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5.7, Trad, 250 ft (76 m), 3 pitches,  Avg: 3.2 from 316 votes
FA: Hans Kraus, Ken Prestrud, Bonnie Prudden, 1954
New York > Gunks > Trapps > g. V3 - Middle Earth
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling Details


Another classic Gunks 5.7 pitch, sustained and interesting.

At the cliff, look for a crack directly below a large V-shaped notch at the right end of a roof band.

P1 (5.7, 80'): Start just right of a boulder leaning against the cliff. Climb the cracks and corners, aiming for the exposed V-notch. Continue up a flared chimney to a 2-bolt anchor.

P2 (5.1, 120'): This pitch is easy but fun. There is a right facing corner system above the bolted anchor. Follow this system straight up to the GT Ledge. It is a long pitch. At some point in the middle you naturally step to the right of the corner. There is some hollow rock here, easily avoided, and then you step back left and continue. I also remember having to push past a bush at some point but overall the pitch is clean enough and the rock is good. Just before the GT Ledge the rock is cleaner if you move left and up to the ledge.

P3 ( 5.8, 30'): A short pitch with an entertaining roof. There is a blocky corner system to your left which arches up to a roof. Move just a few steps to your left and head up the face, meeting the corner system just a couple of feet below the roof. There is good gear at the top of the corner and in a downward-facing slot in the underside of the ceiling. Pull over the roof just to the left of this slot-- as soon as you pull into the roof there is another horizontal for gear and jugs to get you over. Once you are over the roof, the pitch is done. Combining pitches two and three is reasonable and the drag was nonexistent until I got over the roof-- and then it was all over and done anyway.

Descent: From the top, you'll need to do the easy scramble up the slab to the true top of the cliff and then go north to the Arrow rap line, where there's an easy step-down just past the bolts.  Or you can go south to the Madame G rappel, where you need to know landmarks, as you'll need to descend a bit to the bolts at the front of the buttress.


Standard Rack; the route is very well protected.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

In the crux.
[Hide Photo] In the crux.
Becky Diamond securely wedged in the notch.
[Hide Photo] Becky Diamond securely wedged in the notch.
Such a cool climb.  Only in the Gunks would a fantastic feature like this cleft go at 5.7.
[Hide Photo] Such a cool climb. Only in the Gunks would a fantastic feature like this cleft go at 5.7.
Tricia Fusco in the V-3 notch.
[Hide Photo] Tricia Fusco in the V-3 notch.
Start of V3
[Hide Photo] Start of V3
Elaine Matthews at the start of the difficulties.
[Hide Photo] Elaine Matthews at the start of the difficulties.
Underneath the notch.
[Hide Photo] Underneath the notch.
P3 of V-3
[Hide Photo] P3 of V-3
Jennifer Wies in the V on V3
[Hide Photo] Jennifer Wies in the V on V3

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Mike Caruso
[Hide Comment] Did this years ago as an on-site. I remember cursing Hans Kraus below the v-groove and thinking what would I have done with hobnailed boots and hemp rope (well maybe things had evolved by '54). So I stood up and put my ass into it, then I laughed like hell. Apr 20, 2008
[Hide Comment] There's a good nut placement about mid-notch.

It may also be worth mentioning that there are 2 ways to make the last few moves up to the notch. Climbing the crack in the steep right wall of the corner is the more obvious way, and seems to be what most leaders do their first time up there. But creative climbing allows a more direct approach, which can make for a better rope line, and is IMO more rewarding. It might just be 7+ however. Oct 3, 2009
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
[Hide Comment] This is a great climb. You can make it harder by climbing the right face below the v notch and then traversing over. I probably climbed up and down the right side five times before I committed to getting into the v. Stick your shoulders on one side, feet on the other and just squinch your way up the chimney. You can get a great nut in the back of the chimney, then a couple of more squinchy moves to the pin. Lots of fun. Oct 4, 2009
Galen Rahmlow
Woodbury, MN
[Hide Comment] Wow, the V is awesome. For us the crux is getting up to get your shoulder in the groove. After that it's lots of fun. Gold and red c4's are helpful right under the groove. Apr 28, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
[Hide Comment] I definitely missed the supposedly great nut placement in the V. Would have been nice but you can definitely get pretty securely wedged in there. Fun climb. Oct 10, 2012
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] Did all three pitches. P1 seemed easier than the other comments would suggest. Good pro. P3 is very short and makes rapping off a pain since there is no rapp station. We bushwhacked left and down (30 yards?) until we found a tree with slings. We encountered a rock that made eerie "breathing" noises. There was no wind. Could not figure out what caused the noise. Spooky! Jun 27, 2013
[Hide Comment] Just FYI - a climber prying out a stuck nut today broke off part (a small part) of the two-handed jug you use to pull into the V. It's not any harder now, just a liitle different. And the broken edge may be a bit harsh on the hands until it gets a lot more traffic. May 18, 2014
Andy Weinmann
Silver Spring, MD
[Hide Comment] Anyone ever go out right as you enter the V? I moved up in the slot then stepped out to the ledge on the right. Pondered moving back in to the V-slot but decided to climb the steep slab/arête instead. Heady, but fun. Nov 2, 2015
[Hide Comment] Andy W: Yep! I made that mistake when I onsighted the route about 20 years ago. I was desperate for rest, so I headed up right to that inviting ledge stance. Then looked up and saw a steep, licheny (at that time) blank face that looked about 5.9ish. Combined with the fact that I was NOT in the v-shaped chimney, it was obvious I was offroute. I Made the opposite choice from you, though! I wanted to regain the chimney, so I did a true "uber-fall" move and, with feet planted on the leftmost edge of the ledge, I leaned out with both hands and made the calculated "fall" of faith across to the far side of the v-notch. It worked! I didn't fall, and I finished in the chimney. In retrospect, having now climbed V3 more than two dozen times, I never did it that way again. And I probably would never recommend doing it that way deliberately. But it was fun and adventurous, and certainly a unique approach! Jul 14, 2016
[Hide Comment] Fun and makes you think, I don't think it is actually that difficult. Once you are in the V, just think like a slug. Oct 9, 2016
Ryan M Moore
Philadelphia, PA
[Hide Comment] Very fun first pitch, gear wasn't as good as I would have liked in the beginning of the pitch, falls in line with the gray Dick PG rating. The V however was very easy to protect exceptionally well. Take some time to chill in the V and look down when you do this route. May 11, 2017
Steve Blevins
Central Coast, CA
[Hide Comment] One of the neatest pitches of any grade I have ever done! Jun 21, 2017
Dan Africk
Brooklyn, New York
  5.7 PG13
[Hide Comment] Led the first pitch for the first time yesterday, and this is now one of my favorite One pitch climbs! Feels on the softer side of 5.7, maybe even more like 5.6+.

