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Routes in g. V3 - Middle Earth

Absurdland T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Alley Oop T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Badfinger T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Balrog T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Beyond the Fringe T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X
Blunderbus T,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Bombs Away Dream Baby T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Bullfrog T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a PG13
Cakewalk T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Cheap Thrills T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
City Streets T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Commando Rave T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Country Roads T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Dat-Mantel T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Dis-Mantel T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Dry Heaves T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Faithful Journey T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Galactic Hitchhikers T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Gory Thumb T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
J'accuse T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Large Hardon Collider T 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Middle Earth T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Never Never Land T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Never Say Never T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b X
Nevermore T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
On Any Monday T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Raunchy T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Red's Ruin T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Sente T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Set my bow in the cloud T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c A3+ X
Sheep Thrills T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Snake T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Snowpatch T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Talus of Powder T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Triangle T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Turdland T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
V-3 T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wild Horses T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Wisecrack T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wonderland T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Yenta TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Joe Kelsey and Roman Laba, 1967
Page Views: 11,542 total, 82/month
Shared By: Denis O'Connor on Apr 12, 2006 with updates
Admins: JSH

You & This Route


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Description

ROCKFALL WARNING: WEAR HELMETS, AND DO NOT LOITER AT THE BASE OF MIDDLE EARTH. Far above you, things are quite unstable.

The rock below the GT is a 30'x10' plaque of loose blocks. Combined with an evolving anchor situation, these loose blocks make for substantial rockfall danger at the base of the cliff. For detailed explanation, see Mike Rawdon's comment below.

2016: There is no anchor (and no good trees, no place for gear) at the GT ledge, aside from a dead, levered-out tree. If you climb above the first pitch, plan on going to the top very, very carefully and rappelling with two ropes back to the first pitch, skipping the GT ledge. Or head north to Arrow to descend.

2017: The hangers and chains have been removed from the bolts at the top of the 3rd pitch. The fixed anchor has been removed from the big pine on the GT.

Note that volunteers are doing this work, and it can take time and not always be perfect...


A deservedly popular climb with good first and third pitches.

P1: Climb broken cracks for about 100', aiming for a nice ledge about 15' left of a large pine tree. The route wanders left and right at various places, so keep looking around. At a big ledge, rappel from a bolted station (almost exactly 30m). 5.6.

P2: Climb easy ground 60' up and slightly left, to the GT Ledge.

P3: Reposition the belay ~ 20 feet to the right. Climb up and left into a right-facing corner (crux). Clear it, then aim up and left towards a pretty white face and finish up that to the cliff top.

Rappel from rings on trees and/or bolted stations, a bit left of the climbing line. Walking a bit north to the Arrow rappel line is also an option.

Location

Just left of where the Thin Slabs ascent trail meets the cliff.

From Absurdland, go downhill to the right, and about another 30' right once the trail flattens out.

Protection

Standard rack. Rap stations at top of all 3 pitches.
rgold
Poughkeepsie, NY
rgold   Poughkeepsie, NY
Just to be clear, bolts were added to P1 and removed from P2 and the top. The removals were because of the obvious dangers described by Mike. Climbers who top out should walk 400 feet North to the Arrow bolts.

The belay anchor opportunities at the top of the current P2 on the GT ledge are poor, a rotting stump being the most obvious possibility, with some rather small trees rather far to either side. I think that the best way to do ME to the top is to continue past the bolts on current P1, up the easy stuff to a nice large tree and belay there. Then climb the remaining easy stuff and the rest of current P3 from there. Jul 13, 2017
Optimistic
New Paltz
Optimistic   New Paltz
The hangers and chains have been removed from the bolts at the top of the 3rd pitch. The fixed anchor has been removed from the big pine on the GT. Jun 14, 2017
We climbed this today, first time since the bolts went in. I was astounded to see the GT Ledge bolts are so far left of the usual line of the pitch. I know they were placed there to keep rapping climbers away from ascending climbers. But the problem is that leaders on P2 are going to angle leftwards to get to the bolts (and belay there). The problem is that this runs their rope across a pair of insecure 50+ lb blocks. One of these blocks in particular is sticking out and will surely snag the rope. While a second falling on that pitch is unlikely given how easy it is, I'm afraid that the first time a rope goes tight across that block, it's a bomb.

