Type: Trad, 140 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Fritz Wiessner, Mary Cecil, Betty Woolsey, 1941
Page Views: 13,675 total · 87/month
Shared By: Ron Olsen on Feb 23, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

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If you can't climb wide cracks, this route will seem a lot harder than 5.6!

From the Uberfall, walk about 2.5 minutes down the carriage road, past the big corner and roof of Matinee, to a huge boulder just below the cliff. Take the access trail just beyond the boulder, and angle left to the cliff, on the left side of the huge boulder. Baby is the striking, widening crack directly above the access trail.

P1: Climb the crack to the wide section. Place a 3-4" piece for pro, and head up into the offwidth (crux). A 5-inch piece is necessary if you want gear to protect the crux; otherwise you're at least 5-10' above gear as you commit to the wide. Continue up the face above to a big ledge with lots of loose rock and a bolted anchor. 5.6, 80'.

P2: Climb a left-facing corner and an overhang to the top. This pitch can be sandy after a recent rain. 5.6, 60'.

Descent: From the cliff top, rappel from the bolted anchor.


Standard Rack, plus anything wide (4-5") you have! If you don't have 5-inch gear, be prepared to run it out up the offwidth, where a fall would be ill-advised. The offwidth used to have a chockstone that one could sling for protection - the guidebooks don't reflect the change in protection ratings.
Paul Crowder
Paul Crowder  
This is a classic Gunks sandbag. The offwidth is really challenging, and I'd rate this thing at 5.8 on any day. Hats off to the folks who put this thing up, 'way back when. Mar 9, 2006
Adam Catalano
Albany, New York
Adam Catalano   Albany, New York
I agree that the first pitch can be tough through that wide-crack section. The 2nd pitch is always a fun way to finish the day. Mar 15, 2006
Brian Adzima
San Francisco
Brian Adzima   San Francisco
I think originally there was supposed to be a chockstone in the offwidth section. Now that it is long gone the route is a little more stout than 5.6. I believe I used a #11 hex at the crux. Oct 3, 2006
I had a blast on this climb! I think the crux on the first pitch looks more daunting than it really is. Though some big pro would make this a bit easier. I dropped a knee in for a sweet, comfortable jam and got a piece in right above the crack to pull over it. Over the first and with a BIG belay ledge - The second pitch is a must as well and it will bring back some comfort to those who did not enjoy the crux on the first with a cozy corner and finger crack. Jul 10, 2007
  5.6 PG13
  5.6 PG13
Really scratching my head on this one. I see some people gave Baby two stars while giving Maria 4 stars. I just don't understand it.

The first pitch of Maria is a throw away. The second pitch is a great corner, but so is the the second pitch of Baby. The third pitch of Marie is short but a way fun corner with a great, thoughtful, prototypical Gunks overhang to pull at the top. As good as the Maria overhang is. the overhang at the end of the second pitch of Baby is just dang good fun to pull over! I enjoy it as much if not more than the Maria overhang.

Finally, on Baby, with the first pitch, you have more variety of climbing than Maria offers. The first pitch is great. I just simply don't understand all the angst some people have with the dreaded "off-width"??? Crimpper's comment put it in perfect perspective. It is a fun move and one you don't often get to experience at the Gunks. After that you have some quality climbing up the twin cracks to the GT Ledge.

To offset the folks that rated Baby 2 stars and Maria 4 stars I going 4 stars here, even though I would be more comfortable rating both at three stars. Thus far in my Gunks climbing career, Madame G's is the 5.6 climb I'm holding above all others. Can I give it 5 stars? The bottom line is Baby and Maria are both terrific climbs well worth doing more than once. Jul 16, 2007
Great climb. One of my favorites. Love the second pitch. The first is only hard if one never has done offwidth. Otherwise it is very easy 5.6 climbing. Oct 11, 2007
The famous rock in the P1 off width that you could use for pro and a handhold has been gone for a few years now, making the crux a tad harder and neckier w/o a big cam.

