Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.


5.5, Trad, 290 ft (88 m), 3 pitches,  Avg: 2.8 from 145 votes
FA: Willie Crowther, Gardiner and Mary Perry, 1958
New York > Gunks > Trapps > f. The Guides' Wall (…
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling Details


Locate a clean crack system leading past a big pine to a smaller one about 50' right of Minty. This pitch is often used by guides to toprope beginners.

P1: Climb the crack to the upper tree. 5.3, 80'.
This pitch was highly impacted by massive rockfall in 2008. See comments below.

P2: Climb up a short corner (about 10'-15'), place a LONG runner, and traverse right about 15' to another corner. Place pro and commit to a "old school" gunks 5.4 move stepping right around the corner. Things ease up about 20' later and you can continue right and up to the GT Ledge at the base of a large corner. 5.5, 140'.

Not a pitch for a first 5.5 lead - the crux is very steep and even with the big jugs it's scary. Also, it's very easy to lock yourself down with rope drag on this pitch.

P3: Up the corner to the top. 5.3, 70'.

Descend either to the left (Minty) or the right (Madame G's). Or walk left to the Uberfall Descent. The Madame G's rap is better on weekends since it doesn't interfere with climbers coming up.


Standard Gunks rack; small cams will make you feel better at the crux.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A view of the entire route from the base of Hawk.
[Hide Photo] A view of the entire route from the base of Hawk.
Hawk (5.4).  With smart placements and long runners, the first two "guidebook" pitches are easily linked - preferable since the shady belay treed atop p. 1 were wiped out in 2008 rockfall. <br>
[Hide Photo] Hawk (5.4). With smart placements and long runners, the first two "guidebook" pitches are easily linked - preferable since the shady belay treed atop p. 1 were wiped out in 2008 rockfall.
1st & 2nd Pitch, waiting for the party of 5 in front of us..<br>
You can see about 4 people standing on the roomy ledge on top of the first pitch, while their leader starts the second pitch (I believe he's a bit too high in this photo, he should be traversing more to the right). You can see the obvious vertical crack of the first pitch, on the left.
[Hide Photo] 1st & 2nd Pitch, waiting for the party of 5 in front of us.. You can see about 4 people standing on the roomy ledge on top of the first pitch, while their leader starts the second pitch (I belie…
Starting the short, third pitch of Hawk
[Hide Photo] Starting the short, third pitch of Hawk
pitch 2
[Hide Photo] pitch 2
Melissa at the third corner
[Hide Photo] Melissa at the third corner
Just after the crux
[Hide Photo] Just after the crux
start of traverse on pitch 2
[Hide Photo] start of traverse on pitch 2
Finishing the traverse...  2nd pitch
[Hide Photo] Finishing the traverse... 2nd pitch
2nd pitch
[Hide Photo] 2nd pitch
soon after the rock fall...
[Hide Photo] soon after the rock fall...
Scars and smashed trees from the rock fall
[Hide Photo] Scars and smashed trees from the rock fall

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bill Hutchins
Bethesda, MD
[Hide Comment] The second pitch is spectacular. Lots of exposure and interesting moves, all at 5.4. Only in the Gunks. Use runners to limt rope drag. The runner on the protection just before the traverse around the first corner needs to be very long to keep the rope from being dragged across the corner. Oct 6, 2007
[Hide Comment] P2- Difficult route-finding; climbing is easy yet exhilirating. The runner around the first corner should, as mentioned above, be very long. There is some old webbing with a steel screwgate at this point- be judicious about using this of course. Highly recommended pitch.

P3- Extremely short, but with (in my opinion) the most difficult rock climbing moves of the climb.

Rappelling off Madame G's requires about about ten feet of easy down climbing (using a tree). Rap bolts are not noticeable from above, so get beta on this before leaving the ground. Oct 8, 2007
[Hide Comment] The first pitch is always dry and is an excellent first climb for a new trad leader, especially if the upper pitches are wet and noboby else is doing the climb. Apr 2, 2008
[Hide Comment] The first pitch is now......sad, and not the same at all.

Most trees are gone from near the base of the climb, and in the nearby talus, having been replaced by broken rock from the fall. The ledges are now covered with so much broken rock and sand that it could be considered dangerous, for the leader, the belayer, and anybody walking by. It will rain on your belayer.

We went past the original first pitch ledge, to the next ledge up, where there's a small pine tree still intact. It's just big enough to rap off, which my partner and I did. The rap webbing was newly installed on July 11. A 60 meter rope makes it to the ground. Jul 25, 2009
Jason Antin
Golden, CO
[Hide Comment] Fun route - Just a "heads up"; I was there on Saturday and there were several instances of falling rock (more than usual) from the GTL.

Have fun! Aug 18, 2009
New York, NY
  5.4 PG13
[Hide Comment] Pitch 1 is not the same as before the rock fall. A lot of loose pebble and rocks on each of the ledges. Pros and moves are slightly more difficult. Not for a new 5.4 leader.
Pitch 2, the route finding is easy if you remember to stay below the pins. Just keep traverse right and follow the natural line. Oct 11, 2009
[Hide Comment] Climbed it last weekend (10-10-10). The first pitch is getting cleaner but it is by no means ready for un-helmeted belayers. Fortunately the second and third pitches are unaffected and both offer great climbing.