Update - March 29, 2016 - there are several rather large (~ 2 ft) rocks embedded in the dirt at the base of the route. I wonder if someone trundled the dangerous blocks I refer to above. Hopefully it was done on purpose, safely. I will have to go up there and see if in fact they're gone (they were still there on March 17th).

May 2016 - The blocks I mention above, as well as a few other large (2-3 ft) blocks, have indeed come down from immediately below the (new) bolts on the GT ledge that serve Middle Earth and the other climbs in that vicinity. Hopefully they were dropped purposefully/safely. But the thing is - there's now a messy dirt slope where the blocks used to be, and climbing through this is super insecure. It will wash off eventually, but as it does there are sure to be several smaller bits of rock that find their way downward. 3 golf ball size rocks came down while we were on Bombs Away today. YMMV but I'd suggest avoiding all these climbs on busy days for the next several months. If you want to see one of the blocks, look just R of the base of Bombs Away. I'd guess 300-400 pounds. Dec 15, 2015
SethG  
If you take Middle Earth to the top you are really better off walking for one minute over to the Arrow bolts for the descent. It is less disruptive to climbers below and you don't have to navigate ever-changing tat anchors. Apr 7, 2015
Optimistic
New Paltz
Optimistic   New Paltz
P3 is really quite cool. I have to say that I think 5.6 is pretty fair, but I did notice (BETA ALERT) that it was a little tricky to get good gear where you wanted it, because the good gear is actually right in the middle of the crux. I chose to pull on through and then was like, "hmm, now I'm kind of looking at a ledge fall, not quite what I'd had in mind," and so placed a piece blind at my feet. Amazingly, my second told me that the piece was pretty good, but still, if this is an uncomfortable grade for you, the right way to do it would be to pull into the crux, set one or many totally truck pieces, downclimb and shake out if needed, and go. May 22, 2014
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
 
Logan Schiff   Brooklyn, NY
 
I approached the P3 overhang from the left side by the Bombs Away P3 start this time. Felt easier, 5.5 or so, and was a bit easier to place pro higher up while holding huge jugs, though still not the most comfortable stance. Apr 28, 2013
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
 
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
 
If you do the crux on p3 the absolute easiest way I'd still say it's hard 5.6. First pitch is phenomenal... probably the best/most sustained pitch of 5.5/5.6 in the Gunks with some great crack climbing to boot! Apr 27, 2013
doligo
  5.6 PG13
doligo  
  5.6 PG13
Finally got to lead the pitch 3. What a great climb! I agree, the roof is a bit stiff for a 5.5, especially for a shortie like me. The roof protects well, you can even stick a purple C4 in the crack just right under the roof. The reason I gave it PG13 is that once you pass the roof, the pro is very sparse, the climbing is pretty easy though. Jun 14, 2010
JSH

5.7
JSH    
5.7
P3 was rated 5.7 up until the Grey Dick came out; and even at 5.7, it wasn't a gimme. That re-grading is the one I most strongly disagree with.

It's not easy to get *good* pro at the crux, because of the direction of rope pull, and the pumpy stance; and you're looking at hitting the ledge if you fall on bad pro. So I agree with Tim - I would not, not, not put a 5.5 leader on this pitch.

Repositioning the belay at the GT ledge, to just below the pitch, is a good idea. Aug 4, 2009
The first pitch of this climb is superb and takes good gear. Good pitch for the new 5.5 leader.

P2 is easy 5th class, but still fun.

P3 is tricky, with a vague book description, potential ledge falls, and a harder than rated crux. I would not put a new 5.5ish leader on the last pitch. Apr 2, 2008