Please do not rap this route for descent. The ledge atop P1 is full of loose rock and there are always parties below. It's probably faster to use the downclimb at the Uberfall and it's definitely faster to use the downclimb at Radcliff. Apr 2, 2008
Michael John Gray
Queensbury, NY
Michael John Gray   Queensbury, NY
I dont know about this route being sandbagged? I thought the whole thing was 5.6 all the way? Although I think there are a lot of sandbags in the Gunks. The O/W was not even the crux to me. Jul 23, 2008
Don MacKenzie
Seattle, WA
Don MacKenzie   Seattle, WA
Great route.
I led it in Oct '06 and the chockstone was still there in OW section at that time. That and a somewhat tipped out #4 Friend were adequate to protect the crux on that pitch. May 2, 2009
Kalil Oldham
Brooklyn, NY
Kalil Oldham   Brooklyn, NY
Serious foot camming and little in-cut sidepulls in the OW made this 5.6 for me, otherwise ... harder. Aug 23, 2009
  5.6 PG13
  5.6 PG13
Finding the correct layback and foot jamming makes it a 5.6+ (easier if you are tall). Bring a #5 camalot and stiff crack shoes (my Mythos desperately bent and slipped). My partner led P1 and off-widthed it, I led P2 - also a fun lead. May 3, 2010
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
Using a #5 makes this climb "g" rated. Offwidth technique or layback, it's all about what's comfortable for you. Last year, I was all about jamming myself into the offwidth. This year, I am really enjoying the layback. This is just a very fun climb from bottom to top. May 23, 2010
Robbie Flick
Baltimore, MD
Robbie Flick   Baltimore, MD
A great moderate. I have very little experience with crack climbing, let alone off-widths, so I found this part challenging. I laybacked on it, which felt a bit insecure, but worked out. A #5 is great, but a #4 can also be placed lower on the crack if you don't have any huge cams. Sep 5, 2010
Jersey City, NJ
BrianRH   Jersey City, NJ
climbed this to practice placing my new big bros and found it more stimulating than anticipated. Can't claim to be a great offwidth climber so not sure about the rating, but I wouldn't have argued had it been rated 5.7 or 5.8. Found it spicier than Drunkards Delight - but that might say more about me and my faith in my big-bro usage than the climb.
Second pitch was comparatively easy, even with rope drag no more than 5.6. Perhaps 5.5. Nov 7, 2011
Ryan Abernathey
La Jolla, CA
Ryan Abernathey   La Jolla, CA
The posts here exaggerate the difficulty of the OW, in my opinion. It is over before it begins. By the time you are standing on the chockstone, your hands are on jugs. It's really just one move to get into the big crack. I had a #5, but this is probably unnecessary if you sling the chockstone. Super fun climb! Apr 6, 2012
Galen Rahmlow
Woodbury, MN
Galen Rahmlow   Woodbury, MN
So good. It's a nice friendly off-width and gets you use to the concept. Second pitch is well worth doing. A black or purple c4 are useful at the top of the second pitch right at the final crux. Also I found that a #3 big-bro is too large to be any help in the off-width. By the time you have a gap large enough to fiddle with it, the crux is over. Apr 28, 2012
Carl A
brooklyn, ny
Carl A   brooklyn, ny
I've done a lot of offwidths out west, and although I'm not one of those guys that's into that kind of stuff, I'm pretty comfortable on them.

This offwidth was doable but tricky, especially for the grade, i was more using the face holds than any chicken wings and I couldn't really get all the way into it because the edges are offset.

Anywho I strung together these two pitches for 190 feet of great "5.6". I ran out the middle and placed a high piece above the ledge and the rope drag wasn't bad at all. May 29, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
Logan Schiff   Brooklyn, NY
Nice climb. I'm no offwidth specialist, but I still found the move to be pretty manageable, probably even a bit on the easy side for Gunks 5.6. A #4 cam worked well in the lower portion of the offwidth section (#5 would get you pro higher up). Second pitch was definitely worth doing. Jul 16, 2012
Des Moines, IA (WTF)
  5.6 PG13
Medic741   Des Moines, IA (WTF)
  5.6 PG13
Great climb, but bring a big cam if you have one... felt pg13 on the OW. There IS a chockstone part way up, maybe there used to be another??

