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Bombs Away Dream Baby

5.7+, Trad, 150 ft, 3 pitches,  Avg: 2.4 from 36 votes
FA: Ray Dobkin and Stan Hayes, 1980
New York > Gunks > Trapps > g. V3 - Middle Earth
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures 2019 Details


The first two pitches of Bombs Away are unremarkable, but the third pitch is one of three gems capping the Middle Earth area.

P1: Begin just right of Middle Earth at blocks below a tree. Wander up the face, pass a short overhang, then up a steeper face to the Middle Earth bolted station. Starting out, it may feel contrived to avoid Middle Earth, but the climbing later in the pitch is worthwhile. 5.6, 100 ft.

P2: Climb easy rock to the GT ledge. The Williams guide describes an independent line, but by now the only reasonably clean line is to run up P2 of Middle Earth to the big ledge. 5.4, 100 ft.

P3: There are three right-facing corners above. The middle corner, directly above a tree with roots that seem to be levering out some slabs of rock (this used to be the rappel tree), is Bombs Away. Gain the face by stepping right to a shallow right-facing corner, then traverse left to just below the major overhanging corner. Up you go, with your last pro at your feet -- I promise the jugs above are huge. Then follow the cracks and horizontals to the very enjoyable coda on tight white rock. 5.8, 80 ft.

Rappel from bolted stations; 3x60m to the ground.


Just right of Middle Earth.


Standard rack.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Starting up pitch 3 from the GT Ledge. The route goes goes right than left up to the roof. Pull the roof at the small right facing corner that breaks the roof. I feel at the crux and nearly hit the ledge. Be careful.
[Hide Photo] Starting up pitch 3 from the GT Ledge. The route goes goes right than left up to the roof. Pull the roof at the small right facing corner that breaks the roof. I feel at the crux and nearly hit the…

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]


[Hide Comment] Long ago, my friend D. posted to a forum: "What route did I fall off of yesterday?" after she'd come off of some route up here, tumbling so far that her ankles brushed the ledge, and everyone on the ledge gasped. Because the Bombs Away roof/corner is both harder and less at-your-waist protected than Middle Earth, I think we eventually figured it was Bombs Away.

The guidebooks have been somewhat unclear in distinguishing the three top pitches. Looking at mine now, I think it's because Dick described an independent line for P2 of Bombs Away that is right of Middle Earth; then at the GT he says to step 15' left. If you climb the only clean rock for P2, which is Middle Earth, you'll come up directly below Bombs Away P3; and then stepping 15' left seems to make no sense. To add to the confusion, Middle Earth steps right at the GT and ascends the next-right, right-facing corner; in other words, Bombs Away and Middle Earth cross at the GT.

In any case, I tried to straighten it out (no pun intended) above. Feb 13, 2011
[Hide Comment] Descending over Middle Earth isn't the best choice in my opinion. It is a very popular route with nervous newish leaders on it, and you are rapping from fixed junk on trees. If you go to the top of Bombs Away (or Middle Earth or Thin Slabs), I would suggest you take the short walk to the Arrow bolts for your descent. Two easy raps from bolted stations and you only interfere with Arrow if there's a leader right at the top. Feb 15, 2011
worth russell
Brooklyn, NY
[Hide Comment] freaky/dangerous crux move. Gear is great but if your belayer isn't spot on you're gonna deck.
I climbed this route again in 2015. Gear is good but blowing crux will result in a relatively long but safe fall. Good moves check it out. Nov 27, 2011
Galen Rahmlow
Woodbury, MN
[Hide Comment] Lots of options. Middle earth, wisecrack, and wonderland all meet for the final pitches. Very easy to mix and match. We finished on wonderland which is great. Apr 28, 2012
Logan Schiff
Brooklyn, NY
  5.7+ PG13
[Hide Comment] I wish I had read these comments before doing the third pitch. Very scary crux move that could easily result in decking if you blow it. Next time I will see if it's possible to get a tiny piece higher up before committing to the roof, which is pretty tricky and has no gear. I somehow envisioned this as one of those roofs where you reach up high and grab easy jugs, but in fact you have to make a few interesting moves first. Apr 28, 2013

[Hide Comment] I don't think there is any gear available besides what you get that ends up being at/below your feet as you reach for jugs. Apr 29, 2013
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] The crux at the start of P3 was great fun, but tread carefully! Try to spot the first, doorknob jug before you make the move. Reach for it and pull! Aug 23, 2013
[Hide Comment] PSA - read the comment I just posted under Middle Earth about a dangerous situation involving recent rockfall from the GT Ledge area of this route. May 19, 2016
Ben Hoste
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] Fell hard on the roof crux in Nov. 2016, ankle got caught on the rope and I flipped over. Walked away without major injuries but was a day ending fall. Having reclaimed yesterday, I have to say that the crux isn't as difficult as I remembered, but very committing for the leader with gear below your feet before you commit. Be sure to may special attention not to get your feet behind the rope in case you do fall and have a belayer pay very close attention. When I fell I was lucky to have my belayer pull out all the slack and i still nearly hit the ledge. Sep 19, 2017