Please do not climb at Skytop, which the Preserve has just as much right to forbid as Mr. Kulmatiski does to forbid climbing on the roof of his car or house...acts which I doubt he would see as "civil disobedience", but rather as trespassing. Mar 26, 2012
andrew kulmatiski
logan, ut
andrew kulmatiski   logan, ut
I climbed this back in the day when it was still 'open' in the winter. Regardless of current access status, I think documenting these climbs is important for historical reasons and b/c I hope it encourages access to climbing in the future. Henry Barber, hats off. Oct 28, 2012
Anyone can climb at Skytop legally...you just need to pay a lot of money. So the question becomes, how badly do you want it? Feb 15, 2014