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Ape Call

5.8 R, Trad, 110 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.9 from 50 votes
FA: Jim McCarthy, Jim Andress, and Ants Leemets 1962
New York > Gunks > Trapps > b. Jackie & friends
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling Details


Fun climbing with drastically different pitches!

P1- Ease up the unprotected slab and test your gear placement artistry. Once set, bust a couple thin moves up to the left facing corner. Climb up to a nice belay.

P2- The monkey business. Climb up to the roof and move a bit left. Pull the roof and try to stop smiling. Move left to the bolted anchor.

Descend by rappel, or walk off via Radcliffe, or the Uberfall Descent.


On the obvious slab 40 feet right of Pink Laurel and just left of a flaring chimney.


Standard rack with micronuts and/or extremely small cams.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

On this day Ape call was X rated. Found him when I reached blindly for the hold and tapped it on the head.
[Hide Photo] On this day Ape call was X rated. Found him when I reached blindly for the hold and tapped it on the head.
Dave Morgan at the Ape Call roof.
[Hide Photo] Dave Morgan at the Ape Call roof.
Getting to the ape-call moment.
[Hide Photo] Getting to the ape-call moment.
Crux #2 but a bit more well protected.  I think it is better to go this way compared to going further left. The rock is a bit more solid.
[Hide Photo] Crux #2 but a bit more well protected. I think it is better to go this way compared to going further left. The rock is a bit more solid.
Andrew Kontola pulling the final roof move on Ape Call. June 2018.
[Hide Photo] Andrew Kontola pulling the final roof move on Ape Call. June 2018.
The slab.
[Hide Photo] The slab.
Shirley on the initial slab.
[Hide Photo] Shirley on the initial slab.
Finishing the slabby start.
[Hide Photo] Finishing the slabby start.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
[Hide Comment] Where exactly is the PG-13 section of this route? Is it on the first or second pitch? Jan 11, 2008
Ross Fadely
[Hide Comment] The PG-13 section is on the first pitch. The initial slab has no gear and the only gear protecting the crux is extremely small. Jan 11, 2008
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] The initial thin moves up the middle of the face are basically unprotectable. There is a low horizontal placement that is solid, but the next horizontal is thin, shallow, and mostly flaring. Two #4 or smaller nuts placed horizontally in opposition might hold, but I wouldn't bet on it. A fall at or near the next available placement opportunity (the first move in the lower crux) would likely result in groundfall. The juggy roof at the top of the climb is super fun. There is no need to break the climb into two pitches unless you intend to top out via RMC. Aug 17, 2008
Ross Fadely
[Hide Comment] Yeah, the climb may be R... I found some good ways to set small nuts. Equalized with a screamer, it felt better than some pieces Ive seen. Then again, I have a small gear fetish and may have had just the right pieces. Apr 16, 2009
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] There is a report of a climber on Ape Call breaking his back in a groundfall on 10/26/09:…;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed; Nov 1, 2009
[Hide Comment] Led this route on Friday onsight. I vote for 5.8 R. The gear protecting the crux moves to the good holds above the slab would be unlikely to hold a fall. This would result in an awkward ground fall from about 15' up. Nov 2, 2009
[Hide Comment] Climbed this a couple of days ago. On my first try I placed a pair of pieces in the prominent first horizontal crack but nothing in the much smaller one above. I fell at the crux and with a good belay ended up about 4-5 feet off the ground...although I did flip upside down a bit since it's pretty low angle.

On the second attempt a friendly bystander suggested I try to place gear in the smaller horizontal cracks that I had pretty much written off completely the first time around. I managed to get in a purple C3 and a grey wild country zero; I would hardly describe it as bomber, but when i equalized them and gave it a few tugs it certainly seemed like it might hold! This time around I also scanned the wall much more thoroughly for footholds and found what I needed to get up to the next crack, at which point I was able to put in a solid #1. So yeah, the gear is fine--probably not even R--and the crux move is really not bad if you find the sequence.

I would also add that if you're planning on bringing your second up from the rap station (static rope with two rings attached to a tree) to climber's right of the finish of the roof, you will want to put in a directional above the roof. I put in a #3 above 5-6 feet above the lip. If there are no parties on the second pitch and you have enough gear leftover, you could also consider going directly above the roof maybe 20 or so feet to a fixed pin and build an anchor there. The second pitch didn't look that exciting so we bailed at the rap station, but I suspect you could make it to the top with a 60m rope without too much rope drag if you had enough long runners and the foresight to throw in a good directional for your second above the roof. Jul 13, 2015
[Hide Comment] There are some seriously loose chalked up blocks right beneath the P2 roof as of 10/18/2015. Be careful not to yank them down on your belayer while pulling the roof. Oct 19, 2015
[Hide Comment] I didn't like the small cams in the thin horizontal, but found really good offset brassies. May 23, 2016
  5.8 PG13
[Hide Comment] 00 mastercam + 00 C3 provide good protection in the thin horizontal on the slab. Jun 4, 2017
[Hide Comment] I come from the land of sport climbing so I have NO trad gear. I am camping with some friends in the Gunks next week and still want to climb. Can I set up a top rope on Ape call or Ape and Essence and be protected? Another online source said yes but I would feel more comfortable hearing from this community. Also, if there are ANY bolted routes that aren't well advertised please let me know. Thanks! Sep 20, 2017
[Hide Comment] Brandon, since you have no trad gear I would say the answer to your question is NO. There is no bolted anchor above Ape Call and Ape & Essence. There is a tree with fixed gear at the ledge, but this is halfway up the cliff. You would need to know where to rappel in to find it from above. This tree might be workable to use as a TR anchor for Ape & Essence, but for Ape Call it would be off to the right and you would need to place trad gear for directionals at the very least in order to TR the route.

If, on the other hand, you had a trad rack and the ability to do an easier climb, you could lead RMC to the ledge above Ape Call and build a suitable anchor with directionals for the climbs you are talking about.

It sounds like you'd be better off at Peterskill, where there are many single-pitch climbs that are easy to TR from fixed stations above. Or in the Uberfall, where the cliff is shorter and there are numerous walk-arounds to set up climbs, though you may still need some guidance from people on the scene to know what you are doing. Sep 21, 2017
[Hide Comment] That was the exact information I was looking for. Very clear. Thank you. Sep 25, 2017
Brooklyn, NY
[Hide Comment] The anchor at the top of this climb has moved from the old tree to two (actually 3) fresh new bolts w/ chains. The new anchor is about 10 feet left of the old one, and should be perfectly in line for Ape and Essence. I placed one directional for top roping Ape Call to prevent a swing into the corner at the top. Nov 13, 2018