Type: Trad, 230 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Bill Ryan, Willie Crowther, 1960
Page Views: 12,604 total · 80/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Mar 7, 2006 with updates from Kurtz
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

189 Opinions

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This is a delightful 5.6, almost as nice as Madame G's or High E. The crux is as exciting as any 5.6 in the Gunks.

The first pitch is easy to locate: Use the same access trail as for CCK, just past the Andrew boulder. At the top of the access trail you'll see an obvious crack/corner system leading straight up. This is about 35' left of the huge Erect Direction corner.

P1: Climb up the face just right of an overhang and head for an obvious anchor on some small trees. Then follow the corner up to the GT Ledge. 5.5, 130'. Alternatively, you can start by climbing the crack behind the flake to the left, at 5.7+R, then continuing up the left-facing corner.

P2: Move right on the GT Ledge about 40' (this is the same as the start of the 2nd pitch of Erect Direction) and climb up, diagonaling left, towards a large roof. Once you reach the base of the overhang, look for a fixed pin to the left and place a nut or two to back it up. Now, the crux: cower left, down and around the corner to a stance. This is all balance - no big jugs to save your ass until it's over. Then up through a nice finger crack to the final corner (easier on the right-hand wall) and the top. 5.6, 100'.

If your second falls at the crux, lowering to the GT Ledge may be your only way to get back onto the rock.

Descent: there is a bolted rappel line fairly close to the south, starting with a fixed cable then rappels from bolted anchors, over No Glow, which will get you to the ground with a single rope.


Standard Gunks rack
Adam Catalano
Albany, New York
Adam Catalano   Albany, New York
Absolutely a classic climb. Tops High E in my opinion. Stay low through the crux. The crux arete move is a good distance from your last piece, so keep your head about you. Apr 30, 2006
Montreal, Quebec
Michel   Montreal, Quebec
This is such a thought-provoking climb. Thoughts that were provoked: man, how do I start off? Do I follow that arch? Where's the damned piton? Oh crap, I'm slipped, will that piton hold?
In other words, great climb. Mar 5, 2007
Fabulous climb. The P2 business features beautiful rock, nice moves with outstanding exposure and position. I am just not very good at this star thing. In terms of exposure (and feeling exposed) and moves I think Moonlight has it over High E. However I guess it it the truly airy aspect (position) of High E's P3 that gets it the 4th star.

If High E is busy, don't hesitate to do Moonlight. I don't think you will be disappointed. May 30, 2007
Mobes Mobesely   MDI
we climbed a really wet first pitch of CCK and walked over and did Moonlight P2, next time I'll do first pitch of Erect Direction to get to it. great climb! Oct 30, 2009
A must do 5.6 in the Gunks. If you think after you clear the traverse, the hardest part is over, you'd be up for some rude awakening. The climb keeps on giving for all 100' of it. Don't forget your pink tricams and stoppers. Exciting lead! Apr 26, 2010
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
I find this a somewhat serious climb for a 5.6. If you blow the traverse on P2, you are looking at an ugly fall back into the corner. The crack is beautiful, though. Jun 20, 2012
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
Damn fun second pitch! Oct 18, 2012
Fort Collins, CO
Kurtz   Fort Collins, CO
Holy Guacamole, Batman! That is a spicy great 5.6! The start of P1 is much tougher than it looks, but P2 is the bomb. The rock looks suspect at first but improves. The pro is there but you have to really look and be creative. Routefinding becomes obvious as you go (Eliminate the impossible; what's left, no matter how scary, is the route). Note that the piton cannot be seen from below. Stepping around the arĂȘte is a real eye-opener. Good feet and I found just enough hands to avoid incontinence. But wait! There's more fun ahead! Nov 6, 2012
San Pedro, California
Benjaminadk   San Pedro, California
i havent found a spicier 5.6 at the gunks. Not sure how the first pitch is only 5.5. getting started isn't that easy is it??? and the traverse on the second pitch is a boxer checker for sure. i snuck a purple c4 low to back up the pin but it still felt like it was a while before i got something else in. this is a sleeper classic climb. get on it and get scared. Apr 4, 2013
P2 can totally rival High-E. A totally different climb, but yet similar. The crux is at the point with the most exposure and same level of exposure like High-E. Just a beautiful, classic climb. Only your last piece is terribly far away at the crux. Spicy for sure ...
Even P1 is worth doing on its own - WAY better than P1 of High-E. Good pitch to put a new 5.5 leader on since it's easy to protect Apr 30, 2013
A.wilk Wilk
Olympia, WA
A.wilk Wilk   Olympia, WA
This is a great climb from the ground up. P1 is one of those long pitches that just keeps giving. Great holds, moves, and gear all the way to the GT ledge. Then P2 starts the real fun. Some easy climbing up to the roof. The incredible traverse to follow. And then when you think you are in the clear you get some more tricky moves all the way to the top. Jun 13, 2013
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, ME
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, ME
The second pitch is stunning. Airy climbing on marble-white rock. The crux traverse is really just a move or two (if in doubt, make another move left) and then comes more nice 5.6 climbing up a little crack. The thing that makes this little route is that looking up off the GT ledge it just appears so unlikely---but it's all there. Sep 18, 2013
Tony Lopez   NJ
Don't know what I was thinking trying to OS p1 in wet conditions, in the dark, in approach shoes. Starting up into the flake off the ledge had me spooked. After getting my climbing shoes, #3 and #4 cams from the ground, I was a bit more confident. Long, fun corner after the crux. Williams has it at 5.6PG. The variation, similar to the description on this page, is 5.2G. Apr 3, 2014
A really high quality climb. P1 start to the left of the flake is ~5.7/7+. Big gear useful. May be a better idea to start on the face to the right.

