Type: Trad, 200 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Fritz Wiessner, Edward and Ann Gross, 1944
Page Views: 18,868 total · 119/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Feb 22, 2006 with updates from mnjsan
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You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures 2019 Details


Perhaps the best 5.7 in the Gunks.

This climb is just a few minutes from the road - you'll pass Disneyland and a number of inside and outside corners. Immediately past Yellow Ridge is the huge roof of Fat Stick. The route is most easily recognized by the left-leaning offwidth crack about 15' off the deck.

P1: There are two ways to start. On the right is a left-facing corner leading up to a small roof - you traverse left under the roof to the offwidth crack (5.7 and reasonably protected). A more direct start traverses on thin holds (no protection) to the rib below the offwidth crack and then up. This is 5.7 and scary but a good spot will keep you safe.

In either case, attack the offwidth above. At a horizontal you can either traverse right out of the crack and climb the face or be like Fritz and power up the offwidth. Both of these are about 5.7. Most people choose the face.

Continue to a good ledge just above the offwidth, and belay here.

P2: Climb a corner to a roof about 20' above the good ledge. Instead of pulling through the roof, traverse up and left about 50' to a another good ledge. 5.7, 120'.

P3: Make thin moves traversing to the left edge of the ledge, and climb up just right of the obvious ridge for about 10'. Traverse left to the arete, passing a pin. Follow this up past another old pin to a roof (fortunately much easier than it looks!) and then on to the top. 5.7, 80'.

From the top, walk climbers' right along the clifftop until it is possible to easily scramble back down to the base, just before the road.


Standard Gunks rack. No need for offwidth pro.
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
A great climb. I recommend the right-hand start (up a left-facing corner, traverse left under a roof) to get to the offwidth crack. I used two #2 Camalots on this pitch: one in the initial corner, and one in a horizontal crack above the fixed pin in the offwidth. I also used a #3.5 Camalot (same as a #4 C4 Camalot) at the base of the offwidth to protect the moves up to the fixed pin.

Face climbing right of the offwidth is probably a little easier than climbing directly up the crack.

You can shorten the first pitch and belay on the first good ledge after the offwidth. This will let you communicate with and watch your second as they climb the offwidth. A 5.4 second pitch goes up a corner and left to a ledge. From here, finish with the last pitch as described above. Feb 23, 2006
Taino Grosjean
South Salem, NY
Taino Grosjean   South Salem, NY
HIGHLY recommend doing the "optional" belay at the top of the offwidth; otherwise, the rope drag is only slightly less than paralyzing.

Also disagree with the opinion above that the right-hand start (to the right of the arete, up the left-facing dihedral, move right to left under roof to arete) is "5.6". It's harder than any of the other starts listed in the various Williams' guides - but it has gear. Dec 27, 2006
Jim O'Brien
Branford, CT
Jim O'Brien   Branford, CT
Great route- The offwidth wasn't that bad, only a couple of moves and it's over. Found the thin traverse at the start of the last pitch to be the crux of the climb, good hands but bad feet for a couple of moves. The roof was very cool, easier than many 5.6 roofs I've been through in da' Gunks. May 4, 2009

I agree that the right start nudges up towards 5.8 - I had some trouble when I led it, and corners are usually good to me. Aug 3, 2009
Denis O has posted a photo of the "direct start" which is basically straight up the rounded nose to the offwidth. This might be 5.7+ or so; it's not described in the new purple Nears guide, but I remember reading about it somewhere. It's a bit necky, in that you make the first of two very balancey moves with gear at your knees but the second a bit above the gear, arguably in groundfall range. Still I think it's safer than the sketchy traverse in from the left.

ADVICE - If there's any chance your second may fall below the offwidth, DO NOT combine the first two pitches. They'll hit the ground before you even know they've fallen. Nov 6, 2009
I did the right hand up the corner start - it's a bit thin on feet, but definitely not a 5.8. The off-width protects well even with smaller gear - I used my #4 at the base (but there was a small cam placement to the left of the crack to back up the pin) and #.75 mid-crack (#1 would have been better but I used it on the under the roof traverse). I ended up off-widthing it as I was too short to reach for face holds. The P3 traverse is exciting! BTW, P2 is 5.5 and P3 is 5.6 in the new Nears book, ratings that I agree with. Jun 21, 2010
Just followed the route this weekend and am taking my above comment back - the traverse from the right hand corner start is damn hard! Can't believe I had led it on a 100 degree sweltering summer day. The OW is still a lot of fun. BETA ALERT: the OW is easier if you jam the left side of the body and use little footsteps on the right edge of the crack. Jamming the right side of the body is tougher. YMMV. Nov 15, 2010
no move on the corner start may be harder than 5.7, but you do place your gear from unpleasant stances. (there is plenty of it. totally G.)

i mistakenly led the offwidth with my right leg jammed. i found this to be strenuous, secure, and difficult to get out of at the top. i agree with dolgio's assessment that (if you want to offwidth it), the left side in may be more... fun? Oct 23, 2011
Andy Weinmann
Silver Spring, MD
Andy Weinmann   Silver Spring, MD
What a climb...just good fun.

From the looks of the photos here, we obviously did P3 a bit different. On the face with horizontals going out to the arete I went pretty much straight up to the small roof and then traversed out. Gear is sparse if you do this. I managed a 00 master cam up in the corner before the traverse and that wasn't exactly 'ideal' but it made me feel better! It's definitely a 'hand' traverse with very little for your feet. If you go this way just keep moving ...dial it in and focus and get the big holds on the corner arete. Gives the grade a "+" in my book. Apr 9, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
Logan Schiff   Brooklyn, NY
Great climb! Initial traverse start felt 5.6 if you find the right handholds (i.e. not the undercling). Otherwise easily harder.

