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Menace To Sobriety

5.10c, Sport, 80 ft,  Avg: 3.5 from 19 votes
FA: Oct. 9, 1995--Charles Pechousek, Bob Cartwright
New York > Adirondacks > A: Lake Champla… > Poke-O-Moonshine > Poke-O-Moonshine Main…
Access Issue: Peregrine closures and approach trail issues Details


Poke-O is known for many aspects of climbing, but one in particular stands out for many climbers: Technical (read: Off-vertical) face climbing.

This route adds a more direct start to Cirrhosis, AND a full number grade of difficulty harder.

7 bolts protect the anchors and the end to a very thin and breath-taking route up a sheer, black face.

Start by mantling onto a shelf, then continue up the wall passing the crux at about 2/3 height. There are several spots along the climb where the climber will be making somewhat tenuous moves above bolts. So come armed with your vertical dancing shoes, and be sure to keep your wits together for this tremendous affair of the steep.


Locate the Thunderhead roof at the far right end of the cliff. Menace To Sobriety is the blank, black face to right with a line of bolts up it.


7 bolts and a two bolt anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Doug Kern edging up the technical face
[Hide Photo] Doug Kern edging up the technical face
7 x Steel Rawl 3/8" x 2.5
[Hide Photo] 7 x Steel Rawl 3/8" x 2.5
The bolts are far from each other!
[Hide Photo] The bolts are far from each other!

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Derek Doucet
[Hide Comment] Linking this w/ P2 of Cirrhosis produces one of the finest 5.10 pitches at Poko, with varied, sustained and intricate climbing throughout. Highly recommended! Jun 10, 2010
[Hide Comment] Derek, there's even a photo of you on this route in the guidebook! Jun 10, 2010
Nick W
Orford, NH
[Hide Comment] Did a hold or two break on this? Re-climbed it the other day and it felt quite a bit harder (and less enjoyable) than it did a few years back. And the person I was climbing with who had just onsighted a hard 5.11 had to hang on it.... Oct 23, 2013
Montreal, Quebec
[Hide Comment] I don't know what I was thinking calling this a 10c. maybe I was a better face technician back then. Anyway certainly felt like solid 10+ almost 11-.
The bolts are starting to show their age but are still safe IMHO. I will be changing them out for glueins. What do you guys think about how its bolted? Does it need more bolts? And it's possible to extend it to 35m. Oct 2, 2014
Derek Doucet
[Hide Comment] No more bolts in my opinion! It's a little spicy as is (which is part of the appeal), but totally reasonable. It's such a great route as is. No need for more. 10+ seems fair, and consistent with other Poko face pitches. Oct 4, 2014
[Hide Comment] Hi Chuck, you created a superb route here!

I think the existing protection placement is masterful. If you think it can be longer, then yay!!! If you do, something to consider is to keep the lower anchor for those with 60m ropes? (Also, it's a useful anchor for the mixed/ice route that starts up the Thunderhead corner.) Another consideration is that this is the first pitch of an amazing, three-pitch, full-length linkup (MtS to Cirrhosis to Under the Influence).

Glue-ins are nice for sure, but perhaps overkill for this type of rock. SS is more than adequate. Oct 6, 2014
Montreal, Quebec
[Hide Comment] Replace all the bolts and anchor today. Almost added a bolt to where the optional gear placement is. Didn't do it. 7 shiny glue-ins and ring anchor. I did move the anchor off the large flake and put it to the right of the crack. Still on the same stance. Enjoy! Oct 3, 2015
[Hide Comment] Awesome news Chuck! Thanks for the community service. Oct 4, 2015
[Hide Comment] As said before, use this to get to p2 of Cirrhosis and you will not be disappointed. Great climb on its own, even better with the linkup. Sep 16, 2016