P2 is fantastic. Thoughtful, delicate moves combined with gunks big air. The only reason to not do this climb would be having an inexperienced or easily spooked follower.

Gear beta for P2: Many good nut placements of all sizes. I found offsets particularly useful. Cams up to #1 C4. Oct 5, 2015
Rob D.
Brooklyn, NY
Rob D.   Brooklyn, NY
If you are confident in the grade, I strongly recommend doing the 5.7+ version of pitch 1. A big cam will make it pg, or some thoughtful extending and climbing makes it pg-13. Apr 12, 2016
B. L.
New York, NY
B. L.   New York, NY
Awesome climb and scary traverse. I'd say the traverse moves are mentally but not physically challenging. It's not a pumpy climb.

You are unlikely to see the piton protecting the crux until you are just about to make the traverse moves to the corner. It sticks up above a small ledge for your hands. I placed a .3 x4 above it to the right. Pro is a little hard to find around there.

Once you get around the corner there are good feet where you can hangout and regain your composure. I had bad rope drag once I got around the corner - to a stupid extent near the top. Might go without saying, but do what you can to minimize rope drag. Aug 22, 2016
New Paltz
Optimistic   New Paltz
I think it's pretty reasonable to call the traverse on p2 R-rated. You're probably 12 feet from your last piece by the time you finish stepping around the corner, and the rock all along the traverse (ie the rock keeping your small to medium wires in place) is pretty fragile looking. Great route though!

One thought,if you think your second is going to have trouble or need coaching, various belays can be set just beyond the traverse. Just be sure that the second has a good directional after the traverse if you belay over in the corner (which is the base of the Gottlieb finish to Keep on Struttin and is a great pitch too, but 5.9). Belaying here is a nice way to enjoy all the exposure up there too. Apr 29, 2017
This route is every bit as exhilarating as High E; don't hesitate to get on it if High E has a line. I likewise found the crux to be heady (thin, exposed) and hard to find gear for. I got in a black tricam after the piton, and you might be able to get tiny nuts in some seams, but you are pretty far out from your last bomber piece before the piton. Sep 21, 2017
David Kerkeslager
New Paltz, NY
  5.7 PG13
David Kerkeslager   New Paltz, NY
  5.7 PG13
This is my favorite climb I've led so far in the Gunks, and I've climbed harder and more well-known stuff.

Unlike other Gunks classics such as Madame G or Shockley's where sub-par climbing on the first pitches guards the money pitch, the first pitch of this is pretty fun, gaining exposure as you ascend the dihedral. It would be 2-3 stars, very worthwhile climbing by itself. And of course the money pitch is incredible, absolutely 4 stars. The crux traverse is obviously the most memorable, but there's another crux-y sequence near the top which is strenuous and lieback-y, and all on beautiful, solid rock.

After the traverse, I had good luck with a strategy of placing a piece, moving up, placing another piece, and backcleaning the previous piece for a few moves, until I was above the crux. This gave me some protection while saving my follower from a crazy swing, and reduced rope drag too. I was glad to have done this, because my follower got stung by a yellow jacket and fell at the crux.

EDIT: To add, I think the crux to this is hard to grade. It isn't strenuous at all--it's balance-y, so if you're looking only at strength required, it's arguably 5.5 or even lower. But I think most 5.6 leaders are going to find the balance and body positioning of this crux challenging. Additionally, this isn't the place to sandbag--I don't mind sandbags if the protection is good and falls are safe, but that's not how this is. The original person who added this didn't see fit to give it an appropriate safety rating, so I'd rather see this get a soft rating so nobody gets in over their head and gets hurt. So until I see a PG13 or R on this I'm rating it 5.7. Aug 10, 2018