BTW, the third pitch dihedral is almost as long as the first pitch, and leads you to the top of the cliff. It's great climbing and great gear exactly when you need it. Don't pass it up for the ugly crawl to the rap station! Oct 15, 2010
worth russell
Brooklyn, NY
[Hide Comment] pitch 1 is dangerous. Loose rock poses a threat for both belayer and traffic. Pitch 2 may be a 5.5 but it has major exposure and is often wet. Nov 14, 2010
New York, NY
[Hide Comment] I swear by my Climbers Guide to the Gunks, but this is not a 5.4!! Pay attention to feedback from MP, despite what the book has it rated, this is not the best climb for any of your first few leads. It is a really amazing climb, unbelievable exposure, but I'd say it's a 5.5+ at least.

If I remember correctly there are a couple times where you kind of have to step across the void to head right across a corner that make for great exposure. There is good pro all along, but the way it traverses does make for a lot of rope drag. Recommend using long runners as well as revolvers if you have any on your rack. Oct 18, 2011
[Hide Comment] There's still plenty of loose rock on P1, though I couldn't say for sure that it's more loose rock than some other ledges in the Gunks, e.g. Easy O / Baby. I would not belay or stand around the bottom with climbers above, without my helmet on my head.

The obvious tree around the top of P1 is getting a bit old.

Difficulty: Some guidebooks rate both P2 & P3 as 5.4. It seemed to both my partner and me that P3 would then be one of the easiest 5.4s in the Gunks. My memory is that P2 was mostly like other Gunks 5.4 pitches, provided you could handle the exposure. Much of P2 had big-enough + positive hand-holds, and a couple of sections of somewhat balancey traversing with little hands but pretty reasonable feet, except ... I remember one short sequence in P2 where it was pretty tricky (tho well-protected) to move up to reach the next positive hand-hold. So if I call that move 5.4+, then add a little for the overall exposure, gets the difficulty to 5.5. Jun 12, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
[Hide Comment] Climbed this for the first time Saturday. Accidentally started the second pitch about 20 feet to the left of what I think was the short corner where you are supposed to start. I climbed up about 15 feet and then made a long traverse with almost no pro. Small feet and small but passable hands. Had one move that felt about 5.5/5.6 before getting to Hawk proper and definitely would have resulted in a ledge fall. Had there been pro it would have improved an already awesome pitch. DO NOT FOLLOW MY CHALK MARKS if you are not up for some 5.5/6 R climbing.

I used a lot of long runners and was able to link up pitches 2 and 3 without too bad drag even with the "alternative" longer start. Pitch 3 is very mellow with one fun well protected 5.4 move. It was easy to scramble down a little ways to the Madame G's rappel. Aug 26, 2013
Dan Africk
Brooklyn, New York
[Hide Comment] Classic Climb! Well protected throughout, nice big ledges for belaying (good route if you have a couple of followers), interesting climbing. The first and third pitches are easy and straightforward (nice warmup), the second money pitch has some 3 very exposed and intimidating corners (the kind that may have you questioning why you do this to yourself..), but the climbing isn't difficult once you commit to it. Definitely intense for a 5.5.

The second pitch has some serious rope drag even with double-length runners at the first two corners, but it's manageable. Bring a lot of trad draws and a couple double-length ones! I didn't link the last two pitches because I was out of trad draws, but I probably would next time, I don't think it would make the rope drag much worse.

You'll have to build gear anchors at the top of the first pitch, and the second if you don't link them. But the latter has a big block at the base of the corner that you can probably just sling. May 3, 2015
[Hide Comment] Did this last weekend. I didn't take a hard look at the second pitch from the ground, so I didn't notice the large dripping wet streak down the middle of the second pitch. It was dripping right where I believe the crux of 2nd pitch would be even if it was dry - which is just past that nest of manky slings.

I don't know if I'd recommend this when wet. Unless you don't mind climbing on wet rock and were aching for a little excitement that day. It's jugs throughout, but those holds got pretty slimy, too. Nov 10, 2015
David K
New Paltz, NY
[Hide Comment] This would be a 4 star route and probably a bit easier if the loose rock and dirt were stripped. Second pitch is amazing, overhung, lots of exposure, with interesting moves. Sep 11, 2017
Daniel Shanks
Los Angeles, CA
[Hide Comment] Great exposure on this route, climbed it last weekend. Be careful of loose rock on the second pitch, I noticed a large right facing flake was not very secure on the face just below the GT ledge. Would probably fall if you whipped on gear placed behind it. Oct 27, 2017
Matt Ritter
New York, NY
[Hide Comment] Climbed this last week and although there were some loose pebbles and rocks on a couple big ledges, I thought the climbing was pretty clean. Would definitely recommend this route. If you're short on cams and you don't want to have two gear anchors at once (top of P1 and top of P2), you can actually belay your parter from a large tree on top of P2. Then, you can set up a gear anchor about 15 feet over to climb P3. This is slower but effective if you don't have a lot of gear. Oct 8, 2018
[Hide Comment] Would not recommend when it's wet. The crux is right in the middle of a wet streak. Oct 9, 2018