Type: Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Art Gran, Al DeMaria, 1960
Page Views: 13,972 total · 87/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Feb 26, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

135 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappeling Details


This route is a hidden gem comparable to Gelsa or Three Pines. There's a lot of climbing and adventure to be had here!

P1 - Starting up the slab, trend slightly left to reach a short left-facing corner. Follow that up to a ledge with a large pine tree with rappel slings (60').

P2 - First go up and right ~10', then back left about 10 feet (tricky moves, perhaps more like Gunks 5.4) to reach a longer, steeper left-facing corner. Follow that to its top, up the face above and over a bulge to a wide ledge. On its right side is a large pine tree with rappel slings. This is a long pitch, ~120'.

P3 - Take the path of least resistance leftwards to the base of the huge open book, and make a belay.

P4 - Go up the inside of the corner for ~20 ft (some trickiness) to the overhang, move up and right to old pitons, then traverse 30-40 ft horizontally under the roof (exposed but good holds) and up the groove to the top.

Descent: Walk off to the north (right) and look for a trail; use it to follow the clifftop to the north until, just before the road, you can scramble back down to the base and trail.


Walk past the beginning section of the nears and the huge face of Birdland to the chossy section of the Nears. Next, you'll pass a small gully system, at Lonely Challenge, about 200' past Birdland. Another 50' or so takes you to a section of good rock, with the right-leaning crack of Up Yours as an obvious marker. Keep going another 200'.

If you reach the land closure / trespassing signs, you've gone too far. Turn around and go back 70-85 feet.

The base of Yum Yum Yab Yum is notable by a slabbier streak of cleaner rock; a left-facing corner that starts about 20-25 feet up, and the pine tree on the belay ledge about 50 feet up.


Standard Gunks rack.
I agree with John, YYYY is a great climb. I rate it significantly above Three Pines and just slightly below Gelsa in quality. Swain has it as a 5.3 but P1 does offer some challenges and probably deserving of a 5.4.

Other than the traversing P2 to the alcove the route is clean. Maybe I will get the brush and pruning shears out on the next trip up it. Nov 22, 2006
Decatur, GA
saxfiend   Decatur, GA  
Nice pictures! I'm sorry I didn't get to do this one when I was up there.

Dick Williams lists four pitches for this route; does your P2 combine his P2 and P3? Nov 27, 2006
Obviously haven't looked at this in awhile. Since John hasn't replied yet I will throw my $.02 in for what it's worth.

I don't have the Williams guide. However I assume it describes a short first pitch, maybe 30 to 35 feet, to a ledge with a small pine tree at the base of the left facing corner. Many people belay here. It would seem John's P1 combines what I surmise is Williams' P1 & P2. You can see this belay pine tree just above Tricia in the photo entitled "Tricia at the Start" from Denis.

My comment above about P1 deserving of a 5.4 is assuming you don't belay at the pine tree ledge but continue up the left facing corner. You probably end up with a pitch of about 150 feet. But I haven't been on it in awhile and my memory isn't always the best. May 14, 2007
John Peterson
John Peterson  
Sorry about not responding. I'm afraid I'm no longer a Gunks local and I can't find my old copy of Williams. I believe the previous poster is correct - my P1 = P1 + P2 in Williams. There are 4 good belay points on the climb - at the first big tree, at a nice ledge with a big tree (rap anchor) after the corner (70' above the previous stance), a nice stance on the GT before the leftward traverse (about 60' higher), and a good stance at the base of the final corner (about 60' more). Doesn't much matter which of these you use - my current theory is to solo to the 1st tree 30' up and then take a really long pitch up to the great ledge at the base of the final corner. Probably need a 60m for this. Climbed YYYY last summer and I continue to be impressed with it. May 14, 2007
Larry S
Easton, PA
Larry S   Easton, PA
Possibly my favorite climb in the nears. Pitch 2 (or 3 if you're doing 4 pitches) is a joke and might have some loose stuff on it, but P1 and 3 are great. There's an optional 5.7ish exit that pulls up out of the p3 traverse onto some lichen covered rock, then steps right to rejoin the original route. I definitely recommend that finish if you want to kick it up a bit on the last pitch. It'll save you some rope drag too. Jul 9, 2010
Jersey City, NJ
BrianRH   Jersey City, NJ
I think the new Williams guide is mistaken on one of the variations for the fourth pitch. It reads 5.0 for "Yabba Dabba Do" (variation 3). Taking a newbie up this, I was considering that option, but it seems to much harder than the 5.3.
Great exposure on the last pitch. We walked off so someone else can confirm this, but I doubt that two 60 meter ropes would hit the ground. Nov 8, 2010
Kevin Heckeler
Las Vegas, NV
Kevin Heckeler   Las Vegas, NV
We used the Fat City rappel a little ways back on the wall (near Gelsa). Didnt see any rap from the top despite rap stations on the climb...

