Type: Trad, 180 ft, 2 pitches
FA: John Wharton, F. Adams, B. Adams, Al Alvarez, 1958
Page Views: 10,580 total · 69/month
Shared By: Bob Hayes on Jul 9, 2006
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

211 Opinions

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The first pitch is a bit more devious than it looks from the ground. The crux corner of this pitch felt thin and challenging for the grade. The belay ledge is plush for the changeover. 5.5, 80'.

P1. Climb the right-facing corner, ramp and crack past a thin open book (left of the sentry box) and up to a stance. From here, sling everything long, traverse right 20', then up an easy chimney to a belay ledge and fixed slings.

P2. Pull over a nice bulge and go straight up to the GT ledge via some fantastic face climbing. 5.5, 100'.

Rappel the route in 2x60m (tree at top is dead as of 2015) or walk south to the High E rappel line.

Overall it's a great line; each pitch has its own distinct character.


Start in the first of two right-facing corners 25' right of the classic Bonnie's Roof.


Solid pro is available where you need it, but can sometimes be a bit tricky to place. Small wires helpful on the first pitch. Otherwise a standard Gunks rack is perfect.

I enjoy Ursula a lot. That said, it's not a route I'll recommend for a new leader - to paraphrase Dizzzy, there's only a little bit of 5.7 on it ;-) and protecting it well isn't trivial - the most obvious placements are nuts in the corner, which will get a significant outward pull. It's also hard to avoid rope drag - use long slings on everything you place at & after the top of the corner. You won't be able to see your second, so consider that as well.

Carefully inspect the sling salad that is the rap station above P1 - the slung constriction has sharp edges, and I've seen it chop through a few slings over the years. Sep 2, 2007
Best 5.5 I've been on. Takes a lot of small to medium nuts on P1. Build a gear anchor in the horizontals on the belay ledge and step down so you can see your second. This also lets you get some of the shade coming from the trees. Jul 19, 2010
Kevin Heckeler
Las Vegas, NV
Kevin Heckeler   Las Vegas, NV
This is one of the better 5.5 routes at the Gunks. Pitch 1 is thin, committing, and generally well protected. I followed the route properly last year but thought it felt more like 5.7 After following on it and then leading it again this year, Pitch 1 is definitely only 5.5 The 5.7 "variation" is to the right of the route as described.

Pitch 2 I feel is PG at the start and stout for 5.5 Even as a solid 5.6/7 leader at the Gunks I felt this was on the hard side, and the gear above the initial piton/pin wss either far left/right, or just wasn't there for a few moves. There's actually two cruxy moves off the belay ledge and it moderated after that. I feel the start of Pitch 2 is PG-ish. Apr 30, 2012
Jersey City, NJ
BrianRH   Jersey City, NJ
the variation on pitch 1 that breaks left and goes up to the roof and ends at some slings (on a couple of pitons and a nut) goes about 5.7 G and stays pretty dry, making it a nice variation for rainy days. Jul 8, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
Logan Schiff   Brooklyn, NY
Great climb but stiff for the grade. I agree with Kevin that pitch 2 feels like PG at the start getting over the initial crux move. Jul 25, 2012
John Gassel
Somerville, MA
John Gassel   Somerville, MA
Just did this route yesterday and really enjoyed it. My new favorite 5.5's at the Gunks. I linked pitches together on doubles and had no issues with rope drag. Makes an awesome ~180ft pitch.

Felt that the first pitch crux as very tough for the grade. Gear placement mid-crux is tricky, best to just push through it, so 5.5ish leaders beware.

Second pitch has some large wobbly blocks. Oct 1, 2012

That P1 rappel pinch eats slings for breakfast -- they HAVE to be replaced often. Inspect carefully. Apr 8, 2013
That P1 rappel pinch eats slings for breakfast

That's for sure. May 17, 2013
Great route! Not a 5.5!! Fun, fidgety first pitch followed by a steep, exposed second pitch not unlike High Exposure. Like nearly everyone else has said in one way or another, calling this a 5.5 is a great way to get a new leader seriously hurt. Aug 17, 2013
Will Cohen
Will Cohen  
This is my 3rd season leading, and I'm breaking into the 5.9 range, and I would not call this a gimme at even 5.7 on the route I used. This was the last climb of a fairly big day, but I was hoping for the happy 5.5 that the local guide told us this would be. I echo the comments above. 5.5 leaders be warned. Jun 21, 2015
Pierce L   NY
My 4th trad lead. I found it fairly nice. I think the route is pretty close to 5.6. Used a standard rack used mostly my nuts maybe 1 small x4 cam and a marginal #3 on the second pitch. Rapped using a 60 and 70 together to get to the ground didn't stop at the ledge. Sep 6, 2017
David Kerkeslager
New Paltz, NY
David Kerkeslager   New Paltz, NY
This is a Gunks 5.5. The protection options on the first pitch is kind of fiddly on the first pitch and 5.5 leaders might not be able to deal with that. But it's definitely not as hard as the 5.6s here. In fact, there are 5.5s here I think are harder (that delicate slab moves right off the beginning of the second pitch of RMC? the weird roof/sidepull move on Jackie?, the beginning moves on Dennis?).

Routefinding is a bit difficult, so I suspect most who thought this was harder got a bit off route. Aug 30, 2018