Type: Trad, 155 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Dave Craft, Eric Stern, 1959
Page Views: 16,064 total · 102/month
Shared By: Ron Olsen on Feb 22, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

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The classic 5.6 route in the Nears. Short approach and very popular.

Start about 30' left of Broken Sling, at a large open book capped by a roof. There is a big tree near the start of the climb.

P1: Climb up the right face of the open book, angling up and right across the many horizontals, past several old fixed pins. Make an awkward move around the nose to a cramped belay. 5.6, 45'.

P2: Move left and climb a steep corner to a roof, passing more old fixed pins. A second belay is optional here, or traverse right under the roof and continue to the top. 5.5, 110'.

Pitches 1 and 2 may be combined, avoiding the cramped belay, but it's quite difficult to avoid severe rope drag if you do this, especially the first time. Long runners, double ropes, and two-way radios are recommended if you want to do the climb in one pitch.

Walk climbers' right along the clifftop until just before the road, where you can easily scramble down to the base of the cliff and back to your packs.


Lots of old fixed pins, plus a light rack of nuts and cams to 2".
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Long runners are key. I recall doing this a while back in 1 pitch with a beginner rack with only 2 slings and having enormous drag issues at the top of this climb. Despite this, nice climb. Mar 1, 2006
Mount Joy, PA
jeremyadams   Mount Joy, PA
Double ropes, although still calling for extending placements, make this an excellent one-pitch climb. If you have occasion to try the whole route in one pitch, it's a great place to hone your double rope technique. Jan 5, 2007
Decatur, GA
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
Very nice lead, and doubles are definitely a plus. I was a little concerned about finding a placement to protect the belay anchor starting off the second pitch, but found a great slot for a gold Ballnut.

I think this is also the route where I found a copperhead staring out at me from the horizontal where I was planning to place a green Camalot on P2. I ran it out instead. Jan 28, 2008
In the spring of 1978 I took a friend up Disneyland for his first climb. He managed the first pitch okay, but ran out of gas on the second. Another friend who was with us came up the easy path from the north and joined me at the belay atop the route. He had a six-pack which we began while our pal thrashed on the face below. (He claimed his jeans were too tight to make a high foothold.) After a few minutes it was clear he couldn't finish the pitch, so we tried dragging him up. He was pretty heavy and we were laughing too hard too make much progress--we'd lift him a few feet then crack up, lose our grip, and drop him. He wasn't very happy. Defeated, I tied him off and we relaxed with our beers, enjoying the view while he swore at us. We encouraged him to rest and recover his strength; he swore louder. Then we heard rustling in the woods behind. A very large guy and his girlfriend appeared. I offered him a beer if he pulled on the rope. "I was in the Marines!" he declared, and swiftly drew our friend up to large holds. The Marine happily went on his way with a cold one and our pal, scowling and scraped, struggled up to us. He declined an opportunity to top rope Dirty Gertie. Feb 19, 2008
Jeffrey Dunn    
It makes no sense to belay in the notch following the awkward mantle. Instead, move up into the open book/corner above and belay from there on a bomber piton backed up with nuts. You can then extend down to a better stance which allows you to watch your second on the face below. Really great climbing if you have your logistics sorted out. Apr 14, 2008
Long runners. One pitch. Long runners!

All of the belay stances are sucky - avoid them! There's also communication issues. If you're on top it's really hard to hear someone at the belay above the mantle. Much easier if they are on the ground and can walk out to where they can see you.

One of the best routes in the Gunks but it definitely gets more than it's share of gumbys. I was standing at the bottom once waiting for the belayer to leave the stance. Nothing was happening other than shouts that neither one could figure out. Walked up to the top and there was a guy sitting there at a complete loss - he had dropped his belay device and didn't know how to set a belay without it. They would have probably been up there all night if I hadn't come by! Apr 14, 2008

I think the crucial part about extending is this: use VERY long runners (like shoulder-length + another) and once you've done the mantle and made a move left -- turn back and manually flip your rope towards you over the roof below. Otherwise it'll stay caught in the turn. Makes the upper stuff much nicer. Oct 13, 2009
New York, NY
  5.6 PG13
divnamite   New York, NY
  5.6 PG13
Do it in one pitch, just make sure you extend your slings at the start. I've never seen so many pins on one climb at the Gunks. I think I used a total of 5 pieces of gears for the entire climb. Sep 26, 2010
Jersey City, NJ
BrianRH   Jersey City, NJ
for what it is worth. Climbing Magazine rated this the best 5.6 climb in North America a few years ago. Not sure about that (better than Shockleys, High E and Madame G?), but it is very nice. Aug 17, 2011
Its not even remotely close to the best 5.6 in the Gunks let alone the country. It is a nice climb and fun, but hardly rates that high. Aug 18, 2011
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Easiest 5.6 ever. Should be 5.4. Also very short, and not as good as I was expecting. May 31, 2017
Had to deal with a stuck rope on this route today (pinned into the small crack / flake under the overhang towards the end of the final traverse). There are obviously no fixed rappel anchors on this route (nor does there need to be), but it may be useful information to know that a 70m reaches bottom (with a few feet to spare) from the two-trunk pine tree at the top of the route.... Extend your pieces!! Nov 4, 2017
Do this in one pitch. It was spectacular. I did not have double ropes and they are not necessary. HOWEVER do put double length runners on every piece, and for the piece you place after you come around the corner from face put a triple length on that. I also would recommend clipping a lot of the pitons if linking the pitch so your pieces don’t get pulled in weird ways.

Once you get onto the initial shelf before the face, place a price of gear and then step low down low on a lip and then reverse over far to the right placing gear as you go. Once you get to the right side start moving up for a little then move back left, then up and back to the right all the way to “the mantle” I saw a guy climb right before I did and he got himself into some trouble when he head up to early before going far enough over to the right. Have fun and do it in one pitch if it feels right to you. Jul 17, 2018
David Kerkeslager
New Paltz, NY
David Kerkeslager   New Paltz, NY
This is a bit soft for 5.6 IMO. Really only the mantle move feels 5.6.

Giving this 3 stars because it's the best 5.6 in the Nears, but there are at least 5 better 5.6s over in the Trapps. Aug 15, 2018