There's one section that's a bit runout but easy climbing, but as someone mentioned the crux protects exceptionally well (you can even thread a nut wire-first for absolutely bomber pro), and lots of solid gear overall.

Beta Alert: When you first get into the V there's no pro, but there's a nice rest and it's easy climbing at this point if you're comfortable stemming, and you soon reach a very solid piton. There are new bolts & chains at the top (but don't be a dick and hog the route for top roping..) Jul 27, 2017
[Hide Comment] There is most definitely gear in the V and it is very solid. In fact GunkieMike describes the gear earlier in this comment section. Jul 28, 2017
Daniel Kaye
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] I enjoyed all three pitches, but the rappelling setup was not ideal. Next time I'd probably walk along the top of the cliff and rap off something else if that's possible.

Found the nut in the notch, seems ok, I wouldn't say textbook though - kinda shallow and bumpy. Maybe depends on the nuts you have? But the pro was so good just below the notch, and the fall so clean, that it didn't seem bad. Exciting though.

I also through p2 was enjoyable and way less dirty then expected, good for my partner who is a beginner leader (I hear on a not-dry day it's a lot worse?). And I actually found the p3 roof easier than the notch and other roofs on easier-graded routes I'd done that day. Good pro too.

Also, reminded me of Know Ethics at Rumney, which I did the week before. Jul 31, 2017
Nathan Collins
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] Another vote for going all the way to the top. The second pitch was easy but fun, and the third pitch was short (30 feet?) and sweet, with great pro under the final roof. The "5.8" third pitch roof was easier than the "5.6+" The Ceiling for me.

Descent from top of p3: a short rap off a tree to climber's right off p3 back to p2 anchor ledge, then traverse ~100 feet climber's right to tree rap, then one more 70m rope stretcher rap to the ground, or two more if you have a 60m or shorter rope. Oct 30, 2017
[Hide Comment] If you clip the shiny new piton at the top of the V make sure to extend it or face the wrath of the rope drag after the roof. A short draw will create a heinous zig zag against the rock. May 24, 2018
Wolf L
New York, NY
[Hide Comment] The upper pitches are obviously climbed less. The second pitch has some vegetation. With a 70 meter rope we barely made the rappel from the top to the chain anchor above the V. Jul 31, 2018
David K
New Paltz, NY
[Hide Comment] I think this is my favorite Gunks 5.7 pitch so far--I'll definitely be back to lead it again. The difficulty leading up to the V builds and is interesting. The gear for the first 20 feet is a bit spooky--too spaced, too small, or too inward-flaring. But a 5.7 leader shouldn't have much trouble dispatching those moves. The gear at the crux is about as good as it gets.

There's a piton about 5 feet below the V which is bad for a bunch of reasons. It's rusty and you have to girth hitch it to avoid bending a carabiner across the rock, but the real problem is that if you fall on it and it holds, you get slammed into the slab below it. There's wonderful gear out right that drops you gently into space, so I didn't clip that piton at all. Mar 24, 2019
[Hide Comment] Pitch 2 is easy but perfectly nice and fun. Surprisingly clean. A little bit of loose rock, easily avoided.

I linked pitch 2 into pitch 3. The third pitch is a short but really good 5.8 roof problem. I thought the whole climb was well worth doing. I have submitted page improvements describing these pitches. Sep 9, 2019