We used double ropes of course, most raps in the Nears require them.

Traverse is very nice, thoughtful moves and of course great exposure. Pitch 2 (or second half of pitch 1 here) was quality as well.

As Mican suggested, ledge fall potential exists linking pitches one and two together. We did this in four today, and we commonly link things whenever possible. It would also be helpful if someone revised the pitch 2 description here to include the diagonal left climbing 25 feet up into the large corner. It's not obvious when you get to the ledge on P2 where to go. Fortunately the dick williams guide mentioned this, but had we only MP's description we'd probably have flubbed this section and climbed lord knows what to the top. :-P Aug 6, 2011
Great climb. I bet it's actually less far from the main West Trapps parking than more famous 5.3-5.4 routes (Beginners Delight + Minty).

But YYYY is not for (most) beginners because of the long traverse at the top - and with the top belay not positioned well for communication.

A good reason to stop and belay at the first pine tree ledge is so that the leader can demonstrate to followers the somewhat-tricky move sequence just above the ledge. WIth careful placement of protection, I was not feeling in danger of hitting the ledge (or not hard anyway) if I fell (but I'll check more carefully next time).

Seemed to me somewhere in the upper section of P2 (if doing four pitches), there's a bulge where it's likely to hit a ledge if leader were to fall. (This is not just above the first pine tree big ledge, it's higher than that). And one of the moves thru that bulge seemed kind of height-dependent - like for a leader much less than 5 ft 5 inch tall, could be a lot harder than 5.3.

One obviously loose stone somewhere in the middle, otherwise did not seem much looser than lots of other easy climbs in the Gunks -- though some sections are more vegetated than popular 5.3 climbs in the Trapps.

I did not place anything larger than a #1 Camalot (red). I guess there was a place on the first part of the top pitch where I could have placed a #3, but there were other options so I didn't. Lots of small-medium cams useful. Jul 31, 2012
Ron Birk
Boston, MA
Ron Birk   Boston, MA
I met someone who recommended traversing left instead of right at p4 and thought it was an even wilder traverse. Anyone has any info on that variation? Oct 20, 2014
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
The exit left is super easy. It's far easier than the exit to the right. It's probably a 5.2 or so. May 15, 2015
Eric Lutz  
Climbed this for the first time in over a decade today. Fantastic! I was stoked to do the 5.7 finish at the top..... which may be a bit harder now as a head sized block blew out on me as I committed to the overhang. Great to know that old CCH Aliens and new (to me) belayers can catch falls!! So sickening. Very happy no one was below us in the Nears. Dec 12, 2015
Artie Morenz  
We climbed YYYY in 4 pitches. The first was pitch super easy. At the beginning of the 2nd pitch you have to do a short traverse to gain the left-facing corner, and found it a little tricky moving around to get into the corner. There is a bulge at the end of P2 that will get your attention. P3 is more of a scramble up diagonally left to get to the base of the open book. I only placed two cams on P3 and didn't really feel like I needed them. It was a little tricky getting up to the traverse on P4. The traverse has excellent hands but in a few spots you have to pick out your foot placements. When I finished the traverse and started heading up I had the worst rope drag I ever experienced! I should have used some long runner on a couple of my pieces. We hiked the trail back to the road, 15 minutes, then another 15 minutes to hike back to get our packs at the base of YYYY, then another 15 minutes to hike back out. I recommend not leaving your packs at the base of the climb unless you want to do other climbs in the vicinity. This climb is a great adventure, really enjoyed it. Mar 9, 2016
micah richard
Litchfield, Connecticut
micah richard   Litchfield, Connecticut
I love this route. I have led it three times and will no doubt do it again. It's the best route of its grade at the Gunks! However, if you are a new 5.3 leader, I would get a few other more straightforward routes under your belt before getting on this one.

It totally transcends its difficulty rating, and has a little bit of everything you'd expect to run into at the Gunks: a ledge-fall runout section followed by an excellent pitch, a left-traverse pitch with some choss, and a very intimidating (for the grade) last pitch with amazing exposure, a super fun, wildly exposed classic Gunks roof, followed by a little lichen to make the top out interesting! There are rope drag issues. The 5.7 roof exit on the last pitch is highly recommended. A gold camelot is helpful halfway through the crux. May 1, 2017