Type: Trad, 150 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Betty Woolsey and Fritz Wiessner, 1941
Page Views: 14,309 total · 99/month
Shared By: Bob Hayes on Feb 17, 2007 with updates from Joel Ryan
Admins: JSH

You & This Route

288 Opinions

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This is an old route with some historic significance. Dick Williams notes that this was the first route in the Gunks with a female FA.

The first pitch is straightforward. Go up the wide crack (face holds abound), and through the mellow overhang to stand on the spacious belay ledge with a bolted anchor.

The second pitch is less obvious, but it's tough to get into real trouble. Climb up a left-facing corner and chimney. From here, whether you stay right in the chimney systems, or traverse left onto the nose and face (fun!), the climbing is similar in difficulty and pro is reasonably available. The exposure on the nose variation is nice.

Descent: From the cliff top, rappel from the bolted anchor. If it's a busy day, you can also walk off via Radcliffe, or the Uberfall Descent.


This route is located just right of the Jackie area, and just before Matinee. It's the obvious easy-looking wide crack next to Raubenheimer Special, and is about 1 minute past the Uberfall.


Standard Gunks rack.
Alicia Sokolowski
Brooklyn, NY
Alicia Sokolowski   Brooklyn, NY
I have done p2 three different ways, and IMHO, the best finish for my taste is to go straight up from the p2 belay toward the notch in the rock visible clearly overhead. This is a variation, not the original route. The chimney always seemed wet to me. Sep 4, 2011
Kevin Heckeler
Las Vegas, NV
  5.3 PG13
Kevin Heckeler   Las Vegas, NV
  5.3 PG13
A pitch-2 variation I've done twice is to work up the chimney, then at its top move left (very short traverse) and then up a book, then face climb to the anchors. Going to the right causes drag over the edge of the chimney and nothing over there looks clean or obvious anyway. P2 has some great exposed moves coming out of the chimney for the grade. Oct 23, 2011

Kevin, that's what I've most often done, and it is nice. The nose is nice & a bit exposed, and you can also climb the open-book to the right at the top, all about the same grade.

It's possible to link the whole route in one pitch, if you sling things very carefully and follow the nose at the top. Oct 25, 2011
I agree that the most fun and esthetic way to do P2 is to step left at the top of the first chimney, then thru the semi-notch and up the prow to the top. It's more direct, more exposed, and has cleaner rock. Perhaps the prow takes a bit more thought to protect (with a range of cams in horizontal cracks).

I'd rate Betty as 3-stars with this "direct" P2 variation, only 2-stars without it.

The initial off-width crack system has a couple of moves where the footwork is fairly subtle, and lots of people have to semi-mantle or other less-elegant-feeling improvizations. After that it's almost all fun positive holds (if take the multiply-recommended Left variation for P2).

Note that the first chimney on P2 could be skipped entirely by going more left immediately off the P1 belay (just above the little overhang) somewhere thru or alongside a big flake system. My memory from last year is this seemed like nice climbing, but significantly harder than the chimney, and likely not so well protected. Mar 22, 2012
We did this in 3 pitches. P2 went up chimney on right and then right and up into a nice belay alcove with a stout tree. This reduced rope drag and allowed for better communication. Nice few moves leaving the alcove and climbing the face and arete to the top. Nov 7, 2013
Did a P2 variation which skips the fun unique first chimney of P2. Sharon liked it so much she asked to be lowered back in to climb it again. Seemed like 5.6- and protection seemed typical Gunks placing cams in horizontal cracks.

Left Direct Nose P2 variation:
From the P1 belay ledge, start about 15-20 feet left from the chimney corner, a bit left of the nose. Diagonal right (loose block as of 2014) onto the nose and straight up it (passing left of the notch with tree, which is on the more fun finish variation for the "normal" P2 after exiting the first chimney).

The difficulty in the first 10-15 feet for this variation is required, but above that the harder moves on the nose can be avoided by staying to the left, which includes a remarkable large flake. Jun 3, 2014
Dan Africk
Brooklyn, New York
Dan Africk   Brooklyn, New York
Good beginner route- best one I've seen yet for someone's first lead.

The tree at the top of P1 is sketchy- it would be better with new webbing, but still sketchy. Better to build an anchor at the cozy ledge above it- it's an easy, bomber anchor with a couple pink and red tricams. Jun 15, 2015
Update - the "direct variation" that kenr describes for P2 is likely to become more common now that top anchor bolts have been installed where this variation puts you. AFAIK topping out in the chimney i.e. the original 3rd pitch, puts you in a no man's land where your options are to walk off or do a short rap/downclimb past the barrier rope to get to the bolts. For this reason some might say the bolts were put in the wrong place, but since I prefer the direct P3, I'm OK with where they are. Maybe we can hear from some new 5.3 leaders about how they finished up there. Mar 30, 2016
Joel Ryan
New York, New York
Joel Ryan   New York, New York
DO NOT WALK OFF. Slope restoration in progress above Betty. Rappel, taking care not to toss ropes on parties below.

Bolts are in place to facilitate rappels, please use them. Jul 27, 2016
Mary W
Brooklyn, NY
Mary W   Brooklyn, NY
My first ever trad lead a couple of years ago - absolutely loved it and highly recommend for a beginner leader. Very obvious pro and solid moves all the way up, while being a fun route. Dec 5, 2017
David Kerkeslager
New Paltz, NY
David Kerkeslager   New Paltz, NY
There's a loose water-cooler-jug sized boulder about halfway up P1. It's situated in a place where it's tempting to pull on it to avoid a mantle move that might feel insecure to a beginning leader. But I'd advise putting in a piece and doing the mantle--the first person who commits to weighting that block is going to be in for a nasty surprise. Jun 9, 2018
Diana Valencia
Bridgeport, CT
Diana Valencia   Bridgeport, CT
Led P1. This was my first trad lead at the Gunks. I really enjoyed! Really good gear. Highly recommended for new leaders and beginners. I need to go back for P2. Jul 9, 2018
B Randon
B Randon  
Do not even attempt to climb this on the weekends. Unfathomable amount of traffic which is made longer by the fact that most people on this barely know how to rappel. Otherwise it's pretty great :p Sep 23, 2018