Type: Trad, 250 ft, 2 pitches
FA: FA: B. Prudden & H. Kraus - 1952FFA: D. Williams & J. McCarthy - 1961FFA (Direct): I. Rezucha & J. Pofit - 1975
Page Views: 42,483 total · 265/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 28, 2006
Admins: JSH

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Access Issue: 2019 Peregrine Closure Details
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappeling Details


In 1937 Bonnie Prudden shattered her pelvis in a skiing accident. A doctor told her, "You will always limp; no more skiing, climbing, dancing. And no children." Nothing like a promise like that to stir a climber to great things: fifteen years later she made the historic first ascent of Bonnie's Roof, after the legendary Hans Kraus backed down and handed her the sharp end.

Bonnie's Roof is a really enjoyable climb that launches up the most obvious right-facing dihedral in the Trapps. The Bonnie's Roof access trail is the next one after the High Exposure access trail, about a 15 minute walk from the Uberfall, and a 10 minute walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road.

P1 (5.9, 130'): Begin by jamming and stemming through several bulges to a high belay below the roof. One of the early bulges checks in at 5.9 and is the crux. This long pitch can be broken into two if necessary.

P2 (5.7, 50'): Traverse left across the steep face to the arete, following obvious chalked holds and gear placements, then head up to the top.

P2 (Direct): Bonnie's Roof Direct is a highly recommended variation that continues up into the roof, slightly right, and then pulls through the roof at a steep thin hands crack (5.9++) - wildly exposed!

From the top, rappel with two ropes. With one rope, you can walk back to the High Exposure rap line, or head right to rappel over Ursula.


Standard Rack


Spfld, Ma
GoBotRocker   Spfld, Ma
Man O Man, what a sweet long 1st pitch. I got to lead the direct variation the 1st time and fell in love with it. The Direct finish has great gear and will keep your attention until the top. I remember looking over my shoulder 1/2 way throught those roofs and the exposure was awesome. Jul 4, 2006
Jay Harrison  
Absolutely awesome route.
Some pull-off hints:
You can get a no-hands rest just below the P1 crux roof. This is tres good for setting pro before tackling the pump. I won't go into details, but it takes a bit of flexibility with the legs...
The Direct finish P2 is the only 5.9+ move I know that you can protect standing on a ledge without needing handholds. Face outward and fit a cam in that lovely crack above your head, sliding it up, away, and down just a tad. Tada! Bomber pro.
Get a good stem after pulling the initial roof and you can do the same for the last one, though it isn't quite as comfortable. Jan 17, 2010
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
The exposure on leftward traverse out to the arete on P2 of this route rivals that of High Exposure and is definitely wild and fantastic. From the belay ledge atop P1 it looks improbable and thin to traverse out that way. It turns out not to be difficult and extremely airy. Simply awesome.
The first pitch is great but this second pitch makes the climb. May 19, 2010
Steven Cherry
Steven Cherry  
Bonnie's Direct is my favorite 5.9 in the Gunks.

The guidebooks have had confusing ratings in the past, but the current guidebook gives the first pitch 5.9, the regular (traverse to arete) finish 5.7, and the direct finish 5.9. I don't see how any harder numbers can be justified; I don't think p1 is as hard as Ant's Line or p1 of the Spring, and I don't think the p2 roof is harder than MF p2, or Commando Rave.

As others have said, though, regardless of the numbers, this is one of the best of the best climbs the Gunks has. Jun 28, 2010
Larry S
Easton, PA
Larry S   Easton, PA
Great Route! Be weary of some loose flakes on the wild traverse on the second pitch (regular finish). They are marked, but I didn't notice either of them till i put a hand on them. Aug 15, 2010
Robbie Flick
Baltimore, MD
Robbie Flick   Baltimore, MD
Awesome route. A favorite at The Gunks for sure!

We climbed to the belay station under the big roof and my partner tried to take on the direct variation. He backed off, and instead went around the corner, following some chalked holds. It made for an easier, but still high quality finish. Sep 5, 2010
Reading, VT
JeanGClimbs   Reading, VT
Deserving of all 4 stars. This route is an intimidating onsite, but the moves are much easier than they look from the ground. Indeed, the quality of the entire route is stellar no matter the rating numbers. Oct 28, 2010
Steve Pulver
Williston, ND
Steve Pulver   Williston, ND
I see the FA, Bonnie Prudden, passed away two weeks ago. I had no idea I lived next to her.

article says she had 30 FA's in the gunks Dec 23, 2011
R.I.P. Bonnie, thanks for all the great lines.
Love this route! Jan 4, 2012
Stone Ridge, NY
lucander   Stone Ridge, NY
One of the best 5.9's on the east coast. It's too bad for visitors that so many large groups toprope the first pitch and tie up this destination climb. Feb 8, 2012
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Wow, what a great two pitches. The direct finish is simply superb. Bomber gear all the way, so don't hesitate to give it a go! Oct 17, 2012
Ben Brotelho
Albany, NY
Ben Brotelho   Albany, NY
Perhaps it was the conditions at the time (wet and cold), but I thought the first pitch was harder than the direct last pitch. It was also at night so the exposure of the direct finish was diminished too. Dec 3, 2012
San Pedro, California
Benjaminadk   San Pedro, California
This route is pretty much as good as it gets.

I'm glad to see the rappel beta here, which the guidebook doesnt mention. We rappelled from the station directly on top of the climb thinking we would use the station about twenty feet right of (and at the same height as) the p1 crux. Price is wrong. The upper roof is so big i was free hanging, way way too far away to reach. So i rappelled all the way to the knots still hanging in space. Luckily, I was able to fashion a grappling hook out of two 4' runners and a #3 cam and snagged a boulder to pull myself onto the ledge 25' off the ground. We made an easy down climb from there. It made for an interesting finish to a classic climb. DO NOT RAP BONNIE'S ROOF WITH ONE ROPE! Mar 17, 2013

I've worked on making sure every route has FA & descent information -- nice to see it noticed ;-). Glad you got down ok in the end. Apr 8, 2013
The direct finish on the second pitch makes this climb. Still a good route otherwise, but a bit of a one-hit wonder - a little 5.8 climbing to a 5.9 move and then cruiser up to the top of the first pitch. The second pitch crux may come in a little harder than the first pitch, but you couldn't ask for better pro, a cleaner fall, or better exposure... Aug 17, 2013
Seth Hogan
Frisco, Co
Seth Hogan   Frisco, Co
Very good route, the roof is the distinct crux, for sure. But not sand bagged at all at 5.9 with the cleanest of falls onto pins and great gear. You could literally make an anchor to fall on, do it. Aug 11, 2015
Golden, CO
Danny   Golden, CO
Linking P1 into the P2 Direct Variation was one of the best long megapitches of top quality climbing i've ever enjoyed. wow :)

I will say that some crack climbing techniques really help through the initial pull of the P2 Direct roof. After that - glory jugs to the summit. Aug 27, 2018
Climb this route when it's dry, or be prepared for some real insecure moves through the first pitch below the roof... Direct second pitch is cool. Too bad the finger crack is so short! Dec 31, 2018