A #4 would definitely be nice for the start of the offwidth. I tried getting my whole body in the offwidth and found it very uncomfortable.

Thought the pro on the final pitch was a little sparse at times, though it was getting late in the day, so maybe I just wasn't looking carefully enough. There are a few pins to clip. Sep 5, 2012
San Pedro, California
Benjaminadk   San Pedro, California
Strenuous moves off the deck and that OW was a toughy. I'd give the right hand corner start a 5.8 rating, but the first ten feet don't count to the overall grade. The final pitch traverse is money. Feet on the traverse are great you just can't see them. Hero jugs through the final overhang. The best 7 in the Gunks. Mar 5, 2013
Poughkeepsie, NY
rgold   Poughkeepsie, NY
I've always climbed the nose at the start. You begin just left of the nose, move up, and step just right of the nose to finish. The gear wouldn't stop you from hitting the ground from later moves. It's 5.7.

I've always off-widthed right side in, which follows the granite conventional wisdom about having your back on a protruding offset. Given the prevalence of holds in the Gunks, the granite wisdom may not apply, but in any case the two or three offwidth moves are very elementary. You do end up turning around at the top since there is a ledge to the right of the crack.

I don't remember about gear but never had anything like a big cam up there; a standard gunks rack with pieces up to yellow camalot size ought to do the trick... May 15, 2013
I don't know Rich. Getting out to the Nose the way you describe is pretty easy. However I have not found the 2 or 3 moves up necessary to gain a stance and get gear in to be trivial at the 5.7 level. Plus the landing really sucks. Jagged boulders are not soft.

To be able to keep it safe at the grade level I think you may be better off with the start on the right, up the left-facing corner. Maybe I'll have to go back and give the Nose start another go to judge appropriately. It has been a number of years since I have gone that way. Regarding John's comment regarding a "good spot" I'm not sure how you can manage that with your climber six feet above you.

Heck, with the left hand start as dicey and delicate as it is, if I remember correctly, it actually has some sort of pro. Something that is missing on the Nose start. May 16, 2013
stephen arsenault
Wolfeboro, NH
stephen arsenault   Wolfeboro, NH
I remember free soloing this route, on a Spring morning, before anyone was out of their sleeping bags, back in 1966, or 67. I had only been climbing a year, but remember feeling pretty calm on it, and really stoked after I got to the top. It would be fun to go back and do the route again, but with a rope, of course, since I'm not a real lover of slab climbing. Feb 9, 2017
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
A worthy 5.7 climb. Totally fun bouldering problem getting beneath the crack, then up the crack is pretty simple due to the horizontal on the right. Upwards from there, you have a nice adventure at an easier grade. The finishing moves through the roof are cool, and go at 5.5 or 5.6. May 31, 2017
Rob D.
Brooklyn, NY
Rob D.   Brooklyn, NY
If the leader and follower are competent at the grade, then linking the first two is very simple. Apr 23, 2018
B. L.
New York, NY
B. L.   New York, NY
Absolute classic! So many styles of climbing in a single route with incredible exposure!

Pitch 1 - hardest physical pitch with crux below offwidth (I did the corner start right of OW).
Pitch 2 - Cruiser with some thin moves and some wild exposure on the arete.
Pitch 3 - Jam packed with excitement - traverse, arete and roof! I found the roof to be more intimidating than Shockleys but it's every bit as doable - not sure which I'd call harder. If you've done Shockleys I imagine you'll be good here. If anything the holds are better but there are a few committed moves to get through whereas Shockleys felt more like just the one. The traverse and arete has some thin exposed moves. Aug 20, 2018
Wolf L
New York, NY
Wolf L   New York, NY
This climb might be the "test piece" of gunks 5.7s. With an interesting first pitch involving an offwidth and a sustained last pitch with thin face climbing and an overhang, this climb is great at testing both the physical and the psychological strength.

A #4 is not all that useful IMO because there are smaller placements right next to it. Maybe a #5-6 is better if you want something in the offwidth. But that's not necessary. Sep 16, 2018
Pat Light
Charlottesville, VA
Pat Light   Charlottesville, VA
One of the best climbs I've ever done. Thoughtful movement up an adventurous line, with a wild and uniquely exposed final pitch. You follow this airy hanging traverse into a hero roof. I felt like I needed a cigarette and a glass of tap water afterwards. Get on it.

(beta below)
The aspiring gumby offwidth climber could certainly bring and place both a #4 and a #5; that same climber could also change her mind and bypass the offwidth completely by placing gear in horizontals and tiptoeing up the face on thin holds. It's probably an honest 5.7 offwidth. I skipped it. The face still requires some precision and thought---there's an exit fee for the offwidth.

Gear was a tiny bit spicy at times, but manageable. Here was a nice way to pitch it out:

P1: Start in the right corner and follow the crack out the roof, slinging your gear long. Exit the offwidth section and follow the corner into a triangular alcove with good gear; belay here at a reasonable but not amazing stance. (5.7)

P2: Exciting movement left out of the alcove leads to a looooong traverse left and a little bit up. Keep tiptoeing left until you see the obvious and spectacular final pitch (hanging traverse into an arete and roof). Build an anchor at the wonderful lunch-sized ledge you find just to the right of the final pitch. (5.5)

P3: Wild. You'll see it. I went left to some good holds, then up to the base of the roof, then left again to the arete. It looks like you could also go all the way left to the arete first, then straight up. Thin moves across the face either way. Pull the roof on hero holds, then pop up a final juggy slab. (5.7, I think most folks could be cajoled into giving you the ol' Courtesy Plus and maybe a PG, but 5.7 is reasonable)

I found an okay tree right at the top, but it does not look long for this world. Sep 26, 2018