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Obstacle Delusion

5.9 PG13, Trad, 130 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 3 from 47 votes
FA: Dave Loeks and Claude Suhl (1973)
New York > Gunks > Trapps > i. High E
Access Issue: 2019 Peregrine Closure Details
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappeling Details


This is a great climb. It's an excellent choice if you have someone who can easily follow 5.9 but still needs some easier climbs to lead because P1 is only 5.4, but nice climbing.

P1 - Climb the flake or the face just right of the flake to the large ledge and a belay below the 2 overhangs (5.4).

P2 - Climb up to the right side of the first overhang, then step up and left (scary, crux) to a stance below the second overhang. Step left again, then climb a short red/orange corner to another stance and diagonal up and right to the bolted rap station.


About 150 right of High Exposure, at the left side of a 15-foot high, right-facing flake, just left of the Alpine Diversions crack, and just right of Third Trapps Chimney.


Standard Gunks rack.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Fat Paul
Central, NJ
[Hide Comment] Power through the first roof at the small horizontal crimp and up the runout face above. Move left on the clean orange face below a nice horizontal crack. Aim for the bush at a thin seam and up to the pine tree belay. Small cams needed to protect this route. A new favorite! Nov 24, 2009
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
  5.9+ PG13
[Hide Comment] I feel like it is pretty easy to get off route on this one and land yourself on some 5.10 climbing. Anyone agree?
Mar 31, 2011
[Hide Comment] Hi Chris,

Could you explain? The original start is 5.10 and the way the climb is commonly started now is 5.9. But either you choose, the lines converge fairly quickly and it's hard for me to imagine any 5.10 up there.


Dana Apr 2, 2011
[Hide Comment] I recall pulling pretty hard around the first roof of the "second" pitch... It's a pretty big roof, and I traversed to the right hand side of the roof... nevertheless, I was slapping at some marginal/ok holds... I would put it at 5.10.. (I can't think of any 5.9 that compares). Apr 5, 2011
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
  5.9+ PG13
[Hide Comment] It's been a while, Dana, but I recall a shallow corner close to the arete that took some mighty small brass wires. pulling the roof seemed way more difficult than the neighboring 5.9, Insuhlation. And from what I recall, doesn't one of the variations go at 5.10?

Apr 18, 2011
[Hide Comment] I don't remember a shallow arete that was/seemed to be 5.10, but that doesn't mean you aren't right. But now that I think of it, I suppose the first roof on the second pitch (mentioned in a previous post) was a bit hard for 5.9 Apr 20, 2011
Alex Mitchell
Phoenix, AZ
[Hide Comment] Such a great route! A per pump fight. Not really any hard moves just super overhung. I did not think it was that runout. I was able to get gear every 8 feet or so. Just a bit hard to place gear because of the pump. Oct 29, 2012
[Hide Comment] I didn't think this was PG-13. Maybe PG? May 1, 2013
New York, NY
  5.9 PG13
[Hide Comment] For me, the crux is route finding. First pitch is simple enough. The first roof of the second pitch is harder than a 5.9 and protection after the roof isn't as easy to place.

I climbed what Chris Duca described, the shallow red corner on the left of the arete, because of all the chalk marks. It was definitely harder than a 9. Jun 3, 2013
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
[Hide Comment] Easily linked both pitches with two ropes and running out most of the first pitch. The crux is pretty standard gunks 5.9 steep overhang and face. Overall the last 50ft are somewhat sustained. One of my favorite routes! Nov 24, 2013
Suburban Roadside
Abovetraffic on Hudson
[Hide Comment] See comments for Teeny face RE Martine face. Apr 26, 2014
Pawel Janowski
[Hide Comment] By far one of the best 5.9 at the Gunks and one of my favorite lines period: a cool roof problem followed by thought-provoking, sustained 5.8ish moves to the top. Much more interesting than its sister, Insulhation.

I don't understand the PG13 rating though. The entire climb is super well-protected with cams and c3's. G in my book. Jun 8, 2014
Suburban Roadside
Abovetraffic on Hudson
[Hide Comment] We did not have small springy things back in the day. If you were short, the length between placements was often more 'R' than 'pg'. Jun 17, 2014