Type: Trad, 140 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Jim McCarthy, 1962
Page Views: 6,524 total · 42/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Mar 7, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

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One of the 5.8 testpieces of the Gunks: the "+" refers to the starting move (certainly harder than 5.8), and to the scary start of the 2nd pitch.

Although short, this climb is often done in 2 pitches to avoid rope drag.

This climb is easy to recognize - it is not far from where the trail brings you to the cliff, and is between the overhanging hand crack of Criss Cross Direct and the huge roof to the right of Disneyland. Broken Sling starts at a left-facing arete just under a right-facing corner and roof.

P1: Locate an obvious boulder problem just right of a low roof. A large jug about 10' up dares you to grab it. The moves up through this are surprisingly tricky - you're definitely risking a twisted ankle or worse. You can protect with a cam on the left (tough to place) or just go for it and place a piece from the big jug. Borrow a crash pad or bring a beefy spotter. Once your feet are on the jug all is well, but there's a lot more climbing ahead.

Above, move up to a small roof, turn it on the left, then climb up meandering towards a large alcove with a fixed anchor. Belay here to avoid rope drag. 5.8+, 75'.

P2: Climb out right of the alcove. A pin that once protected the traverse is gone now, so this part is hard to protect. You can make a long reach straight up if you're tall, or, as most people do, quake right, up, and left on minimal pro to easier ground. A bit more climbing leads to the top. 5.8 PG, 65'.

...More details on P2 from Kurtz: Belay on a small ledge 15 ft below the rap anchor (it's a better stance). The first moves up a hollow flake aren't hard or scary but the pro is suspect until you can sling the anchor webbing (V2). Traverse right (20+ ft) until you find enough holds to move up to the overhang. Then traverse all the way back left on good hands but minimal feet until you are beneath a weakness in the roof. Set a bomber piece here and go! Easier climbing above, to the clifftop.

V2: From the rap anchor at the start of P2, go straight up the flaring crack through an overhang (5.9+ PG). This avoids the traverses on the regular route.

Walk along the cliff to climbers' right, then before the road, scramble back down to the cliff base.


Standad Gunks rack to a #3 camalot. Some small stuff might help on P2.


This is a very exciting climb, from start to finish. The first pitch is physical and continuously interesting, while the second pitch has a very tricky traverse that is needed to approach the upper overhangs. I thought this sequence was very inobvious, even though it was clear where to go above. The upper overhangs are wild and crazy! So good! May 11, 2007
Spiro Spiro
Spiro Spiro  
Very fun climb, felt it was not an R rating, once you hit jug off initial moves there was gear abound. Nov 2, 2008
Red River Gorge
JohnWesely   Red River Gorge
The first pitch is a giant bag of sand. Jan 29, 2011
  5.9+ PG13
  5.9+ PG13
I bailed on the first small roof, rounded to the face and did some sketch face climbing to return to the route. From the chalk, I am not the first person to do this. It is much harder than pulling the roof it would seem! Aug 19, 2012
Pawel Janowski
Pawel Janowski   WA
Agree with Spiro: once you get the jug, which is two moves off the ground, you can place solid gear in the corner. The scary traverse is well protected with C3's. Interesting climbing all the way. Apr 29, 2013
R. Ruef
  5.8+ PG13
R. Ruef  
  5.8+ PG13
Awkward move after awkward move. Surprised that Williams gives this three stars. Definitely one of my least favorites. May 6, 2013
Jon Po
Mahwah, NJ
Jon Po   Mahwah, NJ
I don't understand all the hype about this route being super sand bagged.. It's just like every other Gunk's 5.8.. To call it 5.10a is absurd! Nov 3, 2013
Fort Collins, CO
Kurtz   Fort Collins, CO
Whew! Toughest Gunks 5.8 so far. IMHO the description of P2 above is a bit thin. Based on the Grey Dick and personal experience...

Thanks for expounding! I moved your description of P2 up to the route --JSH

The P2 traverses are the scary part. Minimal pro, small holds, tricky to protect, double ropes recommended. May 13, 2014
christopher adams
  5.8- PG13
christopher adams  
  5.8- PG13
Definitely 5.8. Start is easily protected- PG13 at worst.

Place a number 1 camalot in the crack on the left side of the block from a good right arm sidepull on the right side of the block, or the right hand crimp on the face of the block. You don't need to reach the jug first. High feet make all the difference. Jun 5, 2014
  5.8+ PG13
  5.8+ PG13
Careful working your way up the refrigerator. Much fun awaits. Do it.

******Route finding beta****:

After the first overhang -- keep working right towards the big chalked horn. Sep 29, 2016
M Bageant
Los Angeles, CA
M Bageant   Los Angeles, CA
A blue-green offset Alien is a perfect fit in a pod about 2/3 of the way through the thin rightward P2 traverse; with this it felt only PG to me, but without it, definitely would have felt spicy.

If you are going to do P2, either just build an anchor on the little ledge below the rap tat (as suggested in the Kurtz beta), or extend an anchor down to the ledge. The crack on the ledge takes green Camalots. May 29, 2017