Biggest cam I had was a Camalot #3 and the exposure was very spicy. Soon as I got back from this picked up a #5... Aug 5, 2012
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
I second the above comment about a #4 being pretty adequate with a #5 making this very well protected. Either way, just stuff yourself into the big-ass crack(you can get a single leg-jam rest before the crux if you're a fatass like me) and you won't fall. Squirm up to the jug. This climb is probably my favorite 5.6 in the Gunks. A very direct and striking line with an awesome off-width and an awesome corner on P2 that is as good or better than say... Maria's corner. The only downside is it's popularity and loose rock on the ledges so be careful! Apr 27, 2013
I think the off-width is more fun done as a layback - (also more committing) - (likely more scary).
Sometimes I wish the Gunks had some good practice on off-widths, but I've found the possible off-width here is too short to be useful. Jun 9, 2013
Jon Booth
  5.7 PG13
Jon Booth  
  5.7 PG13
Nice offwidth. A #4 C4 works well at the bottom of the O/W, and a #5 is a perfect fit higher up. There is alot of loose gravel at the top of P2, please use the uberfall instead of rappelling. Jun 10, 2013
micah richard
Litchfield, Connecticut
micah richard   Litchfield, Connecticut
A freind of mine fell off the offwidth with a #4 freind up as far as she could get it. She broke her ankle badly on the ledge, that you too will hit if you fall. This route should really not be climbed without a #5, or #6 cam, if you want real pro at the crux. Sep 18, 2013
We didn't have anything big enough to get in the crack, so we started with the first part of Twisted Sister, which was really enjoyable. The second pitch of this climb was really something!! Felt like 2 or 3 separate cruxes in there, and the last was super cool (and committing, and scary, exiting right). Great route! Oct 27, 2014
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
If you go right side in at the off-width it's not that bad. Get the leg jam, then chicken wing/butt scum a few inches and you're at the jug. It's not as intimidating as it seems when done this way. Partner went left side in first and got his leg stuck.

Am I the only one who thinks the second pitch is harder? I found the slippery laybackesque move to clear the last roof wasn't any cakewalk. Pro is solid though. Nov 24, 2014
Will Cohen  
I've led this climb thrice at this point. With proper footwork in the crack this climb is no harder than 5.6. Any competency with footjams and chicken wings makes the off width a breeze. I led it each time with a #5 and would admittedly feel uneasy without it. Mar 28, 2015
This is a fun lead. Good practice for foot jamming as well as other weird off-width techniques. If you don't know anything about such techniques, be ready to experiment. A #4 C4 is both low and marginal as protection for the off-width.

This climb is not just about the off-width, though. The rest of the route is really fun, interesting, and perfectly protectable. Oct 19, 2015
M Bageant
Cambridge, MA
M Bageant   Cambridge, MA
If you are not confident on 5.8 offwidths, just bring the #5. The #4 will go in below your feet but I would not want to take that fall due to the slab below.

I did it without the 5-inch piece and found myself very much wishing that I had gone through with my joke to carry up one of the 5-inch rocks from the ground...! Apr 18, 2016
David Aguasca!
New York
David Aguasca!   New York
The offwidth is 5.6, folks, it's just barely a body length, and it's less than vertical. Jun 15, 2016
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Awesome climb for the grade. Wide crack on P1 is so cool, once you get it. No need to panic. Just clamber up into it, search for a sweet hold inside the void, bring a foot up, and voila, you are at the giant horizontal. Put gear in, and keep truckin! It's not crazy hard. I didn't do any body jamming or laybacking. Climbing with gear below your feet is something you have to do in trad leading. May 22, 2017
Tyler Hutchinson
  5.7 PG13
Tyler Hutchinson  
  5.7 PG13
I had a blast on this, though I love cracks and offwidths. I have to agree with Dom R that P2 is far more difficult and heady, a lot more representative of a Gunks P2. I led it while the route was still somewhat wet so that may be an explanation for my opinion as many of the feet and obvious placements were wet or unusable.

P1. The offwidth with groundfall potential gives this initial pitch the 5.6, once you pull the crux it's cruising after that. Many say that the rest of P1 is kinda bland, but I found it to be fun and well protected though more like a 5.4. I climbed the OW as a crack and found it moderately challenging but very doable, especially after placing a #4 C4 early. Also doable as a layback.

P2. I thought P2 was fairly daunting and sustained for a 5.6. Lots of holds and placements (especially if it's dry) but it's consistently overhung and can get heady at times especially when pulling some of the overhead stuff without a clear next move. It's all there though and if you get high feet on the final crux move pulling the roof (great hands, btw) up to the P2 belay you'll be smiling from ear to ear. May 30, 2017
André Zandoná
Northampton, MA
André Zandoná   Northampton, MA
Awesome climb! Led it yesterday for the first time. Didn’t use anything above a #3 C4. Lack of protection in the OW made me redraw the line between boldness and recklessness. Will definitely do this again with the right gear. 5.6 definitely feels like a sandbag. Jul 1, 2018